Choosing a baby stroller

Choosing a baby stroller is an important decision because they can be expensive, and if you choose badly, you'll be buying more than one.

I was certain of two things I wanted when I was stroller shopping:

  • 3-wheel stroller because they tend to have better maneuverability
  • Face either forwards or backwards

When babies are under a year or so, they like to see you, and it comforts them. Even in a stroller, they like to know where you are, so that's why I wanted a stroller where the baby could face me, but as they get older, you want to turn the baby around to face forward. Not too many strollers offer both positions.

Here's what I learned in my stroller shopping:

  • Look at Consumer Reports, but they do not review every stroller, and the stroller reviews may be a few years old.
  • Go to a store and actually set up the strollers you're considering--ease of set up and break down will really make a difference in how much you like your stroller in the long-run.
  • Think about a stroller/car seat combination product. It's really handy to be able to pop the car seat into the stroller frame for the little babies.
  • Don't be ruled by price. I've known too many people who bought by price, and they hated their strollers so much that they then bought another one. In the end, they spent as much on two as they would have on one expensive, but wonderful stroller.
  • This is a category where pretty much you get what you pay for. The inexpensive strollers are not as durable as the more expensive ones, in general.
  • Big stores like Babies'r'Us often have sales, so start looking early and be patient. I got my stroller at 15% off plus free shipping.
  • Don't fall in love with a particular color. Manufacturers change colors annually, and if you're flexible, you can usually get a good deal on last year's color.

In the end I bought a Quinny, and all my babysitters love it. It is sturdy, faces either front or back, has a car seat that fits in, and has an adjustable seat so that it will fit a larger child. And it pops up on its own so there's no battle to set it up.

As your friends if they like their strollers and why, go try strollers out in the store, and keep your eyes open for sales. If you want to skimp on something, don't do it on your stroller. Buy fewer baby clothes--they outgrow them so fast anyway. Ideally, you can buy just one baby stroller and have it for many happy years.