An Expert Guide to Baby StrollersPublished on 10/12/2022 · 7 min readWhen it comes to baby strollers, there are a lot of different styles. Baby & Toddler Expert Kristina Spencer is here to help you sort through the main options!
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi
A stroller is so iconic to babies that everyone knows what one is. Famous paintings, books, Instagram, and the neighborhood parks are full of them, so it's easy to know that a stroller is a necessary item for your child. However, when you are anticipating the birth of your first—or fourth—child, it becomes a serious topic that can be a bit overwhelming when you go to the store and see all the options. The last thing you want in this joyous time of your life is more stress, so to make it easier, I've listed out the different types of strollers and why you might be interested in one or more options.
This is the classic stroller. The big, beautiful, do-it-all and carry-everything stroller that you can use from day one of your baby's life. The full-size stroller comes with plenty of storage space for your baby's gear, your groceries, and various rocks or other treasures your older children might decide they have to take home. Many strollers come with a bassinet seat for your newborn and a toddler seat for when your baby is older. If you don't purchase a travel system, many brands sell a car seat adapter so you can use your preferred car seat with the stroller of your choice.
A travel system is a stroller, usually a full-size but not always, and an infant car seat combo. The car seat and stroller are designed to lock together so you can drive to the park, take your baby out of the car while still asleep in the car seat, and attach it to the stroller for a quick lap around the pond with your friend without waking the baby.
Some travel systems use a stroller frame with an infant car seat. The stroller frame does not include a toddler seat, so when your baby outgrows the weight limit on the infant seat or gets too heavy for you to lift the car seat, then you will need to find another option for older children. If you will be doing a lot of driving and don't want the added bulk of a large stroller in the back of your car, the minimalist design of this kind of travel system is perfect for you. Also, the color patterns match on the car seat and stroller in a travel system so you know they will look good together!
Lightweight strollers are often called "umbrella strollers" since they fold up just like an umbrella. This type of compact stroller is perfect for taking your toddler out to the museum or the park. It has great maneuverability through crowded sidewalks and is an easy item to keep in your car so you always have an option with you for when your child gets sleepy on your outing. Some lightweight strollers come with a sun shade to make the walk around the fairgrounds more comfortable. This type of stroller is not compatible with an infant car seat so it can't be used as a car seat carrier, but it is very useful when you need a stroller as a quick option to grab from the car.
Lightweight strollers are light enough for your three-year-old to push through the mall when she gets tired of riding and insists on pushing her doll around. But be warned, her driving skills are still a long way off!
Convertible strollers are full-size strollers that have different seating configurations, and depending on the model can accommodate up to three children. Some varieties of convertible strollers have the option for an added rumble seat or a standing board for older siblings. If you have multiple children in a short period of time, this is a very desirable stroller as little legs get tired quickly on walks.
The baby jogger is just like its name—it is perfect for going on a run or off the paved path for a mountain jog with your little one so you can both get fresh air. They aren't designed for children under six months old, but when your baby is older, you will enjoy how stable it is to push one of these strollers on the uneven terrain of the jogging path. An added bonus is added shock absorption so your child can take a nap and enjoy the smooth ride while you exercise.
The double stroller is super useful if you have twins. It is even a great piece of gear if your kids are close in age. Double strollers will either have seats side by side or one in front of the other. The side-by-side strollers are wider and can make it more difficult to maneuver through tight, crowded spaces, however, both children can see everything in front of them and play with each other.
Conveniences to Consider
When picking out the best stroller for your baby, consider the amount of time you will be spending using that stroller and how long you expect to use it. While the durability, wheel suspension, or safety features like a five-point safety harness are important things to consider, the best baby strollers have a whole lot more added to them.
Everyone always thinks making sure the baby is happy and comfortable is the main importance, but just as crucial is the little things in life, like enjoying your favorite coffee while you walk with a friend. Fortunately, strollers are designed with parents and their babies in mind, and listed below are some features that can make life easier.
- Adjustable Handlebar: If multiple people of different heights are going to be using the stroller, then having a handlebar that is height adjustable is a must-have for your comfort.
- Cup Holder: Built-in or as an accessory, this is important to carry your latte, water, or your toddler's juice.
- Snack Trays: Just like the tray on a high chair, snack trays attach in front of your toddler so they can eat (play with) their snacks while you walk.
- Large Storage Basket: This will come with a full-sized stroller or a travel system. If you are in the city and walk to the store on errands, a large storage basket is important to hold your groceries—or your cat!
- Peekaboo Window: For your baby's comfort and your peace of mind, a peekaboo window in the sun canopy will allow your baby to see you, and you see them, while you walk.
- Large Canopy: A large baby sun hat is great to keep your baby sunburn-free if only they would keep it on their head and stop throwing it out of the stroller onto the sidewalk! To keep your child comfortable on an outing and out of the sun without picking up her hat every two feet, a large sun canopy is a necessary feature. Look for a UPF-rated or all-weather canopy for added comfort and safety.
- Travel Rated: Some varieties of strollers are great for travel and are approved for airplane overhead bins while still being compatible with an infant car seat to help ease the rush to your next gate.
- Accessories: A large variety of accessories are available to attach to your stroller for your organization or playtime. Chat with a Baby & Toddler Expert to learn more.
Not Just For Mom
Traditionally baby gear companies catered to the mom-to-be for baby gear. However, in today's world, more dads, grandparents, and other relatives are spending quality time with their children than ever before. Because of this, strollers are now designed for people of so many different lifestyles that, while it can be overwhelming, you will be able to find an option that will work for everyone.
While looking for the right stroller there are key points that you will need to consider to pinpoint the perfect one; where you will most likely be using it, who will be using it, if you want more than one stroller for different situations or locations, and which accessories you know you cannot do without. Many of the strollers available don't fall into just one category which can make it difficult to decide, but the Baby & Toddler Experts at Curated will walk you through all of these questions and more to match you and your family to the right stroller that will be exactly what you need and desire.
This content is meant to be informative and add to your understanding of this subject, but it is not definitive nor a replacement for your own sensibility. Neither Curated nor any Curated Expert is responsible for any liability resulting from information or advice shared here. Please consult with a medical professional for any health concerns.