What to Look for When Buying Strollers
Look for a 5-point restraint system that secures baby
- At or above shoulders
- At the waist
- Between the legs
- Prevents baby from sliding or falling off if strollers accidentally tips
- Prevents baby from climbing out on her own
ASTM International emphasizes the need for the crotch and waist strap to be interconnected to prevent the latter from being used without the crotch strap.
- Pay attention to the mechanism that locks the stroller frame into position. It should not be flimsy and accidentally collapse when carrying child.
- Look out for any small spaces that babies’ fingers or toes can get stuck in.
- Wide leg openings should be avoided to prevent babies from accidentally slipping through
- Ensure strollers are certified by Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
- Check Product Recall Finder
Most strollers have parking brakes in the form of a foot operated brake pedal while some have a bar at the end of the stroller frame which you can activate by pushing with your foot. Lately, some newer models have introduced a hand operated lever that controls both back wheel brakes while jogging strollers have hand brakes to control and reduce speed.
Depending on your budget, you can have a simple adjustable fabric that can protect your child from sun, wind, and rain to a complete pull down version that protects the entire front area of the stroller. Some mothers might fancy the canopy with a clear plastic window on top for constant supervision while walking.
Handlebars and Maneuverability
Most stroller handle height is built to reach the waist level of an average size woman. For those who are not average size, choose strollers with adjustable handles or purchase handle extenders that fit your individual needs. Also, maneuverability is important during emergencies so choose strollers with wheels that can swivel both front and back making it easy for you to turn direction quickly with just one hand.
Adjustable Seats/Fabric and Upholstery
New born babies require stroller seats that can recline to an almost flat position until they can sit up and have head control (usually this happens around 6 months). Make sure that these seats are easily adjustable before you buy.
As for stroller seat fabric, consider materials that don’t shrink, fade, pucker and easy to wipe-off drink spills, food crumbs and spit-ups. Preferably choose removable seat cover with laundry instruction for reattaching after wash.
A moderate size storage basket underneath the stroller is very handy during errands with a baby. Make sure the basket is accessible especially when using fully reclined strollers.