Choosing a stroller may be the most complicated of all baby gear choices. There is no perfect stroller for every need. In order to figure out what stroller works best for your lifestyle, you have to ask yourself several questions. There are a lot of questions, so bear with me. This stroller buying guide won’t tell you exactly what stroller to get, but it really will help get you thinking about what stroller (or strollers) work best for you.
1. What will be the primary use for your stroller?
- It will basically be your car ∙∙∙ If you live in an urban area where your stroller is like your car, you’ll have it with you when running errands, fitting in between tables at restaurants and buying groceries. This means you will want a narrow stroller, with a large storage basket, maneuverability, and options for weather-related accessories.
- Strolls around the neighborhood ∙∙∙ The width of the stroller and the storage basket aren’t as important. You will want a stroller that is comfortable for your child and meets other needs (keep reading).
- Exercise ∙∙∙ If you are a runner and don’t see you using a stroller for much other than jogging (or don’t have space for multiple full-sized strollers), you may consider a jogging stroller as your everyday stroller. But note that jogging strollers tend to be a bit heavier and don’t collapse as easily. It is not recommended to jog with your baby before they reach 6-months-old. If this is going to be your only stroller, and the one you choose doesn’t allow the baby to lay flat, you’ll need a car seat adaptor so you can use it (for walking only) in the first six months.
- Trips to the mall, children’s museum and zoo ∙∙∙ You will want a stroller that collapses easily and is lightweight since you will be lifting it in and out of the car a lot.
2. How often will you be collapsing or carrying your stroller? To put in your car, walk up stairs or store somewhere in your house?
- Daily ∙∙∙ If you live in a walk-up apartment, take public transportation, or plan to put the stroller in your car a lot, the weight of the stroller will matter!
- Rarely ∙∙∙ If you live in a house with a spacious garage, collapsibility, and weight of the stroller may not matter at all to you.
- City Premier, Mixx, Jogging Strollers, Convertible Strollers like Vista and City Select
3. What type of terrain will you usually be walking on?
- Primarily indoor use (malls, museums, airports) ∙∙∙ Strollers with plastic wheels are more affordable and will work fine for indoor use, and even some light outdoor use.
- Nicely kept sidewalks and paved ∙∙∙ Personally, I prefer to avoid plastic wheels, even though that my be doable here. Unless you are on a super tight budget, I’d opt for air or foam tires.
- Crappy sidewalks and cobblestone ∙∙∙ Jogging strollers have great suspension and will handle the bumps much better than traditional strollers. Also, the City Mini GT is great on this type of terrain.
- Hiking ∙∙∙ You’ll want to pay attention to the wheels and the suspension.
4. How much space do you have to store your stroller?
- Not much ∙∙∙ If you will be storing this in your apartment or your car, you’ll want one that collapses easily and doesn’t take up much space. A standing fold is a really nice perk!
- A lot ∙∙∙ If this will be stored in your spacious garage, you may not care as much about collapsibility.
5. How big of a storage basket do you need?
- If you’ll be running errands with your stroller, you’ll want a larger basket.
6. Do you want the option for your baby to face forward and parent-face?
- If you want those options, you’ll need to take a look at modular strollers.
7. Are you hoping/planning for a second baby close in age?
- If so, this does not mean you should definitely get a stroller that converts to a double, it just means you should consider it. Strollers like the Baby Jogger City Select, Britax B-Agile, and UPPAbaby Vista, can be used as a single or a double stroller. The downside to these is they don’t navigate sharp turns or bumps as well. They are also pretty expensive.
8. How many strollers do you want? Do you want just one stroller, or do you want strollers better suited for different situations?
- If money and space were not issues, I’d have: a single stroller, double stroller, jogging stroller, umbrella stroller and an infant car seat stroller frame. However, most people don’t have the money or space for six different strollers! And if you aren’t one to walk a lot of places, you may be satisfied with just one multi-purpose stroller.
9. How much money do you want to spend?
Read about the recommended age range for a stroller before you use it with a newborn. In order for a baby under 6 months old to safely ride in a stroller, you must either be able to lay your baby flat or use the infant car seat with the stroller.
RECOMMENDED STROLLERS TO LOOK AT
Under $200 ∙∙∙ Chicco Viaro,
To see pictures of, and read about my favorite strollers, click here: Baby Stuff ∙ Strollers