As any parents will tell you there are certain items that will need to be purchased before the baby is born. One of the most important purchases that needs to be made of course is the stroller.
But what do you look for ? Why is one stroller better than another? In this article we are going to provide some guidelines so you know exactly what to look for in a stroller to ensure that you get one that meets your particular requirements.
So Much Choice!
During the past 20 years or so the numbers of different strollers available has grown substantially. Not only are there many different brands, but also many different styles as well, with accessories, different colourways, and the obligatory cupholders, of course.
Plus they also vary in price dramatically – you might be shocked at some of the price tags! – and as a result actually determining which one will really meet your needs becomes ever more challenging.
Safe, Comfortable and Right For Your Lifestyle.
However when it comes to buying a stroller or travel system (bassinet, stroller and car seat) you want to first make sure that you purchase one that isn’t only sturdy and safe but is also comfortable.
Furthermore you need to make sure that the one you choose is one that can be managed easily. Finally of course you also want to choose a stroller that is going to meet your particular demands and needs the best and will suit the kind of lifestyle you lead.
So what to look for in a stroller?
The first thing to do that will help you to narrow down which stroller you choose is to consider where you live and how it is going to be used.
City Dwellers Go Lightweight.
If you are someone who lives in the city then you should go for a lightweight model so that it is easy to manage over curbs and up and down steps.
Also make sure it comes with wheels that swivel as this will help to manoeuvre the stroller much easier. The high end strollers can be pushed and turned with one hand because they have such fluid movement.
Think About Your Car
For those who need a stroller that can be taken in a car look for one that allows you to fit your child’s car seat within the frame. Also make sure that it has a good size storage area underneath. Some models are huge! Make sure they’ll fit in your car when collapsed.
Consider Trying Before You Buy
After considering the above the next thing you should do that will help you with what to look for in a stroller is actually try out a few models you see in the store. As you do this then you should be looking for the following.
What Sort of Restraint Do You Want? Safer or More Convenient?
Look to see what form of restraint system has been installed. Ideally choose the models that come with a five-point harness as this type helps to keep your baby much more secure because of the shoulder straps. But having said that the models fitted with a three point harness are also good and it takes less time to undo.
Good Brakes Are Essential!
The next thing to do when trying out any stroller is to see how well the brake system on it works. It is important that the stroller you select is one that comes with brakes that will lock the wheels as soon as they are engaged.
Plus don’t forget to make sure that the brake system on the stroller is easy to engage. Any of the high end strollers are very reliable in this regard.
However having good brakes isn’t the only thing you should be looking at when it comes to testing out any strollers you like the look of. I would also suggest you check to see how stable it is once a child is seated in it.
It is important to ensure that even when you have shopping in the basket or hanging on the handles that it won’t tip over. The hotly tipped Bugaboo Buffaloo (out Autumn 2013) has been designed with this specifically in mind.
How Easy Is It To Handle?
Another feature of course that I looked for when I purchased my first stroller was to see how easy it was to handle. I looked for models that not only didn’t have problems when moving in a straight line but also could be turned easily when I only had one hand available. It is for this reason I chose a stroller that came with wheels that swivelled both at the front and back.
Your Height… One Size Does NOT Fit All
Also when it comes to what to look for in a stroller take into account how tall you are. What you need to do is look for one where the top of the handles sit at around waist height or just below. However the issue I found was that most strollers are specifically designed for an average sized woman, and being slightly taller I found that these models caused me to hunch over and my back quickly began to hurt.
As a result of this issue I had to spend a little extra going for a model that came with handlebars that could be adjusted to a height that I found more comfortable. This also proved extremely invaluable for my partner as well.
Washable Covers Are A Very Good Thing
When it comes to buying a stroller as well as looking for one that allows the seat to recline also look carefully at what material it is made from. If you can, opt for a model where the covers could be removed and then washed.
From the outset accidents occur and your baby is going to make a mess, so having a cover on yours that can be removed and washed proves very useful indeed. Even one that allows you to wipe away mess without the need to remove the cover itself can prove invaluable also.
Storage… Will You Be Out Shopping Lots?
The next thing to consider when you deciding on purchasing such an item is think about how much storage space it has available.
Remember during the first few months when you take your baby out you are going to have to take quite a few items with you. As well as nappies you are also going to have to take several changes of clothes and their food/bottles.
Last But Not Least… Is It Good Enough For Your Precious Cargo?
Finally, you should be looking at carefully is how the stroller has been manufactured.
Something that many parents do not think about when it comes to what to look for in a stroller is are there any areas on it that could prove harmful to their child or them. So inspect carefully to see if there are any pieces protruding out or have a sharp edge.