There are several types of strollers. Some are designed for specialized use, such as joggers and lightweight strollers, others are intended for more everyday use. Irrespective of the sort of stroller you are purchasing, here are some considerations to look at before you buy your new stroller.
Make absolutely sure the stroller comes equipped with a appropriate, and effective, restraint system. Look for a three-point seatbelt that goes around the waist and comes up between the legs. The buckle should be comfortable against your child. If you are looking for a jogging stroller, make sure you get a five-point restraint system (shoulder straps) since running will result in your child being bounced around. The shoulder belts must keep them in place comfortably even when jogging.
Be sure the stroller has a brake. For most casual strollers, this will just be a brake to use when you are parking the stroller. Make sure it works reliably and is easy to use. For joggers, you should also insist on a brake that can be used to brake the stroller while it is being used. Be certain that the brake is easy to operate and that you can lock the tire(s) without too much effort.
Most strollers have a mechanism that permits the stroller to be folded up for storage and travel. Be certain that you can operate the folding mechanism yourself; it’s not much fun to be standing outside your car in the snow desperately trying to fold your stroller. Even more important than how easy it is to fold, consider how strong it is when it is open. Be sure that when opened, there is a secure locking mechanism that keeps the stroller from folding accidentally. If this occurs when your child is in the stroller, they can be injured.
Take the stroller on a test drive and see how easy it is to operate. You should be able to use the stroller with one hand. Strollers with front and rear swivel wheels tend to be easier to steer. Strollers with wheels that spin in one direction are more awkward to maneuver.
Look at the height of the handle. The stroller will be easiest to use if the handle is at waist height. For most people, this will not be an issue. But if you are extremely tall or short, you should select a stroller with an adjustable height handle.
Look for options that can make your child more comfortable while riding in the stroller. These include comfortable padding; reclining seats (makes for easier napping); canopies to protect and against sun, rain, and wind; cup holders and bins for snacks.
Make sure that the stroller has plenty of storage space for things like backpacks, diaper bags, shopping bags, etc. The more storage you have, the happier you will be with your stroller.
Kids make lots of messes. If your kids are especially prone to destroying fabric, try to find a stroller with removable fabric covers over the seats. Removable or not, look for fabric on the stroller can be cleaned with water and mild detergent. While a stylish fabric may look great when new, if it’s not washable the look will quickly fade.
Carefully check the frame of the stroller for sharp edges or pokey bits. In addition look for gaps that could catch toes and small fingers. Check the leg openings of the stroller; make sure that they are not wide enough for an infant to accidentally slip through them.
Before you consider a stroller, or any other product for your child, check the product recall finder website (http://www.babycenter.com/product-recall-finder) to see if there is a recall against the product you are think about getting.