Guest Post by Amy Tanathorn from Stoller Envy.
First time mommies out there – are you completely overwhelmed at all the stroller choices out there? Don’t know where to begin?
Baby strollers come in so many sizes, shapes, and styles. There’s no one stroller that’s perfect for every parent. Every mom has different needs. Choosing the wrong stroller can be inconvenient and troublesome. That’s why you need to do your research before buying a stroller. You must find the stroller that fits your price range and your lifestyle.
When choosing a baby stroller, ask yourself the following questions and you will narrow down your perfect stroller quickly and easily:
How Often Will You Use the Stroller?
Are you a city dweller without a car? NYC moms call their strollers their second car, so for them, they need to get something durable with good suspension. If you’ll be using your stroller on a regular basis, you might look at stroller brands, such as Baby Jogger, Peg Perego, Phil&Teds or Britax. These brands offer high quality, durable strollers to fit your everyday needs.
On the other hand, you may not need a stroller to use as a second car. For example, some parents will buy an umbrella stroller for a trip abroad or for that family vacation to Disneyland. Pay attention to quality though; you don’t want your cheap little stroller breaking down on you in the middle of the trip you planned for months! Maclaren is an umbrella stroller brand that won’t let you down.
Who Will Be Using the Stroller Most of the Time?
If you’re a petite mom, how will you handle a big travel system with nobody to help you up the stairs? This type of stroller might look very cool in the photos, but it’s too big once you get it home. Pay attention to measurements and weight of any stroller that you’re researching. If you have a more slender frame, or if you don’t want to lift a heavy stroller, choose one that is more portable and lightweight.
Do you have a nanny? She might have a say on the kind of stroller she likes because of her experience with childcare and her daily routine. Get her opinion before buying a stroller.
How about Grandma? Is your stroller light enough for her to lift? Where does she like to take the grandkids? Some of the lightest weight umbrella strollers have features – like a reclining seat, storage (albeit smaller) and a nice sun canopy. Maclaren and UPPAbaby are the first brands that come to mind. Comfy baby, happy Grandma.
What about Dad, is he super tall? Many strollers come with adjustable handles so that tall parents can push with comfort and avoid that dreaded “stroller hunch” from stooping over the handles and kicking the back while walking.
What Kind of Activities Will You Do with Your Stroller?
Are you fitness-minded and like to work out? You might need a fitness all-terrain or jogging stroller, plus a lightweight stroller to take with you on errands. I used my Jeep Liberty all-terrain stroller every day, taking my son to parks or little trips to the grocery store as I got my exercise through lots of walking. BOB Revolution and Baby Jogger City Elite are other awesome activity strollers.
A friend of mine named Stella is a very small mom who doesn’t have a lot of upper body strength. She has a beautiful First Years Wave convertible stroller, but it is so big and heavy that she cannot take it out of the trunk of her car unless her husband is home, which isn’t during the day when she’d like to take her son out to the park. So while you get your dream stroller, make sure you can use it by yourself!
What are Your Storage Options?
Do you live in an apartment or a suburban home with a garage? How big is the storage space in your vehicle? If you’ve got the space, then the world is your oyster and anything goes for your stroller choice. Double strollers are naturally going to be bulkier as are joggers and all-terrain strollers.
But if space is at a premium, you’ve got to consider the compact fold. A standing fold is also nice for closet storage and for keeping your stroller from getting dirty as you attend to your child before putting it into the car.
Quinny Zapp Xtra is a full-sized lightweight stroller with a 3-D compact fold that is a fraction of its original size.
What if You Still Can’t Decide?
Sometimes you’ve got to wait until baby arrives before making your stroller investment. Your life changes in ways you cannot imagine, so you may want to wait before buying a baby stroller.
If you do wait, then you should buy a car seat stroller frame, which is a light weight frame that holds an infant car seat. Some brands hold only their corresponding seats, like the Chicco KeyFit Caddy or Maclaren Easy Traveler. Look at other brands like the Baby Trend Snap N Go and the Graco SnugRider. These stroller frames are priced between $70-$100 and are a good substitute while you figure out the best stroller for your baby.
By thoughtfully going over your lifestyle and expectations with a new baby in the family, you should be able to narrow down the perfect stroller in this vast sea of choices. I hope these suggestions help. Add any of your own in the comments below.
Special Thanks to My Guest Blogger.
Amy Tanathorn researches the at Stroller Envy, where you can read in-depth reviews of your favorite stroller types and brands. Reviews include video demonstrations, product specs, photos and detailed descriptions. All the info you need in one place!