A good baby stroller is one of the most requested items on every new parent's wish list. There are a number of things to consider when purchasing an infant or baby stroller:
- Prices vary enormously. From lightweight umbrella style strollers to fancy prams for multiples, prices can range from about $15 to upwards of $1000.
- Consider the number of children who will be riding in the stroller. If you have twins, triplets (or more!), you will want to purchase a one-piece stroller that accommodates several children. Additionally, if you will be strolling siblings of different ages, be sure that the stroller will be comfortable and roomy enough for an older child.
- Pinch pennies. Prices vary from store to store, so be sure to do a little comparison shopping before plopping down your hard earned money!
- Take a test drive. It is worth a trip to the store to give the strollers a hands-on try before making your final selection. Be sure that the wheels turn easily and that the stroller maneuvers well. Once you have found just the right one, you can purchase it through a catalog or online if the prices are better.
- Consider purchasing a travel system, which includes a stroller, matching infant car seat and a base for the car seat that remains in your vehicle. The car seat safely clicks into the base for car trips then is easily transferred to the stroller -- without unbuckling and re-buckling your baby. Additional bases can be purchased for each family vehicle. Travel systems are extremely convenient for busy families on the go!
- Take a little time to consider how much you'll use the stroller and what kind of use your stroller will get. Are you athletic? Maybe a jogging stroller is right for you. Do a lot of shopping? Try to find a stroller that has some storage space for bags and isn't too wide to more easily maneuver store aisles. If you will be expecting the stroller to hold up through several years of heavy use -- long walks, zoo trips, etc., choose one that feels sturdy and solid with big comfy seats.
- One baby, or more down the line? If you plan to have more children and want to use the same stroller, choose a pattern that is unisex.
- Babies grow rapidly -- your stroller needs to "grow," too. Strollers can be expensive, so shop for one that will give you several years of use. Look for a unit that offers sufficient head support for an infant, has adjustable seating positions and is roomy enough to accommodate a toddler.
- Accessorize! There are a number of toys specifically designed for stroller use. Many have clips to attach them to the stroller so that you don't leave a trail of toys behind on your walk through the neighborhood!