Bringing home a baby can be among the most exciting yet stressful times of your life. The moment the realization seeps in, parents realize they need to have an emergency shopping trip. Apart from cribs, bassinets, high chairs, and convertible chair, it is essential you invest in a baby stroller for your little one. Additionally, whether it is your first baby or your third, you will need to figure out the logistics of transporting your baby from place to place.
Unfortunately, many parents do not think about the importance of a stroller until get it’s too late. It is imperative you invest in a stroller whilst keeping your needs and lifestyle in mind. This guide is designed to answer all your questions regarding investing in the right baby stroller.
The Different Stroller Types
Before we talk about what features to look for in a stroller, it is imperative you familiarize yourself with the most common stroller types. Here are the most important types you should know about:
- Travel System: You’ve probably seen these large strollers that are a combination of a car seat and a regular stroller. This is a convenient option for parents who travel frequently and don’t intend on leaving their little ones behind. The elevated, bassinet-style car seat can be easily removed for when your baby falls asleep in the car or stroller, making it convenient for parents to carry their little ones.
- Umbrella: The umbrella model is considered as among the most compact of all strollers. These strollers are typically designed for toddlers and older babies who do not require proper head support and do not have to be in a reclined position all the time. Parents can conveniently fold this type of stroller for added convenience.
- Double Strollers: For parents with twins or folks who are already expecting their second child, a double stroller can be a good option. These strollers are available in a variety of different models and feature tons of different configurations, however this can vary from brand to brand.
- Running/Jogging: These strollers are different from other types in the market and feature three, large distinct wheels. As the name indicates, these strollers are commonly used by active folks who enjoy running and want to spend more quality time with their baby too. Jogging strollers can easily travel on multiple terrains such as dirt, gravel, and grass, you name it.
- Pram: Pram strollers have been molded after the classic baby carriage and are popular among urban parents. These strollers are best suited for infants as the pram lies flat, similar to a traditional bassinet. However, the pram cannot be put in the car.
Factors You Shoulder Consider Before Investing in a Stroller
Want to invest in the best stroller for your little one? Here are a couple of factors you should consider before investing in a stroller:
- Where You Live: If you live in the city, you ought to invest in a sturdy stroller that you can easily maneuver along sidewalks. Additionally, if you frequently use the subway or the bus, you will need to ensure that you can conveniently collapse the stroller in a couple of seconds without any problems. At the same time, suburban parents may need a stroller that they can conveniently fold and fit inside a truck in a jiffy.
- Your Child: Ideally you should look for a reclining stroller that has adequate head support for your baby. If you have twins or triplets, you might want to buy a stroller especially designed for a crowd.
- Your Lifestyle: A jogging stroller might be useful for folks who plan to run the marathon or have to run plenty of errands. Investing in an umbrella stroller might also be a good option for folks who travel a lot.
- Accessories: Some parents figure, the more accessories, the better. Some common accessories that you might be on the lookout for include a rain cover, sunshade, cup holder, blanket or a large storage basket.
- Your Family: If you have an older kid, consider investing in a stroller with an attachment for an older child or simply invest in a double stroller. If you have never used an attachment before, don’t forget to carefully read the manufacturer’s weight guidelines to prevent accidents.
Features to Look for in a Stroller
It’s safe to say a stroller is among the most important purchases you will make. To make the most of your purchase, here are a couple of features you should keep in mind:
A telescoping or height adjustable handlebar makes pushing around the stroller more comfortable, especially if several people intend on using the stroller to take the baby out for a walk or to run errands. An adjustable handlebar is a must if you and your partner aren’t the same height.
It is imperative that parents assess how easy the stroller is to fold. This will save you a lot of trouble and allow you to conveniently fold the stroller in the back of your car. Ensure the stroller compactly folds up without taking up too much room. An easy one-hand stroller becomes a huge plus when you are carrying a squirmy baby with your other hand.
Travelling with a baby means you will have to pack an endless list of baby supplies and toys. Not to mention, you will also need room to store your keys, mobile phone and wallet. Ensure the basket is big enough to store your baby’s diaper bag and other belongings. Take some time out to assess how easy it is to store and retrieve items out of the basket.
Brakes and Locks
While some strollers feature a foot brake and a lock, others allow you to lock the wheel by pushing a button in the handlebars. Additionally, several three-wheeled strollers also feature a front-wheel lock that offers added stability during long walks. We suggest you try different models to see which one would work best for you.
Ensure that the stroller features a large canopy that you can open and close according to your convenience. A mesh canopy is a great option for summer time. Some brands offer different attachments that you can use according to the weather.
Most strollers feature rubber-coated plastic that are ideal for the city and work well in urban areas. However, if you live in the countryside or in a rural area, you are better off with foam filled tires that offer a smoother ride. Parents can also opt for inline-stake style wheels that roll quietly and smoothly. Investing in a running/jogging stroller if you like to go for a jog every now and then.
Many strollers now feature shock absorbers, resulting in a less bumpy ride for your little one. This is an important feature as it will allow your child to sleep comfortably throughout the ride without feeling disturbed.
Many strollers in the market allow the use of different types of seats including bassinets for infants or car seats. Some seats allow you to turn a single seat into a double stroller that is beneficial for growing families. Similarly, some models also feature a footrest or an extendable seats that keeps your little one comfortable throughout the ride.
How Can I Keep My Baby Safe While Using a Stroller
Most children spend a large amount of time in a stroller, whether you are running errands or taking your little one off to the zoo or for a stroll in the park. However, it is imperative you keep a vigilant eye on your little one. Here are a couple of pointers you should keep in mind:
- Always Stay Close By: Do not leave your baby unattended in his/her stroller. Always keep a vigilant eye on your little one.
- Buckle Up: Ensure to buckle up your baby’s seat belt and harness while taking him/her out for a stroll.
- Use the Brakes: Whenever you stop to talk to someone or need to have a closer look at something, remember to hit the brakes.
- Protection from the Sun: Summer is the perfect time to take your little one out for a pleasant park in the park. However, remember not to let your baby stroller stay out in the sun for extended periods of time. The blazing rays from the sun can cause the metal and plastic pieces to become hot. This can also result in dangerous burns for your baby. If the stroller has been out in the sun for a few minutes, always remember to check the surface temperature before placing your baby back in it.
- Properly Store Belongings: Do not hang your baby’s diaper bag or your purse on the stroller’s handle bar. This can cause the stroller to tip over. Instead, store you belongings in the storage basket at the bottom of the stroller. If you often travel while carrying loads of bags, consider investing in a stroller that offers additional space.
- Be Careful with Toys: If you plan on hanging toys from the stroller bumper bar, ensure the toys have been fastened securely.
- Check for Recalls: Return the warranty card so you will be notified in case of a recall. If you are planning on buying a used stroller, ensure it hasn’t been recalled.
- Take Caution When Folding: Remember to keep your baby at a safe distance from the stroller as you open or fold it. Small fingers tend to get caught up in the stroller hinges. Also, ensure, the stroller has been locked up so your child cannot open it up.
The Best Baby Strollers: Our Top 3 Picks
Browsed through a variety of baby strollers but haven’t been able to find “the one” yet? Here are our top recommendations:
Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System
The Graco’s Aire3 Click Connect Stroller features a three-wheel design, though you can consider them as good as four as there are two wheels on the front wheel. The stroller is designed to protect your child and can safely support children that weigh from 4 to 35 pounds. The travel system features a rear-facing design when attached to a vehicle and is one of the best travel systems in the market. Some notable features of the Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System include:
- Offers easy one-hand fold, with a convenient carrying strap that makes it simpler to carry and transport the device anywhere you go.
- Large canopy with zippered extension panels for maximum coverage
- Ultra-lightweight stroller that only weighs 22 pounds
Baby Trend Expedition LX Travel System
The Expedition LX Travel System from Baby Trend is a quality travel system that features a lockable front swivel that allows easy maneuverability. The wheels offer compact storage and results in a smooth ride. The stroller also features a parent tray for carrying beverages along with a child’s tray. Some notable features of the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System include:
- Includes a jogging stroller with an infant car seat
- Car seat can accommodate children up to 30 pounds
- Features front locking wheels for easy maneuverability
- Easy flex lock adjustable height
Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller
The Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller is one of best-selling jogging strollers on Amazon. The jogging stroller features a front swivel wheel and large bicycle tires that makes it easy for parents to maneuver the stroller. The stroller features a large canopy for protection against the sun. Some notable features of the baby stroller include:
- Large bicycle tires that effortless glides over all surfaces
- Easy compact fold design
- Front swivel fold for easy maneuvering
- Reclining padded seat
The right stroller can undoubtedly make traveling with your little one a less stressful task. Use these guidelines to invest in the best stroller for your baby.