How to Choose the Right Baby Stroller

cute baby sits in a doona car seat and stroller

Of all the hundreds of different strollers out there, how do you find the right one? Because it’s not about finding the priciest model. It’s finding one (or two, we’ll get into that) that works for your lifestyle and your family.

Strollers will vary in design, the type of materials, ancillary features and other accessories. But by and large, they’re divided into 8 categories.

Types of Strollers

Traditional Strollers

These are probably the most common type of stroller. They’re typically for babies 6 months and older, but some models offer infant seat inserts, or recline to safely hold newborns like a bassinet.

Traditional strollers tend to be heavy and sturdy so they can be used in the long term. Unfortunately, these are not ideal for the family that lives in the city, lives in a smaller space, or relies on public transportation.

Umbrella Strollers

Because they’re easy to carry and fold like an umbrella, these are the most lightweight strollers out there. But, since they don’t offer any support and are made from a thinner frame, they’re not exactly a comfortable ride. They also don’t typically come with any attachments and inserts for infants.

Double Strollers

Double strollers are incredibly helpful for parents with twins, or parents with two little ones that are very close in age. With double strollers, the seats can either sit next to each other, or with one positioned behind the other.

Double strollers with seats next to each other are easier to maneuver around streets, but they may not fit through a regular doorway or elevator openings. Double strollers with seats positioned in front of each other will fit better through doorways, but it’s harder to steer for the parent.

Jogging Stroller

Jogging strollers are three-wheeled strollers made for the parent that wants to take their toddler along for runs or hikes. Because they’re typically used to go over rougher terrain, they tend to have heavy-duty air-filled wheels, a comfortable suspension, hand brakes, parking brakes and high handlebars.

Just be on the lookout for three-wheelers that are really “hybrid” models that you can’t really jog with!

Car Seat Carrier/Stroller Frame

This is just a lightweight frame that attaches to a car seat. Some brands sell a stroller frame that’s compatible with their strollers, but there are universal stroller frames that fit a wide range of carriers.

Travel System

A travel system is a 3-in-1 infant car seat, base and a stroller. However, some of these are somewhat bulky and difficult to attach to each other.

Infant Seat Carrier with Integrated Wheels

There’s only one stroller that fits this category: the Doona Infant Car Seat with Integrated Wheels. Because unlike travel systems and stroller frames, all you need to do is press a button, and the integrated wheels touch down so you and your little one can get going in 5 seconds.

What You Need to Consider

Your Budget

With all the different varieties out there, there is always an optimal stroller type that fits within your budget. Do your research on all available strollers, then decide on a price range that works with your needs.

Family Size

Do you have a good idea of how many kids you’ll have? If you’re planning on having one kid soon after another, a double stroller may be a better investment.

Remember Newborns

Until they’re 6 months old, your newborn’s head and neck won’t be strong enough to support itself. That’s why you have to find a stroller with a seat that reclines or offers its own newborn insert.

Lifestyle

Are you a suburban warrior? Or a sleek urbanite? Is your baby old enough to sit up for longer strolls and errands days? These are some of the important criteria you need to consider before choosing a type of stroller.

Weight

Always check how much your stroller weighs. ‘Lightweight’ for one person will be different for another, and if you don’t have a travel system or a carrier with integrated wheels, a heavy stroller will make things difficult for handling stairs and getting in/out of the car.

Washable Fabric

This is an absolute must. When your little one has an accident, having removable, washable fabric is unbelievably helpful.

Canopy

Sun protection should start from the very beginning. Make sure your stroller has a proper canopy with SPF protection for those sunny days.

Register

Whenever possible, we highly recommend that you buy a new stroller from the manufacturer. You don’t know how worn-down a used stroller will be, and there’s no way to know whether its safety features are still functioning. With a new manufacturer, you get peace of mind, the guarantee of safety, and the ability to register your product to find out the second a recall is announced.

Before you buy a stroller or add the perfect model to your registry, use this guide to make sure you’re getting one that works with your family’s future, lifestyle and unique needs.

For instance, if you’re a family on-the-go that needs the perfect stroller for travel, we recommend the Doona infant carrier with integrated wheels. All you have to do is lift the Doona, press a button, and in less than five seconds you can be out of the car and ready to take on anything. And with the infant insert and full canopy, your little one will be safe, no matter where you are.