Tips For Choosing Baby Stroller & Accessories
Learn what to look for and what to avoid when buying stroller
The first time I was going to buy a baby stroller, I was completely bewildered. It felt like I needed to attend a Strollers 101 just to understand all the types available and why one type would be better than the others.
We have now had 8 different strollers... and I know pretty much what works and what doesn't.
Below you'll find some tips to help you out in the stroller-buy-jungle when choosing both stroller type and accessories.
Tips For Buying A Baby Stroller
Go for qualityDo you know the saying: Buy quality, cry once...?
That is very true for baby strollers! This doesn't mean that you have to buy the most expensive baby stroller in the market. Some of the very expensive design strollers actually continue to be criticized from a safety perspective.
But it does mean thinking twice before buying a stroller from a completely unknown brand just because it seems to be a great deal.
You are likely to use the baby stroller quite a lot and maybe even for more than one child. Fabrics that easily tear, brakes that don't really work and a folding mechanism that drives you crazy will - drive you crazy!
If you are on a tight budget, consider buying a used quality stroller, or be very careful when examining the new, low-price stroller that you want to buy.
This is where the trouble begins... At least that's what I thought as a mom-to-be. There are so many different kinds of baby strollers; how can anyone choose the right one?
Well, after 8 strollers, I can tell you there is a little bit of trial and error involved here to figure out which type suites you and your family best. But then I must admit I didn't really ask anyone for advice before buying a stroller the first time.
Here are the basic different kinds.
So, conclusion: A standard stroller/carriage that is appropriate for a newborn baby and that converts to a regular stroller or a really high quality lightweight stroller is probably what you need as your main stroller.
So that made the choice slightly easier - now what?
There are several other things to consider as well; read on!
Do your homeworkOnce you have decided what type of baby stroller to buy, it is time to narrow your choice a bit more by looking at all different features available at different brands and strollers.
Safety is the first thing to consider. How sturdy is the stroller? Does it remain stable with a weight like diaper bag, hanging with its handle?
How's the harness system? Is it five-point or three-point? You'll need a five point harness if your baby is active and keeps leaning all the time toward the things you pass by, whereas, if the baby is quiet the more quite type, a three-point harness would do. A five-point harness is good for these infants as well of course.
Do the brakes work and are they easy to use? Just imagine having to stop you toddler from running downhill into a street, while desperately trying to stop the stroller from rolling away using the useless brakes. That's a nightmare!
Another part of doing your homework is to look for reviews online or in parenting magazines. Check for recalled models and brands that often seem to have problems. Then choose another brand. There are so many strollers available, that you really don't have to buy from a brand that doesn't seem to care enough for security or comfort.
Stroller Envy is one website that provides a lot of reviews and information on the best baby strollers, check it out here. Otherwise, Amazon is an obvious choice for finding relevant baby stroller reviews.
Wheels and handles
The next thing to consider is the handle and wheels of the stroller.
Strollers are available with adjustable handle, which makes them equally good for tall and short people. If the parents are tall and the baby sitter happens to be short in height, it may be a very helpful feature.
Always try to take a walk with your stroller before buying it, try to move it through a crowd so as to check its handling, walk with quick long paces so as to check that your feet don’t collide with the back wheels.
These days many strollers have swivel-wheels. The first time I tried such a stroller I didn't like it at all. It felt as if the stroller wouldn't go straight forward, but constantly made small turns. Irritating. But this was in the early years if swivel-wheels.
Today, most swivel-wheeled strollers are great. Very convenient to not have to lift the stroller every time you make the slightest turn. Do try to walk with the stroller you intend to buy to make sure the wheels work well for you. Some strollers also have wheels that can be locked if necessary. This can be very practical for example when walking in a lot of snow.
If you need a twin stroller, definitely buy one with swivel-wheels.
The size of the wheels is also important to consider. Larger wheels are much better in rough terrain or in snow. So if you don't plan to walk only on paved roads and in malls, consider buying a stroller with at least medium-sized wheels.
AccessoriesThe next thing that comes is the other convenience features like a canopy, a rain hood, toy bars, drink holders and diaper bags etc, but these should not be the cause of buying or rejecting any baby stroller, they're just additive features. They're all independently available in the market.
Buying a used strollerA stroller, as opposed to an infant car seat, can definitely be bought second hand.
It might not be as fancy as a new one and you really need to ask about the brakes, and the folding mechanism as well as the overall condition of the stroller. Also make sure you check safety reviews for the particular model. But it is of course a lot cheaper than buying a new baby stroller! (But not as much fun... ;-) )
Shopping onlineA baby stroller is actually a great piece of baby gear to shop online. Why? Because you can save so much money!
Go ahead and visit your regular store for baby gear to try strollers from different brands, but then don't buy anything until you've compared with prices on line.
I've bought strollers online at almost a 50% discount online and with faster delivery that at my nearest baby shop!
Want to check out some current deals? Browse the offers from the vendors below!
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