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Stroller Buying Guide

New parents have many decisions to face not the least of which is selecting a stroller. Safety, style, and usability are all important factors, not to mention finding one that's budget friendly. Today's strollers are offered in a variety of styles tailored to different needs and there are a whole slew of features from which to make heads or tails. This buying guide is designed to help you navigate through the five main types of strollers in the hopes that a brief overview of each will help you to narrow down your choices. Now, let's stroll.

Published August 27, 2014 | By | Share
Most Popular Stroller Styles

This is a great place to start your stroller shopping. A standard stroller typically has four wheels (with 2 that swivel), a 5-point safety harness, a reclining seat, a storage basket, and an overhead canopy. These strollers are generally suitable for newborns and children up to about 50 lbs., but it's important to check the specs for each one. They may feature extras for mom and dad like cup holders, adjustable handle bars, and one-hand quick-fold capabilities.

Some standard strollers feature seats that can face forward or backward, recline or lie flat, or that will even accept an additional seat for toting two tots at once. Most standard strollers will accommodate infant car-seat carriers of the same brand and many can be adapted to accommodate carriers from other brands. A standard stroller is your basic errand-running, walk-in-the-park stroller that makes getting out and about with baby easier and more convenient.

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Double the fun? You need double the stroller. Whether you've got twins or two young siblings, a double stroller will make going out with them safer and easier. These models offer the same basic features as a standard stroller and side-by-side double strollers also come in styles like compact umbrella strollers, or rugged jogging strollers. Tandem strollers put the seats one in front of the other and some models let you face both seats forward or backward so the kids can look at each other or their surroundings.

If two seats still aren't enough, the next step is to check out strollers for multiples. With seating for three, four, or even six kids, these are some impressive child movers. These big buggies offer five-point safety harnesses and shading canopies. They typically have a weight capacity of about 40 lbs. per seat, so a full load could get pretty heavy but it will be well worth having a daycare group or preschoolers safely contained. Finally, another option is a sit-and-stand stroller where the youngest sits in the seat and the older child stands on a platform just in front of the handles. Perfect for kids who prefer a hop-on, hop-off type of ride.

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Moms and dads who don't want to let kids slow them down should look into a jogging stroller. The main difference between jogging strollers and other strollers is the wheel suspension. Designed for more rugged terrains, jogging strollers feature three wheels for easier maneuverability. These tires are larger, usually air-filled, and equipped with a good tread. The front wheel can typically be locked into place for a smooth run and might be removable for easier trunk storage.

Jogging strollers can be used for infants and toddlers alike (but always check a model's specific age and weight requirements) and feature five-point harnesses, canopies, cup holders, and more. Some models even feature built-in sound systems for use with your iPod or mp3 player. Other extras to look for in a jogging stroller are infant car-seat adaptability, reflectors, and a child snack tray.

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Travel System

Get the whole travel experience wrapped up in one easy purchase with a travel system stroller. Offered in a huge range of styles, colors, and by most stroller manufacturers, travel systems include the stroller, the infant car seat, and the stay-in-car base. This takes all the guesswork out of finding a stroller that will support your car seat and many parents like how all the pieces coordinate.

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If the size and weight of a stroller is a concern, something from the lightweight stroller selection might suit your needs. Constructed with lighter frames and fabrics and less bulk in general, lightweight strollers usually feature all the same bells and whistles as standard strollers but are trimmed down for easier transporting. These options can weigh less than 20 lbs. while still supporting a child up to about 50 lbs.

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