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Home > Parenting Information > Buying Guides > Strollers

 

Choosing a Baby Stroller

 

 

Which baby stroller is right for me?

As every parent comes to find out, a stroller or two is a necessity when it comes to having a baby.  The proper stroller can make parents daily activities with a baby or small child much easier and less tiring.  There are many types of strollers you can choose from.  There are lightweight strollers, heavy strollers with all of the features, jogging all terrain types of strollers and the good old-fashioned carriages.  The stroller that is right for you mainly depends on your lifestyle.  If you plan on taking your child on long outings to shopping malls and grocery stores you will want a stroller that is sturdy but easy to maneuver.  If you will only be taking short trips to run errands, than a lightweight umbrella type stroller is probably what you will want.  If you're a very active parent that would like to go jogging or take long walks with your baby, then a rugged jogging stroller would be best.  Most parents find it best to have two strollers.  One heavy duty type stroller that is full featured with carrying compartments and a second stroller that is lightweight and can easily be folded up, like an umbrella stroller.  Think about your daily activities and you will be able to decide which type is best for you.

 

10 Things to consider when choosing a baby stroller

  1. How many children do you plan on having? - If you plan on having more than one child you may consider getting a multiple occupancy stroller.  Also, you may consider buying a higher quality stroller that will last long enough for a second or third child.

  2. Your lifestyle - Will you be taking short trips with the baby?  Long trips?  Will you be taking your baby jogging and exercising with you?

  3. Seatbelt & Restraint system - The buckles should be easy for you to latch and unlatch, yet comfortable for your baby or child.  The belt should fit snugly around your baby's waist and have crotch straps that loop into the waist belt to prevent him or her from slipping out.  For jogging strollers a five-point harness is more desirable to keep your baby more secure on rough terrain.

  4. Adjustable seat and canopy - A stroller with an adjustable seat that fully reclines is a must for infants that cannot support their heads yet and is comfortable for children who want to nap on the go.  An adjustable canopy is a plus to protect your baby from the sun, rain, wind or cold.

  5. What is the frame material made from? - Strollers can be made of plastic, aluminum, steel or a combination of materials.  Strollers made of steel or aluminum will usually last longer but there is the added weight.  The lightweight strollers with more plastic are easy to move around, but keep in mind they may not last long.

  6. Washable fabric - Be sure the stroller has removable fabric that can be easily cleaned.  Most strollers have removable seats that can be cleaned.

  7. Storage area - If you're going on a long outing, you will want storage area for all the stuff you will be toting around.

  8. Brakes, wide wheel base and swivel wheels - Be sure the stroller has brakes that lock the wheels in place, a wheel base that is wide for stability and wheels that swivel for easy maneuverability.

  9. Adjustable Handle height - With most strollers being designed for the average height person; if you are tall you will want an adjustable handle.

  10. Easy open and close mechanism - You will want a stroller that folds with the use of one hand or foot, leaving the other hand free to hold your baby.

Lightweight "Umbrella strollers"

Advantages:  Generally weigh less than 15 pounds; fold compactly for easy carrying; convenient for traveling because they usually fit in car trunks and overhead airplane compartments.

Disadvantages:  Most models are inadequate for newborns and small babies due to poor support, inability to recline and poor padding.

Shopping for Lightweight "Umbrella strollers"?

 

Standard baby strollers

Advantages: Sturdy; better suspension; quality safety belts; smoother ride; reclining seat; washable seat padding; storage room; easy open & close mechanism (most models); locking wheel brakes; can be used for a second child and will last for years if a quality stroller is purchased.

Disadvantages:  Larger; heavier; more expensive than lightweight; more cumbersome when traveling.

Shopping for Standard baby strollers?

 

Convertible travel system strollers (Car seat & stroller in one)

Advantages:  Lets you move your baby after a car ride without waking him or her; can be used as a stroller when your baby outgrows the car seat.

Disadvantages:  Some models are larger and heavier than standard strollers and can be more expensive.

Shopping for Convertible strollers?

 

Double & Triple strollers (Multiple occupancy)

Advantages: Can be used for more than one child.  If you plan on having two or three children closely aged you should consider this type of stroller.

Disadvantages:  Heavier, less maneuverable and more expensive than standard strollers.  Side by side models can be cumbersome when walking in tight areas.  Tandem models where one seat is in front of the other can cause arguments between children on who sits in front.

Shopping for Double & Triple strollers?

 

Jogging strollers (All terrain)

Advantages: Lightweight; large wheels with good suspension and smooth ride; travels on all types of terrain; great for parents who like to jog and take long walks.

Disadvantages: Longer, larger and don't fold up as compactly as standard strollers; not designed for newborns.

Shopping for Jogging strollers?

 

Carriages

Advantages:  Usually very sturdy with large wheels for a smooth ride; more elegant canopies and fabrics than standard strollers; baby faces driver.

Disadvantages:  Large; heavy; difficult to store and travel with; can be very expensive.

Shopping for a carriage?

 

Buying a used baby stroller

If you are considering buying a used baby stroller there are several things you should take into consideration.  Make sure the stroller is still sturdy, with smooth rolling wheels and secure safety belts.  Be sure you closely inspect the stroller for hidden damage or sharp edges.  Check the wheels, frame, fabric, and padding for cracks or splits.  Finally make sure the car seat has not been recalled for some reason.  You can check to see if a seat has been recalled by going here.

 

Where can I find out if a baby stroller has been recalled?

Consumer Reports - You can search for recalls on strollers and other products.

Consumer Product Safety Commission - You can search for recalls on strollers and other products.

 

As a final Note

Always send in your product registration card.  This is how you will be notified in case of a recall.

Other Helpful Buying Guides:

 

 

 

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