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10 Best Baby Car Seat And Stroller Combo
Last Updated October, 2020
Baby Stroller: Factors to Consider Before Buying
There are numerous factors to evaluate first before owning a stroller. Skepticism is normal when browsing for strollers in the market, since most of them are built specially for specific lifestyles and usage. There is actually no rule indicating that every family needs to have a stroller for the young one. However, it has become a necessity for most families because of its convenience as a baby carriage, especially when the baby is still a newborn. When leaving the house, newborns require being rested in a fully reclining position due to their weak neck support and large heads. Sometimes, carrying them manually all the time is not favorable at all for both parents and the baby because, respectively, the latter can feel weary with the uneven sleeping platform, and the former can feel numb and tired because of the prolonged weight lifting.
Extra help in dealing with the easiness of baby transport is appreciated in most travels, strolls and exercising, that is why most parents invest in buying a stroller. Various strollers are available on the market in terms of function, style and price. The first thing that comes to mind with strollers is the upholstery, the design and the basic functionality of moving in forward direction, but then again, high-performance strollers with the capability to be versatile at any circumstance is still worth the money.
Without proper awareness and the right information, some parents end up buying more than one stroller because their first one does not suffice whatever it is built to do or their decision in buying a stroller is a mistake. For example, a jogger stroller is bought because you want to go out and exercise, but you cannot take it with you every day for simple strolls and in public transportation. Or, you may own a full-size stroller but you tend to buy a lightweight one because of the major difference in weight. Investing a stroller takes time and more thinking in order to save money and to have it useful in a couple of years until the baby is three years of age and beyond.
A baby stroller is generally manufactured with five main functions — navigating turns, moving the stroller in forward and backward motion, folding mechanism, locking or braking system, and keeping the baby securely buckled onto the stroller. In navigating or steering turns, the front wheel is built to rotate freely, unless locked to go straight. The handlebar is mainly used to force the stroller to move forward or backwards. Each stroller has its own folding capabilities, whether using one or two hands. Resistance is occurred when operating the brakes, reducing the possibility of moving. When a baby rides on a stroller, fastening the buckle and harness is mandatory just like a driver is always required to put on the seat belt.
All strollers are engineered to suit people’s needs, and to cater to different activities aside from doing its sole purpose to serve as a baby carriage. Whatever you choose means that you are determined that the stroller can fit in your lifestyle while being functional to your baby’s need. In this article, we are going to discuss further about the criteria for evaluating strollers and the factors to regard before deciding to make a stroller investment. We are also going to give advices for better understanding about the mandatory and necessary features, stage consideration, and lifestyle consideration.
Criteria for Evaluation
If you prefer versatility and flexible maneuverability, the stroller must be able to withstand a variety of surface types such as rough terrains, slippery pavements, grassy fields, snow or ice, and even bumpy sidewalks. Have an initial research about the stroller’s flexibility in motion before visiting the store, so that you may have an idea about the product’s description. In your visit, test the stroller for ease of navigation, especially in turning around in narrow aisles. Make sure that if you test it in steering sideways, you must determine if it curbs easily or not, particularly having heavy loads in the stroller. Placing too much heavy bags in the stroller can cause an out-of-balance mode for the stroller, and may ruin the overall frame. It can also cause injury for the baby if it suddenly trips to one side.
High-performance strollers have efficient maneuverability with three-wheel design and large pneumatic, air-filled tires to prevent from being punctured easily. Front wheels with sizes 11 to 12 inches, and rear wheels with sizes eleven to fifteen inches provide adaptable strolling with uncomplicated navigation and maneuvering. These requirements are suitable for jogger strollers because they are tailored to accompany parents in running or jogging, together with their young one.
Some strollers like the BOB Revolution, Baby Trend Expedition and the Bumbleride Indie are equipped with the innovative combination of an all-around pushing, effortless turns and smooth ride for the baby. Superior, fit construction make these three particular strollers respond quickly and less difficult to push through tight turns and narrow aisles. Their large, pneumatic air-filled tires are tailored as shock absorbers, prevent bumpy ride, and provide minimal impact to the baby when being strolled on rough terrains and rough sidewalk.
The strollers are also adaptable on both paved and unpaved surfaces, which ensures the parents that the strollers are versatile on any kinds of pavements. Large wheels are suitable for any types of pavements, and are made less difficult in pushing. They can also be turned in tight places using one hand only. Small wheels with solid tires often produce unsatisfactory results because they do not absorb shocks and force that are transmitted during a bumpy stroll.
Some strollers provide a “loose” feeling when turning, which means that the frame is not durable enough to flex in steep turns. This is quite a potential risky when having your toddler on it with an unstable frame.
When skimming for a stroller, start considering the kind of lifestyle you have because it somehow affects on how you want your stroller to be utilized.
For instance, if you live in a city and you are dealing with curbs, narrow aisles and rough pavements and using the public transportation, go with a small and lightweight, but durable stroller. The latter must be easier to navigate for a city stroll. If you are a suburban parent driving regularly in most place, go with a stroller with a car seat, ensuring that the stroller, when folded, can fit in the car trunk, and you can easily carry it in and out of the trunk. If the storage capacity is not an issue and you have more than one child to carry, ponder on a stroller that can transport two or three children.
There is always a compromise between the stroller’s size, weight and durability. A large and compact stroller is not ideal for running, while a lightweight stroller with minimal features does not fit the parents’ preferences of having a complete full-featured stroller. Contemplating your lifestyle has an impact with your decision in buying a stroller. Any stroller that you buy takes some training and practice to completely familiarize yourself with its built-in functionalities, safety measures, and caring procedures. It is also very important to allot time in reading the manufacturer’s instruction manual to be thoroughly aware of the product you have purchased. A stroller that makes it easier on your part to fold, unfold, and steer is also essential.
Quality and Durability
A stroller’s frame must be constructed with heavy duty frames in order for it to hold the baby no matter the weight, and to keep it compact even when folded. The frames should not have creaking sounds, and should not be loosed and wobbly when steering, turning, and folding, or else, it is an indicating sign of poor craftsmanship in the manufacturer’s side.
The wheels must be rubberized so that they do not puncture easily. The fabric that is used on the seat, padding and canopies must be sturdy and high quality so that it may stay longer in the future. You may want to look for a stroller with fabric that can be easily wiped up vomits, milk stains, and crushed snacks. The handlebar must also be durable enough to hold onto the stroller, not breaking through while maneuvering the stroller.
Most strollers are geared to accommodate specific stages from newborns until three to five years old, while some strollers are built to suit all stages. Generally, strollers work around from 40 pounds up to four years of age, and the joggers, in particular, can be used in longer years.
As a mainstream rule, a stroller is initially manufactured for the use of a newborn, whether the stroller is equipped with a bassinet or with a seat that can be fully reclined for the baby’s first six months. After the six-month stage, the baby can be introduced to a partially upright position until he or she outgrows the capacity of the stroller, thus utilizing the benefit of the various reclining levels of the seat. Most high-end umbrella strollers have fully reclined seats and offer sufficient head support for the newborns.
Joggers are known to be used for parents who want to maximize exercising while strolling their young one out. Furthermore, some joggers offer a bassinet or a fully reclined seat for parents who want to take their newborns out to jogging, but, in general, joggers are not used with newborns for high-level activities, not until the baby reaches at least six months of age.
The bassinet must have an even flat surface because newborns are not able to support their heads and have weak neck support systems. Most terrain strollers have a feature to lock the suspension out in the first six-month stage. This is very useful when the ride is bumpy; it absorbs shock keeping the stroller stable and the baby undisturbed. Most of the double strollers have separate seats that can be reclined individual, very efficient in accommodating different ages.
Parents must be able to check the recommended age for the type of stroller that they are willing to buy.
Set on a budget that you can allot for your stroller investment. If you are budget-wise, strictly hold on to that budget. Otherwise, the price is never a problem. Browse on strollers that are within your financial constraint. Sometimes, seeing a stroller that costs more than what you can afford is overwhelming. Buying a very expensive stroller is not recommended at all because there are cheaper ones that can do mostly everything that high-end strollers are not built for. Checking on the quality of the stroller, in terms of its frames, seats, harness and straps, and wheels, is highly essential so that you do not have to go the repair shop to have the stroller fixed. An investment in stroller does not only indicate economic-based decision, but also helps in saving you money from buying another stroller in the future.
Ease of Use
Utilizing the stroller must be engineered to be without difficulty and flexible for the parents to use for their baby’s transport. The simplicity of usage is determined on the repetition of tasks for daily use. For example, taking the baby in and out of the seat or bassinet is one of the most frequent and performed tasks in using the stroller, and should be quick enough in case of an occurred emergency. Other essential tasks include folding and unfolding, loading the stroller in or out of the stroller if you have a vehicle, and engaging and disengaging the harness and buckle system. The features also affect the ease of the stroller’s utilization such as the canopy, the removable child tray, peek-a-boo window, storage basket and other built-in accessories.
The folding and unfolding process must not be that very difficult because you may not be able to use this feature if you are having a hard in doing so. A stroller can take up space in the house or in the garage when left unfolded. What more if it is still folded and you can’t unfold it because of its complicated unfolding mechanism.
When traveling, the stroller must fit inside an average car trunk. If it does not, then you cannot take it out for a ride, thus losing your chance to stroll elsewhere. If you can accommodate the stroller’s heaviness when loading in or out, then the weight is not a problem anymore. However, if you prefer a lightweight one that is easy to load in or out of the trunk, then a lightweight stroller is for you. Some strollers have detachable wheels when folded and placed in the car trunk to prevent bulkiness.
Weight and Folded Size
Some parents prefer a lightweight stroller to be able to transport in anywhere even in public transportation or in a crowded place, while others do not mind a heavy, bulky stroller since it is packed with features and accessories. Some manufacturers provide wheels and seats that are detachable from the frames, so that when the stroller is folded, it can easily fit in the car trunk or anywhere in the house. There are other features that made detachable such as canopies, sunshades, rain covers, child trays, and even storage bins. A stroller can have a folded size of at least 22.5 inches wide, 10 inches thick and 28.3 inches long. This size is suitable for an average car trunk. A stroller can be as light as 16 pounds, and heavy at 31 pounds like standard strollers.
The weight of the stroller is manifested with how versatile it is and how many physical features it has. The weight of the stroller generally correlates with its purpose, for instance, a standard stroller weighs heavier than umbrella strollers, taking note that standard strollers are full-featured than the umbrella strollers.
The number one rule in getting a stroller is to have a full-featured safety measures that can keep your child from risk and injury. The most common injuries that occur with baby is falling down from the stroller due to loose buckling system and weak harness, and due to an out-of-balance moment. The latter may actually cause by too much load put onto the stroller. Tipping over is the second most common accident that happens with the stroller. It usually takes place when the baby is on one side and the stroller is not sturdy enough to keep its balance, or when the stroller is being turned on steep turns and it can no longer balance itself stable.
All strollers must abide with the safety standards in order for the child to be safe and away from harm. The harness and buckle system and brakes must be well compact in the stroller. Respectively, these are required to prevent the baby from falling off the stroller and to stop the stroller from moving.
Features of a Stroller
If you prefer your stroller investment to last long and to suit various stages of your child from being newborn to four-year old, choose a stroller that can do so. This is great to keep your investment worthwhile for your growing family. Furthermore, some strollers have the ability to add more seats onto the stroller, making it expandable for two kids. But that depends on how strong the stroller’s frame is, if it hold more than one child.
Car Seat Compatibility
If you need a traveling buddy for you and for your baby, browse for a stroller that has a car seat compatible enough in your car. Not all cars can accommodate the size of the car seat, especially high-end cars with limited space inside.
Most standard and jogger strollers have one straight handlebar, while most lightweight or umbrella strollers have two curved handlebars. Each type of handlebar has its own advantage. A straight handlebar offer easy maneuverability, and a curved handlebar is more collapsible. Consider an adjustable handlebar if parents have different heights. Using a handlebar that is not compatible with the height of the parent or anyone who is pushing the stroller. Some strollers have handlebars that can be adjusted facing forward or facing the baby, whichever the parents prefer the most.
In order to have a stroller that can last in generations, make sure of the quality of the stroller — the frame structure, the handlebar, the anatomy of the wheels, buckling system and the padded seat and harness. Try to avoid strollers with wheels that are made of plastic because they have the tendency to stick on rough ground, resulting to difficult maneuverability.
The fabric or cloth of the stroller is prone to dirt and stains, food or milk stains, and even vomit stains. Some strollers have detachable fabric and entire seat cover to be washed away, although each manufacturer has its procedure in cleaning. Ensure that the manufacturer provides instructions in washing the cloth or fabric. Not all fabric are made for machine-wash because of its tendency to worn out. Hand wash procedure is still the best to maintain the high quality of the fabric
Consider testing how comfortable you may be in pacing behind the stroller, and be certain that you don’t step on the back of the stroller. The angle of the seat, the wheel size and position of the handlebar affect the legroom for the parents.
If you tend to buy a jogger stroller, the most important features that you should consider are the collapsibility of the stroller, overall size and weight, style of the wheels, availability of replacement parts, and a service center. A jogger stroller must be compact, flexible, and versatile because this is going to be your exercise buddy, together with your baby.
Most standard and terrain strollers provide the parents the choice whether they prefer facing forward or facing the baby. But it is most advisable to face baby at an early age so that the baby can get used with you when going out of the house, and you can spend time with your baby while pushing the stroller.
Some strollers have a tether strap located near the handlebars. These are used to attach on your wrist so that the stroller does not roll away when accidents happen. It is a security measure to prevent the stroller from potential harm.
Wheels are normally built to rotate sideways effectively for maximum maneuverability. Having this in mind, most four-wheel strollers have front wheels that can be locked so that they do not rotate in side-by-side direction. This makes the stroller easier to push and to move in a straight line. Most high-end strollers have wheels that are engineered with foam-filled rubber to prevent from potential flat, and to absorb bumps and shocks. An air-filled tire is susceptible to flat tire, causing rough rides for you and for your baby.
Stroller with bigger wheels, compared to others, indicate heaviness and bulkiness in which is not appropriate to invest in especially when the parents are traveling. Loading an unwieldy hefty stroller in and out of the car trunk is not convenient at all. However, bigger wheels promotes ease in maneuverability because the wheels are balanced enough.
All strollers come with brakes as a security measure to prevent the stroller from rolling away. Some stroller are heavy when pushing, especially when the stroller is loaded with things, making it prone to run away uncontrollably at a steep incline. Some brakes are located near the seat, which are operated by hand, while others are operated using the foot. Most brakes provide resistance that can slow the stroller down when moving on an incline.
Straps and Harnesses
All strollers are built with straps and harnesses that keep your baby tightly intact to the stroller. They also keep your baby from moving forward from a sudden impact caused by an abrupt halt from the stroller, and prevents your baby from falling off the stroller.
Adjustable Seat Position
Most standard and all-terrain strollers have seats with multiple reclining levels, depending on the stage of the baby. If the baby is still newborn, the best reclining level is the full flat back lying position. Eventually introduce the other reclining levels when the baby is seven months and older. The multiple reclining positions allow your baby to lie down or stretch out for a nap, sit straight up, or recline slightly.
Having a child tray gives the baby a homey feeling while being on the go. The baby can eat on his or her child tray, or can have his or her bottle on the tray, where it is reachable. Just do not try to put your beverage on the child tray because it may slosh out onto the baby when the ride is bumpy.
All strollers have their own cargo space, whether it be small and compact, or large and spacious. All have their own storage basket with varying space capacity. Some can be very large that is very convenient for daily use for the grocery, shopping bags, and the baby’s things. The downside of it is that it promotes bulkiness on the stroller’s side. Some storage bins can be small that is designated for the things of the baby only. Look for a stroller with a storage bin that can accommodate your bags and your baby things.
Most strollers provide extra pockets at the side or at the back of the seat for small valuables such as phones, tickets, car keys, etc.
When you expect to have a baby anytime, take time to go shopping for a stroller so that you can be ready with strolling together with your new young one. No matter the brand of the stroller, the most important key to remember is to provide a transportation for the baby to enjoy the outside environment, as to being safe and comfortable. As parents, it is your full responsibility to manage the stroller and to always keep an eye on your baby while on the stroller. Your baby is completely fragile and does not know what is happening around him or her, that is why, our job is to invest on a stroller with features that you deem suitable for your needs and your baby’s needs.
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