The right baby stroller can seem like a gift from the heavens for exhausted new parents. Not only will a baby stroller allow you to get out and about with that darling new addition to the family, but it will also afford you the opportunity to carry on with errands and other day-to-day activities that might have been downright impossible without it. Whether you're ready to trade in baby slings for a baby stroller or have just discovered that you're pregnant, it's important to take the time to research the perfect baby stroller, as they're not all created equal.
So what should you look for when shopping for baby strollers? Should you consider price over quality? Are designer baby strollers better than no-name ones? Get ready to have all of your baby stroller questions answered by the ultimate experts in childcare - other parents!
There's No One-Size-Fits-All Stroller. This is a hard lesson that many parents have learned with their first child. While baby strollers might seem flexible enough to accommodate children from their first month of life until they're ready to walk, the truth is that different strollers are meant for various ages. For example, a stroller for a newborn baby is extremely different than one for a toddler, as newborns need critical head support that upright baby strollers just don't provide.
When selecting a stroller for an infant aged one to six months, find one that will allow you to attach an infant seat, since your baby will need to be lying down. Graduate to an upright stroller once your baby has the appropriate head control to sit up for longer periods of time.
Give It A Test Ride. Sometimes online shopping just doesn't hold a candle to the real deal - and shopping for baby strollers is a perfect example. New parents should always test out a baby stroller before making the purchase, as it's absolutely critical to see how easy/difficult it is to push. If you're an avid walker or run plenty of errands, a stroller needs to work with you, not against you. Look for strollers with larger rubber wheels (this creates an easier and smoother ride) with shock absorbers to ensure that your baby isn't jostled during your afternoon jog.
If you are buying online, always select a baby stroller from a manufacturer with an iron-clad return policy. After all, you don't want to be stuck with a stroller that's difficult to maneuver simply because you chose to buy it online!
Keep Weight Into Account. Every parent knows that the size of a baby stroller matters - but did you know that weight is equally as important to take into account? Think about all of the activities you'll be doing with that stroller. From grocery shopping to jogging and everything in between, you'll be lugging that baby stroller everywhere - not to mention that your growing baby will be inside of it! An ideal stroller weight is around fifteen to eighteen pounds (strollers run the gamut between eight to thirty pounds); any more than this, and you'll exhaust yourself by the simple act of transferring the stroller from ground to car.
Try to avoid purchasing the lightest stroller available. While a lighter stroller might be easier to handle, they tend to be more uncomfortable rides for your baby. Find a stroller that's substantial but doesn't require a weight-lifting regimen in order to operate.
Which Features Matter? These days, baby strollers come with so many features and bonuses that many parents would hardly be surprised if they discovered one that came with a DVD player!
However, choosing the right baby stroller can become an infinitely more difficult process thanks to the feature-laden strollers that are saturating the marketplace. From cup holders to snack trays and everything in between, many of these features can leave parents wondering which ones are essential - and which are just minor luxuries.
The most paramount feature that a baby stroller should have is a sun canopy. Your baby's delicate skin will need maximum protection against the sun; so the larger the sun canopy, the more protection the stroller will provide your child. Seats that recline as well as strollers with storage space are essential features as well, as these strollers provide you with plenty of space to store baby products as well as allow your child to lie down and nap. Any potential baby stroller should also have an adjustable leg rest, since this will help your stroller to keep up with your growing baby boy or girl.
In the end, the manufacturer of the stroller is far less important than the number of safety features, weight and model design. Use this guide on your next baby stroller shopping expedition, and you'll come home with a safe, secure and comfortable vehicle for both you and your baby!
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