With so many different types and brands of strollers on the market, buying a stroller for the first time can be a confusing experience for new and expectant parents. In addition to price, you must consider your own needs as well as the needs of your baby. For example, some strollers are compact enough to fit in nearly any vehicle’s trunk, while others are too bulky to fit in compact cars. Some strollers can be used at each stage of your baby’s life, from newborn to toddler, while others are more age and size specific. Let’s start with some common types of strollers.
Five Common Types of Strollers
Purchasing a stroller is a necessity for new parents, but strollers are not one-size-fits all. The information included in this stroller buying guide should help clear up any confusion you may have and help you make an informed decision.
Travel System Strollers
Perhaps the most popular type of stroller among new parents, travel system strollers conveniently combine an infant carrier car seat and stroller. The car seat locks into the stroller for easy transport while a stay-in-car base allows you to move your baby from stroller to car without disturbing his or her sleep. Once your baby has outgrown the infant carrier you can switch to a traditional car seat yet continue to use the stroller alone as you would with any other traditional stroller. This allows you to use the travel system for a few years. Most travel system strollers fold quickly and easily for compact storage.
Jogging strollers are three-wheeled strollers designed with active parents in mind. Jogging strollers give parents the ability to take their child along while they exercise, but it’s important to keep in mind that they do not fully recline and should not be used with children under the age of 6 months for that reason. In addition to their unique three-wheeled design, jogging strollers include a brake system and all-terrain wheels that are perfect for path or pavement. Most jogging strollers can accommodate children from 6 months up through age 4 or 5.
If you’re the parent of twins or two children close in age, a double stroller may be your best choice. Double strollers are available as duo strollers in which the two children sit side-by-side, or as tandem strollers in which the children sit one behind the other. Some double strollers will also accommodate infant car seats, essentially making it a travel system stroller for two children. As with jogging strollers, double strollers can only be used for newborns if the seats fully recline.
Sit-and-stand strollers are ideal for parents of twins or siblings that are close in age. An alternative to double strollers, one child can sit in the front seat while the second child can stand on a small bar or platform that is located on the back of the stroller. Sit-and-stand strollers are a great option if your older child doesn’t like to ride or is too heavy for a double stroller.
Umbrella strollers are a basic, no-frills way to transport your child. They are inexpensive, lightweight and very compact. They are easy to fold and easy to take in and out of a vehicle. Most umbrella strollers even fit in overhead luggage compartments on airplanes, making them perfect to use while traveling. Although they are very easy to use, umbrella strollers may not be as comfortable for your child as larger strollers with padded seats. For that reason, most parents purchase an umbrella stroller to use in addition to a full-size stroller. Infants must have adequate head and neck control before using an umbrella stroller.