Navigating the World of Strollers
In the realm of baby gear, choosing a stroller can be one of the most overwhelming decisions. Not only are there different types, but also a multitude of features, accessories, and styles. Finding the best fit for you and your family is made easier by focusing on the basics.
- A standard stroller is a large and sturdy model that will grow with your baby. It often comes with a bassinet option, which allows a newborn to lie flat, and a comfortable regular seat, providing a nice ride for an older baby.
- A lightweight stroller—also called an umbrella stroller—usually weighs less than 15 pounds. These strollers are easily portable and a great second stroller for families constantly on the go.
- Jogging strollers have three wheels, aerodynamic design, and safety features so that you can take your baby along during workouts.
- Parents with multiple kids love the convenience of double and triple strollers, which either have side-by-side or in-line design.
Now that you know the types of strollers, here are the considerations to keep in mind.
In other words, where will you be using your stroller the most? If you need to navigate gravely inclines every day, choose a standard stroller with big tires and good suspension. If you’re racking up the miles on urban streets, prioritize easy handling to make those crowded sidewalks and sudden starts and stops smoother to manage.
Do you take a lot of public transportation? You may want an umbrella stroller that is easily collapsible. Finding one that you can close with one hand is an added perk. Will you be loading and unloading the stroller from your car most of the time? You’ll probably be happiest with something lightweight and low profile. If you like to exercise with your baby, you’ll want a jogging stroller — they are built tough and safe for a fast ride.
Your Baby’s Age
Keep in mind that newborns cannot comfortably or safely ride in a regular stroller seat until they can sit up on their own and hold the weight of their head. Look for the bassinet option in a standard stroller. Or you could look into a travel system, which has a universal frame that can fit an infant car seat for newborns and then a regular seat for an older baby. Many stroller brands sell adapter attachments, which allow you to place the car seat onto the frame or you could buy a lightweight car-seat frame.
- MOM TIP It’s easy to get lost in the details, but when your stroller is good for things beyond the basics you will definitely find yourself using it more. For example, a reclining seat and oversized canopy (to shield the sun) are great for naps on the go. A roomy basket underneath the seat is a handy place to hold your diaper bag or groceries. If you’re planning for your family to grow, look at strollers that are easily expandable to accommodate multiple children. Some models allow an older child to sit in an additional seat or stand on a ride-along board — a feature that is fun for big sister or brother and convenient for you.