How to Choose the Best Stroller for Your Child – 4 Tips

How to Choose the Best Stroller

There may be some baby gears that you don’t actually need throughout your parenthood journey – not a baby stroller though.

One of the most indispensable baby items that every parent will require the assistance of be it a walk in the park or navigating the crowded streets with your little one, it is also, understandably, one of the most overwhelming to buy. The myriad of options available in the market, the unique features and functionalities each seems to boast… they all beg to one question: “How to choose the best stroller”?

You see, the right stroller will ultimately determine yours and your little one’s overall experience. A well-suited stroller will adapt to your needs and simplify your daily routine while enhancing your mobility, providing a practical and enjoyable means of transportation for both of you. That is, if you found the right stroller that aligns with your lifestyle.

Which is why we have come up with this Stroller 101 guide for you. From the major types of strollers to what to keep in mind when you shop while learning some of the features that parents love the most, we’ve covered all that is necessary to help you can make an informed choice. Be it you’re a first-time parent navigating the world of strollers or a seasoned caregiver seeking for an upgrade, we’re sure you’ll walk away with something useful at the end of this read.

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How to Choose the Best Stroller: Recommended Reading

In This Article:

What are the different types of strollers?

From jogging to travelling to the quick grocery runs and grandparents’ visits, there is a stroller type for almost every situation and occasion. Here’s a brief breakdown of each:

Full-Sized Stroller (also known as an all-purpose or everyday stroller)

What It Is: If you’re looking into investing in one stroller that will last you from baby to toddlerhood, look no further.

The go-to option for many families, full-sized strollers are typically bigger, sturdier and more durable with robust frames and extensive features that cater to various needs, making them suitable for long-term use and potentially for multiple children.

Full-sized stroller benefits:
Full-sized stroller downsides:

Sounds like the right stroller for you? Here’s a roundup of the best full-size baby strollers the market currently has to offer.

Lightweight Stroller

What It Is: Also called a travel stroller or an umbrella stroller (the latter differentiated by its vertical fold-up shape), these strollers are popular choices for families on the go with their portability and simplicity.

Be ready to lose a few features though in exchange for supreme ease-of-use and convenience.

Lightweight stroller benefits:
Lightweight stroller downsides:

See a roundup of our best lightweight stroller picks – there are some differences between travel strollers and umbrella strollers actually, so make sure you pick the right one.

Jogging Stroller

What It Is: Purpose-built for the rigors of running, jogging strollers boast a robust design with large air-filled wheels and features that prioritize stability and comfort to provide active parents with a means of staying fit while keeping their little ones in tow.

Easily distinguishable by their three-wheel design and overall large footprint.

Jogging stroller benefits:
Jogging stroller downsides:

Here’s a roundup of our favourite and best jogging strollers for active parents to choose from.

Double Stroller

What It Is: Blessed with twins or siblings close in age who are not ready to give up their stroller days? Double strollers become an indispensable ally. Designed for the unique needs of parents with two little ones, they come in the form of tandem where one child sits behind the other, and side-by-side configurations.

Most brands have seats that can be adjusted independently – parent and forward facing being the most-loved one.

Double stroller benefits:
Double stroller downsides:

These are some of the best double strollers in both tandem and side-by-side configurations.

Travel System (also known as a stroller car seat combo)

What It Is: A seamless design that integrates a stroller with an infant car seat to offer parents a smooth transition from car to stroller and back again.

Practical and potentially cost-saving, they are available in full-size, lightweight and jogging stroller travel systems so you can choose according to the type of stroller you like.

Travel system benefits:
Travel system downsides:

Sounds like the best option for you? Find out what are the best car seat and stroller combo here.

Stroller Wagon

What It Is: A relatively new player in the stroller bandwagon (pun intended), this type blends the convenience of a stroller with the playful versatility of a wagon to give families with multiple children a unique solution.

Redefining the concept of on-the-go convenience, the generous seating, expansive storage, and all-terrain capabilities explain their surge of popularity in recent years.

Stroller wagon benefits:
Stroller wagon downsides:

See our roundup of the best stroller wagons for options to consider.

What should I consider when buying a stroller?

With a basic understanding of the different types of baby strollers available, you can now ask yourself the following questions:

Where will you use the baby stroller?

Are you frequently walking on urban sidewalks or will you be using it mainly for travel purposes? Some strollers are made to handle terrain of all kinds with specific activities in mind i.e. jogging strollers, while others are more meant for city walking i.e. tight corners and crowded streets.

A mid-range model may be too big and bulky to use for daily purposes but a smaller umbrella stroller may not give you the storage space you need. So, determine the main use of your stroller first – it saves half the effort and narrows down your options considerably. 

How long do you plan to use it?

Is this solely just a secondary option for travel purposes or are you looking for one that lasts you from newborn through to the toddler days? You can go for the lighter and less expensive options if it’s the former, otherwise, paying more upfront for the latter can turn out to be a cost-saving investment in the long run.

Think also if you’re going to have just one child or multiple kids in near succession are in the books. Definitely shop for a long-term value if it’s the latter – a convertible model that you can add onto (think car seat, stroller board, additional toddler seat) will save you a lot of trouble and effort down the road. 

How are you planning to store your baby stroller?

Is it in the garage where you probably don’t need to fold it down often, or will it be in a closet or in between gaps of say, a cupboard and the wall? The latter will require you to research the folded size of a stroller, in which case you should probably find out if it stands on its own too while you’re at it.

Those living in an apartment or have a small car will need to pay attention to this aspect too, not forgetting the weight because hauling it up staircases or lifting it in and out of the car boot can be, um, not so pleasant if it is of considerable weight. 

Are you using one for a newborn?

Not all stroller types are equipped to accommodate a newborn so check the details. Those that offer a deep/flat recline or bassinet-compatible will be the best stroller for newborns, otherwise, travel systems that are infant car seat compatible will be a good alternative. Jogging strollers are out of the question (unless it can accommodate an infant car seat and even then, you should not run with it until baby is at least 6 months old or is able to sit up unsupported).

The above questions are backbones of how to choose the best stroller, narrowing down the type of strollers that is suitable for you.

Now, it’s time to consider the features that will guide you to making the right choice. 

What features should I look for in a baby stroller?

Safety
It goes without saying that a sturdy and durable frame is what you should first look out for. A secure 5-point harness system is the next bare minimum, and you should probably test out the harness straps as well to check if they are comfortable and accommodating. The presence of a reliable braking system is crucial in order to secure the stroller in place when needed, and a well-designed canopy and adequate ventilation is always a good idea to make sure baby has adequate ventilation is well-shielded from the elements.
Car seat compatibility

Compatibility with car seats is a crucial feature for seamless transitions between the car and the stroller. Compatibility with a travel system – a combination of a stroller and a compatible car seat – enhances that convenience even further, and is the way to go for if you have an on-the-go lifestyle (and are seeking a cohesive and user-friendly solution for it).

Look for a stroller that can accommodate the specific car seat model you have (or want), otherwise, a versatile adapter system that supports various car seat brands should do the trick. 

Reversible seat

A baby stroller with a reversible seat offers versatility and convenience for both parent and child, catering to changing needs and preferences as your little one grows.

Having your child facing you during the early days promotes interaction and essential bonding, while changing the seat orientation lets them satisfy their curious exploration of the outside world on the later days.

Look for a stroller with a smooth and secure mechanism for flipping the seat, ensuring ease of use and a comfortable experience for your little one. 

Recline seat

While we’re on the seat, you may want to check if it reclines or not – and how much.

A baby stroller that offers multiple recline positions lets you adjust the seat to a comfortable angle for your child’s age and preferences, while a fully reclinable one is particularly important for newborns. Flat recline at that, otherwise, a deep recline would be enough for older infants and toddlers.

And oh, you may want to get those with a one-handed recline mechanism as it will greatly enhance ease of use on your part. 

Adjustable handlebar

This can be a key consideration if you have parents/carers of considerable height difference.

A handlebar that can be adjusted allows you to customize the height to suit your individual preference, ensuring the pushing of the stroller remains ergonomic and strain-free.

When one has a comfortable grip on the handlebar, it enhances manoeuvrability which really, shows a difference when you do longer walks or outings. 

Storage

A practical consideration that can significantly enhance your on-the-go experience, look for a baby stroller that has an ample (and easily accessible) storage basket underneath the seat. Those that come with additional storage pockets or compartments for smaller items like keys or phone are always a good idea, though you’ll usually only find them in bigger strollers.

Consider also the weight capacity of the storage area to ensure it meets your needs – lightweight ones are usually smaller to ensure the stroller doesn’t tip over. 

Choosing the right stroller that suits your family

Last but not least, we have these tips for you before deciding on a baby stroller: cost, lifestyle and family size.

Cost

How much should you pay for a baby stroller? The price range can be pretty big – we’re talking about from the low hundreds to something that goes up to a grand. Top dollar models no doubt offer all the bells and whistles but they aren’t always necessary for your needs. That said, you don’t want to go cheap cheap as you’ll most likely get weaker wheels, a poor frame or flimsy material that probably isn’t the most comfortable (or safest) for your little one.

On average, you should be ready to spend around $250 if you want to get a solid everyday stroller (jogging strollers will require a bit more, probably another $100). Whichever type you go for in the end, it’s essential to keep in mind to strike a balance between affordability and the features that matter most to you. Consider the long-term value and durability of the stroller in relation to its costs, and ensures that it aligns with your family’s needs and financial goals. 

Lifestyle

What is your lifestyle? Different lifestyles demand different stroller features. For the urban dwellers, a compact and easy-to-manoeuvre stroller will be ideal to navigate crowded streets and tight spaces. Suburban families may prioritize off-the-road capabilities – such are those who live an active lifestyle – of which durability and ample storage are necessary for outdoor adventures.

Those who are always on the go will appreciate a lightweight and easy-to-fold stroller – for frequent flyers, they may even want to narrow down their options to one that fits the overhead compartments of planes. So yes, consider how you want your stroller to align with your daily activities. The right stroller should seamlessly integrate into your lifestyle, enhance your mobility and provide convenience, all without compromising on the features that matter most to your family’s daily rhythm.

Family size

Finally, do you plan to have more than one child? If so, do you plan to have them close in age or quite apart? You see, newborns often require baby strollers with a full recline or compatibility with infant car seats while older siblings need a standing board or additional seat so the configurability of your stroller matters a lot here.

On the other hand, families with a single child may opt for a more compact and lightweight stroller for easy manoeuvrability so assessing your family size and structure is very important to ensure the stroller you choose adapts seamlessly to your family. For the former, know that even though it may be a bigger price tag to stomach now, it is the more sensible investment compared to buying multiple strollers down the road.

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