Whether you are having your first baby or your fifth baby, you can always learn new and improved ways to provide your child with the best possible products. This is especially true when it comes to strollers. During the first few years of their lives, your baby will likely spend a significant portion of their “outdoor” time in a stroller. So, why not make sure that you are getting the best features for your money?
However, the type of stroller you should get will likely depend on the age of your child, your budget, and your specific needs. That said, there are some features that are almost universally beneficial to every parent and child. So, in today’s guide, we are going to take a look at some of the most important stroller features to look for!
The canopy, or the portion of the stroller that extends over the top of the seat, is one of the most important features to examine. Small canopies might make your stroller weigh a little less, but the truth is that larger canopies generally offer the best experience for both you and your child. Ideally, you should choose a 4-stage canopy, which allows you to adjust how far the canopy reaches based on the weather and other factors. Additionally, many large canopies have a netted “peek-a-boo” window so that you can always see your child. When opened, this small window can also allow for greater airflow within the carriage.
If you are out and about with your baby, you probably have various things to bring along. You might have a computer bag, pocketbook, cellphone, wallet, diapers, snacks, water bottle, or a myriad of other objects to carry. Therefore, having extra storage space in your stroller is a huge plus. Many strollers come with pockets of varying sizes for things like phones or wallets, as well as spacious undercarriage baskets for larger objects like walking shoes or bags. Either way, you should always be on the lookout for spaces to store important items when shopping for a stroller.
It goes without saying that the comfort of your child has to be one of your top priorities. A stroller with little padding or a lack of adjustable seating can cause your baby to feel uncomfortable during long walks. Therefore, you should always make sure that your stroller has some form of padding to support your child’s back, neck, and head. Additionally, try to look for strollers that have reclinable seating and adjustable footrests. These features are especially important for newborns that may need to lie down horizontally. Finally, a good bonus feature of many high-quality strollers is an adjustable flow-through ventilation system that can help keep your child cool on hot days.
Many stroller manufacturers put the responsibility for a child’s safety on the parents. And while it is true that you have to be vigilant to make sure that you are cautious and alert while using a stroller, this does not mean that strollers should not come with built-in safety mechanisms. On the contrary, these are some of the most important features that you should look out for while shopping for a stroller.
One could even argue that a stroller is useless if it does not come with standard safety features. While a large canopy can help protect your baby from bright sunlight or bad weather, there are other features that are specifically designed to make the stroller safer and easier to use. For example, quick-release wheels allow you to change wheels quickly if needed or even make the stroller completely stationary. Forward-locking front wheels also ensure that you don’t accidentally veer from left to right while walking on a straight path. A lockable brake pedal that you can engage with your foot also makes it easier to immobilize the stroller without physically adjusting the wheels. Finally, a stable but removable belly bar can help ensure that your child has protection in the event that they lean too far forward.
Easy Transport Features
No parent wants to deal with a stroller that is difficult to set up or transport from one place to another. In fact, strollers are meant to make your life easier, not harder. So, always be on the lookout for features like a one-handed folding system. Many parents do not realize just how important it is to have the ability to fold and unfold their stroller with one hand. This allows you to get the stroller ready with one hand while you hold your baby with the other.
An important aspect of one-handed folding systems is the ability for a stroller to auto-lock. This means that when you fold the stroller into its closed position for transport or storage, it automatically locks into place. It is also important to note that one-handed folding and auto-locking systems are not all that useful if your stroller is extremely heavy. Consequently, it is vitally important to look for lightweight strollers. Usually, any stroller that is 9 kilos (20 pounds) or less is considered “lightweight,” which means that most adults will be able to pick the stroller up and put it in a vehicle or overhead compartment with one hand.
If you get a stroller with most or all of the features that we have covered so far, you will likely be extremely happy with your purchase. However, you may have additional wants and needs that a simple or basic stroller cannot satisfy. For this reason, you should consider buying strollers that have adjustable parts and the versatility to be functional in a wide range of situations and environments.
For example, it is always good to have an adjustable handlebar. This ensures that, if more than one adult will be using the stroller, each person can do so comfortably, regardless of their height. Many strollers allow you to elongate the handlebars or adjust the angle as needed. Even if you are the only person handling the stroller, this can be useful based on the area or type of terrain (hills, flat land, etc).
Unsurprisingly, the reversible seat is one of the most sought-after features in a stroller. It allows you to have your child facing forward or backward based on the situation. You might want them to face forward if there are lots of nice things to see, or you might prefer them to face backward if the weather is bad or you want to interact with your baby face to face.
Lastly, some of the best strollers are also compatible with bassinets or can be turned into a bassinet in a matter of seconds. Having a stroller with a “bassinet mode” is perfect for parents of infants who want to give their child greater protection and a better environment in which to rest or sleep. If you do get a stroller that doubles as a bassinet, also look out for features like a boot cover support bar or built-in mosquito netting.
We hope you enjoyed our guide on the features to look for when buying a stroller! Do you want to learn more about enhanced child transport solutions or other parenting accessories? If so, be sure to reach out to Valco Baby today!