Perfect Prams: A Guide to Finding the Right Stroller for Baby
What can you expect when you’re expecting? Agonizing over the 1,001 decisions you’ll have to make. Choosing a stroller represents another piece of this frustrating puzzle. Bubs & Me is here to explain the different types of strollers that are available so you can choose the right one for your needs.
9 Things to Consider When Buying a Stroller
There are so many different types of strollers, not to mention countless brands. It’s helpful to narrow down your choices based on a few questions.
- Your budget – You can easily spend hundreds (maybe even thousands) on a baby stroller. You can also find more budget-friendly options. Determine how much you’re able to spend and then look for a stroller in that price range.
- Your family size – Is this your first baby or a second? Will you have a baby and a toddler who will both need wheeled transport? Some strollers can convert from a single to a double stroller, which might make better financial sense.
- Your lifestyle – Do you live in the suburbs or the city? Do you like to travel? How active are you? For instance, do you like to run or go on long hikes?
- Ease of use – You will be transporting a stroller everywhere. It’s important to make sure it folds easily. Do you need to wrestle it to the ground or can you fold it one-handed? Does it lock in place in the folded position or spring back open at the slightest touch?
- Stroller weight – Some strollers can be heavy. How much weight can you handle? Could you lift it and put it in the car? You’ll also be dealing with stairs, escalators, and curbs.
- Comfort – It’s likely that more than one person will be pushing the stroller. You want to be sure the handles will work for people of different heights. A stroller with adjustable handles is a must.
- Maneuverability – Full-size strollers come with lots of bells and whistles. However, they can be difficult to navigate in tight spaces. Make sure the stroller you choose will fit in small stores or grocery aisles. How well does it go around corners or turn around?
- Storage – Taking a baby anywhere requires a ton of “extras”, from diaper bags to breast pumps. Does the stroller have adequate storage? What about space for shopping bags?
- Features – Like cars, stroller come with many options. You need to decide which features are most important to you. Safety is always at the top of the list, including a five-point harness and locking wheels. There are also other things you may want such as an expandable cover, a snack tray with a cup holder, or a removable seat cushion that can be easily washed.
5 Types of Strollers
There are various kinds of strollers, from lightweight versions that cost under $100 to “Rolls Royce” editions that can set you back more than $1,000. Here is a breakdown of the different types of baby strollers.
Note: You may need more than one type of stroller for different situations.
1. Full-sized Strollers
These strollers are large, versatile, and are designed for use from infancy through the toddler years. Many are “modular” meaning the seat configuration can be changed. You can even add a stroller board so older toddlers can stand on the back and ride.
- Comfortable padded seat
- Reclining seat back
- Change from forward-facing seat or rear-facing
- Can attach to a car seat
- Optional bassinet, which can be used for babies up to 50 pounds
- Expandable canopies for protection from the sun
- Include storage areas
- Adjustable handle height
- Optional snack tray/cup holder
- Full-size strollers are bulkier, heavier, and harder to maneuver
2. Lightweight/Umbrella Strollers
As the name implies, these strollers are lighter and easier to maneuver. Some weigh as little as 15 pounds.
- Very portable
- Fit easily in small/tight spaces
- Easy to fold and store in the car
- Ideal when traveling on an airplane, bus or train
- Reclining seat back
- Expandable canopy
- Storage areas
- Can include a snack tray and cup holder
3. Jogging Stroller
If you're active and like to run or go “off-road”, you will appreciate a jogging stroller. They have great suspension to keep your little one comfortable. Some have a front wheel that swivels for better maneuvering.
- Can be used with a car seat
- For newborn through the toddler stage
- Adjustable handle height
- Lots of storage
- Hand brake, five-point harness, and wrist strap for extra safety
- Heavier and not as compact when folded
Note: Not all 3-wheel strollers are designed for jogging. Some don’t have hand brakes or other safety features.
4. Double Strollers
If you’re having twins or you have two children who are close in age, a double stroller may be the way to go. They come in two configurations: tandem (one seat behind the other) or side-by-side. The downside is that they are bigger and bulkier, with some weighing as much as 40 pounds.
Things to consider when buying a double stroller:
- Width (will it fit through the door?)
- Mobility (how easy is it maneuver?)
- Will it work with one or two car seats?
5. Travel System (car seat/stroller combo)
Travel system strollers pair an infant car seat with a stroller. You never have to take the baby out of the car seat to get him/her into the stroller. This is a great bonus, as you won’t have to wake a sleeping infant.
- Transfer from the car to stroller in seconds
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy transition for on-the-go parents
- The car seat is only designed for infants, however, the stroller is usable through the toddler years
- If you have more than one car, you’ll need a separate car seat or base for each vehicle
Safety ratings are paramount in a stroller, but check out this list of other essentials that will help keep your baby safe.
Which Stroller Will Work For You?
Having a new baby is an exciting time, but it does require you to make a thousand choices. Finding the right stroller takes time and patience. Hopefully, this stroller buying guide will help you understand the different types that are available so you can make the best decision for your family.
Aside from a stroller, you’ll also need baby accessories. Plus, you might want to splurge with clothes for mom and our seasonal deal. Fill up your cart today.