As a first time parent, choosing a stroller can be an overwhelming experience. First, there’s the sticker shock of how much they actually cost. Then there is the matter of how many strollers are actually on the market. From running strollers to double strollers, there are several different types out there with very different purposes. Read on to learn more about which stroller is best to carry around your precious cargo.
There are a few things you should think about before hitting the stroller aisle. Aside from just carrying your baby from place to place, different kinds of strollers serve different purposes and will meet different needs. A few things to consider are the cost, the size of your family, and the purpose of the stroller. Unfortunately, this may also mean you will need more than one stroller down the road. Keep this in mind as you’re looking at the price tags. If for example, you know you plan on having a big family with children close together in age, a stroller that converts to a double is probably your best bet. For the parents on the go, travel systems and car seat adaptors can be a lifesaver. These allow you to click your car seat right onto the stroller so you don’t have to wake your baby and bother taking them in and out. Strollers today are quite adaptable so think about what you need most and start from there.
There are a few features that are almost universally important when it comes to strollers. One is that they can fold easily. A one-step or even one-handed fold is priceless. There’s nothing worse than carrying your child, a diaper bag, and groceries, all while fighting with a cumbersome stroller that won’t close. Another important feature is the basket and parent compartment. You may be thinking these first two features have nothing to do with the child and you’re right. The parents’ compartment where you can hold your phone, a water bottle, and your keys, is just for you. This is key to your sanity. The basket underneath is also important. The more it holds the better. You can store the diaper bag, groceries, toys, and whatever else you need right under the stroller and be hands-free. Another feature to consider is whether or not a newborn can go in the stroller. Most strollers are actually not made for newborns so you’ll need a car seat adapter or a stroller that comes with another seat for the newborn. Many seats aren’t designed for babies who can’t sit up yet so be sure to keep that in mind. Consumer Reports also notes to check for recalls before purchasing a stroller.
Lightweight umbrella stroller
A lightweight stroller or umbrella stroller is going to be your go-to for older children who may not be napping or for quick trips where you don’t want to take something larger. These strollers are light, fold easily, and won’t take up a lot of room in the car or in a tiny store or amusement park line. For a short trip where your child won’t be napping, they can really come in handy. If you do think you’ll often be out during nap time, check how far they recline to gauge how comfy your little one will be. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to put your newborn in this type of stroller either.
The all-purpose stroller
The all-purpose stroller is going to be the everyday stroller that you’d take on longer walks where you want your kiddo to be comfortable enough to sleep if needed. You also want it to hold a lot in case you’re out running a ton of errands. Many people suggest an umbrella stroller for city dwellers, however, this type may actually be better. If you live in an urban area, you are likely using your stroller more. City parents can pick up a child from daycare and then fit groceries and dinner in the basket all while walking home. These also usually have bigger wheels and more comfortable seats for uneven city terrain. The seats on these will also recline for naps and come with car seat adapters so that you can use them right away with a newborn.
The same everyday stroller mentioned above may also be able to convert into a double stroller. If you know you want to have multiple children pretty close together, a stroller that converts to a double is worth the money. Double strollers come in a variety of types as well. You can purchase a double umbrella stroller, a double running stroller or a travel system that accommodates more than one child as well. Many of these also have the ability to have a third, older child on a skateboard attachment. You can also add a car seat attachment to many of these as well to accolade a newborn.
Travel systems are great for many reasons. These are strollers that allow the car seat to click right on. They come in both single and double options. Travel systems are lightweight, usually, fold with one hand, and are also really affordable. These are also great for plane travel. If you’re going somewhere where you also want to bring your car seat, you can just click it right on and off and maybe even fit a carry on or two underneath. Since you won’t be able to use a single travel system for long, these may make a great second stroller option just for the infant stage.
Running strollers are perfect for the active mom and dad. These strollers are lightweight and made for the outdoors. There is always great sun protection and a variety of reclining positions to ensure a smooth and safe ride. Some models do come with car seat adapters so you can use these as your everyday stroller before your baby reaches a safe age where you can run with them in the regular seat. These will also come in double options.