Choices, choices, choices. No matter what you are shopping for these days you are hit with so many options that it can become overwhelming. I think choosing a baby product makes the process even harder for the simple fact that your baby is involved and everyone wants to make sure their baby is happy and safe. When Kerry and I were researching baby strollers for our first child we were overwhelmed with the different strollers. Not only were there so many different types of strollers but there were so many different brands with what seemed like a million different features, colors, etc. To make it easier we came up with three factors we thought were the most important for us to consider; budget, safety and function. We thought about these and came up with criteria for each category and continued our research. This allowed us to quickly eliminate many of the options out there. These three categories are, of course, not the only ones to consider but they served as a good starting point for us and think they will for you as well.
The particular order of each category is defined by your own personal needs and situation. Obviously, safety is an extremely important factor but may not be the first category to filter your search. For example, if you are working with an extremely tight budget then that might be the first step in narrowing your search. There might be a stroller you love and is one of the safest on the market but if you can’t afford it then it’s off the list. So to start, simply prioritize your categories then define your criteria for each. Below are some ideas for the criteria.
Budget – this should be pretty easy, just figure out the max you can spend on a stroller.
Safety – consider the following
- Safety Ratings
- Safety harness. Is it 5-point, adjustable, padded, have a safety release feature?
- Is it prone to tipping? Some strollers, especially 3-wheeled strollers can tip easily. Put some pressure on the exterior points of the stroller with your foot. Does it feel stable or like it might tip over?
- Is the canopy sufficient enough to protect your baby from the sun?
- Can the front wheels be locked or do they always swivel?
This is definitely not an exhaustive list but it gives you an idea.
Function – consider what you will be using the stroller for most of the time so you can choose one that will serve you well. Consider the following questions:
- Will you be jogging with it? If so, make sure you buy one designed specifically for jogging.
- Will you need to transport it in your car often? If so, you will want one that folds up nice and compact and is easy to put in your car.
- Will you be taking it on most of your errands? Make sure it handles and maneuvers well and has storage.
- What style will best serve your needs? An umbrella, 3-wheeled, a double, etc.?
As I mentioned this is not an exhaustive list but should help as a starting point. The most important thing to consider is what your needs are in a stroller; What purpose you need it to serve most, what can you afford, what features are must-haves. Just starting with a few categories and some criteria for each you should be able to easily cross many stroller choices off your search list. Once you do a first pass, review and adjust as necessary. In the end we actually ended up with a few different strollers. We just couldn’t find the one stroller that did it all for us. We bought specific strollers to serve specific functions for us whether it was for our everyday stroller, our travel stroller or what we used on our local dirt trails. That is actually one of the reasons we at Go-Go Babyz designed the Travelmate Deluxe & Cruizer and the Wagon Stroller. These products were not designed to be the only stroller a family ever bought. They could be but we designed them to serve specific functions we wanted in a stroller when our kids were younger.
Good luck and I hope this helps. And as always, if you have any comments or suggestions we I would love to hear them.
VP & Dad