Choose the Right Stroller for Your Baby

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The right stroller makes a big difference in the ease and joy you will have with your baby. Consider a few points that will help you make a better choice before you actually sink in your pockets to make a purchase.

How old is the baby? If you are buying a stroller for the first time, you are likely doing so for a newborn. You will need a set-up which handles a reclining, floppy-headed baby. A stroller for an child who can hold up his or her head may be different.

Many strollers adjust through babyhood from reclining to sitting. But be sure of this feature.
While you can sometimes use a quality stroller from birth up to toddlerhood, it's more likely you will go through several strollers as your child grows.
How many babies do you have? If you have twins, triplets, or more, you may want to consider strollers designed for a crowd. Also, if you have an older and younger child, you may wish a stroller that can handle this arrangement.
Where are you going? The type of stroller right for you depends a lot on where you will be using it. Will you be primarily using it to cruise around the mall? Or do you need a stroller that can handle your 5K workouts? You will need to consider your patterns of use so you don't buy a stroller that doesn't fit your lifestyle.
Do your research. Baby goods are a dynamic industry, and are always coming up with new and innovative strollers.

Search for Internet stores which offer unbiased reviews of items., for instance, has the opinions of other users. Even if you don't buy from the vendor, the critiques can save a lot of time and effort.
Check for recalls before purchase. Although major retailers are usually up-to-date on safety issues, this may not be true of 2nd hand strollers.
Ask current baby parents, even total strangers. See how it feels for you, and get their opinions. And yes--ask total strangers on the street, in restaurants, and in the mall...very often they're glad to give an honest report.
What features do you need? Decide what features are critical for you, such as: foldability, modular systems, carseat compatibility, how much space it takes, weight, canopies, adjustable handles, adequate storage space, washable seats, recliner and padded seats, multi-terrain wheels, safety systems, and so on.
What features do you want? What features are not so critical, but important to you? For instance, maybe you really want a nice color and pattern, but can live with a slightly less aesthetically pleasing one. If you know what you want, but don't necessarily need, it can help you narrow down your choices from a seemingly endless variety.
Know the terminology. There are a few basic type of stroller:

Umbrella stroller: This is the most basic stroller, the kind your parents likely had for you. It is usually inexpensive, lightweight, easy to manage, takes little space, but typically has no other features.
Carseat stroller: This stroller uses the carseat as the base of the stroller. It allows a (sleeping) baby to go in and out of the car without being removed from the carseat. However, it cannot be used except for the first few months.

Standard stroller: Usually, this is a midweight stroller. It usually has a good balance of features, and an excellent all-purpose choice.
Jogging stroller: Originally designed for running parents, this stroller is the best choice for a lot of outdoor use, such as bike paths, trails, and running. However, typically jogging strollers are too bulky for use in stores.
Get more than one type anyway. Maybe it's OK to have more than one stroller. An umbrella stroller might be ideal for travel, as well as having the larger stroller for everyday use.

Salespeople in high-quality baby stores can be very helpful.
Be sure you read the manual and assemble parts correctly.

Check for any recalls, especially for second hand strollers or ones gotten from a retail liquidator.

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