Strollers Buying Guide

August 16th, 2009 by dailydb Leave a reply »

Having a new baby can be a walk in the park-with the right stroller, of course. In fact, a stroller is one of the most important pieces of baby gear you’ll buy. And as your baby grows, you may end up with more than one. Many parents buy a traditional stroller for every day and a lighter-weight one for traveling. You may even want a more rugged stroller for jogging or simply negotiating uneven sidewalks and curbs. City streets are deceptively hard on strollers.

There are dozens of choices on the market, everything from the lightest-weight umbrella strollers to heavy-duty, Booster Seats, Full-Featured Strollers, Lightweight Strollers, Jogging Strollers, Tandem Stroller, Baby Walkers, and models designed to carry two or more children. For a newborn, you can find a basic frame with no stroller seat of its own that can support almost any infant car seat. Or, consider a fully reclining stroller with leg holes you can close, so your baby doesn’t slip and get trapped.

Select it yourself. Strollers are popular baby gifts and shower presents. Still, you should shop for a stroller yourself because you’re the best judge of how you intend to use it–then register for it at a department or baby store if you want to receive it as a gift. If you receive a stroller you didn’t select yourself, make sure you want to keep it. Strollers, like cars, are highly personal items. You’ll probably use your stroller often, and your baby will spend a lot of time in it. You should love the one you end up with.

That said, a higher price doesn’t always mean higher quality. Consumer Reports’ tests have shown that some economical strollers can perform as well as or better than models costing hundreds of dollars more. Even the most sophisticated models can have typical stroller flaws: malfunctioning wheels, frames that bend out of shape, locking mechanisms that fail, safety belts that come loose, or buckles that break.

Consider your baby’s age. Newborns can’t sit up, so they need a stroller that lets them lie on their backs for the first few months, or one that can hold an infant car seat. Don’t use a traditional stroller that doesn’t fully recline–including an umbrella-style stroller–until your child can sit up, usually at about 6 months of age.

If you buy a stroller that fully reclines for an infant, make sure it has a wall surrounding all sides above the retention space. In addition, you can use the cover or stroller boot the manufacturer sometimes supplies for the foot area/leg holes so your baby can’t possibly slip through, or use the bassinet that may come with the stroller.

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