How to Choose a Stroller Without Losing Your Mind

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So buying a stroller feels like is a big decision, right?  I mean really, this is sort of like your child’s first car!  Well, when I was pregnant, I just became OBSESSED with researching strollers.  There are so many choices out there, and I was overwhelmed.  It was enough to drive me mad!

On the first day of my second trimester, I unleashed my obsession and was determined to figure out which would be the right stroller (or strollers as I found out) for my family.  Amongst all my research, it was most helpful to get feedback from all my mom friends, which I will now share with you! 

Here are some questions to ask yourself when buying your stroller:

1. What kind of terrain will you be strolling on? 

a. For bumpy, twisty roads you want a stroller with good traction, suspension and sturdy wheels.  Jogger strollers are good for this.

b.  Crowded city sidewalks require good wheels and suspension but make sure they’re not too big so you can easily weave in and out of the crowds.

c.  Any kind of stroller works for spacious neighborhoods with flat sidewalks – you’ll just need to take into consideration what other features you want your stroller to have.

2. Do you have to load and unload it out of a car often?  Do you have to carry it up and down a lot of stairs? 

You need to think about these things because strollers can get heavy.  If it’s just going to be you and your baby a lot, make sure you can handle carrying it.  Also make sure you are comfortable breaking it down and popping it up.  Practice on a few because some are easier than others.  The last thing you want is to be driven to tears as your baby cries, your heavy stroller won’t fold, and all of your personal items go toppling to the floor!  (Yes, this did indeed happen to me!)

3. Do you want a stroller that can hold your newborn either with a bassinet or an infant adapter for your car seat? 

You’re going to want to take walks with your little one (believe me, you’ll go insane if you stay cooped up in the house for too many weeks), so make sure you get a stroller that can carry a newborn.

4. Is there a big difference between you and your partner’s height?

If so, make sure you both feel comfortable with the handle bar height of your stroller.  Some strollers have adjustable handles which is great, but if not, both of you should do a test drive, and make sure you’re not too hunched over or kicking the back of the stroller.

5. How easy is the stroller to keep clean?

They don’t all have removable, washable seats.  That seat is going to get really dirty over time, so make sure it’s easy to spot clean if you can’t remove it.  Probably go for a darker color so it doesn’t show shmootz!  You may be a neat-nick, but your baby isn’t!

6. What kind of accessories are important to you?

It’s hard to find one stroller that is completely perfect, but they all have some great accessories.  It was really important to me to have a nice size basket underneath for storage.  I also wanted two cup holders (my hubby and I love to drink hot coffee on our morning strolls) so the stroller I found came with a second cup holder.  Some strollers come with rain covers, foot muffs, snack trays, etc….it all depends on what you need.  Of course, you can purchase most of these things separately, but it’s nice when a stroller comes with a few of them!

7. What kind of shade does it provide?

For me, this was really important.  Not every stroller has a big canopy, and I really wanted that.  It bugged me to have to drape a lightweight blanket over the top of the canopy in order to get the sun out of my daughter’s eyes.  So, just food for thought!

8. Does the stroller only fit one kind of car seat, or is it universal?

If you choose a brand that only fits its own car seat, make sure you really like that car seat!  Some can be really heavy, so imagine carrying it around with a baby inside.  I have a bad back, so this was a very important decision to me.  Snap and Go type strollers are great.  I used this so much when my daughter was a baby.  They are light, easy to use, and when she was asleep, I didn’t have to wake her when putting her in and out of the stroller from the car.

9. Can you get away with one stroller or do you need more?

I personally, have three strollers for different purposes and ages.  I had a snap and go for when my daughter was a baby.  It was simple, lightweight, and easy to use.  I have a jogger stroller for walks around the neighborhood since our streets are windy and bumpy.  And a super lightweight umbrella stroller for trips to the zoo, mall, and traveling since my daughter is too big for the snap and go.

I hope this information helps you.  Don’t hesitate to get feedback from your friends!  Heck, I even asked  total strangers about the stroller they were pushing!  They were always more than happy to talk about it!  Good luck!

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