Strollers are a huge investment. According to What To Expect, the price of strollers today can go from $100 to $1,000 — so it’s something that you should be able to use for a long time. Nonetheless, it’s an essential piece of equipment that can ease some parenting challenges — from making errands with kids more convenient, to ensuring your baby is safe at all times. So, it’s important to take your time researching the right stroller for your baby, so here are some factors to keep in mind as you shop:
When it comes to stroller safety, it’s not enough to check that the frame doesn’t have sharp edges or spaces where baby fingers can get stuck. For starters, look for strollers with a five-point harness, which has more straps to keep your baby in place. The harness should also be easy for you, and not the baby, to unbuckle. On the other hand, it’s also recommended to have brakes for both wheels instead of just one. To test if the brakes work well, shake the stroller a bit and ensure it doesn’t move.
A storage basket under the seat is handy not just when you need to go shopping. Unfortunately, placing bags on the stroller’s handlebar can affect its stability, meaning the stroller could tip over. It might also eventually weaken the handlebar. Instead, you can use the storage basket to carry your own purse and baby essentials like diapers, extra clothes, and bottles. Some strollers even have trays or cup holders where you can put your keys, cell phones, and other small items. You can also opt to buy these accessories separately.
Strollers can be quite the splurge — especially when you know your child will grow out of it quickly. As a solution, get a sturdy stroller that you can maximize for years to come. To that end, iCandy’s guide to strollers recommends starting with a single stroller that can later be converted to a double. This is a great option if you’ve got multiple kids or if you plan on expanding your family in the near future. You won’t have to keep splurging for a new model, and a good-quality stroller will also ensure that it can keep up with wear and tear. If you want something even more flexible, check out the car seat strollers on Bravo Baby Gears.
Compatibility with your lifestyle
Strollers aren’t a one-size-fits-all. As noted in Forbes’ feature on strollers, one of your biggest deciding factors should be if it’s suitable for your lifestyle. Narrow strollers are good for those living in urban cities where there may not be a lot of storage space. For those who frequent grassy areas, all-terrain strollers have wheels that can handle various types of ground — so your baby doesn’t feel every bump you go over. There are even jogging strollers that allow you to have a smooth jog with your baby strapped in.
Convenience and ease of use
You’ll definitely want a stroller that’s comfortable and safe for your baby. However, you should also consider if it’s convenient and easy to use for you as well. Ask yourself these questions: Is it easy to fold and unfold? Can you maneuver it with your baby strapped in? Is it difficult to transport into your car? Can it survive stains? Are the brakes and safety harness easy to fix? Ultimately, these will help you decide if the stroller you’re considering is good for you and your baby’s lifestyle.