Since becoming a first-time mother five months ago, I have travelled across two continents, three countries and four cities; all with my little one in tow.
This was not just a massive challenge for my sanity, but also for my purchasing skills because I knew buying the perfect stroller for my little one was my best bet to survive all this travelling.
Mind you, buying baby gear can be as intimidating as buying a new car. There are so many options!
You can make a luxury purchase, one with three or four wheels, or a budget buy with small zippy models for jetting-setting parents such as I and my husband. Or, you could opt for a fully-customised version that changes in size as your baby grows. Wow!
Basically, you can get totally confused while buying the perfect stroller for your baby. But in order to make the correct purchase, you need to assess your own requirements first. I'd like to share some of the things I learnt during my search to buy the perfect stroller for my little one.
9 things you must consider while buying the perfect stroller
#1 Weight of the stroller
You'll be surprised to know that most strollers in the market weigh close to about a whopping 15 kilos, without the baby! Yes, you read that right.
And this is perhaps the first thing you must check while buying the perfect stroller. That's why I was personally impressed by the Bugaboo Bee5 stroller, the latest Bugaboo model.
It weighs only about nine kilos, and frankly for a petite woman such as myself, that is pretty manageable.
#2 Foldability of the stroller
While it doesn't take a nuclear scientist to fold a stroller, it does require a certain level of intelligence to do the job quickly.
When the salesman does it in the shop, it looks like a simple click and fold motion. But once you're home, it's almost like your IQ levels are being tested.
So before you take the stroller home, learn how to do it quickly and check if it's easy to fold and open. Again, as a user I found the Bee5 model extremely easy to fold.
#3 Adaptability of the stroller
Now, if you are a new parent in search of a stroller for your infant, you might want to look for one that has a bassinet or can recline and lay straight.
That's because your newborn cannot support his/her neck and therefore, needs that protection while in the stroller.
But babies grow fast and you certainly don't want to have to get rid of the stroller the moment your baby can support his neck well.
This is why you should invest in a stroller that can later be customised for a toddler as well. After all, strollers are not cheap and it's better to buy one that has a long shelf-life.
#4 Reverse function of the stroller
Many strollers have the option of a reversible pram. This means that your baby faces you first instead of everybody else.
This is a safety feature that works really well for newborns and is reassuring for new parents as well. And as baby grows older and more curious, you have the option of letting him face the world - literally!
#5 Budget for the stroller
No new parent wants to compromise on the safety of their newborn, even if it means shelling out a few extra dollars.
But, having said that working on a budget while buying the perfect stroller for your little one can help you manage other purchases for her/him.
Once you have selected the model you like, see if you can bargain or find something similar on other e-commerce websites.
Also think about the accessories such as a rain cover, sun cover, toys, bassinet among others, that you'll have to buy along with the stroller.
#6 Twin options on the strollers
What if you are parents of twins or have another little bub you want to accommodate in the stroller? In that case, you need to look for one that has the option of a plus one or a double pram.
Some strollers also come with the option of a skate-board style stand at the foot or a ride on or of course, an extra seat.
#7 Use of your stroller
Now you may think living in a city may make the use of a stroller easy. But that's perhaps the reason you should buy one that is sturdy, easy-to-carry, foldable as well as long-lasting.
Think about where you live and how you travel with your little one before buying the perfect stroller.
For a rough terrain, you'll need a stroller with strong suspension and sturdy wheels. And if you're a city dweller, then you'll need a lightweight and easy-to-maneuver stroller like the Bugaboo Bee5.
#8 Types of wheels on the stroller
As mentioned, your stroller could be four-wheeled as well as three-wheeled, depending upon your requirements and use.
Apart from these numbers, you should also look at the types of wheels. You can get a plastic-wheeled stroller that is light and comes in affordable prams.
Or you could opt for air tyres. They are like cycling tyres and are slightly more cushioned and comfortable than plastic when used outside on roads.
And finally, you can also opt for hard foam wheels, which are the costliest of the lot but are also the most comfortable.
#9 Adjustability of the stroller
Opt for a stroller with an adjustable handlebar, so both you and your husband can easily use it.
Some strollers even come with adjustable bassinet heights so you do not have to strain your back picking up and putting down your baby each time. Also, make sure to check that the stroller adjusts well in your car or your building's lift among other things.
Remember that while buying the perfect stroller can be a tricky business, it is after all an investment. So take your own time, explore and research well so your baby can enjoy a comfortable ride.