In the realm of baby gear, choosing a stroller can be one of the most overwhelming decisions. Not only are there different types—standard, lightweight, and double just to name a few—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.
In other words, where will you be using your stroller the most? If you need to navigate gravely inclines every day, choose a 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? Focus on strollers that are easily collapsible—such as ones you can close with one hand. 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, consider a jogging stroller—they are built tough and safe for a fast ride.
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. Many stroller brands sell adapter attachments, which allow you to place the car seat onto the frame. If the stroller you like does not offer this feature, you can check out lightweight car-seat frames. Some strollers also offer a bassinet, or can recline enough to allow a newborn to lie back while in the stroller.
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. Stroller designers want to make your life easier, so focus on the extras that will be useful every day. 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.