When spending a large amount of money on any item, it's important to do your research first, especially if you're buying it for your little one. Children require a lot of gear, but you don't want to find yourself in a pickle just because you were too cheap to invest in quality equipment. Strollers are no exception to this rule.
Most young children love being outside, and a stroller provides a way for you to do that. It lets you help your child see and experience nature, and gives you a little break too. I know that I use my stroller every weekday, but even if you only get it out once in a while, you want something that makes your life easier. Overall, strollers should offer comfort, usability, and long-lasting materials. If you're thinking about taking the plunge, but feel overwhelmed by all the latest stroller models, here are the main things you should keep in mind when comparing different stroller types:
1. Handlebar Height AdjustmentThis might seem like a trivial stroller trait, but not so for tall parents. For parents of taller stature, pushing a non-adjustable-handlebar stroller feels akin to pushing around a baby stroller; it's just too darn short. The same goes for parents of a shorter variety--if the handlebars are too high, it becomes annoyingly uncomfortable and fatiguing to push the stroller for extended periods. Here are the options to look for in handle-height adjustments:
- Telescoping adjustment
- Pivot handle adjustment
- No adjustments available
As you might guess, some strollers offer no adjustment in this area, but it's best to look for one that does. No matter your height, having a stroller that accommodates every body type is useful, because you might not always necessarily be the one pushing it. Won't it be nice to have a stroller that both mommy and daddy can push comfortably, or even a good friend? We certainly think so!
2. Wheel Type
The type of stroller wheels you choose should largely match your ideal stroller routine. If you're looking for a jogging or exercise stroller, foam or air-filled tires are probably preferable. On the other hand, if you're just looking for a simple, no-frills walking stroller, plastic wheels will do just fine. It all depends on what you want, so customize your stroller pick to fit your lifestyle needs.
3. Modular vs. Non-Modular
What do these fancy words mean? One offers front- and rear-face seating, and the other offers only front-facing. Baby equipment is all about versatility and flexibility these days, so modular is probably your best bet. That being said, it all depends on what you want to use your stroller for. Some parents prefer to see their child's face on their morning walk, while others don't mind a non-modular design. Pick what feels right.
4. Growing options
The latest stroller designs allow for usage throughout your child's early years, whether they're in a car seat or just riding solo. If it makes life easier, you want it in your stroller. My favorite is a stroller that works with both an infant car seat and toddler child. Even double strollers are a possibility for those planning to have another baby in the near-future (or twin moms!). In the end, babies are constantly changing, so it's a good idea to have room to grow. Check out our stroller buying guide on our website to see what's out there.
This aspect might sound like something more suited to shopping for a car or truck, but your stroller is still a vehicle that gets baby from point A to point B. This means that you'll likely encounter one (or many) bumps in the road while en route. All-terrain is a great trait to have in wheels, but it works best when coupled with high suspension. If you're not planning on going over any gravelly roads or bumpy sidewalks, your suspension can be small, but most people prefer to have a good amount of stroller suspension, just in case.
6. Fold Size
Unfortunately, while strollers provide a quick way for you and baby to zip around your neighborhood, they can be an absolute pain to fold up. If you're planning on going to the state fair, mall, or other stroller-appropriate event, you'll probably have to figure out a way to fit it into your family vehicle. Look for a stroller that folds to a small or moderate size in order to save on car space. This might seem nit-picky, but you'll be glad you did it. In addition (and this part is very important), choose a stroller that is easy to fold and unfold. This will save you from swearing in front of everyone when your screaming toddler wants to get in and you're frantically trying to get it to unfold. We all have our days, but it's best to limit public humiliation, eh?