It’s likely to be your most-used piece of baby gear. Before committing to a first set of wheels for your little one, determine exactly what it is that you’re looking for. Here, the top 10 biggies.
1. What’s the stroller’s main function?
We’re talking beyond “taking the baby places.” If this is baby #1, try to visualize what your day-to-day routine will look like. Will you be using the stroller as the baby’s primary mode of transportation? If so, where do you have to go? What’s the terrain like? Are doorways tight? How about stairs? These are all factors to keep in mind.
2. Will you be carrying it frequently?
If so, a too heavy stroller will fast become a major drag. Try lifting the stroller in the store.
3. How’s the foldability factor (If that’s a priority)?
Again, ask for a demo, then try folding the stroller in the store for yourself. And, keep in mind that you’ll soon be doing this with a baby in one arm.
4. What’s your budget?
Self-explanatory (but, also consider quality and durability here—it’s less costly to spend more up-front for a product that you’ll have for years than to buy one you’ll have to replace).
5. Will it be comfortable for your baby?
Does the seat lay all the way back? Is it easily adjustable? And, can the seat be switched from parent- to forward-facing?
6. Will it be comfortable for all caretakers?
If there’s a tall parent (or two), ensure that the handle height is either tall enough, or adjustable. Have dad give the stroller(s) you’re considering a whirl in the store before making your pick.
7. Does it offer ample storage?
Check out the stroller’s under-seat basket situation. It’s probably not your top priority, but it’s a really nice perk (particularly for city moms who’ll be trekking to the grocery store, park, and everywhere else).
8. What’s its lifespan?
If you’re hoping for your stroller to be a long-term investment (and why shouldn’t it be?), check out the maximum height and weight limits. And if you’re considering another kid—or two—down the road, look into your options for adding a standing board, or second seat.
9. Are the straps easily adjustable and secure?
Babies grow quickly, so make sure that you can adjust the straps easily, that they’ll stay put, and feel comfy for your littles.
10. Will the wheels meet your needs?
Durability and the ability to navigate multiple terrains are great assets to any stroller. Consider the kinds of sidewalks, trails, and streets you’ll encounter on a regular basis, and how much of a priority this is.