Shorter version originally posted on Mommy Nearest.
Unless you're a hardcore attachment parenting kinda parent, you need a stroller for your baby or toddler. Any will do, right? WRONG!! Here is a list I've come up with to keep in mind while stroller shopping (and test driving – yes, it’s very necessary!!). There's no one stroller that will come in first in each and every one of these categories, so figure out what is most important to you and go from there!
1) Price: Sometimes price means quality, other times not. You can find an umbrella stroller for all of $10 or a luxury big-brand travel system for well over $1,000! Don't think you need to break the bank or take out a loan to have a fabulous stroller!
2) Weight: The travel systems with car seat and all can get really heavy. Like, difficult to turn a corner and really tough to get up a flight of stairs (definitely test drive for this function!). If you have a car that you’ll be in and out of, this might be worth it, but probably not something to consider if you are sans car.
3) Height: If the handles are too tall or short for you, it will quickly become annoying and possibly painful. Short handles are especially prevalent in the umbrella strollers.
4) Width: Check that your feet don’t bang into the frame or tires when walking, it should go without saying that this would be really annoying. If you're a city mom such as myself, you may want to take measurements at your go-to shops and make sure the stroller will fit through the aisles and check-out lanes. In some countries, you should verify the stroller will fit through the subway gates, but in NYC this is pretty much never going to happen.
5) Carrying Capacity: How much can the basket under the stroller carry, and what is its accessibility like when the seat is sat up and reclined.
6) Max incline and recline: If it doesn’t recline to 180 degrees or close to it, it won’t be suitable for a newborn (even if it does, you're advised to incorporate a body support pillow). And if it doesn’t sit up fairly vertical, your older child (10+ months) might be annoyed and constantly straining against the harness to get a better view of the world.
7) Maneuverability: Can you easily maneuver it with 1 hand (i.e. when holding umbrella or phone or coffee)?
8) Ease of Open/Close: Doable with 1 hand (i.e. while holding your baby)?
9) Tip-ability: Technically you’re not supposed to hang anything from the handles, but everyone does. Throw your bag on the back and give a good tug down and back on the handles to make sure it’s not easily tipped over (warning: do this when baby is NOT in the stroller).
10) Convertibility: Does the seat switch from forward to rear-facing? Will it easily convert from a single to a double stroller? Does it allow for a car seat or bassinet to snap in?
11) Accessories – Check prices of that brand’s accessories and if off-brand ones will work for: rain/bug/sun shield, tray, cup holder (for child or stroller-pusher), stroller lining, winter bunting, rumble board/seat, etc.
12) Size / Structure when folded: Will it fit in the trunk of your car? Will it hang on the inside of your closet door at home? Does it stand on its own when folded or do you have to lie it down?
13) Canopy: Is it large (i.e. covering most of the child when opened) and can you move it depending on sun’s angle? Does it have a peek-a-boo sun roof and ventilation?
14) Cleaning – Does fabric remove for easy cleaning? Will the color stain and look dingy quickly? Black may be boring but there is a reason it's so darn popular. You may consider a black stroller and accessorize it with more exciting colors.
15) Style - You'll be pushing around this stroller for years, so make sure it meets your needs on what you find to be the most important for you in the above 14 categories, but also that you feel good (physically and emotionally) pushing your little one around in it around. If you are a brand-whore (sorry, it's a term isn't it? haha) but budget is low, maybe you should consider buying second hand... there are worse things ya know! Just be careful, there is a whole nother list of things to watch out for in used strollers!! Please do your research!!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NY mom blogger (formerly of Brooklyn), Influencer, YouTuber, & Entrepreneur living just north of NYC in Hudson River Valley's town of Cornwall with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1)! My blog is chock full of humor, honesty, family travel & product reviews, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, with weekly local kids' events roundups and annual guides for families here in South Brooklyn!