Babies-Toddler Vivian | 19 Feb 2010 02:54 pm

How To Choose A Stroller

Finding the right stroller for you and your baby can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience, not to mention expensive. Often, knowing what to look for in a stroller is not easy, especially if you are a first time parent. Even the most experienced parent has problems choosing from the vast array of must-have?options put on display in the manufacturers literature. This article will attempt to cut through the manufacturers hype and outline the common basic requirements that are a must in any stroller that you buy. These options range from the right stroller type, comfort for the driver and child, safety and easy to store.

There are five basic types of stroller, each one designed to meet a specific need.

  • lightweight or umbrella stroller, e.g. Maclaren Volo Stroller – choose these if you are intend using the stroller primarily for short journeys, such as a trip to the shopping mall.
  • standard stroller – these are well suited for family outings, traveling and most everyday activities.
  • double, triple or quadruple strollers – designed to carry more than one child.
  • jogging or all-terrain strollers, e.g. Zooper Boogie – these are some of the most versatile strollers and are well suited for the more active parents who like to keep fit or simply like get out and about in some of the more challenging environments, such as the park.
  • travel system or car seat strollers, e.g. Bugaboo Cameleon Pushchair – these strollers off convenience to busy parents who wish to quickly change stroller seat into a car seat with the least amount of hassle.

Choosing the most comfortable stroller is probably the most important factor to consider when buying a stroller. If your child ends up slumped in the seat or cries because they are restricted in movement or they are cold or wet, or the sun is in their eyes, then you are both in for some stressful journeys! Look for strollers with lots of padding and plush fabric. A reclining seat is very important for younger babies. Accessories to look for include foot covers, rain shields, anti-glare shields, canopies or nets to protect against the sun, head supports and a good suspension system.

Safety features are important. Strollers must be stable, even when loaded down with shopping. This is especially true when shopping is placed over the handle bars. The child seat and harness arrangement must also be considered. A five point harness for younger babies is best, whereas for older more active children a 3 point harness, allowing the shoulders to be free, will be much more comfortable and practical. Parking brakes and maneuverability on uneven ground should also be tested.

It is important to give some consideration to where you are going to store your stroller when not in use or even when you are traveling. Weight, portability and folding options are the most important factors in this category. Are you going to carry the stroller up lots of stairs? Will the stroller fit into your trunk. Does it need to fold flat? Is it easily assembled? Remember that all those added accessories can also add to the weight.

There is no getting around the fact that choosing a stroller requires a certain amount of research on your part. Comfort, safety and reliability will always factor in such decisions and your choice of stroller type will often be dictated for you by your individual circumstances. In the end, price is also a major consideration when buying a stroller and may well be an overriding factor in your final decision. However, researching into other aspects such as the above may help to reduce your confusion when faced with the final choice and will also come in handy when you have to purchase your next stroller or upgrade from your current one.

B. Summoy writes consumer product reviews and provides advice and tips for smart shopping. She regularly writes interesting articles on baby products, including baby strollers. Visit the Zooper Boogie Review site for more information on strollers.

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