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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.