Whether you’re headed to the park for a leisurely stroll

or to Paris to see all of the sights, a stroller is a must-

have for life on the go with baby. The right

stroller

not only gives baby a safe place to sit or snooze, but it

also provides a place for you to stash all of those must-have

essentials, from wipes and diapers to a change of clothes and

an extra pacifier. 


    But finding the best stroller isn’t easy. The

market is saturated with all different types of models and

prices that vary widely from as little as $30 to upwards of

thousands of dollars. So when you begin your hunt, first

consider your budget. Then, think about how you plan to use

your stroller to narrow down your options. Ask yourself some

key questions, like: Where are you going to use it? Where are

you going to store it? How many babies will be using it? And

how much stuff do they have?


    A basic lightweight umbrella stroller makes travel (and

storage) easy, while high-function stroller systems boast

helpful features like extra storage and snap-on bassinets or

car seats. For some, a basic model for occasional use is

perfectly suitable. For others, the splurge on a more

advanced model is well worth it — even if it feels like a

big investment. If you frequently take baby out and about or

plan to have multiple kids, your stroller will likely get

miles and years of use.


    Before you purchase, don’t be afraid to try out your top

choices. A trial run goes a long way in making sure it works

for baby’s needs — and for the needs of other family

members who will be pushing it, folding it and stowing their

things within it along the way.


    What are the different types of strollers?


    There are six basic types of strollers:
          Full-sized stroller
       
     
            Lightweight or umbrella stroller
       
          Jogging stroller
       
          Double stroller
     
            Car seat carrier
       
            Travel system 
 
    It’s worth noting that although many strollers do fit

squarely into the above categories, there are plenty that don

’t. Some strollers can have characteristics of more than one

type (i.e. a double jogging stroller).

    Full-sized stroller

    What it is: If you’re hoping to invest in one

stroller that’ll wheel your baby right through the toddler

years, look no further than a full-size stroller. Bigger,

sturdier and usually more durable, these strollers are the

standard option. Plus, many models come with a full range of

features that not only make baby’s ride a joy, but also make

your life easier.

    Full-size stroller benefits: The go-to option for

many families, a full-sized stroller covers all the basics

and offers nifty bells and whistles that usually include:
   
            Wide, comfortable, well-padded seat
       
          Deep seat recline
       
          Option to mount the seat forward-facing or rear-

facing
     
            Option to attach a car seat
       
     
            Convertible design that grows with baby, from

newborn use with car seat (or optional bassinet, in some

cases) to toddler use
       
     
            Expandable canopies
       
   
            Sturdy tires with decent suspension to absorb

shock
     
            Roomy basket for storage
       
     
            Telescoping handlebars (especially helpful when

one parent is tall and the other is petite)
       
          Useful nice-to-haves, like a cup holder or snack

tray 
       

    Full-size stroller downsides:

      Can be bulky and heavy (if you take public

transportation, climb stairways frequently, or navigate busy

streets or small stores with your baby, this can make it

tougher to travel with)
       
   
     
            May also be a tight fit for a small-space home

with limited storage.
 
    Lightweight or

umbrella stroller


    What it is: You might lose a few of the features you

can find in a full-sized stroller, but an umbrella stroller

scores points for being supremely easy to handle while on the

go.


    Lightweight or umbrella stroller benefits:

 
       
            Often weighing under 15 pounds, a lightweight

stroller is designed for portability (some even come with a

shoulder strap).
     
            These models are easy to fold, which makes

stashing one in the trunk or taking it on an airplane, bus or

train a snap.
       
     
            Many lightweight strollers still come equipped

with beneficial features, such as a partial seat recline,

expandable canopy, storage basket and built-in cupholder or

snack tray.
       
 
    Lightweight stroller downsides:
   
            If you’re looking for a stroller you can use

from the newborn months on, a lightweight stroller won’t do.

While a few models can safely carry newborns with car seat

adapters or bassinet attachments, most umbrella strollers are

designed for babies 6 months or older.
       
     
            Most lightweight



Pushchairs
do not have a convertible option, which

means if you end up having a second (or third) baby within a

few years of your first, you'll likely need to purchase a

second stroller.

    Jogging stroller


    What it is: On the run — literally? Then a jogging

stroller might be a good option. Jogging strollers typically

have larger, sturdier wheels and better suspension to take

bumps and alternate terrain in stride.


    Jogging stroller benefits:
 
            Superior suspension lets you walk, jog or hike

and keep baby in comfort while on and off the trail.
      Many jogging strollers come with a front wheel that can

swivel (for flexibility) or be fixed (for stability at higher

speeds).
      Depending on the model, other benefits may include

compatibility with a car seat (for use from newborn through

toddler stages), deep reclining seats, telescoping handlebars

and generous storage baskets. A hand brake, five-point

harness and wrist strap are key safety features, so don’t go

jogging with a stroller that doesn’t include these.

    Jogging stroller downsides:

      A jogging stroller can be a bit heavier and

challenging to assemble.
       
      If space is tight, a jogging stroller usually can't

fold up as small as an umbrella stroller.

            Jogging strollers are typically wider than even

many full-size strollers, which means maneuvering them

through tight spaces can be challenging.
       

    Keep in mind that while most three-wheeled strollers are

referred to as “joggers,” not all three-wheelers are

actually optimized for runners. Some of the most popular

three-wheelers are “hybrid” strollers that lack hand brakes

and other safety features, and therefore, aren’t intended to

be used for jogging with baby. Serious runners will want to

do a test drive to make sure their jogging stroller has the

appropriate safety features and functionality.

    Double stroller

    What it is: If you’ve got twins in tow — or a

toddler who’s not ready to give up their stroller days —

then a double stroller is the way to go. Doubles come in two

formats: tandem, where one child sits behind the other, or

side-by-side seating.

    Double stroller benefits:

        With multiple children, this option enables you to

swiftly manage only one stroller.
      Because these models are on the bigger side,

there's usually ample storage space.

    Double stroller downsides:

            Strollers for two tend to be bigger and bulkier,

weighing in at up to 40 pounds and with a much larger

footprint.
       
 
            Though there are some lighter options, these are

not without issues, as they don’t tend to take bumps and

alternate terrain well. As you shop, consider width (does it

fit through your door?), mobility (is it well balanced? how

does it turn?) and whether it’s compatible with one or two

car seats.
  Car seat carrier

    What it is: These wheeled frames are built to

transform your infant car seat into a stroller in just a snap

(literally!).

    Car seat carrier benefits:

          Car seat carriers are compact and lightweight.
        For a no-fuss transition into and out of the car,

they are convenient and great for travel.
       
      Some car seat carriers can even accommodate multiple

babies.
       

    Car seat carrier downsides:


            Car seat carriers tend to be best for short-term

use, since baby outgrows the infant car seat quickly. That

said, some full-featured

baby

prams
function as a car seat frame, then transform into

a toddler-friendly stroller.
       
        Car seat carriers generally do not have any extra

features like cup holders or storage.
       

    Travel system

    What it is: An easy-to-connect travel system pairs

together an infant car seat and stroller. There are full-

size, lightweight and jogging stroller travel systems, so you

can choose a system with the type of stroller you like best.


    Travel system benefits:
 
            Having an infant car seat that connects to your

stroller with an adapter (usually built in) means you can

move your sleeping baby from the car to the stroller without

waking her up.
   
            Being able to buy both components as a set may

save you money.
       
    Travel system downsides:

        While the stroller will usually last into the older

toddler years, your baby will outgrow the infant car seat

much sooner than that.
 
            If you’re a multiple-car family, you’ll need to

buy a separate car seat or base to use with your second car.
        

   


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