For most parents, the stroller is an integral part of life in the early years of parenthood, so finding the right stroller can turn into an epic quest.
Navigating the Stroller Jungle
At Diaper Days, we know that finding the right baby gear can be confusing. For most parents, the stroller is an integral part of life in the early years of parenthood, so finding the right stroller can turn into an epic quest. Which stroller will be perfect for you depends on a variety of factors: your lifestyle (where you will be pushing it and how often), your storage options (at home and in the vehicle), the number of children you have or are planning to have, your personal style, and your budget.
Many people start online in their quest for the perfect stroller, pouring over the thousands of reviews and mommy blogs that profess to have the answer. Online research can be helpful, but it should be done with caution. If you are reading reviews, make sure they are reviews of the current model, and make sure that you read enough reviews to see patterns. If you see the same complaints or praise from many people, that will be more reliable than the raves and rants of only a few.
Advice from friends
Friends with their own children like to offer advice to new moms and moms-to-be. Be cautious with stroller advice, because what works for your friends may not work for you. On the other hand, if you and your friends have similar tastes and lifestyles, they may be able to offer invaluable insights-or even let you test drive the product!
You will get what you pay for…
This adage is definitely true when you are purchasing a stroller. Higher-priced strollers are made with higher quality parts, and are often designed and manufactured by stroller specialists. There is an element of paying for the brand name, but the big brands didn't get their good reputation by making poor products. Remember to keep your needs in mind, though. You can buy an expensive stroller from a reputable brand, but if it is the wrong type of stroller for your lifestyle it can still end up disappointing you.
How many will ride?
How many children does your stroller need to carry? That depends. Many people these days are focused on getting a stroller that has the ability to add a second seat. Although it may save money in the long run, that second seat shouldn't be only deciding factor (unless you know without at doubt that a double is what you need). Remember that even with two children born over five years, you will likely push the stroller as a single for three or four of those years, so make sure that you don't compromise too many other important features in order to get a stroller for two. If you are having twins, you will need to decide whether you would like a tandem (front to back) or side-by-side double stroller. Most side-by-side double strollers will not accommodate two car seats. However, it is possible to get a separate frame to carry the car seats for the first year or so. You will use the stroller without car seats for much longer than with, so be sure to choose one that will work for you in the long run.
Type of stroller
Does size and weight of the stroller matter? That depends, too. There are a few questions you should ask yourself: What kind of vehicle do you drive? Where will you store it? Do you have to carry it up any stairs? How often do you travel, and will you need to take your stroller with you? Where will you push it most often? Will you be walking in all types of weather? The answers to these questions will determine how important the size and weight of your stroller will be. They will also determine whether you can get away with one stroller or whether, given your lifestyle and needs, you may need different strollers for different situations. Larger all-terrain strollers will be more durable and will get you through snow and rough terrain, but they will be harder to lug around. Very lightweight strollers will be good for use on sidewalks and in the mall, but if you use them every day in all types of weather, chances are they will not last long. Depending on your needs, some hybrid strollers might offer you the best of both worlds.
All the bells and whistles
Once you have narrowed down the size/type of stroller, you will want to consider a few other features. Time for more questions! Do you need a bassinet? Do you need a reversible seat? Can the stroller be used from birth without a car seat? Which car seats are compatible? (Many stroller companies do not sell "travel systems," but offer car seat adapters that can be used to make your own travel system with compatible car seats.) Does the stroller offer a good selection of accessories? What style and colour do you prefer? (You'll be staring at this stroller for several years, so looks are important!)
Once you have considered all of these things, it is time to go shopping! Make a list of features that are essential, as well as ones you would really like, and know your budget. When you are ready, make sure that you come out and visit us at Diaper Days and have a chat with one of our stroller experts. We have lots of floor model strollers at the store. We encourage you to fold and unfold them, try fitting them in your car, or give them a test drive around the store. Our staff is there to help you match your budget and needs with the right stroller. Make the final decision, choose a colour, and HAPPY STROLLING!
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