I’ve owned my share of strollers…22 to be exact. I have owned Graco, Baby Jogger, Inglesina, Zooper, Baby Planet, Mutsy, Maclaren, Phil & Ted’s, and now the Micralite. Some have stayed in my stable for weeks and even months, and others have gone out the same day the UPS man brought them to my doorstep. No, this does not mean that I am crazy, but instead a dedicated Mom trying to find the right stroller that works; just like you! The revolving stroller door in my house has given me the inside track on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to strollers.
The list of strollers to choose from is endless for new parents. There are lightweight, full-size, all-terrain, joggers, twins/doubles, sit and stands, side by sides, triples, mid-size, tandems, and of course my least favorite travel systems. While the travel system can serve its purpose I feel most new parents buy a travel system simply because they are not given the opportunity to see what is available. And yes, the Graco Metrolite travel system was the first stroller I ever purchased for my son. Looking back?if someone would have pointed out to me that there was a whole world of strollers out there waiting for me to discover instead of the 5 or so brands at my local big box baby retailer; I would and could have purchased something different.
While a travel system may seem like the wonderful happy answer to your prayers it really is just a simple solution for many parents, and you most likely think this is what you should buy. The deal with a travel system is that you get a stroller and an infant car seat with a base for one low price, and that is really where the deal ends. Many new parents get hung up on the big baskets, snack trays, and parent cup holders that come with them when there should be more to your decision making process than that.
One place I think new parents fail to ask themselves when choosing a stroller is how will they actually be using their stroller. Here is a list of some questions you should ask yourself when choosing a stroller:
- What are you going to use the stroller for? Jogging/Running, Walking, Mall Cruising, Outdoor festivals, etc.
- What type of city do you live in? Urban, Suburbs, Country, etc.
- What terrains you will be pushing your child over? Grass, Sidewalks, Cobblestones, etc.
- Are you interested in a bassinet/carrycot option?
- What style stroller are you looking for? Lightweight, All-Terrain, Full-Size, 3-wheeler, Jogger, Twin/Double, Side by Side, Tandem, One that can accommodate a second rider, Snap n? Go, etc.
- Do you prefer one handed steering?
- What kind of recline?
- What type of wheels? Pneumatic, EVA, Plastic, etc.
- Color? Solids, Patterns, Sporty, Funky, Stylish, Designer
More stroller shopping tips:
- If you are going to jog or run while pushing your stroller it is not recommended that you jog/run with an infant under 6 months of age, and some argue children under 12 months because of the increased risk of Shaken Baby Syndrome. While many swivel wheeled air tire strollers can handle light jogging when the front wheel is locked; I recommend a fixed wheel with at least a 16? size wheel.
- Why use a bassinet or carrycot? The infant car seat was never meant to be used for long periods of time. There is research that shows your baby can develop breathing problems from the angle at which they sit in their infant car seat. It is perfectly safe for them to ride in the seat in the car, but definitely was not intended to be used in place of a crib or for somewhere to stroll around for hours while you shop. A bassinet or carrycot is one of the best options; however, a completely reclined stroller seat with an insert will work well too.
- Keep in mind things like footmuffs, parent consoles, snack trays, cupholders, stroller hooks, and liners can all be purchased separately from many different retailers.
- I am all for helping the environment and recycling, but?If you are buying a pre-owned stroller carefully inspect every inch of the stroller for defects, and check for things like 5 point harnesses, and if there have been any recalls before you purchase.
- If you are on a budget, yet want a fantastic ride for your little one; all kinds of deals can be found by searching Craigslist, Ebay, Consignment Shops, and different stroller groups found on many online resources. And if the sky is the limit don?t forget you can always import a great European Pram too if you can?t find something you like here. So?go online, do your research, be informed, and when all else fails call a Baby Planner!
Below you will find a list of some GREAT Stroller Manufacturers:
Adventure Buggy Company
GT Baby – I?coo & Rock Star Baby
Phil & Ted?s
Silver Cross America