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Just Strolling Along: Examining your lifestyle can determine the best stroller for you.
Strollers have come a long way. The choices can seem somewhat overwhelming. Travel systems, joggers, reversible seats, power folds, cup holders, and prices from affordable to astronomical make this purchase seem as complicated as choosing a new car. In reality, you may find yourself using a stroller as often (or more!) as you use your car, so choosing the right one for you can be an important decision.
In order to determine which stroller is right for you, there are several questions to consider:
Will you be in and out of the car? Do you live on a second or third floor walk up? Are you dealing with limited storage space?
If you answered yes to any of these, you'll be concerned about the weight and fold of the stroller. A stroller may look really great, but if it won't fit into your trunk, or weighs so much you throw your back out lifting it, then it won't be of any use to you. When you visit stores to check out the possibilities, take measurements and practice the fold and lift.
How will you be using the stroller? Are you a city girl, who sticks to paved surfaces and small boutiques? Are you an outdoorsy girl, who loves hiking and hitting the beach?
Small tires and a compact frame are going to be best for mall walking and fitting through crowded aisles at the farmer's market. Large, air-filled tires and a sturdy frame will work well for walks in the park, or taking your baby and the dogs out for a run.
What is your stroller budget?
There is a wide range, from the budget models you can pick up at any discount store to the celebrity preferred models that cost more than a mortgage payment. You don't want to go beyond your means, but you do want to consider this as an investment that will make your life easier over the course of your stroller-using years.
Travel systems seem like a great deal, but often don't live up to the hype. Often, the stroller part of the system is heavy, bulky, and hard to maneuver. You can skip the system, but still get the convenience of using the car seat to transport a sleeping baby by using a snap-in stroller frame. There are various models that work with different brands of car seats. This is a great item to look for at garage sales or consignment stores.