Your child is precious cargo. You need a stroller that will keep your baby safe and comfortable, and also fit your budget. But you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good stroller; it's all about how you will use it, and what's important to you. Strollers are a popular baby gift and shower present. Before you put a model on your registry, evaluate all your options by pushing different models around a store. If you end up using your stroller frequently, your baby will spend a lot of time in it, so choose the best model for you and your child. Use this guide to help you hone your search.
From Newborn to Six Months: Selecting a Stroller
Traveling with a newborn requires special stroller consideration: Until the age of 6 months, or until your baby develops neck and head control, you will need a carrier or travel system that reclines fully to safely support your infant. Owning a stroller that comes with a car seat (such as a travel system) or is compatible with an infant car seat you own, can simplify your life.
Some first-time parents start with an all-in-one travel system, which consists of an infant car seat, a car-seat base, and a stroller. They can be heavy and take up more room than just a stroller frame, but once your baby reaches 6 months and can sit up, you'll have the flexibility to use the travel system stroller without the infant seat snapped in. Some travel system strollers can accommodate an infant less than 6 months old without the car seat, if the seat reclines to nearly flat. A travel system is costlier but a good value because the stroller can be used after your child outgrows the infant car seat, unlike a car seat carrier frame.
Baby Buggy Basics: Six Months to 3+ Years
Once your baby is sitting up, you’re likely to take longer strolls, taking him with you on errands, trips to the parks, aquariums, and playdates. Will you stroll straight out of your house, or will you need to drive or take mass transit to get around? These could be deciding factors in the stroller you choose.
If you live in a city and rely on subways, buses, and cabs, you'll need a lightweight, compact stroller that’s sturdy and folds easily and quickly. A car seat carrier frame would work well, as would a lightweight travel system. For an infant older than 6 months, or toddler, consider a lightweight umbrella stroller. A sturdier stroller may be easier to push on long walks. But bigger often means heavier and will be more challenging to carry up stairs, or use on public transportation. If you have a car, make sure the stroller fits easily into the back seat or trunk.