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How to Choose a Baby Stroller

July 2, 2012

Buying a baby stroller is like buying a car. You know you need one for your baby but simply browsing in a store is already overwhelming. There are so many types and features that will confuse you. When I bought my son’s, I thought I had a good deal out of it. Little did I know how limited its use will be for him and for me as well.

It was a travel system with a carrier. I chose it because the carrier or car seat will also be useful on travel or just at home. Sadly, he only used the car seat for a few months and the stroller for about a year. He easily outgrew his car seat and refused to sit on it. The stroller on the other hand functioned as his seat when I’m trying to feed him while he watches his DVDs. He used it for quite some time whenever we go out for a stroll but he preferred that I hold him. He disliked sleeping on it or just stay put even if I tilt the head so he can lie down. Actually, my son dislikes getting strapped to any seat including car seats, and high chairs. Nevertheless, in a year, I didn’t have to buy a high chair and other seats as the travel system was enough for his needs.

Even though my son has a bit of a personality towards strollers, I realized that before investing in one, I should have thought about it. Many of you may have asked online “what is the best baby stroller?” The truth is it depends in so many factors. Like I said, buying a stroller is like buying a car. You have to criticize each feature and think about whether you really can work with it and would fit for your baby’s needs. Below are some of the things you should ponder upon when choosing a stroller.




Your Lifestyle

You should first and foremost evaluate your lifestyle. This is crucial because you will have to fit both the baby and the baby’s needs with your routines or would-be routines. Whether it will be your first or the nth baby, you should imagine on you will manage with a specific stroller. This is also often not considered by those who give strollers as gifts.

For me, I knew that I will need a simple one that I will be able to use during travel or when running errands. That is the main reason why I opted for the travel system. My fault though is that I did not bother with the actual size and weight. Good thing that I bought a stroller that fits in a car and could easily be folded.

If you are a constant traveler, you should consider a stroller that is lightweight and more compact like the umbrella type. If you are sporty and would want to bring your baby on morning jogs, consider a jogging and all-terrain type of stroller. If you love strolling on parks then a pram is appropriate. Believe me there are so many strollers to choose from, but keep in mind how you can meld your lifestyle with owning one for your baby.

 

Your Budget

This is usually the first thing that parents consider because strollers can range from $20 to as much as $200 and sometimes much more expensive than that. More often, when parents are restricted from budget, it gets in the way of other factors such as lifestyle in choosing a stroller. So ask yourself, how much you are willing to shell out for a stroller. Also, consider if you need to purchase a brand new or go for a second hand one. Be practical and wise because you can use the remainder of your budget for other things your baby will need.

 

Stroller’s Lifespan

If you are a parent who is starting out a family, then invest in good and sturdy stroller, which can but not necessarily be expensive. Like a car, it can be passed down to the next of your kin. Some tend to buy a new one for each baby. But I think it maybe too much. Unless your kids have the same age and needs, one good investment is enough. All you have to do is take care of it to prolong its life for the next baby without compromising safety.

 

Baby’s Safety

It’s cheap, looks good, that is enough. Wrong! Never ever compromise your baby’s safety because of your budget restrictions or that it has a lot of bells and whistles. Check out if a stroller meets ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Standards. Most brands comply with the safety standards. But if you do not know a brand and still like its products, look for more information about them before purchasing. Make sure they do have safety standards. Remember strollers relieve you from carrying your kid around, so it should be more than safe than your own arms.

 

Baby’s Age and Size

Most excited parents buy strollers even before the baby is out, like I did J. This is mainly because it is much easier to shop and make preparations before birth. One problem I encountered is that my baby is unexpectedly taller than an average new born. The travelling system I bought was a little short for him, after a few months, his feet were practically dangling when I let him lie down on it and also one of the reasons why he disliked lying down there.

So you should consider the age and size of your baby. Newborn are well off on prams or those that have bassinets. If your baby is quite big, then get a bigger type of stroller. If you want to get a new stroller for a toddler, then opt for a sturdy stroller but collapsible and more portable like an umbrella type. If you want to get a stroller before giving birth, get your baby’s size estimate from your doctor. My doctor manage to estimate my baby’s weight when I was 8 months pregnant, which was close to what my son weighed when he was born. The thing was I already purchased a stroller before that, so it was too late for me. Time it right so you estimate the baby’s size with the stroller well enough.




Stroller’s Portability

After estimating the baby’s size, you can now consider the size and weight of the stroller. You should imagine how much you can bear when you travel with your baby. When purchasing online, look at all the product measurements. If you will buy in a store, then test drive several strollers so you can get a feel of them. Scrutinize how large it is and how compact it can be when collapsed. Make sure that it can fit in your vehicle or that you can lug it up and down stairs. Also, consider if you can manage to store the stroller at home and how much space it will take up.

 

Stroller’s Made and Durability

Adding to the baby stroller’s weight and size is the durability. Different brands are well known because of the materials they use to create their products. Because of safety standards and wanting to have a longer lifespan, they go for durable and heavier materials such as metals. Metal-framed strollers are more stable and well-built but much heavier and can support older kids. Although there are plastic-framed strollers around, their capabilities are limited. They can only hold light or younger kids.

 

Stroller’s Maneuverability

Strollers are definitely seen move like pushcarts, but little do people know that their wheels are much better than that of pushcarts. Pushcarts are made to be pushed and carry goods, and that’s it. For baby strollers, consider how you can maneuver it in every possible way. Check it if it can move around or swivel on close spaces, in shops or malls without tipping over or taking too much pivoting space. Make sure if the breaks work well.  Also, ensure if the handles are comfortable enough and have the perfect grip for you.

 

Factors like lifestyle, budget, baby’s age/size, and stroller’s features and safety are those any parent should take into consideration to determine what the best baby stroller is. These things will certainly help in choosing the right stroller for your baby.

Check out our stroller reviews to get information on certain brands.

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