A stroller is essential to add to your high-end wishlist when having a baby. While some parents are able to get by with a baby carrier, strollers can take away the strain of carrying your child everywhere. They can also provide your little one space to sleep while out and about, as well as provide storage space for various other parenting essentials or shopping.
There’s a lot more to strollers than many expectant parents realize. In fact, there are so many different strollers to choose from that it can be a little overwhelming. When selecting a stroller, you should consider your needs and lifestyle. The following guide asks a few important questions that can help you decide which stroller to buy.
New Or Used?
A brand new stroller is certain to be clean and in good condition. However, a decent brand new stroller can be expensive – choosing a used stroller could save you a lot of money.
When treating yourself to a new stroller, make sure to hunt for discounts. There are sales throughout the year and they’re certain to save you some money. Some new strollers will come with free extra accessories such as changing bags, cup holders, or umbrellas.
Used strollers typically sell for 60 percent or less of the price of a new stroller. Online selling sites are great places to find locally used strollers for sale. Before buying a used stroller, always inspect it in person. Check that there are no stains or rips and give it a push around to check that the wheels are working, that it’s not leaning or wobbling, and that it’s not making any strange noises.
Single Or Double?
If you’re expecting twins or already have an infant and are expecting another, you may want to consider a double stroller. This is typically more practical than having two strollers, as it allows one parent to push both kids at once. Of course, if your current child is a toddler and you’re expecting another one, you should consider whether they’ll still need a stroller by the time your new little one comes along – you don’t want to be pushing around an empty seat or encouraging a child to use a stroller when they’re old enough to walk.
There are two types of double strollers – side-by-side strollers and tandem strollers. Side-by-side strollers allow both kids to sit together and you usually have the ability to lean back seats, however they can be harder to negotiate through narrow doorways or along narrow sidewalks. Check out this side-by-side stroller buying guide for more information. Tandem strollers have one seat above the other and are generally more compact and manoeuvrable, however you may not be able to lean back seats for infants to sleep. These strollers come in different configurations, which are worth looking into.
Pram Or Pushchair?
The words ‘stroller’, ‘pram’ and ‘pushchair’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but technically mean different things. Prams and pushchairs are different types of stroller. In a pram, a child is lying down in a bassinet, whereas in a pushchair the child is seated (although these chairs can still recline back if they fall asleep).
Prams are more suited to newborns and young babies. Once infants are able to sit upright, they’ll likely prefer a pushchair. For the first six months, it’s typically worth sticking with a pram and then moving to a pushchair.
Convertible Or Standard?
Standard strollers have the sole function of being a stroller and either come in pram or pushchair form. Convertible strollers meanwhile come with different attachments. This could include a pushchair attachment, a pram attachment that doubles up as a bassinet, and a car seat attachment. All the different attachments are typically included when you buy the stroller, which means you get a pram, pushchair, bassinet, and car seat all in one.
Convertible strollers are typically more expensive to buy than standard strollers with some of the top brands selling for over $1000. While they do cost more, you get a lot for your money and you may not have to buy a separate car seat or a separate pram and pushchair. Being able to attach your car seat directly to your stroller is very convenient when your child has fallen asleep in the car – you don’t have to wake them up and take them out of the car seat to put them in a separate stroller. Similarly, if your little one has fallen asleep in the pram attachment, you can take it off and use it as a bassinet, saving you from having to take them out of the stroller and lay them in a separate crib.
Do You Need A Jogging Stroller?
Planning to do some jogging once your little one arrives? A jogging stroller typically has three large wheels and a more hefty suspension system providing more support when traveling fast or over uneven terrain. When using one of these strollers, you can go jogging without having to leave your little one at home, giving you more flexibility when you want to go for a run. These strollers are also great for more rural terrain, making them a good option when hiking or taking a countryside walk (they could be less strenuous than using a baby carrier).
If you’re unlikely to go out jogging with your baby or go out hiking then you probably don’t need a jogging stroller, but otherwise, they could be worthwhile for giving you the freedom to be more active. Compare different jogging stroller models to find one that is right for you. Some models may sacrifice other properties like collapsibility or storage space, which is something worth weighing up.
How Small Does It Need To Collapse?
While some strollers don’t collapse, most modern options can be folded away, making them easier to fit in a trunk. If your car has a very small trunk, you may want to look for a stroller that folds away very compactly. Travel strollers are made for this purpose and some fold away so small that you can put them in a suitcase or even a rucksack.
Of course, if you’ve got a large car, don’t have a car, or rarely travel, you may not need such a stroller. Prams are generally not as fully collapsible, so keep this in mind. Similarly, side-by-side strollers and jogging strollers may still be quite bulky when you collapse them. Decide whether compact or collapsible is more important for your lifestyle.
Is Storage Space Important?
Most strollers will have a storage compartment beneath, which can be handy for carrying baby essentials or shopping. More compact pushchairs may have very limited storage space – usually not enough for putting more than one shopping bag. Larger strollers will likely offer more storage space.
If you haven’t got a car or don’t always have access to your car, having more storage space for shopping and baby essentials could be a necessity when going out and about. Storage space may not be so important, if you take your car everywhere or do all your shopping online.
Clearly, there are a lot of stroller options. It’s worth taking the time to choose the right one for you. Start by assessing your budget and then consider your main needs such as how many seats you need and how much storage space is necessary. Things like color and style are likely to be big factors in your decision-making too, but your practical needs should always come first.