Are you looking for a stroller that’s best for you and your baby, your budget and that will actually fit in your packed trunk? There are so many things to consider first that it may seem a bit overwhelming. What is the main use for your stroller? Does your ideal stroller need to accommodate a car seat? What other features do you require? What is your budget? We dive into how to choose the best stroller to fit your needs, wants and of course your pocket book.
The Main Use for Your Stroller – Type of Stroller
There are almost endless possibilities in the stroller market, with more emerging every day. How to choose the best stroller depends on your individual needs. Here we’ve broken down the main categories:
The Travel System
This is typically the first stroller new parents go for and for good reason. It’s convenient, especially when your baby is first born until he or she is sitting in a regular car seat. These strollers come with just about every basic feature you could want - trays, cup holders and storage areas - but with one down side, it’s size. These strollers tend to take up approximately 25-50% more space in your trunk than an umbrella stroller.
The Car Seat Frame
This is a light weight option to the travel system mentioned above, and one I highly recommend, having been there and done the travel system. This is perfect for the 6 to 12 month old baby time frame. It’s inexpensive and most important to a mom on the go, it’s light weight. The frame only weighs about 12-15 pounds depending on the model, and folds almost completely flat. This model does have ample storage underneath the seat and is easily accessible, a definite plus.
The Umbrella Stroller
The Umbrella Stroller is typically a seasoned mom's second stroller. For the money and convenience this stroller is the way to go. It’s lightweight, typically anywhere from 8 to 14 pounds and they fold just about flat. The umbrella stroller can be stored just about anywhere and don’t take up much in the way of space. However, they're also very light on options. There are no trays for the kiddos or under the seat storage, and usually the fabric seat cover doesn’t come off. But at around $20 you really can’t go wrong.
The Jogger, or Terrain Stroller, is hands down my favorite and I speak from a lot of experience. Most joggers are full of features like big wheels for all kinds of terrain, sand, rocks, mountains, and uneven surfaces. The seats are roomy the canopies are large and they rotate enough to give full sun coverage for baby. They have a locking front wheel, which is critical when you are in fact jogging with this aptly named jogger, to prevent bouncing. They all come with ample storage baskets which is a definite plus. The suspension is fantastic, however there is a down side. These are very heavy compared to other strollers, typically around the 22 pound to 26-pound range and because of the big tires they are not easily maneuverable.
A couple of age-related quick tips when choosing the best stroller for your baby:
Birth to 6 months: At this point in baby’s life he or she can’t sit up and completely lacks any control over the neck muscles. During this time, a car seat adapter is recommended, either a travel system or a car seat frame. Just remember the car seat is the safest place for your baby even when you're traveling through a shop or walking throughout the neighborhood. At this point, the Jogger would not be recommended.
6 months to 3+ years: At around 6 months your baby will gain sufficient neck control to comfortably hold his or her head up and will want to sit up and watch the world around them. This is when a jogger or an umbrella stroller can be introduced. But keep in mind they will require a lot more stuff so storage on your stroller will be of epic importance.
So now that you know how to pick a stroller, when wearing your baby is no longer an option. Let’s face it, you have gracefully worn your bouncing baby for nine beautiful stress-free months, it’s time for a stroller. Here we have taken the guess work out of the daunting task of stroller stalking, and made it easy for you. It’s important to know what you want and need, but also marry it to what fits with your lifestyle.
Images From Amazon.com
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