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As a parent the task of selecting the best baby gear can be daunting. Especially with so many options on the market now. And strollers can be extra overwhelming.
Do you want a travel system? A more simple umbrella stroller? Or a jogging stroller? Do you need a double stroller? How do you know which stroller you need to purchase? That’s why we’re here to help you ask the right questions when it comes to purchasing the best stroller for your family.
How to pick the best stroller
When it comes to purchasing the best stroller for your family, you need to ask a few starting questions:
How will you be using the stroller?
Will you be going on casual walks? Or will you be using your stroller for travel? Will you be spending many days at the park/zoo? Or do you need a stroller for more serious fitness activities?
These affect what type of stroller you will want to purchase.
If just for casual walking you have more freedom in picking any stroller you want, as really many factors won’t matter.
If you need a stroller for travel you will want to select one that can fold to be quite compact to make it easier on traveling and take less space. Weight will also be a factor.
If you will be in a lot of crowds you will need to take note on how the stroller will navigate. Does it have an easy turning radius with a swivel front wheel or will it require wider turns with 2 front wheels?
You will also want to take note as to how wide the stroller is if you will be in crowded locations with people.
If you are looking for a stroller so you can be more active – you will want to look specifically at Jogging Strollers.
Do you need to haul multiple children or just one?
There is no need to purchase a double stroller if you only have one child. But if you have multiple children close in age then a double stroller may be the best stroller option.
If you have a new baby and a younger child who still tires easily and wants to be carried, then a double stroller is a great choice.
They even have double strollers that can transition the back seat from a standard seat to a bench seat and then even to a standing platform.
But if you only have a single child, you won’t need a stroller with a capacity to carry multiple children.
Size matters for the best stroller!
Does it matter to you if your best stroller is Big and Bulky? Or do you require a stroller that folds compactly?
Think about the amount of space you have to store the stroller when not in use.
Take note of the amount of space you have in your vehicle to haul the stroller to locations where you will be using it. For example a day at the zoo, park, walking path, nature park, on a road trip to grandma’s house, etc.
Some strollers are not able to fold in a compact manner. Where others fold very tightly.
I have an older jogging stroller that purchased 7 years ago when Miss Jade was a baby, but it is definitely not compact when folded up. It still takes up a good amount of space int eh back of the van.
Therefore that is not the stroller I use when we go places. I rely on a convertible stroller that folds almost flat and takes very little room when we go places with little Rose.
What type of convertibility do you need?
Do you need a stroller with a car seat combo? A typical travel system is a great way to save money on purchasing it in a set. This also allows confidence that the car seat will fit perfectly with the stroller for when your baby is still a newborn. But you are limited in different styles and accessories.
Other strollers offer many other convertible options. Such as having a pram bassinet as an attachment. This is perfect when you have a newborn. It is also perfect in case your child falls asleep while you are out walking.
Other strollers have a convertible option where you can add a standing platform for an older child to ride on.
Another convertible option is transitioning from a regular stroller seat and a car seat. You can remove both and have a standard base. And then based on your options you simply attach the seat you need at the time. This is great for traveling, as you have a very lightweight base that folds compactly. And then you simply attach the car seat when you are out.
Different strollers offer different reclining positions in the child’s seat. Some offer 3 positions. Others have more. Others have less. How much control over the seat position do you prefer?
Some strollers offer the ability to change the child’s seat from forward facing to rear facing. This way you can have baby facing you as you walk. Or you can protect them against extra wind if that is an issue. Or direct sun if it is at the right angle.
Other strollers offer adjustable foot rest for the child.
Other strollers offer hand brakes while others offer foot brakes. Sometimes on the back wheels and sometimes on the front wheel/s. These are a few things to look for when looking for the best stroller for your family.
How easy is it to fold up the stroller? Do you need a stroller that can fold easily with just one hand? They have those. But not all of them are that easy. Others require you to push an unlock button before it will fold and they are harder to fold.
What accesssories are a must?
Just like everything else in life, different brands/models come with different accessories. So while these aren’t always deal breakers it is important to take note as to what is important to you when it comes to accessories.
Do you want a stroller with cup holders? For me having a drink holder for Mom is crucial! I always get thirsty while walking. But what about your baby? Do you require a cup holder for baby too?
Having a tray and cup holder is a nice luxury when you have an older baby or toddler who will have a drink while you are out walking.
What about a storage basket? Umbrella strollers usually don’t have much in way of storage basket.
Others have a large basket, but they may not fold as compactly.
I personally have a middle line stroller that has a fair sized basket but isn’t huge. It allows me just enough storage when we are out but doesn’t get in the way when we need to fold the stroller for travel or storage.
Some strollers offer padded shoulder straps on their stroller seats. Others don’t.
Most strollers have a shade canopy (except some umbrella strollers). But the size of the canopy varies greatly between each style. Some have a clear viewing window so you can see your child through the canopy. Others don’t.
Some canopies can be removed and others can fold almost a full 180 degrees to ensure maximum sun protection. Some canopies can be expanded with vented netting in the back for added air flow.
Other accessories that can usually be purchased separately include
- Net covering to protect against bugs
- Wind and rain covers
- Stroller bunting covers to protect against cold
- parent console for extra storage space.
- Additional cup holders
- Extra seat attachments
- Car seat adapters for nontravel systems
- Extra shade canopy
You can find all kinds of choices for strollers on the market. But if you go into the shopping experience with a clear plan of what you want you can make the shopping experience for the best stroller much easier.
Consider all these questions, and make a list of what are the most important features you need in a stroller before you go shopping.
Get more ideas from this Stroller Shopping Guide to help you know exactly which stroller is the best stroller for your family.
Don’t let sales people push you around. Know what features you want the most and then get the stroller that best matches your list!
You can find the best strollers on the market at The Baby Cubby. The Baby Cubby isn’t just “another baby store”. They are so much more. They work hard to be a resource for parents through the amazing journey of parenthood.
The Baby Cubby team is made up of parents who have been there, they know what it’s like and are passionate about encouraging, inspiring, and reminding parents how amazing they are and how important their role is.
- test strollers on their stroller track,
- price match everyday – even amazon,
- Free Shipping everyday at BabyCubby.com over $49
- actively engage with parents via social media and the cubby community blog to discuss some of those hard topics of parenting.
Right Now they are running a sale until the end of the month (July 2016) on the Baby Jogger City Select – read more about that stroller HERE!
What are the top features you look for when picking the best stroller for your family?
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