If you are parent for the first time or an old pro, one of the most essential pieces of equipment you will want is a baby stroller. Strollers help you transport your baby wherever you go. However, the options for baby strollers can be overwhelming. With all of the different models, styles, brands, and extra features, it might seem like buying a car. But like any worthwhile investment, you want to make sure the right stroller compliments your lifestyle and has all of features you are looking for. The first step to buying a baby stroller is deciding what you want and determining which features you require and which of them are optional.
When you are looking for a stroller, the first thing you will want to consider is what type you want. Here are a few of the different types of strollers available:
- Standard Strollers – These types of strollers come in variety of sizes. There are lightweight strollers less than twenty pounds, heavy carriage-like strollers, and everything in between. Lightweight strollers are less expensive and more economical for quick trips. They also have some of the same features as others with reclining seats, sun shades, and storage baskets. On the other hand, heavier strollers feature more accessories like ergonomic handles and music systems. Larger strollers, though, are harder to maneuver in crowded places and be hard to lift in and out of the car. Most standard strollers fold down to fit in the trunk.
- Umbrella Strollers – Perfect for the vacations, these type of strollers are easy to store and maneuver around in. However, these types lack features like a canopy or storage areas on the bottom. They are not the best for durability or support either.
- Jogging Strollers – Jogging strollers are the perfect vehicles for outdoorsy parents. Jogging strollers are made to handle all types of terrain with large, durable tires, hand grip brakes, all-terrain suspensions, and slender frames. On the other hand, jogging strollers are not usually made for everyday use as they do not fold as easily as other strollers. They are also not recommended for infants under six months old.
- Travel Systems – Travel systems could be called the luxury SUVs of baby strollers. Travel systems come with a standard stroller and a car seat. The car seat easily snaps into the stroller but also fits into a car seat base. This makes moving your baby from the car to the stroller and back again seemingly effortless. Travel systems are well worth the convenience and eliminate the hassle of getting a separate stroller and car seat.
- Strollers for More than One Baby – If you have more than one child or have twins or triplets, you can get strollers that accommodate them. These strollers are either tandem or side-by-side strollers, and it is helpful to look for those that have adjustable seats and canopies for each child.
When deciding what kind of stroller you want, it is also helpful to know which features to be looking for. Here are some of the most important features for strollers that are both essential and optional:
- Safety – Safety features on a stroller is a must. Make sure the stroller is sturdy and won’t tip over when placing a diaper bag over the handle. You will also want to check out the safety harness. Good-quality strollers will have a five-point safety harness to secure your baby at the shoulders, waist, and crotch. Also, check the stroller for possible pinch points and sharp edges.
- Wheels and Handles – Don’t be afraid to kick the tires of the stroller or walk at a fast pace with the stroller to see if your feet hit the wheels. You also want to make sure the wheels swivel and are easy to maneuver. Some stroller handles can be adjusted to make sure that you are not stooping to push it.
- Areas for Storage – Strollers that have areas for storage things are especially handy. Many strollers come with storage baskets below that are perfect for diapers bags, jackets, snacks, and purses. Others come with cup handles and parent organization trays. You can also purchase these accessories separately if you want.
- Sunroof or Canopy – A sunroof or canopy on the stroller is another essential feature. Babies need protection from the sun and the elements, and sunroofs or canopies easy fold over to cover him or her when needed.
- Folding Systems – Strollers should come with a way to fold up so it can be stored in a closet or the trunk of your car. The easiest folding system is that of a button you push so it collapses. Easy folding systems cut down on the time and hassle required for you to store the stroller. No one wants to wrestle with it.
- Other luxuries – Strollers can also come with a variety of extras including one-touch brakes and snack or play trays. You can even get strollers with built-in music systems, powering steering, and cables to lock your stroller and prevent theft.