Choosing a stroller for your baby is a big decision! Not only are you likely to use it for a number of years, a stroller is usually one of the more expensive pieces of baby gear that you’ll purchase. As a mom of 4 who has reviewed a large number of strollers over the years, here are my best tips when choosing a stroller.
This is the first thing to consider. Set a budget for your stroller and stick to it. While having a stroller is nice, there is no reason to go overboard and blow your budget on one. You are more likely to have buyer’s remorse if you overspend on baby gear!
Look For Ways to Save Money on a Stroller
If you are eyeing a stroller that is beyond your budget, don’t be afraid to check local consignment stores and Facebook sale groups. I often see luxury strollers posted at these places for a fraction of the cost. You should also check the clearance section at stores known to sell baby gear (Target, Walmart, BabiesRUs, etc.). I’ve noticed strollers marked down quite a bit at these stores. You never know what you might find!
Should you purchase a travel system or not? That’s a huge question that’s going to come down to your lifestyle and preference. Travel systems are convenient if you plan to frequently go on outings with your baby because, should they fall asleep in their car seat, you can transfer them from car to stroller without (hopefully) ever waking them up!
The amount of time you might use a travel system can depend largely on your climate and what time of the year baby is born. For instance, when my son was born at the beginning of February, we seldom ended up using a travel system for him. We didn’t take him out much through the cold Winter months and early spring so by the time summer rolled around and he was a few months old, he was usually awake enough to transfer over to a stroller easily or he preferred to be held. On the flip side, with my daughter who was born in June, we used the travel system quite a bit for her first few months.
Another thing to consider is whether this is your first baby or a younger sibling. I have found that as the number of children I have increases, the number of long-trip outings where I would need a travel system decreases. Sure, we still go to place like the park and the library, but in those instances I usually just carry my infant car seat with me, rather than drag out my stroller too. When I only had one child it was easy to use my travel system and take her into the mall for a shopping date. Now that I have 4 young children, taking them all into the store to go shopping for new shoes doesn’t sound like too much fun. Sure, it happens sometimes, but in those instances, many times the baby ends up being carried in a baby carrier so the next two older kids can be strapped into a double stroller, and my oldest can then ride on a bump rider board on the back.
Lastly, some car seats you might fall in love with don’t have a matching brand car seat but give you option to utilize adapters with specific car seats to transform the stroller into a travel system. This is also an option if you don’t love any of the travel systems on the market.
Consider Gender Neutral
My first child was a girl and therefore we ended up with a lot of girly baby girl items. When her brother was born just 2 years later, the gear was still in great shape so I was forced to either use baby gear for him that was clearly meant for a baby girl or spend money to get new gear. Unless you are absolutely sure that this will be your only or last baby, I’d highly encourage you to choose something that is gender neutral. Not only will that allow you to use it again for future children, it will likely make it easier for you to resell or give away when you’re finishing using it yourself.
Consider Your Travel Plans
Do you plan to travel a lot with your baby? If so, take that into consideration when purchasing a stroller. Traveling with baby generally means you’ll have a bigger need for a stroller. You’ll want a stroller with a nice sized basket to keep your diaper bag and a cup holder for you (or an add on accessory you can purchase). Keep in mind that if you decide to travel by plane, the airlines can sometimes be very rough on baby gear (they broke pieces on one of my strollers the first time I flew with it!) so if you plan to fly with a higher-priced stroller, you’ll want to make sure you purchase quality travel bags to help protect it during flights.
As a side note, if you’re traveling with a toddler on a plane, you could probably get away with packing a small umbrella stroller but again, you may want to consider taking one with a basket so you can store your diaper bag there.
Will You Be Taking Public Transportation
If you plan to take the bus a lot, you need a stroller that folds up easily and is also lightweight. Keep that in mind when choosing a stroller.
Do you have a tiny compact car? Some strollers take up a considerable amount of space when folded. This is another thing to take into consideration when choosing a stroller.
Last of all, once you think you’ve found the perfect stroller for your little one, make sure you check out a few reviews. Reviews may offer you some insight on things you hadn’t considered or noticed.
In an effort to help you with choosing a stroller, I’ve compiled a list of my stroller reviews below.
- Britax B-Agile 3/ B-Safe 35 Travel System Review
- Britax B-Agile Double Stroller Review (can be used as a travel system)
- Graco Modes 3 Lite Click Connect Stroller Review
- Graco Modes 3 Lite LX Click Connect Travel System Review
- Joovy Balloon Stroller Review
- Joovy Caboose Stroller Review (Also reviewed is the Joovy Caboose Too Stroller)
- Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stroller Review (Also reviewed is the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Too Stroller)
- Joovy Cocoon X2 Double Stroller Review
- Joovy Scooter X2 Double Stroller Review
- Joovy TwinGroove Ultralight Stroller Review
- Joovy Jogging Stroller (Zoom360 Ultralight) Review
- A comparison of the Joovy Caboose and the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Strollers
Mamas and Papas
- Mamas and Papas Armadillo Stroller Review
- Mamas and Papas Armadillo Flip Stroller Review
- Mamas and Papas Tour Lightweight Stroller Review