Stroller – Choosing The Right One For Your Baby

Just like jewelry, your child is a delicate and a precious cargo that needs extra care. A stroller is one thing that will keep your baby safe and comfortable, especially during the early stages of growth. With different models of baby strollers around, there are plenty of things to do consider when it comes to choosing the right one for your child. Knowing these criteria in advance helps you finalize that baby registry.

At a Glance

  • Also called a pram or a carriage, a stroller is a hand-pushed baby gear capable of carrying your baby or young infant. It is typically needed until your child can walk on his own.
  • Since most strollers cost about $30 to $1200, you want to make sure that you are investing in a safe, reliable and easy-to-use stroller.
  • There are two main types of strollers: single strollers and double strollers, each of which has their own subtypes. There are also other types of strollers that don’t fit conventional models (e.g., buggy strollers, infant chariot strollers, and sports car). Some strollers are built with 3 wheels; others with four wheels.
  • The ideal stroller for your kid should be free of toxic materials, easy to fold and unfold, and equipped with a 5-point harness system, a parking brake, reflectors, safety bar, and spoke protection.

What are the three most important things to know when buying a stroller?

With the numerous models of strollers to choose from at different price range, you have to keep in mind key factors before making that final purchase. Since most strollers cost about $30 to $1200, you want to make sure that you are investing in a safe, reliable and easy-to-use stroller. Consider asking yourself these basic questions:

What model of stroller am I getting for my child?

Some strollers are big and bulky and may not be suitable when you are navigating narrow spaces. An umbrella stroller, for example, may not work for you when you have essentials to carry with you like your purse, diaper bag, or other baby stuff. Remind yourself where you are going with your stroller, and this will make your buying decision easier. The adaptability feature of the stroller from newborn through toddler stages could help you save some cash. If you are planning to use it for multiple babies, get a stroller for long-term value.

Is it easy to use?

Once you have done your research and made a list on your registry, it is recommended to test the stroller personally. Compare your choice to your other favorites and take note how the stroller works on smooth, rough, and hilly terrains. Check how the stroller behaves during steering, maneuvering, or during tight turns. Expect that your baby also needs to be carried, especially when they are active or when they need care. Is your stroller easy to fold and easy to store?

How heavy is the stroller?

Lightweight strollers are always better on the road. They are more comfortable to push, easier to carry upstairs, and easier to store. Some would worry about lightweight strollers as cheaply-made, which is not necessarily true. There are lightweight strollers that are durable and will meet your expectations. Typically, lightweight strollers weigh around 11-15 pounds while heavy-duty strollers weigh 40 pounds.

What is a stroller?

Also called a pram or a carriage, a stroller is a hand-pushed baby gear capable of carrying your baby or young infant. It is typically needed until your child can walk on his own. Some parents use strollers until their child reaches eight years when they[/symple_highlight] can already walk long distances during a long day.

The stroller is very popular and convenient as they allow parents to do chores, walk conveniently, or to be free. Most travel system strollers and other types of strollers have restraint systems consisting of a harness, safety belt, and crotch to protect your baby while in a sitting position. They also come in different models. Some are built with a canopy to protect your child from the sun, heat, rain, or dust, and this makes transporting fast and easy.

happy little girl with curly hair sitting in a stroller

What stroller types exist?

Single strollers

 FeaturesProsCons
Single Traditional Strollers• Maybe used from birth to junior years
• Very maneuverable
• Can be used on sidewalks, paved streets, park, or trails
• Some may have fully-reclining seats
• Car seat compatible
• Solid
• Easy to use
• All-purpose stroller
• Good for long-term use
• Heavier than umbrella strollers
• Some may not accommodate infants under 6 months
Single Combination Strollers/ Modular Stroller• Adapts to the growing child
• Some are car seat compatible
• May feature a seat that can be reclined, a seat that can be converted to a bassinet, or a reversible seat

• Maybe sold in packages with a chassis, bassinet, and a reversible seat
• Expensive
• May carry a baby up to 40 lbs
• Important accessories are optional
Umbrella and Lightweight Strollers• Lightweight strollers with curved handles like umbrella
• Suitable for quick trips
• Some are car seat compatible

• Lightweight
• Easy to use
convenient
• Can recline completely flat
• Cramp or narrow for babies and toddlers
• Lack seat or suspension support
• Some are not appropriate for babies 6 months below
• Some may not recline at all
Travel System Strollers• Comes with a car seat and a stroller• Transport and transfer of the baby from stroller to car seat is easy leaving the baby undisturbed
• Can be fully reclined
• Bulky
• Expensive
• Issues on compatibility with other car brands
Transformable Car Seat/Stroller• Newly-introduced in the market
• Fully integrated car seat with a stroller frame that can be fold under the seat
• Two-in-one feature
• Transport and transfer of the baby from stroller to car seat is easy leaving the baby undisturbed
• Heavy
• Expensive
• May not be suitable for moms who had C-section
Car Seat Carrier Strollers• Lightweight frame built with no seat
• Can accommodate multiple infant seat brands
• Compact
• Lightweight
• Inexpensive
• May no longer accommodate your child beyond one year old

Double/Specialty strollers

 Features
Pros
Cons
Double Side-by-Side Strollers• Has two seats attached at a single frame
• Suitable for children of the same height and weight like twins
• Easy to maneuver
• Can transport 2 child at once
• Difficult to use if two children has different weights
• May not fit the doorway
Double/Tandem Strollers• Has one seat behind the other of the same width with a single stroller and fit through doorways
• Some rear seats can be reclined
• Fit through elevator doors and doorways• Steering can be difficult
• Expect a more effort on getting over curbs due to the overall weight of the children
• Not suitable for small moms or parents
Jogging Strollers• Designed with three wheels
• Made for jogging or running
• Has a hand brake, parking brake, and lockable swivel
• Suitable for walking or running
• Can be easily steered in the desired direction
• Bulky
• Expensive
• May not fit your trunk
• You have to check the tire pressure everyday
• Non-swiveling front wheel can make maneuvering difficult
• Not typically recommended by pediatricians and orthopedics because it can quickly harm the baby

Other popular types of stroller

 Features
ProsCons
Buggy Strollers
• Suitable for toddlers who are already capable of sitting but cannot walk on longer distances
• Can be used until the age of 3
very maneuverable with swiveling front wheels
• May be equipped with nets or shopping baskets

• Backrest can be reclined
• Fits easily on doorways and into the trunk

• Not for long trip where your baby needs to rest
• Wheels are small making it hard to steer on unpaved roads
Infant Chariot Strollers• Designed to let babies sleep for longer periods
• A classic stroller made with hood to protect your child from direct sunlight or rain
• Big and stable
• Well-sprung and equipped with pneumatic tires
• Suitable for uneven surfaces

• Only suitable for infants
• Not recommended when your baby starts to sit
• Only fits large trunks
Sports Car• Almost similar to the buggy but it is more stable and bigger • Provides comfort to your baby because of the large seat and hood• Storing requires more space

3 wheels vs. 4 wheels

3 Wheel Stroller4 Wheel Stroller
• Jogging strollers are typically 3-wheeled for faster and better running
• Suitable for rough terrains due to the air tires
• Mostly heavy because of the type of tires installed
• Good for off roads
• Most designs are facing against the parent
• More stable than 3 wheel strollers
• Easier to maneuver on narrow areas
• Typically made with a more compact fold making them easier to store
• Most models are made with a handlebar where you can hang your stuff
• May be adjustable allowing your baby to face you

What are the most important purchase criteria for a stroller?

Weight/sizeLarger strollers are usually more comfortable for the child but a lot heavier and are more difficult to store. Consider purchasing a stroller that will fit your doorway, trunk of the car, narrow spaces like shops, or areas that gets crowded easily. A lightweight and smaller model is more appropriate for longer trips or when you often use the public transport. In this way, the stroller can be folded and stored easily without asking for any help.
WheelsStrollers are made with different types of wheels, which are also manufactured from different materials of different sizes. The wheels can be made of solid rubber or can be inflated with air. Air-inflated wheels can be safer during impact but they are more likely to suffer from holes. Larger tires are naturally safer than smaller ones because of increased stability. It also means that they are heavier. Large-wheeled strollers are more beneficial on unpaved and rough roads while smaller-wheeled strollers are suited for smooth roads and shopping areas.
Size adjustabilityMost models of strollers are already adjustable to adapt to places where they are required to fit in. Typically, you would want to buy a stroller that will fit into the trunk of your car, doorways, or storage. You must also consider the flexibility of the stroller as your baby grows and increase in size.
EquipmentA well-padded backrest allows your baby to take a nap. Therefore, you would want to get a stroller that is capable of reclining. Also, an adjustable footrest is important for your growing child, this is common to buggies and sports car type of strollers to accommodate your child’s legs. Most models if not all are already equipped with a soft, protective hood, which are very beneficial on all seasons and weather conditions.
Easy of steering/navigatinghand. Most 3-wheels are easier to control and navigate because of their swiveling front wheels. Most 4-wheeled models already adapted this feature to allow easier movement in any direction

Health and safety of stroller

What are the Don’ts for buying a stroller

Keep in mind not to focus on the brand of the strollers when selecting, especially when you are still planning what to include on your baby registry. While big brands offer numerous features, they may not be practical. Look for something that has the features you need most. At the same time, don’t look for strollers with complete features. It may be difficult to find one, and most of the time their cost is higher. Learn your priorities and set aside other features which you can purchase separately in the future.

Toxic substances in a stroller

Unlike car seats, strollers skip flammability regulations, but they may still contain flammable substances. Manufacturers use plastics that contain BPA, PVC, phthalates, and other dangerous chemicals. Consider buying a stroller that is eco-friendly or less-toxic. If this is the case, a recommendation is to limit your baby from staying in the stroller for more extended periods.

Belt system

A belt or restraint system is a must for strollers. The safest belt system has a 5-point harness that can wrap around the waist, between legs, and comes down over the shoulders. Select a stroller that is easy to unhook while capable of securing your child.

Parking brake

Most strollers are equipped with parking brakes that are foot-activated, one-touch brakes or linked brakes. While many brands have a pedal above each rear wheel, some latest models have a single hand-operated lever that activates both rear-wheel brakes.

Folding mechanism

The best strollers can be folded quickly in a matter of seconds. When you are holding your baby in one hand, a stroller with one-hand fold can be the best option. Most models require both hands but are still easy and quick to open and close.

Reflectors

Some strollers are designed with reflectors to keep them more visible at night or during winter strolls. Reflectors are also an essential safety accessory to keep you and your baby safe during special conditions. If your stroller doesn’t have reflectors, you can easily purchase them as stickers.

Safety bar

Safety bars or grab bars are located in front of the stroller. They are an extra safety feature that can be accessed while the parent is in front. It also prevents your baby from slipping out of the stroller when unattended. Make sure that the opening between the safety bars and the seat can be closed when the stroller is reclined.

Spoke protection

Other models of strollers have a single spoke wheel with comfortable pneumatic tires allowing the wheels to swivel at the front for an ultra-smooth ride.

Care and Cleaning tips for strollers

To preserve the condition and value of your child’s strollers, it is essential to keep them clean and dry, especially before the wet or winter seasons. Here are few tips for getting strollers clean.

# 1: Vacuum fabric surfaces and pay attention to the crease where most solid materials and crumbs accumulate.

# 2: Remove plastic materials and accessories and wash them with a soft cloth and anti-grease soap.

# 3: Some fabrics are removable. You can refer to the manual on how to remove them, usually by unscrewing the bolts that hold the fabric. Machine wash or hand wash the fabrics when necessary by using a mild detergent.

# 4: When fabrics are not removable, you can soak them under the sun and wash them with soap, brush, and a garden hose. Perform this during sunny days to ensure that the fabrics get dry quickly.

# 5: Wipe the frames and other hard parts with an all-purpose cleaner to remove unwanted germs and sticky spots.

# 6: Keep in mind to store the stroller in a dry place away from any dirt or debris.

Useful accessories and additional products

Rain cover

An adjustable canopy will provide extra protection for your child during the wet season, allowing easy transfer of your baby from your house to your car or vice versa. Rain covers come in different range and sizes, from exact fitting to pull-down version. The ventilation through mesh panels or fabric is important to keep your child comfortable and not too warm.

Sun protection

Like rain covers, a canopy also provides protection against dangerous levels of sun exposure. Choose a canopy with a clear plastic or mesh window on top, allowing you to keep an eye on your child while strolling around.

Ride board

Now, you don’t have to limit the use of a stroller to one child. Ride boards or stroller boards are handy if you want the older sibling to ride along while the smaller child is positioned on the stroller. Getting a ride board is the best solution when you have multiple kids and when you are traveling to a heavily-crowded place.

Shopping basket

Your child’s stroller can come with a shopping basket, or you can purchase one and install them accordingly. These baskets are more spacious, more durable, and capable of carrying heavier items. With a shopping basket, it is more convenient for you to move around and perform errands or do shopping.

Popular brands

Here is a comprehensive list of major stroller brand to make your shopping and comparison fast and easy.

Britax Valco Baby Safety 1st 4moms Baby Trend Chicco Graco Evenflo

Where to buy a stroller in the US?

Top brands of strollers are available online and in traditional brick and mortar stores to allow parents to select the best option for their child. Different online stores make shopping for strollers easy and convenient. You can read and review the features of the brand or model you are eyeing and compare them with their top counterparts. You will find your favorites here that will guide you in finalizing your baby registry. From jogging strollers to umbrella strollers, from a travel system to special type strollers.

Amazon Walmart Kohl’s eBay Nordstrom Target

Q&A for strollers

How much should a stroller cost?

First-time parents often wonder how much a stroller would cost. They usually guess that an expensive stroller cost $200, but in reality, expensive strollers cost from $800 – $1200. You may want to specify on your baby registry the exact cost of strollers. On an average, a good quality stroller may cost you $400 depending on where you’ll be buying it.

How many strollers do I need?

Parents would often recommend having two strollers. A lightweight stroller, usually an umbrella type, is used for quick trips. The other stroller could be a jogging stroller for parents with a more active lifestyle or a travel system stroller for a walk in the park or trip to malls where your baby can sightsee and relax.

Can I buy second-hand strollers?

Buying a second-hand stroller can save money and may be a better option than a cheap new stroller. Since strollers receive an everyday beating, check overused strollers for any damage. Inspect if all parts are still intact by pushing it in all directions. Fold and unfold it,  check the breaks, harness, and handles to see if anything is loose. You also have to watch out for recalled strollers, which probably have issues with safety or whether or not it can be repaired with available kits. And lastly, read reviews and forums to make sure that what you are buying is all worth it.

How long can I use a stroller?

There are no guidelines refraining older kids to ride a stroller. Most health professionals would recommend that kids should be transitioning out of a stroller at around three years old. Just because your kid still fits in a stroller doesn’t mean they should continue riding in one.

What are the advantages of jogging strollers?

One greatest benefit of a jogging stroller is that you can brisk-walk or run with it. It is intended to make running safely for you and your child. If running is your way of staying in shape, a jogging stroller is suitable for you while simultaneously taking care of your child. Because of the large wheels made for running, jogging strollers make your run on bumpy roads smoother and more comfortable for you and your baby.

Our top 3 recommended strollers

City Mini GT

Any parent would love the Citi Mini GT designed with all-terrain wheels, an adjustable handlebar, and hand-operated brake. Though Baby Jogger manufactures this, it is not a jogging stroller. It is intended and highly recommended for parents who spend their time in the city where dealing with the crowd is highly expected whether it be on the streets or the subway. The Citi Mini GT is also comfortable to maneuver and can be operated with one hand while carrying your baby on the other.

Bob Revolution PRO Stroller

We recommend this jogging stroller for active and sporty families. The Bob revolution Pro has a design capable of passing through trails, beaches, and hilly areas. Apart from being easy to maneuver, it has an adjustable suspension system for a super-smooth ride, keeping your child and other accessories intact. It may not be practical to use for errands or on narrow spaces because of its size and weight. Parents would usually pair a jogging stroller with a lightweight stroller, which you can carry out anywhere and any time of the day.

Thule Urban Glide

Runners would be happy having this jogging stroller. Unlike most joggers, the Thule Urban Glide is lighter but sturdy enough to handle all kinds of terrain. Plus, you can recline it to allow your baby to lie on his or her back. It has a storage compartment with a zip cover, which is accessible with just one hand. If you want to hit the road right away, it has an adapter that fits popular infant car seats. A jogging stroller featuring a compact fold and easy maneuverability. This stroller is genuinely remarkable.

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