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.
Factors to Consider Before You Buy a Stroller
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?
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 we 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.
If you are going to be using it around the house, then the full-sized stroller is perfect for you.
However, you will have a hard time using it if you are always taking public transportation or go to crowded areas.
A lightweight stroller might not be a good choice in rugged terrain.
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?
Consider the weather you will use it in. Winter, summer, spring, autumn?
Some models come with sunshade or canopy; others don’t, or they are flimsy, like the car seat carrier stroller.
The full-sized strollers are well padded to cushion your baby and as well provide more warmth.
While an umbrella stroller is lightweight, you may have to buy rain cover during spring and a sunshade during summer.
You should find out from the manufacturer what features and styles are best for each weather.
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?
If sticking to 1 stroller won’t work for you, then you may decide to get different types.
This will be a good option rather than spending all your budgets in one that won’t serve you better.
For example, you can get a multi-purpose travel system stroller that is cost-effective and durable.
Types of Strollers
There are different types of strollers, let’s look at them one after the other:
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.
i. They are big and comfortable for you and your baby.
ii. Well-padded reclining seat.
iv. It has a stout design.
v. It has a sunshade.
vi. Suitable for car seats.
vii. Has storage space for baby items.
i. Heavy and bulky.
ii. Difficult to maneuver because of its size.
iii. 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.
i. Weighs less than most strollers.
ii. Suitable for public transportation and crowded walkways.
i. Might not be fit for babies less than six months.
ii. Not well-padded.
iii. 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.
- Great for new-born and toddlers.
- Suitable for car seats.
- Full reclining seats.
- It has storage space.
i. Heavy and bulky.
ii. Difficult to assemble.
iii. Needs regular tire and air pressure check.
iv. Can’t be folded.
v. 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.
i. They are cheap.
ii. Convenient to use.
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.
- Flexible model.
- Convenient to use.
- Cheaper since it comes in 3 components.
- Strollers can be used when baby outgrows car seat carrier.
- 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.
- Easy to maneuver curbs.
- Cost-effective since you can manage one 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.
- Easy to navigate through doors and crowds.
- Cost-effective since you can manage one 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.
- Suitable for new-born.
- It can be used for a long time since stroller features can be adjusted to suit any child.
- 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.
- It is flexible.
- It saves money that would have been used to buy another stroller since it can be converted.
- It is heavy.
- Expensive to use.
What Are The Features To Look For In A Baby Stroller
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 insect 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
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.
Here is a list of stroller add-ons to make your everyday outings with your kid fun and adventurous…
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.