How to Buy A Stroller for Your Baby?
Gone are the days when parents used to walk around carrying baby in their hand. Now with the advent of strollers and baby carriers, parents comfortably tag along the baby wherever they want to go without any strain. It is also a boon for grandparents who take care of babies as they can take them around for a stroll to the park or to the supermarket without any difficulty.
In this article, we take a look at important factors to be considered while choosing a stroller so that you can ensure your choice meets your requirement.
When Should You Start Using A Stroller?
A stroller can be used right from the time a baby is born until the baby learns to walk independently. However, when you use stroller for newborns, ensure that it has 180 degree recline, good suspension and overall sturdy structure. Options like R For Rabbit Hokey Pokey and Luvlap Premier Stroller fit these requirements.
Some people use strollers for a prolonged period, especially when the child has to walk a long distance. There is no hard and fast rule regarding the use of strollers, and you can use it as and when you feel the need. However, experts are of the opinion that in order to foster independence and to encourage activity, children should be weaned off from stroller completely by the age of 3.
Which Are the Different Types of Strollers?
Strollers are available in different sizes and sturdiness, and you can pick one up depending on your requirement. The most common available options in India are-
These are big and sturdy strollers that can be used for a more extended period. If you plan to use the stroller right from the newborn days till the baby’s toddler years or if you are planning for a second child in the near future, then this type of strollers would be the right choice.
Full-size strollers come with recliner seats, canopy, and storage basket. Some of the designs will have a cup holder as well, thus adding to convenience.
- Wide seating which is comfortable for the baby
- Option to adjust the handle bar to make the stroller forward facing or rear facing
- Adjustable seat recline depending on the growing requirements of the baby.
- Storage basket that makes it easy to carry the baby’s essentials
- This type of stroller is bulky and heavy and hence folding them is not very easy.
- Maneuvering some of the models in busy streets can be difficult.
- Because of its large size, the stroller requires more space for storage. As it consumes a lot of boot space, you might find it difficult to find space for your baggage while travelling.
Umbrella strollers are lightweight strollers for toddlers and older children. It can easily be folded, and some will have storage space underneath. This type of stroller is best suited for babies and toddlers who can sit upright without support. So, you can use it for babies only from age of 6 months.
- Umbrella strollers are easy to carry around as it is lightweight.
- It can easily be folded and is best suited for travel purpose.
- Since it is light, it can be easily maneuvered in crowded areas.
- Most of the brands offer additional features like storage facility and canopy for umbrella strollers.
- Umbrella strollers are not suited for infants as the seats do not recline to a lying position.
- Because of the lightweight, the stroller might topple if the baby tries to get out of it or if you put too much pressure on the handle.
Unlike the standard strollers with four plastic wheels, the jogging strollers come with three bicycle wheels and a light-weight frame. These strollers are ideal for those who go for long walks, jogging or hiking. They are sturdy and strong and may not maneuver easily. Hence, they are not suited for a crowded area.
- The stroller has three air filled wheels and hence can easily maneuver rugged terrain.
- The suspension from wheels enables a smooth ride.
- Reclining seats suitable for newborns are available in certain models.
- Large storage basket for storing baby essentials.
- It is bulky and hence cannot be easily folded and stored. For certain models, you may have to remove the wheels in order to stow the stroller in the boot.
- It is difficult to assemble and is comparatively heavy.
These are strollers that can accommodate two babies at a time. Such strollers can be used either for twins or for babies who are closer in age. The double stroller comes in two styles – side-by-side style in which both the babies sits next to each other and tandem style in which one baby sits behind the other.
- No need to carry separate strollers for each of the babies.
- Enough storage space to accommodate the essentials of both the babies.
- Double strollers are bulky and cannot be lifted easily.
- Both styles of strollers are difficult to maneuver; either because of length or width.
- It cannot be easily folded and stored in the car.
You can check our article on Best Baby Strollers to know the best options suiting your requirement.
The travel system comes with an infant car seat that can be attached to a stroller. The stroller can be a full-size, lightweight or jogging stroller. This is a two-in-one product that can be used right from birth till toddlerhood.
- Being a two-in-one product, it is economical compared to buying the same car seat and stroller separately.
- You can easily move your sleeping baby from the car to the stroller.
- You can use the infant car seat only till the baby’s first birthday. So, unless you plan to have another baby in the near future, its use will be rather limited.
Check out the article on Best Baby Travel Systems to know the options best suiting your needs.
What Are the Things to Consider While Buying A Stroller?
Buying a stroller is a tricky affair, especially for first-time parents. Because of the different varieties and brands of strollers available in the market, parents are usually confused when they go for stroller shopping. Here are a few things that should be considered while purchasing a stroller for your baby.
Your baby’s requirements
The first and foremost thing to consider is the specific requirements of your baby.
For, e.g., if you are buying a stroller for a newborn, then the stroller seat should be reclining so that the baby can lie down if needed. It should also have sturdy suspension. Options like R For Rabbit Hokey Pokey and Luvlap Premier Stroller meet these requirements.
If you are purchasing the stroller for an 8-month-old baby, then the stroller should have a cup holder to accommodate the baby’s feeding bottle. It should also have ample under the seat storage space. Options like Chicco Cortina, Luvlap Galaxy, R For Rabbit Poppins are good.
If you are having twins or kids of the same age group, then you should decide whether to go for a double stroller or two single strollers. R For Rabbit Ginny Johny Double Stroller is an economical option.
Once you have decided on the type of stroller to go for, you should then consider the safety aspects. You should check whether the stroller has a five-point or three-point harness and good brakes. A five-point harness is safer as it provides complete protection to the baby.
You should also check the edges and hinges and make sure that there is nothing that harms the baby. Another thing to consider is the canopy that protects the baby from extreme sunlight or rain.
Duration of use
If you are planning to use the stroller only for the first year, then you can select a basic model with few add-on features. But, if you plan to use the stroller till toddlerhood, then the stroller selected should cater to the growing requirements of the baby. Thus, a full-size stroller would be the right choice. Also check the maximum weight limit. R For Rabbit Cuppy Cake, for example, can be used for children up till they weigh around 25 Kg.
Similarly, if you are planning for a second child shortly, then it is better to go for one that is long-lasting and durable so as to meet your future requirements.
Your General Lifestyle
Your lifestyle plays a crucial role in selecting the type of stroller. If you go shopping or walk inside the city more frequently, then a lightweight stroller would be the best choice as you can easily maneuver it in the city crowd. On the other hand, if you are a very active person who goes for regular jogging or trekking, then a jogger’s stroller is ideal for you.
Ease of Use
If you are looking for a stroller that can easily be folded and stored, then an umbrella or lightweight stroller would be the right choice. This stroller is also compact that it can easily be fitted in the boot space. Similarly, if you want a stroller that can easily be maneuvered in a crowded area, then also the umbrella stroller would be the best choice.
On the other hand, if ease of use is not your concern and you want a stroller that is sturdy and does not tip off easily, then the full-size stroller would be the best choice.
If budget is not a constraint, then you can go for a travel system. But if you are looking for an economical option, then an umbrella stroller would be the best choice. But keep in mind that all umbrella strollers may not have additional storage facilities. Among Umbrella strollers, Little Pumpkin Stroller and Luvlap Tutty Frutty Buggy are popular choices.
Storage facilities that are available in a stroller includes basket under the seat, cup holder and tray. Though all types of strollers have these facilities, it may/may not be present in an umbrella stroller, and it depends on the brand selected. Since storage is highly essential for a stroller, you should check it before zeroing in on a particular brand.
While purchasing a stroller you should make sure that it comes with washable fabric. This will make it easy for you to clean it when there is a spill or an accident.
What Are the Safety Features to Consider While Buying A Stroller?
Unlike in the USA where all strollers need to be approved by the JPMA (Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association), there is no authority to approve the standard of strollers in India. Thus, it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the stroller meets the following safety features.
Restraint features ensures that the babies stay safe while using the stroller. Strollers come with two types of restraint features – three-point harness and five-point harness. These refer to the number of straps used to harness the baby.
A three-point harness system has three straps – two around both the shoulders and one in between the legs. A five-point harness system, on the other hand, has two straps on both the shoulder, one strap in between the legs and two straps around the baby’s hips. Thus, the protection is more in case of a five-point harness.
The frame of the stroller should lock properly so that it does not accidentally collapse while carrying the baby. You should also examine the frame for any sharp edges or holes where tiny fingers can get caught and injured.
Check the brake of the stroller and ensure that it is working properly. There are two types of brakes for the stroller – one that locks both the back wheels at once and the other which locks the wheels independently. It is better to go for the former type as it is more efficient. You should check how easy it is to put and disengage the brake before selecting one.
Almost all types of strollers come with a canopy to protect the baby from sun and rain. It is better to go for one with UV protected fabric as to protect your baby from the harmful rays of the sun.
Stroller being an essential baby gear you should purchase it with utmost caution. You should ensure that the stroller selected meets not only your requirements but also comes with all the required safety features.
Keeping these factors in mind, we hope you will be able to make an informed choice while buying a stroller for your baby. If you need answer to any of your doubts, please leave a comment and we shall reply at our earliest.