Baby Stroller Selection Guide

A baby stroller is an essential piece of baby equipment, and it’s one that’s usually needed right from the very start until the baby is able to walk on their own for some distance. This means that strollers are required until the age of 3 or 4 years at least, but some parents use strollers even when the child is 7 or 8 years old when they have to walk long distances. Once you have picked the best baby crib for your child, it is time to go shopping for the stroller.

Baby Stroller Buyers Guide for Parents & Single Moms

Baby Stroller There are one too many different types of baby strollers available that it gets very difficult to pick the right one for your kid. You’ll have to consider where you live, where you’ll be pushing the stroller, and how much you want to spend on it.
If you will be taking your child on long walks, you will need a stroller that is sturdy yet maneuverable over the curb. If you have a car-oriented lifestyle, you should look for a stroller that can be folded easily and can fit in your car. If you are only to going to use the stroller for running quick errands, you can easily survive on a lightweight stroller, but if you’re one of those active parents who take their babies along when hiking or running, you’ll definitely need a jogging stroller. You may even find several different strollers in your closet as time passes and your child grows.

What to Look for When Buying Strollers

When picking out the best baby stroller for your little one, these are the features you should be looking for.

Safety

Before you purchase the stroller, make sure that it firmly locks into position and does so with a mechanism that’s easy to use. This prevents the stroller from accidently collapsing while carrying a baby. Make sure that there are no protrusions or sharp edges on the frame of the stroller. Also make sure that the fingers or toes can’t get pinched or caught between any parts of the stroller.
The stroller you’re purchasing should be certified by JPMA and meet the current safety standards. Make sure that you’re not purchasing a stroller that has been recalled.

Harnesses

A restraint system is a necessary part of a stroller. The safest one is the 5-point harness that can wrap around the waist, over the shoulders, and between the legs. Make sure that the buckle is secure for the child but easy to unhook for you.

Adjustable Seat

The seat of the stroller should be fully capable of reclining to an almost-flat position so that newborn babies have head control and can sit up easily. The reclining seat is also a must-have for toddlers for napping. Make sure that the reclining mechanism of the seat is easy to use and can be controlled with one hand.

Maneuverability

The baby stroller should also have wheels that are capable of swiveling in the rear and front so that the stroller can be turned easily. You should see that it move in a straight line when pushed and turn easily with one hand.

Stroller Brakes

Brakes should be easy to operate, and you should test them before purchasing. The wheels need to lock right away as you engage the break. Some jogging strollers also have foot brakes as well as hand-operated brakes.

Handle Height

The stroller’s handle need to be at the waist level of the pusher or just slightly below. While most strollers are designed to meet the average size of women, it’s possible that you don’t fit the description. In that case, you should be looking for a stroller that has adjustable handles or comes with handle extenders.

Canopy

The stroller should also have an adjustable shade that protects the baby from the wind, sun, and rain and makes the stroller rides more comfortable than usual. Canopies with UV-protection fabrics are ideal for sunny walks.

Storage Capacity

Most strollers feature a storage basket under the seat, which is ideal for storing the baby’s stuff such as a diaper bag. If you’re taking the baby out on a grocery shopping trip, you’ll want to have a roomy basket with good storage capacity.

Washable Fabric Strollers

Since your baby will be spending quite some time in the stroller, messes will surely be made. As a result, removable fabric makes cleaning much easier.

Versatility

If you just had your first baby, a single stroller may be enough, but that could soon change. Thus, it’s preferable to have one that could convert to a double or triple stroller whenever required so that parents can plan ahead. Strollers with extra accessories such as riding boards, extra infant seats, and bassinets are much more useful in the long term.

Types of Strollers

Baby strollers come in several different designs and styles. Most of them feature a comfortable and padded seat that is capable of reclining into different positions. Most of these strollers also offer storage areas below the seat or on the sides and sunshades to protect the baby from heat and direct sunlight. Some strollers make the baby face forward, while in others, the baby is looking back at their parents. Some strollers can even shift from one of these orientations to the other one. Strollers range from high-end strollers loaded with features to simple and inexpensive ones.

Car Seat Strollers

A car seat stroller is a lightweight metal frame that is designed to carry particular types of car seats designed for infants. You can remove the infant car seat from the car and snap it onto the stroller frame. These strollers are convenient when you have to take out a sleeping baby from the back of the car. Car seat stroller frames are also easily foldable, and you can store them in the back of your car.
These strollers don’t take a lot of space and can accommodate infants weighing up to 35lbs. Once your baby has outgrown the stroller, it becomes useless. However, you can always lend it to someone, sell it online, or save it for your next child.

Travel Systems

Travel systems are standard strollers or in some cases, jogging strollers that are also capable of carrying an infant car seat. These travel systems are much more expensive, larger, and heavier than stroller frames. However, the advantage is that you can use them even after the baby has outgrown the infant car seat. They usually include a stroller as well as a particular infant car seat.

Lightweight Strollers

Also known as umbrella strollers, lightweight strollers usually only weigh 12lbs or less and can fold up very compactly. These strollers may not be padded generously and aren’t always the most adjustable ones, but they are cheaper and ideally suited for older babies and toddlers. Do check the age recommendation of a particular model before purchasing it.
These strollers are often used for backup purposes or used during traveling. Lightweight strollers, however, aren’t the most suitable ones for infants because they don’t offer much head support and can’t fully recline.

Jogging Strollers

Jogging strollers roll on three bicycle wheels with a lightweight frame. They are known for delivering a smooth and comfortable ride for both the parent and baby and are ideal for taking your baby on long walks, runs, and even hikes if the trail is wide. Some models can also carry more than one baby with one-behind-the-other or side-by-side seats.
These strollers can also navigate over curbs and scale steep hills. However, their size makes it hard to maneuver them on stairs, into elevators, or through doors as they aren’t as compact as other types of baby strollers.
You may even need to get additional parts with some models when the baby is younger than six months. While some models can fully recline, if yours does not, you will need to get an infant car seat adapter or get a separate cot made for the stroller.

Tandem Strollers

Double and triple jogging strollers can let the parent push more than one child at once. In tandem strollers, babies are seated in a one-behind-the-other arrangement. Some of these models also have an additional platform behind the seat where an older sibling can stand or sit. Another option is a side-by-side arrangement.
Tandem strollers, as compared to jogging strollers, are easier to maneuver through doors. Some models have rear seats that may lack legroom. Side-by-side models are difficult to push down a crowded sidewalk, but the plus point is that all the seats are equally comfortable.

Conclusion

You can get a simple, lightweight stroller for around $60, but for high-end models, you will have to go up to $500 to even $1300. Travel systems are available at around $170, but a car seat stroller would only cost you around $70. Jogging strollers start at $180 and some models cost more than $500. Baby stroller prices vary depending on the type of stroller, features, build quality and versatility. In the end, it’s about purchasing the one that fits your description perfectly and is comfortable for the baby and you.

Best Baby Crib

Get the Best Baby Cribs to put your newborn to sleep

It is late at night, you and your partner are finally settling onto the couch to watch a movie and then you hear the familiar sound of crying; the baby has woken up. Why has the baby woken? Maybe it is hungry, or has to be changed, or maybe the crib is just very uncomfortable. New parents know this scene well, as it no doubt occurs every couple of days.

Baby SleepAs any parent can tell you, having a newborn can sometimes feel like a full time job. There is no reason to make the job even harder by getting a sub-par crib. The crib is one of the few areas where you will ever leave your baby alone for an extended amount of time; it will also be the area where your baby sleeps for possibly two to three years. Because of this, it is key that you look for quality when buying a crib. Having a good quality crib can make your job as a parent a whole lot easier. But of course buying a quality crib is easier said than done, after all, there are countless numbers of brands, models, and types to keep track of. Thankfully, much like a good crib, I’m here to make your job easier.

Baby Crib Buyers Guide

I have written this article to give new parents a good idea about what to look for when buying a crib, as well as giving short reviews of some of the bestselling cribs on Amazon at the end. If you are in a hurry see the list of recommended baby cribs which you buy right away. Otherwise go through the guide below to learn, how to select the best baby crib for your child.

How important is a crib?

First thing’s first, new parents may be wondering if they even need a crib. After all could not just let your baby sleep in a bassinet? Or practice co-sleeping? Well, if you believe the old wives tales, then apparently your baby needs to sleep in a crib to learn how to pull themselves up, although that is not true. It is true that those methods are alright for very small children, but eventually the child will outgrow both the bassinet and co-sleeping. Some parents do not mind practicing co-sleeping with their toddlers until the child is ready for a regular bed, but most parents cannot or do not want to have to do that. You may also be wondering whether you could not just put your child immediately into a twin bed after they outgrow their bassinet. Well for some toddlers that could work, but most toddlers are fairly active and many will not stay in the bed. So a crib is clearly going to be important for most parents.

What to look for?

Now that we have established that most parents will need a crib, it is time to look at what factors you should look for when buying a crib. It goes without saying that you will need to factor in budget and space concerns, but since those are based entirely on the family buying the crib, it is not very helpful advice. These are factors that every family buying a crib should consider, regardless of budget or space concerns.

Safety Standards.

Safety standards with regards to cribs can change, the last change coming in 2011, the update famously banned both drop-side cribs and slats that are wider than 2 & 3/8 inches. When you are looking for cribs you will want to only consider cribs that were manufactured after the latest rule updates; so you should rule out any cribs produced before June 28th, 2011. Also, while it is generally recommended that you avoid buying used cribs, if you absolutely have to buy a used crib (due to budget concerns or whatever reason) do your research and make sure that the crib meets all the relevant safety standards.

Adjustable and Versatile.

Cribs are expensive, the most expensive models can run into the thousands, and you are probably not going to find a crib for cheaper than a hundred dollars. When you spend that much money you want a good amount of value in return. So there are two things to look for when buying a crib. First off, make sure the crib’s mattress can be adjusted, younger infants need the mattress to be higher because they cannot move much, and as they get older you move the mattress down. Secondly, make sure the crib can be transformed into a normal bed. Many modern cribs can be transformed into both a twin bed, and even sometimes a normal bed, with minimal effort. If you do not get a crib that can change into a bed you are really just throwing money away, since you will have to buy a new bed when your child eventually outgrows the crib.

User Reviews

What are other people saying?
Never buy a crib without first looking up reviews or talking to fellow parents who may have used the crib. That is partly why I am writing this guide, because I understand how difficult and confusing this can all be for a first time parent. Guides, reviews, word of mouth, etc., are all things you should consider before deciding to buy any baby product, but cribs especially. You want your baby to be able to sleep comfortably, so take the time to research everything properly, you will thank yourself later on.

Bestselling cribs – Recommended

So how good exactly are the bestselling cribs on Amazon? Well I looked at a few of them, and here is what I liked, did not like, and my overall opinion on the crib as a whole.

DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

What I liked:

There is a lot to like about this crib. First off it has 4 adjustable height settings, which makes it easy to put down the baby and makes it easy to keep the baby from crawling out of the crib. Probably my favorite thing about the crib is that they include the conversion kit that you need to change the crib into a twin bed (unfortunately, you do have to buy a conversion kit to convert it to a full sized bed, but that is very normal); many cribs that claim they are convertible, but will not include the conversion kit, forcing you to buy it separately.

What I did not like:

My main complaint with this crib is that the wood, while nice looking, will damage easily and is a bit disappointing. The wood scratches and scuffs very easily, so be aware.

Overall:

The crib is sturdy and well made, but the wood damages easily. Overall for around $200, it is not a bad crib; just keep any pets with sharp claws away from the crib and try to prevent your children from gnawing on it.

Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

What I liked:

The cost really stood out to me. A $110 for a well-made crib is a steal. I also was pleasantly surprised at how easy the crib was to put together. The pieces were light, the instructions simple, and the process quick and painless.

What I did not like:

The real negative with the crib is that the wood chips and damages easily. As you can probably guess from the price point, they did not use the highest quality wood for the finish.

Overall Review:

Again, a good crib, with a really good price point, but you will want to avoid damaging the wood finish; so be extra careful when building the crib.

Stork Craft Portfino 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

What I liked:

The crib is sturdily made. It is also very useful to have both drawers and a changing table attached to the crib (although that can be an issue depending on what you want to do with the crib, see next section). The wood finish is also quality (a nice contrast to the last two cribs).

What I did not like:

The instructions are awful, there is very little text, and you are expected to rely entirely on some pictures to build the crib. It can be frustrating for people who are used to building things, let alone people with no experience building home furniture. Also, as I mentioned before, the attached changing tables can cause some problems, since you cannot detach the changing table unless you plan to convert the crib into a full sized bed.

Overall:

The crib is pricier than the previous two cribs, but overall the quality speaks for itself. If you can afford to spend the money, and do not mind the unclear instructions, then the crib is worth looking at.

Dream On Me 7-in-1 Convertible Lifestyle Crib

What I liked:

This is another quality crib that is surprisingly reasonably priced. At only $139.99, it is definitely on the cheaper end when it comes to cribs, but the quality is still pretty good overall; and I did not have any complaints on that end. I also found the wavy look of the crib to be a nice little aesthetic change from other cribs.

What I did not like:

The instructions are not the greatest, if you are handy, you can figure it out relatively easily, but if you are not handy, you might want to find a friend who is and get them to help you. Also, the crib does not come with any of the tools you need to convert the crib into a bed, so you will need to spend extra money on conversion kits and rails.

Overall Rating:

A pretty sturdy crib, at a pretty decent price. It is a bit annoying that it does not come with the tools necessary to convert the crib into a bed, but given how common that flaw is, it is hard to fault the crib for not including the conversion kit.

Athena Naomi 4-in-1 Crib

What I Liked:

The crib overall is nicely made and not super expensive at $150. The wood is quality, and I did not hear any creaking or any other signs that would indicate that the crib was not sturdy. I also like that the mattress had four different adjustable height settings. A nice little bonus was that the crib includes the railings necessary to convert the crib into a full sized bed.

What I did not like:

The wood can scratch somewhat easily, as is expected with a crib that is in this price range; this would not be so bad if they did not cover the wood in stickers that were difficult to get off with scratching the wood. It is also means the crib can arrive with some minor damage, though that is also the fault of the shipping company as much the product itself.

Review Conclusion:

The crib is sturdy and will not break your bank. It has a few minor annoyances, like an easily damaged wood finish, but that is a minor issue that I would be happy enough to overlook for such a good crib.