Most parents are usually faced with a tough decision when it comes to making up their minds on the type of stroller to get for their baby. This is not that surprising because it can be quite hard to anticipate the type of stroller you would need.
There are several types of strollers available in the market today. Each one of them comes with different features. The key to choosing the right stroller for you is to differentiate between the features you need and the features you can do without.
This article will guide you on everything you need to know when it comes to choosing strollers. With this information, you should have no problem at all picking out the perfect stroller for you and your little one.
Types of strollers
1. Full-sized stroller
Think of the full-sized strolled as a kind of all-purpose stroller.
These strollers feature a solid structure that will ensure the baby has a smooth ride no matter what surface you push it on. They also come packed with several convenient features, such as seat recline to keep the baby comfortable, a storage basket, and cup holders. Plus, their sturdiness makes them more durable than the standard options available.
On the downside, full-sized strollers are usually bulkier and heavier than other standard options. They also need more effort to fold down compared to other models. This makes them a challenge to use sometimes, for example in public transportation or when climbing stairways. Due to their size and bulkiness, they are also tougher to travel with.
2. Lightweight stroller
The lightweight stroller is also known as the umbrella stroller or travel stroller. As hinted by the name, their claim to fame is that they weigh way less than standard strollers.
Lightweight strollers will usually weigh about 15 pounds or less. This makes them very easy to lift. Designed for portability, they are easy to fold and convenient to use in public transport.
Most lightweight models also feature an expandable canopy, a partial seat recline, built-in cup holders, and a storage basket. They also have a slimmer structure that makes it easy to navigate crowded sidewalks and narrow doorways.
On the downside, they are designed to be used by babies aged six months or older. Most models can't carry newborns safely.
3. Jogging stroller
If you love going for runs, then jogging strollers are for you. They'll allow you to take your baby with you as you go for your runs. They are also the best choice when traversing uneven, bumpy terrain.
Jogging strollers have a sturdy design complete with suspension systems. This allows them to absorb impacts and the bounces that come along with uneven surfaces or intense speeds.
They come with three oversized wheels. The front wheel can either swivel or be fixed in place depending on what your preference is. If you need the wheel to turn quickly, you can let it swivel. Alternatively, if you need the stroller to be stable at fast speeds, you can have it fixed in place.
Other models of jogging strollers feature hand brakes that will slow down the stroller, as well as larger canopies than other strollers to protect your baby from the sun while you are running.
On the downside, jogging strollers are large and heavy. Most models might not even fit in your car trunk. Also, you’ll be required to check your stroller’s tire pressure and add air occasionally. Some models are also unsuitable for infants aged eight months and below because it is not recommended to run with infants.
4. Double stroller
Double strollers are the best option for you if you have twins or kids who are born close together. They come in two different designs: side by side doubles, where the seats are next to each other, and single-file or tandem strollers where one seat is in front of the other. There are also convertible strollers that allow you to add a second seat for a second child.
Now to their downsides: for side by side doubles, if the children have a significant difference in weight, the stroller can pull to one side. For tandem strollers, they can be rather difficult to maneuver over areas with curbs. They are also tricky to navigate, and some models have limited legroom for the child in the back.
5. Car seat carrier
A car seat carrier features wheeled frames that are built to transform your infant car seat into a stroller. Most models are both lightweight and compact.
On the downside, car seat carriers can only be used for a short time. Babies often outgrow them before too long.
6. Travel system
A travel system is a special type of stroller that is comprised of a stroller and an attachable car seat.
Travel systems are convenient since they are safe to use right from birth. Plus, they allow you to move your baby from the car to the stroller without waking them up. They are also extremely economical because, with them, you get to buy a stroller and a car seat together.
On the downside, although the stroller in your travel system can be used well into your baby’s toddler years, the infant car seat will be outgrown much sooner than that.
Factors to consider when buying a stroller
The first thing you need to consider when buying a stroller is the cost. Most parents are usually shocked when they find out how much strollers cost.
Pricier strollers often feature better specs such as easier maneuverability, better color choices, higher-end fabrics, modular seats that can be converted to hold more than one child, and better suspension systems. These high-end strollers can cost more than $1000.
If your budget allows it, you can go for the more expensive models. However, it is still possible to get a stroller that very much suits your needs for a reasonable price.
If you intend to have only one child or plan to have several years between siblings, then a single stroller would work for you. However, if you intend to have more than one child within three years, then you should consider getting a single stroller that you would be able to convert to accommodate two kids.
The same also applies if you have twins. Getting a stroller that can be converted to a double stroller will save you the expense of having to buy another stroller for your next child.
It is also important to consider your lifestyle before making a decision on the type of stroller you want to get. The stroller you get should meet the needs of your lifestyle.
A stroller can be perfectly suited for suburban life but be stressful in the city. If you love to jog and intend to go for runs with your baby, you should get a stroller that suits this lifestyle. Similarly, if you rely on buses, subways, cabs, and other forms of public transport, you should consider getting a compact lightweight stroller that is sturdy and easily foldable.
Whether or not it’s newborn friendly
When buying a stroller, you should also check the details to see whether or not it is suitable to be used by newborns.
Some strollers offer a bassinet or deep recline mode. This means that you can put a newborn in the stroller with no add-ons.
Most models, however, are more suitable for babies who can almost sit up unsupported or have some neck control. This usually does not happen until the baby is four to six months old. For some models to be used by a newborn baby, you may have to attach an optional bassinet or car seat.
Ease of use
You should also consider the ease of use of the stroller. When handling the stroller, you’ll likely also be carrying your baby on one hand. You’ll need a stroller that’s easy to fold and unfold. Some models can be folded and unfolded with one hand while others cannot.
Once you have narrowed down on your choices, test out your favorites to determine the one that best suits your needs. This will allow you to compare them. Try to find out how smoothly the stroller responds to your steering. Can it handle a tight turn? Can it be maneuvered with one hand?
Having a stroller with the right accessories makes being out with your baby more comfortable. For example, having an additional stroller basket can be absolutely useful. The size of the stroller basket will vary depending on the model. It should also be easily accessible and not one that will frustrate you as you try to get things in and out.
Another important accessory is a canopy. Strollers with larger canopies provide more shade, protection, and privacy for your baby. Some even have windows that allow you to check on your baby without a struggle.
Other accessories to consider include toy attachments, a rain cover, cup and snack holders, and bunting for colder climates.
Strollers are a very convenient accessory that every parent should have. Hopefully, this guide will help make your buying decision a little easier. Good luck!