Picking the right baby stroller for your child can be a bit of a challenge, especially if this is your first time shopping for a stroller. You want to find one that suits your baby’s needs, but also fits your unique lifestyle. I’ve been there. That’s why today I’m going to help you learn how to choose a stroller that’s perfect for your child as well as your lifestyle.
Let’s start with the most important question you need to ask yourself before buying a stroller:
“How will I be using this baby stroller?”
It may look like a simple question, but before you dismiss it – really think about who you are, your lifestyle, and your needs. Everyone has different needs from a baby carriage. The majority of parents use a carrier to take their kids out for a walk through the neighborhood or a public park. Working parents often use a travel system stroller that has an attachable car seat that is quick to detach and attach to the stroller saving them time. Active parents that like to jog for exercise want a running stroller that is easy to push and maneuver while they’re running. You may have different needs – so determine what they are before you read any further.
Consider the Terrain You Will Be Strolling On
If you are going for a ride through the park where there’s grass and dirt roads, you’ll want a stroller with good traction, big wheels, and a suspension system so you don’t ever get stuck. You may also want to consider a stroller that has detachable wheels, like the Chicco Liteway Stroller or the City Jogger Mini. This way, you have an easier time cleaning them.
On the other hand if you are going to be on paved crowded roads, you’ll want smaller wheels, a narrower frame, and really good maneuverability. The same goes if you will be using the stroller mostly in offices, malls, and restaurants. However, if you are just going for a walk using the sidewalk around your neighborhood then the stroller wheels and maneuverability aren’t as important.
How to Choose a Stroller That Is Convenient for Everyday Use
Once you’ve figured out how and where you will be using the stroller, think about how often you will be using it. Your frequency of use plays an important part in your decision because it will influence how heavy, durable, and compact your stroller will be.
The weight of your stroller is an important factor in making your final decision. When I bought my first stroller, I never inquired about the weight of the stroller. Within a week, I realized I’d made a big mistake! But since I used it – I was stuck with it. Every time I wanted to put it away, I had to struggle to get it into the back of my car. Luckily, you can learn for my mistake and always check the weight of the carrier or you can buy one of the lightweight strollers that are featured in the stroller comparison guide. You can’t go wrong with any of them!!!
The wheels of a stroller are another important aspect you should consider. Some stroller wheels are made of cheap plastic and will stop turning if sand or dirt get lodged in them. This usually happens because they have small wheels that are very low to the ground. When looking over a stroller, you also want to find out if it is easy to maneuver. The Britax B-Agile has amazing maneuverability. Be sure to check it out before buying a stroller that’s clunky and hard to steer. Although the majority of the strollers on this site have great maneuverability, you want to be careful if you buy your stroller from a local store. Be sure to ask the salesman if anyone has had any steering problems with the stroller you plan on buying.
A stroller that is easy to collapse can save you a lot of headaches when you’re in a hurry or have only one free hand. That’s why you should find out what folding mechanism the stroller has. Some strollers are two handed, some are one handed, and some require you to use a hand and foot. Several of the best strollers can be collapsed by simply pulling on a strap located in the center of the baby seat. To expand the stroller back to normal, all you have to do is pull on the handle bar and the stroller quickly pops back up.
Although those are the primary areas you should focus on when you are choosing your stroller, you can also consider a few other things that may be pertinent to your decision.
Think About Whether the Carrier Can Fit a Car Seat
A stroller that can fit a car seat can come in handy when you are on the road. You can just snap it in place and take off. Just be sure to consider the weight of the baby seat. Sometimes they can be heavy and if you have a hard time lifting it when its empty, it’s definitely going to be more of a challenge with your baby inside (it may even lead to back problems).
Consider the Built In Accessories
Almost every baby carrier includes a couple of accessories, but the really good ones come with several already included. Rain covers, foot muffs, dual baskets, and cup-holders are just a few of the most common baby stroller accessories. Before choosing a carrier, always check to see what accessories come included. In a few cases, a stroller may appear cheaper at first glance, but that’s only because it doesn’t come with anything. You may have to buy the rain cover or food tray separately – which would push up the price.
Other Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Buying a Stroller
- Does this baby stroller have the features I want?
- Is the carrying basket large enough for my needs?
- Will this baby carriage fit in my car’s trunk?
- Does this stroller have a 3-point or 5-point harness system?
- Can I attach a car seat to it?
- Is the handlebar high enough?
- Does it provide good value for the money?