There isn’t one perfect stroller – there’s only the perfect stroller for you and your family. The one you buy should reflect your lifestyle, budget, and your family’s needs. Here are some things to consider:
Urban lifestyle: If you’re living in a city, you may do a lot of walking on bumpy sidewalks, which means you want a jogging or all-terrain stroller with a comfortable ride. But for maneuvering through streets and stores, for storage purposes, and to ride on public transportation, think about a more compact and lightweight model, like the Baby Jogger City Mini.
Active parents: A substantial jogging stroller might be right for you if you run or walk long distances. If you’re truly going to run with your child, make sure to read the manual carefully, as this can be dangerous with a young baby, especially if you don’t have the proper stroller and restraints.
Multiple kids: How closely spaced are your kids? If you’re planning for another child while your first is still a toddler, think about a stroller that allows for an additional seat or glider board. If your kids are more than three years apart, will your older one be interested in strolling? Do you want him to walk instead for exercise?
If you already own a single stroller and now find yourself in need of a double, you can consider looking for a used one on Craigslist. You’ll want to do a good inspection to see that there is no damage to the fabric, the harnesses, or wheels, and to make sure the brakes work well. Check for recalls through the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and know that you won’t be able to return the stroller or take advantage of its warranty.
Height of parents: Most strollers are a comfy height for an average-size woman (around 5’4”). If dad is planning to stroll, or if mom is tall, you’ll really want to test-drive and look for a comfortable handlebar height. When you walk, you don’t want to feel as though you’re slouching or kicking the back of the stroller. Many strollers come with an adjustable handlebar or the option of a handlebar extension.
Families who travel a lot: For the family taking a lot of car or plane trips, think about a more compact, lightweight stroller that collapses fully (with just one hand needed). You may want to buy a more substantial stroller for home and a small, easy-to-carry one for trips.
Your space: Do you have a garage with a nice, big space for a large jogger, or will your stroller have to climb stairs in the city to get to your apartment? Consider the size and weight for all your daily comings and goings.