A baby stroller is a vehicle or carriage with wheels that is hand-pushed and used to transport babies and toddlers. It comes in different sizes and prices. If you plan on going out with your baby which is inevitable, you need a stroller.
It is a fanciful means of showing off your baby. It’s important to get a good stroller fit for you and your baby. A good stroller should keep your baby safe, comfortable, and happy.
Deciding on which stroller to get for your baby is always difficult especially for first-time moms or parents. This may be because there are different types with varying designs and functions.
So, how do you know what to look for in a baby stroller? There are several factors to be considered like type, design, budget, safety, and so on.
Here are tips to help you make a choice, We hope you find them helpful.
If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.
What To Look For In A Baby Stroller?
- Who Will Use The Stroller?
- Where Will We Be Using The Stroller Most?
- What Weather Will You Use It In?
- What Storage Space Does It Have?
- What Weight Can You Handle?
- Do You Want One That Can Be Folded Using One Hand?
- Do You Want Extra Features?
- Are You Going To Use This Stroller For A Long Time?
- Your Budget
Before you even start window-shopping or ordering a stroller online, you should consider these questions below.
While you do, it will help you choose a stroller with features that suit you and your parenting lifestyle.
Video: How To Buy A Stroller
This video will explain all the factors you should consider before you buy a stroller.
Who Will Use The Stroller?
Does who uses the stroller affect the type of stroller you buy?
The person who will use the stroller is an important factor to consider when buying a stroller. This is because a teen will not easily push a double stroller as easily as an adult.
You should consider this first before any other thing. Will it be you or your spouse? Will it be a house help or any other person?
Chances are you will be able to use any model you pick but can the other person do, too?
What style will be convenient for you?
As a matter of fact, you should get a stroller that anyone can comfortably use.
If it’s not going to be you, then you should discuss it with the person and be sure it’s what is okay for them.
Where Will You Be Using The Stroller Most?
Strollers are built in different shapes and sizes; most of the models are big and heavy. So, it can’t navigate on narrow roads or curbs.
Types of strollers and where they are suited for
- Full-sized stroller, perfect for use around the house.
- Lightweight stroller, perfect for on the go parents.
- Jogging stroller, perfect for running and jogging.
- Double strollers, perfect for carrying more than one child at a go.
- Car seat carrier, perfect for parents who constantly have to drive with the child on board.
- Travel system, perfect for traveling.
Get a stroller that is the best fit for where you will use it the most.
The durability of the stroller and the safety of your baby depend on the type you buy and where you will use it the most.
What Weather Will You Use It In?
Does weather affect the choice of a stroller?
The type of weather you live in will influence your stroller choice. People who live in predominantly hot weathers will favor the lightweight umbrella stroller or the car seat carrier. This is because they provide room for more ventilation for the child on it.
for people who live in regions where the weather is cold, a full-sized stroller will provided the much-needed warmth to the child.
Stroller manufacturers provide weather information for the strollers, properly inform yourself before purchasing one.
What Storage Space Does It Have?
If you are going to keep some of your baby items in the stroller, where will it be?
Find out the storage space that is available for each stroller and choose one fit for your lifestyle.
What Weight Can You Handle?
You don’t want to be overwhelmed by pushing your baby stroller, do you? Each model’s weight depends on its features.
Can you carry your stroller and other bags at the same time? Then get a model that you can comfortably carry or navigate.
Do You Want One That Can Be Folded Using One Hand?
Most times, you will be holding your baby in one hand and have only one free hand to fold or unfold the stroller.
Go for a model that allows you to do this with ease. Can it stand on its own when folded?
You should be able to answer that question before you buy one.
Do You Want Extra Features?
Extra features include space for drinks, food, adjustable handle or storage basket. You should consider this before buying the stroller.
Check if it has these features, and if it doesn’t you might have to buy them or go for another model.
Are You Going To Use This Stroller For A Long Time?
Some strollers can only be used to carry new-born only while others carry kids that are six months and above.
Do you want to use the same stroller for different kids? Go for a model that will serve you for a long time.
How about saving a few dollars by getting an all-purpose stroller like the convertible stroller?
Apart from its durability, it can be converted from one model to the other (travel system, single or double stroller).
Before you buy a baby stroller, you must consider your budget.
Answer these questions first. How much do you have? This an easy way to reduce your choices.
Are you buying the very expensive ones? If you can afford it, why not?
Do you prefer the common types that are relatively cheap? Will they give you some value?
Remember we are talking about something to carry your baby in, are they safe?
Do you prefer fancy styles? How often will you be using it and where will you be taking it to?
Do You Need More Than One?
You will need more than one type of stroller because one stroller irrespective of its design will meet all your needs. You can get a lightweight umbrella stroller along with a full-sized stroller. The umbrella will be used when you are on transit, and the full-sized stroller used when you are strolling with your child in and around the house.
This will be a good option rather than spending all your budgets in one that won’t serve you better.
Types of Strollers
There are different types of strollers, let’s look at them one after the other:
- Full-Sized or Standard Stroller
- Light Weight or Umbrella Stroller
- Jogging Strollers
- Car Seat Carriers
- Travel Systems
- Double Stroller
- Combination Stroller
- Convertible Stroller
Full-Sized or Standard Stroller
They are bigger, durable, and convenient.
Full-sized strollers have features like reclining padded seats, expandable sunshade, storage space like diaper holders, cup holders, and so on.
Some let you change the direction of the seat (baby face forward, towards you or switch between the two).
They are fitted for your everyday activities and they can carry your babies all throughout toddler years.
Advantages of Full-Sized or Standard Stroller
- They are big and comfortable for you and your baby.
- Well-padded reclining seat.
- It has a stout design.
- It has a sunshade.
- Suitable for car seats.
- Has storage space for baby items.
Disadvantages of Full-Sized or Standard Stroller
- Heavy and bulky.
- Difficult to maneuver because of its size.
- Not suitable for public transportation, busy streets, and curbs.
Light Weight or Umbrella Stroller
Umbrella strollers, unlike the full-sized strollers, are portable, light, and comfortable to carry.
They also have features like storage space, partial reclining seat, and expandable sunshade.
They are good for travel as they can be folded into a car trunk, airplane bin, and trains.
Advantages of Light Weight or Umbrella Stroller
- Weighs less than most strollers.
- Suitable for public transportation and crowded walkways.
Disadvantages of Light Weight or Umbrella Stroller
- Might not be fit for babies less than six months.
- Not well-padded.
- Some have small plastic tires and so are difficult to maneuver.
They come handy for active parents as it allows you to walk, jog, or run while giving your baby maximum comfort.
Jogging strollers have a stout design with three tires (2 behind and 1 in front), light and easy to maneuver.
Advantages of Jogging Strollers
- Great for new-born and toddlers.
- Suitable for car seats.
- Full reclining seats.
- It has storage space.
Disadvantages of Jogging Strollers
- Heavy and bulky.
- Difficult to assemble.
- Needs regular tire and air pressure check.
- Can’t be folded.
- It might not be safe for your baby during jogging.
Car Seat Carriers
Strollers of this type are designed to hold your baby’s car seat. As a result, you can convert it from a stroller to a car seat stroller and vice versa.
Advantages of Car Seat Carriers
- They are cheap.
- Convenient to use.
Disadvantage of Car Seat Carriers
- Mostly fitted for car seat carrier and so baby outgrows it quickly.
Usually comprises of a car seat carrier, a base for your car, and a stroller. It comes with an option of a standard/full-size, lightweight/umbrella, or jogging system.
Advantages of Travel Systems
- Flexible model.
- Convenient to use.
- Cheaper since it comes in 3 components.
- Strollers can be used when baby outgrows car seat carrier.
Disadvantages of Travel Systems
- Some models can be bulky and heavy.
- You might need another car seat carrier and base if you have other cars.
Best suited for twins or two children ages four years and below. Double strollers are of two options: double side-by-side and double tandem stroller.
Double Side-By-Side Stroller
It has 2 seats attached to one frame side-by-side. They are a great fit for carrying children of the same weight and height.
Note: you must ensure that you check for width and stability before getting this stroller.
Advantages of Double Side-By-Side Stroller
- Easy to maneuver curbs.
- Cost-effective since you can manage one stroller.
Disadvantages of Double Side-By-Side Stroller
- It can tilt if children have different weights.
- Some are difficult to navigate through doors and crowds.
Double Tandem Stroller
The double tandem stroller has 1 seat arranged in front of another in one stroller.
As a result, both children sit in the stroller facing each other.
Advantages of Double Tandem Stroller
- Easy to navigate through doors and crowds.
- Cost-effective since you can manage one stroller.
Disadvantages of Double Tandem Stroller
- Difficult to maneuver curbs.
- It is long and so can be heavy.
- Most models lack enough space for the baby behind the stroller.
Combination strollers help you to fit the stroller to conform to the growing needs of a child. They are also called modular strollers.
Advantages of a Combination Stroller
- The combinations stroller is suitable for new-born.
- It can be used for a long time since stroller features can be adjusted to suit any child.
Disadvantages of the Combination Stroller
- You might have to buy a car seat carrier, base, and adapter for this stroller.
- Might not have sunshade or rain cover.
Like its name, this type of stroller can be converted from one model to another.
You can convert it by adding a car seat carrier, it becomes a travel system stroller or converts from a full-sized stroller to a double stroller.
Advantages of a Convertible Stroller
- It is flexible.
- It saves money that would have been used to buy another stroller since it can be converted.
Disadvantages of a Convertible Stroller
- It is heavy.
- Expensive to use.
What Are The Features To Look For In A Baby Stroller
- 5-Point Restraint System
- Check Edges, Hinges and Tight Corners
- Folding Mechanism
- Test the Brakes
- Wheels and Absorbers
- Storage Basket
- Strollers That Can Hold New-born
- Fabric and Upholstery
- Boo Check Car Seats
Most strollers have features that are safe for your baby, however, you must check for specific safety features fit for your baby.
5-Point Restraint System
A 5-point restraint system is the best and safest choice for your baby and is common to most strollers. It has harnesses that protect your baby at the shoulders or above the shoulders, waist, and in between the legs.
This prevents the baby from gliding from the stroller if it tilts, or from scrambling out when you’re not looking.
You must check the fasteners and be sure that they are simple to operate, but hard for a baby to unbuckle.
Also, ensure that the fasteners can be adjusted easily to suit the baby and that they are firmly fastened.
The 5-point harness is somewhat common among different products today, but some lightweight or umbrella strollers use the 3-point harnesses.
Check Edges, Hinges and Tight Corners
Care must be taken when you are dealing with babies, more so when getting a stroller.
Check all edges and tight corners where the baby’s hands and feet can be trapped.
Be sure there are no sharp-edged hinges or projections that can put your baby in harm’s way.
The perfect strollers are the ones that fold into tightly packed forms very fast.
Some can be operated using one hand, others cannot.
It’s easier to have a model that you can close with one hand while holding your baby on the other hand.
A lot of strollers are operated with both hands yet are so easy and fast when you want to open or close them.
Get a model that can also stand straight when folded without tilting or falling, they are easy to use.
Test the Brakes
There are different brake features found in strollers. You should test the brakes and see how it works.
Does it respond promptly when you want to stop the stroller, or you must hit it first?
Can you easily extricate the brakes when you want to move?
Most of them have stop brakes that are activated with the foot.
Some have a one-touch brake, that is activated with a stroke of your foot on a bar behind the frame.
Others have a crowbar just on top of the wheel behind.
The most convenient brake system is the one-touch brake.
There are recent models like the 2-wheel brake located behind the stroller.
They can be operated or activated with a single hand.
Wheels and Absorbers
Bigger wheels make it easy for strollers to navigate curbs, rough or rugged surfaces.
Get models that have a lockable front swivel wheel. It helps you to get accustomed to your terrain.
Air-filled tires found in jogging strollers give your baby a smoother ride but require regular maintenance.
Some products offer foam-filled tires that don’t need to be maintained regularly like air-filled tires, they offer smooth rides too.
Don’t get strollers with tiny plastic wheels, they are difficult to push or maneuver.
Most strollers have some type of shock absorbers covered with rubber pads or springs above the wheel assembly near its mechanisms.
Strollers must have a canopy or shade to protect the baby from direct sunlight or rain.
There are different sizes and shades. While some are flimsy others cover deep down and protect the front of the stroller.
It should be well ventilated from mesh holes or from the fabric inside the canopy so that your baby is comfortable.
Some sunshades have peekaboo windows to help you check the baby from time to time.
You can get rain or wind cover for a lot of strollers if they don’t come with a shade or canopy.
Others have magnet closure and parasol that is attached to the stroller to keep it quiet and keep off insects respectively.
You can also get a model that comes with UV protection.
Strollers That Can Hold New-born
Many strollers are not fit to hold new-born because they can’t hold the baby from falling and are not well padded.
Get a model that can fully recline to a flat surface.
For the travel strollers, the car seat should fasten to the stroller for the baby’s comfort and safety.
Some strollers come with fold-down subdividers or compartments to keep your valuables safe. A spacious and easy to reach storage basket below the stroller makes shopping easier.
Storage baskets should be stout and able to resist the weight of your load without pulling the stroller to the ground.
It should be accessible when the seat is fully reclined, or car seat carrier is fastened.
Many strollers have compartments for holding cups, bottles, cell phones, keys, and other little valuables for you and your baby. However, you shouldn’t keep bottles with hot liquids there.
As a precaution, don’t suspend your bag or baby’s diaper bag and any other heavy loads over the handlebar. It can cause it to tilt backward and dropdown.
They are usually padded to aid pushing. They can be fixed or flexible.
The flexible handlebars can be expanded or inclined to suit different people of varying heights.
Some are convertible and so can swing over the top of the stroller and lock into position. This changes the direction of the baby.
There are strollers that have 2 separate handles instead of one, this makes them difficult to push.
An example is the lightweight strollers otherwise called the umbrella stroller.
Fabric and Upholstery
There are different types of fabrics found in strollers.
Some come with layers of zipped fabrics, that allow you to cover your baby in cold weather conditions.
It also has a mesh at the bottom of the seat to allow air into the carrier during hot weather.
Get a stroller whose cover can be removed and can be easily washed without reducing the quality of the material.
Occasionally, thoroughly clean all other parts of the stroller with soapy water and cloth and allow it to dry.
Some strollers have insulating materials or accessories, boots, or footmuffs that are of matching fabric during winter.
They are attached to the stroller and used to cover the baby’s legs and body for warmth.
The good thing is they come with zippers that can be adjusted according to weather. They can come with your stroller or buy separately.
Strollers that are bought separately should be fastened in such a way that it doesn’t obstruct harness’s function.
Also, ensure that all fabrics don’t interfere with the opening and closing of the stroller.
Check Car Seat
Before you buy a travel system stroller, check the manual for the safety assessment of the car seat. Also, check how the car seat fastens to the stroller, is it safe? Do you need an adapter?
Get a user-friendly stroller that can be easily lifted in and out of your car.
Strollers Accessories You Might Need
- Toy Attachments
- Rain Cover
- Extra Hook
- Stroller Boards
- Travel Bag
- Snack Tray
- Stroller Organiser
Strollers are meant to make things easier for you and your baby in your day-day activities. So, it’s imperative you get one that convenient for you and your baby.
However, if you need additional accessories that probably didn’t come with your stroller then go for it.
Note that they are not compulsory and be sure to get accessories that are suitable for your stroller.
Babies love to play. Toy attachments are a fun way to keep them busy, so this accessory will be an added advantage.
Like earlier mentioned you should get a well-ventilated rain cover to shield the baby from rain and harsh weather conditions.
The truth is moms always look for an extra compartment to accommodate more bags and valuables, an extra hook will do.
This is great for carrying an additional child or toddler to restrict their movement for a while. It’s cheaper than getting a double stroller and can carry kids from ages 2-5.
If you worry about how to travel with your stroller? Worry no more.
You can conveniently keep your stroller in a travel bag.
Ensure they are water-resistant, and the right size for your stroller.
Also, it must have flexible straps for easy carriage.
This comes handy when your little one is thirsty or hungry while you are out.
You can serve snacks, and a water bottle or cup here while you go about your business.
This can be attached to your stroller and used to carefully keep all your valuables like cell phone, cup or bottle, keys, and so on for easy access.
Keeping these tips in mind, we hope that you will find a baby stroller that meets your needs.
What To Look For In A BABY Stroller — Related FAQs
How Long Do Strollers Last?
Strollers last for 10 years or more. A single stroller should serve you through many children. However, if your stroller lasts up to a decade or less, it is ultimately up to you.
If you constantly take care of your stroller and ensure it remains in perfect condition, it will last longer. However, if you are careless with the stroller, it will not last as much.
Regularly cleaning and sanitizing your stroller helps in prolonging its lifespan. Also do not store your stroller where it will be exposed to the elements of weather.
What Is A Height Adjustable Handlebar?
A height-adjustable handlebar on a stroller refers to a stroller that has movable handlebars. A movable handlebar allows you to adjust the height of the stroller’s handle to suit whoever is pushing the stroller. This is a convenient feature to have in your stroller.
An adjustable handlebar makes it possible for the stroller to be pushed by different people of different heights. You only must adjust the height of the stroller to suit you. It eliminates the issue of lower backache associated with pushing strollers at an inconvenient height for too long.
How Do I Know If This Stroller Is Appropriate for A Newborn?
To know if a stroller is right for a newborn, check if it has a full recline. A fully reclining stroller will allow your newborn to lay flat on the stroller while you push him/her. Because newborns do not have well-developed neck muscles, they must always lay flat on the stroller.
A stroller with full recline provides the much-needed support to the child’s neck and delicate spine. A convertible stroller that converts from a stroller to a baby carrier to a child’s car seat is an excellent choice for newborns.
Are the Restraint Straps and Buckles Safe?
The restraint and buckles are safe to use on your child. They are safety features on strollers that increase the level of safety a stroller will provide for the onboard child. When buying your stroller, confirm the straps will secure your child safely. If the straps easily open when the baby fiddles with it, then it is not safe for your infant.
The fasteners or buckles on the stroller must be simple enough for you to use but difficult enough to prevent your baby from opening it.
Is A Secondhand Stroller Acceptable for My Baby?
A secondhand stroller is acceptable for your baby. Before buying a secondhand stroller, ensure you inspect all the belts, fasteners, and straps on the stroller. The belts must not have any frays or tears, and they must fasten securely. All the fasteners on the strollers must be in working condition with no cracks or faults.
Ensure the seats are in good condition and will not collapse when your baby seats on it. Also, ensure that the recline of the stroller is perfect. A perfect recline must be able to hold the weight of your child. Look out for sharp edges and objects on the stroller. Ensure there aren’t places where the child’s fingers or toenails could get stuck in the stroller.
How Do You Know If This Is A Convertible Stroller?
To know if a stroller is convertible or not, check if it has a detachable seat. The detachable seat must convert into an infant car seat or an infant carrier. An example of a convertible stroller is the kiddsup convertible stroller.
A convertible stroller is ideal for people who constantly have to move the child from the stroller into an infant car seat and back to the stroller. With a convertible stroller, you do not need to purchase an additional infant car seat as the convertible stroller will serve both purposes.
Will My Stroller Maneuver on Any Terrain?
Your stroller will not maneuver on every type of terrain because the traction required to easily maneuver in different terrains vary. Most stroller wheels are designed to easily maneuver on smooth terrain. Places such as malls, homes, and streets have smooth or paved terrains ideal for most stroller wheels.
However, if you are interested in hiking with your strollers, then you must equip your strollers with a special set of wheels specifically designed for hiking.
If you intend to jog with your stroller, then you must get a stroller with a three-wheel configuration. A jogging stroller is a type of stroller with a three-wheel configuration. It is perfect for jogging with the baby on board.
What is the Best Kind of Stroller Brakes?
The best type of stroller brakes are those mounted on both rear wheels of the stroller. The brakes are applied by stepping a foot on a pedal at the base of the stroller.
This type of stroller brake is best because it brings both rear wheels of the stroller to a complete stop as soon as the brakes are engaged. It eliminates the possibility of the stroller tipping over when one wheel stops, and the other wheel keeps moving.
Some models of strollers come with a safety waist strap. They are referred to as wrist brakes because the stroller guardian wears the waist breaks on the waist. This brake will prevent the stroller from rolling off when you have stopped for a long while.
What Can I Do to Keep My Stroller In Good Condition?
To keep your stroller in optimal condition, do the following:
- Always store your stroller under a shade, do not leave it outside exposed to the weather.
- Always keep your stroller wheels in decent shape. If you own a rubber air-filled stroller, regularly check the air pressure to make sure it is optimal.
- Routinely inspect all the belts, fasteners, and straps on the stroller. Make sure they still fasten safely and are not worn out or broken.
- Deep clean and sanitize your stroller once every month. It will prevent the growth of mold and infestation of mildew.
- Regularly inspect the brakes on the stroller and see that they still engage. Also, ensure that it does not move when engaged.
Will I Need to Buy A Bigger Stroller as My Baby Grows Older?
You do not need to buy a bigger stroller as your child grows older. Adjust your stroller to suit your baby as he or she grows older. You can always adjust the stroller seats to comfortably hold your child. However, you must make sure the straps and fasteners on the stroller are still comfortable for the baby when you strap them in.
If the straps on the strollers no longer buckle when your child is on board, you must replace the stroller.
Does the Number of Wheels on The Stroller Matter?
The number of wheels on the stroller does not necessarily matter. When buying a stroller, look for one that is easy to steer and maneuver. A three-wheel configuration stroller with a locked front wheel provides stability while pushing. However, it is not easy for most people to steer.
A four-wheel configuration stroller with free front wheels is easy to steer, but it has less stability.
When picking out a stroller for your new one, regardless of the wheel configuration you have decided on, ensure both rear wheels have a form of brake mechanism.