Shopping for Strollers
Unless you're planning on staying cooped up inside for the next few years, you'll probably need a stroller. And, as you probably already know, there are many, many different options out there for strollers. You may be feeling overwhelmed on how to even begin searching. Here are some things to take into consideration before you get out your pocketbook.
There are a ton of different types of strollers. You've got the simple, lightweight umbrella stroller (intended for babies who can sit on their own), and there's regular strollers that come with storage compartments and cup holders (these range from fairly simple to completely decked out with features). You can find carriages, which are great for newborns; travel systems, which combine a car seat, car seat base, and stroller; jogging strollers for athletic moms; strollers that are just frames, meant for you to simply snap the car seat on; strollers that hold more than one baby or child; and combo strollers, which can start as a carriage and then fold into a regular seat. It's amazing what's out there!
Think about what you need. What do your days look like? Do you travel a lot? Are you athletic? Do you dread the thought of loading and unloading a bulky stroller out of your car multiple times a day? Are you planning on taking it over rougher terrain and need big wheels? Or, if you and your spouse have vastly different heights, you may want to find a stroller with adjustable handles. Make a list of all the attributes you are looking for in a stroller. Here are some other features to take into consideration: sun shades, adjustable seats (reclined, upright, front-facing, rear-facing), storage compartments, locking wheels, easy break down and set up, snack tray, and, of course, appearance.
Also, I suggest going online to browse before hitting all the stores. Take a look at the product features of each stroller that catches your eye. Determine whether or not the features are important to you. Get out a pen and paper and start making a list of all the features you want, and jot down some of the brands and models that seem to fit the bill. Then it's time to go shopping and actually try them out!
One last piece of advice: make sure the stroller you choose is approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). This certification should be printed on the packaging material and/or on the website of the product. Happy strolling!