12 Things to Consider When Buying the Perfect Baby Stroller
A baby stroller is a necessity when you have a baby and you want to go for a walk or shopping. But there are so many types of strollers that it becomes hard to decide which one to get. Below you`ll find some basic descriptions on some of the most important details regarding baby strollers.
The perfect stroller for your baby isn`t easy to find, especially when it comes to couples that have their first child. There are characteristics to consider before deciding which stroller will fit your needs as well as your baby`s necessities.
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You should choose a stroller with a seatbelt that can be locked in 5 points. They provide protection against shoulders, waist and between your baby`s legs, preventing him to fall or slip off from the stroller. You`ll find the stroller with such a seatbelt to be a good choice even when your infant will grow because he won`t be able to stand and get out from his seat if you aren`t paying attention. The seatbelt that locks in 3 points will only ensure safety below the waist.
The seatbelt should be easy to use for adults and hard to handle by babies. Check it to be strong enough, but still comfortable as some models are equipped with foam cushions in the shoulder area. Seatbelts should be well anchored in the stroller`s structure and easy to adjust.
Strollers with strong wheels are preferable against those with wheels filled with air, although it`s known that parents are more attracted by strollers with big wheels with an off-road design.
Strollers with big wheels are easy to handle in curves and turns, but they are usually preferred because sometimes a walk to the park also means a walk on unpaved roads, snow or grass. They are also easier to by pushed, but when its wheels don`t turn 360 degrees, the stroller will become hard to handle, which isn`t something you`ll want when you don`t have enough space to move. They are hard to maintain, and if the manufacturer doesn`t include a air pump, you`ll usually pray not to get a flat wheel. But of course, the bigger are the wheels, the easier is to push.
When it comes to wheels, the strollers with double wheels are ideal, especially those with double wheels in the front that can rotate 360 degrees, and which have the possibility to break. There`s also the option to lock the wheels to only walk forward, without the possibility to turn right or left; these are usually used for the jogging-type stroller models.
All strollers have brakes to prevent them from moving forward or backward if we park them. Some strollers even have manual brakes, similar to the ones used by bicycles.
Brakes are very important for the safety of your child. Some of them will activate by pressing a plastic device installed on each wheel, while others have brakes that once activated, stop two of the wheels.
A cover is very important to have for the safety of your child when the sun or wind is strong. The cover is made from a fabric attached to an aluminum frame that you can fold whenever you want or pull over the entire stroller for complete protection. Some covers are designed with a small plastic insertion that are the size of a palm and which will allow parents to see their baby during the ride. Optionally, there are also specific covers against the wind or sun, as well as umbrellas that can be attached to the stroller for protection against the sun.
The strollers` handles can be designed with foam for more comfort. Also, there are adjustable handles that can be adapted according to the height of the person who`s pushing the stroller. There are also reversible handles that can be moved over the stroller`s cover, allowing you to see your baby better, very useful option during the first months of his life when parents want to have eyes on their baby at all times.
The strollers can have 1 or 2 handles. The ones with only one handle are with about 30% easier to handle than those with 2 handles because they can be pushed with only hand. On the other hand, the strollers with 2 handles can be adjusted until the most comfortable handling position can be found.
Another model of a stroller is the one with a fixed handle, but with a reversible seat. The option of a reversible seat or handle has only one disadvantage: the price of these models is more expensive than the standard ones.
6. Strollers that Can Be Folded
Being able to have an option to fold the stroller is quite useful when you hold the baby with one arm and you need to place it into your car trunk, for instance. Modern strollers can be folded fast and easy, the whole process taking a few seconds. The folding will be complete when you a click sound is heard.
7. Adjustable Backrest
This is something that you may not needed during the first months of your baby`s life when the backrest should be completely collapsed. However, later when your baby will grow, he`ll become curious and want to see everything. This is when you`ll need an adjustable backrest.
8. Tray & Bumper
Some strollers have a tray included on which the baby can rest his hands or where can play and eat. Other ones have a simple safety bar. Either way, both these accessories should be easy to remove in case they need to be cleaned or to allow you to take the baby out from the stroller.
This will help the child to rest his feet so that they won`t hang in the air. However, a lot of them are placed too low from the ground for the children to be able to use them. With the more expensive strollers, we`ll be able to find an adjustable footrest made from hard plastic, which can be of real support for the baby`s feet. The cheaper models have as support for the feet a simple rubber band of about 5cm.
A lot of strollers have bumpers included to keep the baby safe. They are under the form of springs placed on top of the wheels. These are usually welcome and can help, but they sometimes also make the stroller hard to handle. It`s probably best to test the stroller before buying it.
11. The Stroller`s Fabric & Design
The variety of colors and graphical designs are quite beautiful these days. Most of the times, parents find it hard to choose a stroller exactly because of this. However on the good side, it`s almost impossible not to find something suitable to your desires. One thing to remember – buy a stroller with a removable cover so you can have it clean in your washing machine when needed.
12. Shopping Cart
Placed under the stroller`s seat, the shopping cart is of real use when parents need to go shopping with their babies. When you buy the stroller, use your hand to press on the shopping cart to see if it will reach the floor. If it does, you might want to buy a different model.