Before You Buy a Baby Stroller

Before You Buy a Baby Stroller

Before you head out and buy your first baby stroller, it’s a good idea to educate yourself.  Clearly, the most important thing you want to take into consideration is your baby’s safety and comfort.  But don’t shortchange yourself — after all, since you’re the one who’s going to be pushing that stroller, you are part of the equation as well.  And while we’ve far talked in a fair amount of detail about the types of baby strollers available, let’s discuss some more relevant information here.

Think of the stages that your child will go through as they get older, and then think about how you’re going to accommodate that with their stroller.  And is not just about their size; your lifestyle has to factor in here as well.

In terms of lifestyle, consider this.  While your baby is still quite young, say, for the first six months to a year, will you be ferrying your child around quite a bit?  In an out of the car?  If so, then you might want to consider the option of a light weight car seat carrier frame.  This is just a frame that allows you to attach your infant car seat.  There’s no need to remove your child from their seat, you simply detach the seat from its base in your vehicle, and then transfer that to the frame.  Snap it in, and you’re good to go.  This is a great alternative to having to wake your child up while getting them out of their infant car seat and into their stroller.  And when you’ve finished your errands and you’re heading back to your car, you simply reverse the process, and then easily store the frame.  Frames are lightweight, inexpensive, and a great idea for quick trips with your infant.

Under the same circumstances, another option might be an all in one travel system.  Unlike the simple frame mentioned above, the travel system is composed of an infant car seat, a car seat base, and a stroller as well.  One drawback is that these tend to be heavier and bulkier — but they have their advantages as well.  Once your child has reached the stage where they have better control of their head and neck muscles, and can sit up, the travel system gives you the versatility of now using its stroller minus the car seat.  This versatility comes at a price though — travel systems are typically more expensive, but since they have a longer life as they can see your child from infancy through to the stage where they use the stroller, that initial price is offset.

Your next option in similar circumstances is a combo stroller.  Some may be similar to the travel system in that they not only accept a car seat, but they also convert from a bassinet or regular carriage into a stroller.  Again, these tend to be costly, but that cost is offset since your child can use it for a longer period of time.

Public Transportation and Bumper To Bumper Traffic

Your means of transportation should play a big part in your decision, when it comes to choosing a baby stroller.  Remember I mentioned above that your lifestyle will be a factor as well.  If you don’t have a car of your own, and typically rely on buses and subways, you definitely want to have stroller that is lightweight and easy to maneuver.  Better yet, you want something that will quickly and easily fold.  In this case either the frame or the travel system mentioned above would work well.

If walking is your common mode of transportation, then consider a stroller that is a little sturdier, as this might be easier to push, especially if it’s one with larger tires.  For these heavier, sturdier models, you have a variety of options as well.  You can find both traditional and all-terrain strollers that will provide added shock absorption, you can choose three wheel or four wheel configurations, and they’ll have a seat that provides more room, more comfort, and more support for your baby, then they would get from an umbrella stroller.  If you often have difficult terrain to push your stroller through, whether that’s snow, grass, gravel, or anything else, choose the stroller with larger wheels.

If walking is just too slow for you, and you prefer to jog or run, consider jogging stroller.  They are engineered in a manner to provide full range of movement while you operate them.

For those of you who travel by car, you have a different set of things to consider.  And there’s no one size fits all here – you need to take into consideration your own vehicle, and your trunk space.  Based on that, make sure you choose a stroller that will fit inside.  And since we’re talking about storage, think about where you’re going to store your baby stroller at home as well.  When it’s not in use, will it be in a closet, in a hallway or somewhere else?  Will you fold down?  If so, remember that a folded stroller could present a tip over hazard for your young child.

At the outset, I mentioned both frames and travel systems.  For anyone that does a lot of driving with your child, either of these options would be a good idea at the beginning, and then you might want to transition to a lighter weight, umbrella stroller to use on quick trips when you’re in and out of the car with your child.

One final thing that’s worth considering, if mom — or dad for that matter — is typically traveling alone with the child, don’t choose a stroller that’s so heavy and cumbersome, it will take two people to fold and store in the vehicle.