Whether you are going for a short evening walk, a visit to the park or you are going to fetch some groceries from a local store, a stroller is a must-have if you have a baby. The best baby stroller will make your life easier, whenever you step outdoors with your little one.
However, choosing the right stroller requires a significant investment of your time. You will have to check out the different available options, to determine the right one for your needs.
Fortunately, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. We have put together a comprehensive baby strollers buying guide, to make it easier for you, save you time and help you choose the best stroller for your precious little one.
Types of Strollers
Different strollers are designed for different situations. So, the stroller that you choose will mainly depend on the number of children that you have, your lifestyle, the age of the baby, your budget as well as the features that deem important. With that said, here are the most popular baby strollers on the market.
Also known as full-sized or all-purpose strollers, these strollers are ideal for almost all types of situations. From a family trip to a local park to walking around the neighborhood, these strollers can handle almost all types of conditions and terrains. They are sturdy and solidly built while delivering a smooth, comfortable ride.
All-purpose strollers also come with plenty of convenient and useful features like cup holders, seat recline, sunshade as well as a storage basket, among others. On the other hand, these strollers tend to be quite heavy and bulky. Standard strollers are designed to grow with your little one through their toddler years.
So, if you are looking for the best baby strollers for boys, or the best baby strollers for girls, or the best baby strollers for Disney theme parks, then you can never go wrong with a standard, full-sized stroller.
Lightweight or Umbrella strollers:
As their name suggests, umbrella strollers are normally designed for traveling. They usually weigh approximately 15 pounds on the higher side.
Also, they feature a slim, compact profile, making them easy to navigate through crowded sidewalks or tight doorways. These strollers are easy to push, carry and fold. Lightweight strollers are the best baby strollers for travel.
But as you may expect, they usually lack most of the features that you would find on a standard baby stroller. Also, their padding is a bit on the lower side.
Another drawback is that their wheels tend to be smaller and less efficient, which means they cannot handle rough terrains. When you are buying an umbrella stroller, make sure it comes with a five-point harness as well as securely-locking brakes.
If you have children born close together or twins, you don’t have to buy two separate baby strollers. A double stroller should be enough to handle your babies’ transportation needs. It’s the best baby stroller for twins.
There are two main types of double strollers: side-by-side double strollers and tandem double strollers. Side-by-side strollers will be harder to push through crowded areas and narrow doorways while the tandem double stroller lacks ample legroom for the back sitter.
Also, there is another model known as a convertible double stroller, which starts with one seat but has a provision of adding a second seat whenever the need arises. When buying a double stroller, make sure you inspect the seating arrangement carefully for comfort.
If you are a parent who maintains an active lifestyle, then a jogging stroller will allow you to take your little one for a ride.
These baby strollers for running are equipped with numerous premium features such as ergonomic handlebars, 3 large wheels, a decent suspension system, extra-large canopies as well as hand brakes.
So, apart from using them to work out, they are also ideal for traversing uneven and challenging outdoor terrains. They are among the best baby strollers for hiking.
However, jogging strollers are also heavy and bulky. Also, it’s not advisable to run with your little one until they are at least 8 months old. So, if you are baby is less than 8 months old or you are not an avid jogger or walker, then you don’t need to buy a jogging stroller.
If you intend to buy a jogging stroller, make sure it has a five-point harness, has comfortable ergonomic handles, and comes with larger wheels.
Travel systems feature a car seat and a compatible baby stroller. You can either buy a stroller and car seat combination or look for one that has an adapter.
The main advantage of choosing a baby stroller with car seat is that it’s highly economical since you will be purchasing them together. Also, you don’t have to disrupt your baby’s sleep when moving them from the car to the stroller.
As you may expect, travel systems tend to be bulkier and heavier, compared to lightweight strollers. So, if you own a smaller car, the stroller may not fit in the trunk.
If you decide to buy a car seat-stroller combo, make sure it meets all the required safety and quality guidelines.
Factors to Consider
Whether you are buying a baby stroller for travel, hiking, or just strolling around with your little one, you will need to consider various factors. For instance, the best baby stroller for newborns may not be ideal for big kids and vice versa. So, what should you consider when buying a baby stroller? Well, here are some tips to guide you.
Without a doubt, safety is the most important factor to consider when it comes to choosing a stroller. Before paying for the best baby stroller, make sure it meets basic stroller safety requirements such as a 5-point safety harness as well as reliable brakes.
Also, you should examine its frame to ensure there are no potential pinching hazards, sharp edges or spaces where your little one’s hands, feet and toes and fingers can get stuck in.
Your lifestyle should also determine the stroller that you buy. For instance, if you are a suburban family, there is a high chance that you will mainly be using the stroller for occasional trips to the park or short walks around the neighborhood. In this case, a normal, full-sized stroller should be ideal for your lifestyle.
On the other hand, if you are a city family, there is a likelihood that you will be using the stroller almost every day. And if you will be using it every day, or you will be hauling it up a flight of stairs frequently, then you should go for a lightweight stroller.
You will also need to consider the amount of storage space that you have in your home as well as your home setup. Lightweight or umbrella strollers require lesser storage space, compared to standard, full-size strollers.
As noted earlier, different strollers are designed for different family settings. For instance, if you only have one toddler, then a single stroller should be adequate for your needs.
But if you have twins or you have closely-born children, then you should go for a conventional double stroller.
On the other hand, if you are planning to have another child soon, then you should consider buying a convertible double stroller. With a convertible stroller, you can use it as a single stroller for the time being, and then convert it to a double when the second child arrives.
The best baby strollers are available at different price points. For instance, you can find one for as low as $25 while others cost as much as $1000 and above.
So, before you hit the market, make sure you have set a price range that you want to operate in. With this approach, you will narrow down your options, while at the same time staying within your budget. In short, you can spend as little or as much as you want. It all depends on the amount of money that you are willing to part with.
Some strollers are only safe for use when the child reaches a certain age. And this means that you cannot take your baby out for family outings or walks, with such a stroller.
To avoid such a situation, you should instead choose one that comes with reclining or padded seats, or one that you can attach a bassinet or car seat for immediate use. In short, it should be newborn ready.
Key Features to Look Out For
When you are shopping for a stroller, you will notice that different strollers come with different features. However, there are some key features that you should look out for when buying a baby stroller. They include:
When you are going for a walk with your little one, you will need to carry wipes, diapers, snacks, toys, and various other baby accessories and supplies. So, when you are buying the best baby stroller, you should ensure it comes with a spacious storage basket.
Big and extendable canopy:
The stroller that you choose should also come with a canopy, to protect your little one from sun, rain, wind and other elements. The canopy should also have a viewing window or peek-a-boo, so that you can check on your little one as you stroll.
As the name suggests, adjustable handlebars are designed to make the stroller comfortable for anyone to push them, regardless of their height. Slouching or bending just because the handlebars are too short may cause back pain, among other issues. A stroller with adjustable handlebars is a great option for spouses with significant height differences as well as parents who leave their children with caregivers.
Easy to use:
Strollers are designed to make your work easier when it comes to moving around with your little one. So, when are looking for the best baby strollers, you should choose one that’s easy to fold and unfold, maneuverable with one hand, and easy to lift up a flight of stairs or haul into a car. Also, the fabric should be easy to wash.
A stroller is one of the most important investments that you can make for your baby. Therefore, you need to take your time, research, explore the different options and then choose the right one. It’s important to note that there is nothing like the perfect stroller. Each stroller comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Therefore, you just need to choose one that aligns best with your child, your lifestyle as well as your budget. Happy strolling!