Guide to Baby Pram Strollers & other modes of baby transport
Table of Contents
- 1 Why You Need a Stroller?
- 2 Factors to Consider When Buying a Stroller
- 3 Types of Stroller / Baby Travel Products
- 4 Needs Change After 6 months
- 5 The Standard-size Sweet-Spot: 6 months to 3+ years
- 6 Here’s Why Maneuverability Matters
- 7 Key Functional Elements
- 8 Top Tips for Safer Strolling
- 9 Carry Infants Whenever Possible
- 10 Final Thoughts
- 11 More Useful Links
Why You Need a Stroller?
I know this for a fact that many new parents (if not all) tend to go and buy anything and everything that they think the baby will need. Many of my friends have done that and later regretted buying some items which were just wrong choices because either their baby is not comfortable using it or its just not practical to use. It is understandable that as a parent you want to give the best for your child, but I would suggest that you ask the question – Does my baby really need this?, before going on a shopping spree. Strollers, for instance, does your baby really need a stroller? The answer – If your baby is under 12 months, a stroller is not really needed. Surprised? Let me explain.
Strollers are meant for transporting your baby from one place to another. It is a convenient transporting system that will not require you to carry your baby in your arms while you are travelling.
Strolling is Easy, Convenient & Affordable
Strollers have its own set of benefits and a lot of loyal customer base among parents who find it convenient to use. So much so that they take it everywhere whenever they wish to take their baby along. There a many key benefits of strollers, such as:
- As opposed to carrying your baby for long hours, pushing a stroller is relatively easier.
- Babies love the gentle stroll and soothing for the child.
- Strollers are relatively safe for a baby. It provides features such as a safety belt, canopy for protection from harsh sun or rain etc. While a baby carrier gives you the comfort of keeping your baby close to you, you will have to be extra vigilant and avoid carrying any hot beverage as there may be a risk of spilling on the baby. Bumping into or bending down to pick something is also another risk factor. Comparatively, as stroller bypasses all the risk factors of a baby carrier
- Strollers also help you carry your babies items. Most strollers have ample storage to help you carry essential item you will need for the baby such as extra clothes, diaper bags, snacks, toys etc.
- Shopping for hours, carrying the baby in your baby carrier can make you feel a bit restricted. You need to have your hands free to shop without having to worry about your child’s safety. That’s when having a stroller really helps. Your baby is safe, you can move around freely and the strollers also have storage to carry small items.
- If you like to jog or enjoy a healthy lifestyle, there are special jogging strollers available in the market that can help you combine your exercise without having to leave your baby at home. These jogging strollers are safe with suspension systems to protect your child from the bumps and jerks while jogging.
The Several Benefits Justify a Little Extra Investment
Many parents fear that a stroller may be a waste of money since it outgrows its use after a year or two of the baby. I beg to differ here. In fact, if you invest in a quality stroller like BOB Revolution SE or something similar, you can easily use it for many years. You can either use it for your baby from the time he/she is 6 months upto 3+ years or pass it on to your friends or someone in the family who has a baby. You also have the option of selling it and don’t worry about the price factor, because quality strollers have good resale value.
Being a new parent involves a series of questions of should we? Should we not? Especially when it comes to buying something for the baby, one can never be sure until you buy a baby product and start using it. Buying a stroller for instance, with so many varieties available, how do you decide what is good for your baby? That is why I thought of writing this article to help you shortlist and identify the stroller that suits your needs.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Stroller
Here are important factors to consider when buying a stroller:
Does the Stroller Meet Safety Standards?
The best strollers are certified by Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) to ensure it meets current safety standards. Its recommended that you buy from a reputable retailer.
Does the Stroller Have an Adjustable Seat?
A reclining seat offers more comfort to the child, and in the case of newborns, the seats need to recline to a near flat position (until they can sit up on their own). The seat’s recline mechanism should be easy-to-use and it should firmly lock into the recline position.
Needs to be Versatile
Single strollers that have the ability to convert to a double are more practical and useful. Look for a stroller that can grow with your family, so that it can accommodate an additional child.
Can the Stroller Accommodate Your Car Seat?
A travel system includes a stroller that can accommodate an infant car seat. A travel system is the simplest way to ensure stroller and infant car seat compatibility. However, you can always buy an adapter that connects them (in case you decide to buy a normal stroller).
Stroller should Be Easy to Maneuver?
Look for front wheels that swivel. This swivel action will make it easier to turn. You should be able to easily push the stroller in a straight line using one hand. Brakes also play a part in maneuverability. You want brakes that are easy to operate.
Types of Stroller / Baby Travel Products
There are six main types of products on the market today:
The standard-size stroller is your typical traditional stroller which you most commonly see around you. It has features such as:
- Good sufficient storage
- Comfortable seats
- manoeuvrable, bigger wheels that weigh at least 16-32 lbs.
- Comes with a car seat adapter
Some models also come with a reclined seat (less than 10 degrees). It also works as a bassinet. The only problem being that despite the reclining seats, some seats recline at a very steep angle making it uncomfortable and unsafe for the child to sleep in it. The brands that include a bassinet for infants are UPPAbaby and Bugaboo Cameleon. If you are keen on having a bassinet too, you can check out these brands.
Car Seat Frame
A car seat frame is not a very well-known option but it is definitely one of the favorite among parents.
Basically, it provides a frame that the car seat can be clicked into. This framed stroller is a great option for a 6-12 month baby, it is light in weight (11-16LBS), compact and fairly inexpensive.
Although for a first time parent, it may seem a bit odd, it is just a matter of getting used to. Many second- time parents love this type of stroller and have rued over the fact that they did not know of this product before.
Lightweight strollers also called as umbrella strollers because of the folded shape, are easy travel companions. As the name suggests, it is light in weight, weighing only 8-17lbs and compact, so you can just carry it anywhere and everywhere you go. If you are a travelling parent, this is a great stroller for you and your baby. However, it doesn’t come with car seat adapters, which means that you cannot use this for your baby until he/she is at least 6 months old. These strollers have smaller wheels too which makes it less maneuverable and difficult to push especially on rough surfaces.
Top lightweight, Umbrella strollers reviewed.
If you love to jog but are worried about leaving your baby behind, don’t worry, because the jogging stroller will help you with that problem. Jogging strollers are meant for parents who have an active outdoor lifestyle. These strollers are designed to give the baby a smooth ride. The tires of the stroller are large and air filled with shock absorbers, so your baby won’t feel the bumps and shocks of the rough road while you are jogging. The strollers weigh approximately 23-31 lbs.
Top Jogging Strollers reviewed here.
Parents with twins often have a tough time taking them around and travelling with both the children. But with a double stroller, parents can travel without worrying about the how’s and what’s. There are two styles in double strollers–seats side-by-side (seats placed side by side) and tandem orientation (seats placed one behind the other). You will also find a double can but that works when you have a younger child and an older sibling. Fortunately a double stroller doesn’t weigh much and fall in the range of 21-36 lbs. You can choose the style that best suits your needs since both the side-by-side and tandem has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Take into consideration the size, width, car seat frames, maneuverability etc of both the styles before you choose one.
Top double strollers reviewed here.
Travel systems are not a product per se but just a combination of car seat and a stroller in a single package. Although, this sounds tempting and many parents have often jumped the gun to purchase it, many have regretted buying it later. The reason being that this type of stroller is bulky and heavy. The quality is also not great and parents often have complaints in the long run. They are attractively priced, however, don’t fall for the price alone. A little caution while buying this one.
Top baby travel systems reviewed
Needs Change After 6 months
As your child grows, his/her needs also change. So, it is always advisable to buy your baby products as per the baby’s needs. For instance, consider splitting your baby’s needs into the following two categories:
Car-seat Strolling from birth to 6 months —From birth up-to 6 months is a time when your baby can’t sit by himself/herself. This is a period when the baby is extra sensitive and lacks strength to even hold his/her neck straight and firmly. Hence, for all practical purposes, a bassinet will work well for your baby and you. A bassinet has a fully reclined seat (if less than 10 degrees). You can also use a car seat adapter. Of the three, my recommendation would be a car seat, since it is safe and easy to use.
Standard-size Strolling from 6 mos to 3+ yrs — Once your baby crosses 6 months, he/she would be a bit more stronger, the muscles would be developed and the baby would have gained enough muscle strength to hold his/ her neck straight. Your probably even start to sit up and begin to observe his/her surroundings. So, a standardized stroller is best for this phase of your child and you can use it even after your baby crosses 3 years. By this time, your baby will also need more items such as diapers, toys, snacks, clothes all of which can be put in the stroller’s storage area. With the stroller, you can now take your baby anywhere and with the easy manoeuvrability, pushing it in any kind of terrain will also be extremely comfortable.
Helpful Tip: It is advisable to buy a good car seat frame stroller till the time your baby is 6 months after which you can buy a full sized stroller.
Practical Advice: Start Off Strolling in the Car Seat
As new parents, you are still adjusting to your baby’s needs, learning what your child likes/ dislikes, feels comfortable in etc. So, rather than rushing off to buy a full-fledged stroller, it is best if you opt for either a car-seat adapter for your stroller, or a car seat frame. Just ensure that you buy a seat adapter or frame with the click in method rather than the strap-in method because the click-in method is much faster and easier than the strap-in.
A standardized stroller is much more bulky and heavier than a car seat frame which makes it difficult to use. Besides, such a heavy item is not really required for babies below 12 months. You can move to standard-size products after your baby crosses 6-12 months. Most of the strollers come with a car seat adapter which is an added plus. The only exception to the standard stroller is the Britax B-Agile which is surprisingly light in weight, (weighs 16 lbs) and easy to use with the highly regarded Britax B-Safe car seat.
Why start off using a car seat for strolling?
I have recommended the car seat for strolling on multiple occasions and here is the reason why:
- The car seat is safe, secure, and for a baby of 0-6 months, who has no muscle strength to support his/her own head, the car seat provides ample comfortable support for the baby.
- It’s easier and faster to move the car seat from the car and attach it to the stroller without having to move the child from the car seat.
- If your baby falls asleep while driving or strolling, you will definitely not want to disturb or wake him/her up by moving him/her. With the car seat, you can move it without disturbing your baby smoothly.
- Car Seat Frames are easy to move because they are light in weight and more compact in comparison to the standard-size with a car seat adapter
- You will be surprised but there are very few products which have fully reclined seat with an angle of less than 10 degrees. You should never place the baby in a seat with higher sleeping angles because there is an increased risk of the baby suffocating with the airway being blocked by the baby’s mouth and nose.
- Some products come with bassinets. As mentioned above, bassinets are great for first few months of the baby, however, they have their own limitations, all of which are mentioned above.
Important safety tip: It is ok to use a infant car seat but a car seat in no way is an alternative to a crib. So, once you reach home, you should ideally move your baby to the crib where you can leave him/her unattended. It is only in a crib that you can leave your child unsupervised and you definitely cannot do the same in a car seat. You can read more about this in the the safety section of the car seat frame stroller buying advice article.
A Bassinet is More of a Luxury
Many parents love to use the bassinet to carry their baby’s which is a great option, however, you can use it up to a time when your baby reaches 3 months after which using a bassinet is not a practical option. As soon as your child starts to move about, you should ditch the bassinet because it is no longer a safe option for your baby to sleep in or stroll in. Bassinets don’t have any kind of safety measures such as a safety harness or belt, besides it is very shallow. A child who is active and moves around could easily roll over and fall off the bassinet.
Although some product websites such as UPPAbaby claim that their bassinet is safe and tested for overnight sleeping and strolling, it is not worth the risk. There is also a risk of the baby suffocating. The good thing about a bassinet however, is that in the first few months you can keep the baby next to you for night feedings. But that is obviously a temporary option.
Comparatively, a crib is better for this purpose. You can leave the baby in the crib to sleep and be assured that he/she is completely safe. Another alternative is a car seat which works much like a bassinet, except that you can actually use the car seat till the baby is 1 year old and it also comes with many safety features. Unfortunately the bassinet comes and goes so fast that you would rather invest in something that can be used long term and if you are on a budget, all the more reasons to not opt for a bassinet only to discard it after 3 months.
Some products that come with a bassinet attached to the frame are brands such as UPPAbaby and Bugaboo Cameleon3.
Important Safety Tips: Some things to remember if you are using a bassinet:
- To avoid SIDS in cribs, please avoid soft bedding, loose pillows, plastic bags, stuffed animals around the baby’s sleeping area.
- Make sure that the mattress used in the bassinet is firm and tight.
Study has shown that a shocking 74% died in bassinets had blankets, pillows, or plastic bags kept in the bassinet. This figure is data covering a period of 14 years.
Another reason for concern is the safety standards for sleeping in bassinets which are not yet reached the level of a crib. For e.g. in a crib, padded bumpers are no longer recommended because there is a risk of the baby suffocating if he/she gets in a position where the mouth and nose are pushed against the side. The bassinet side walls are highly prone to such a risk yet nothing has been done to improve the safety conditions. That is why parents are often advised to supervise while the child sleeps in a bassinet. Contrary to this, a child can be left unsupervised in a crib while sleeping.
The lack of any safety belt or harness in a bassinet is another cause of worry however, having said that, the point is not to scare you off completely from using a bassinet. If you as a parent take adequate steps to ensure that your baby’s safety, using a bassinet can be enjoyable and helpful for your baby and you.
The Standard-size Sweet-Spot: 6 months to 3+ years
As mentioned earlier, a standard stroller is best for a baby who is above 6 months of age. A baby below 6 months may not use the stroller as much as you expect them to. Before buying any product, I suggest that you draw a plan on how and where you will use the stroller. That way, you will be able to use all the features of the stroller and make full use of it.
Here are some pointers for you for buying a stroller:
From the time your baby is born till the time he/she is a toddler, you are pretty much grounded with not much travelling or moving around. You are still adapting to the changes your baby brings into your life. Once your baby has reached the toddler stage, you and your baby will have more freedom to move out, go out to the park or take a stroll with your baby, go to the malls, zoo, museums etc. This is the time when a stroller comes in handy. Plus the stroller has storage that can carry all your necessary baby items like extra clothes, diapers, bottle, snacks etc. The benefits of a stroller is not restricted to just being a storage and baby carrier. It also helps you wade through uneven terrain, crowded areas etc.
Practical Solutions is You’re Mostly Going to be in Your Neighborhood
Some parents prefer not to venture out too much with their baby initially and restrict themselves to a walk around the neighborhood with their baby. For a walk in the neighborhood, parents don’t worry much about the stroller being heavy or bulky infact they would prefer something with extra storage for all the baby items. In fact some of the most popular brands weigh over or around 25lbs (BOB Revolution SE and the UPPAbaby Vista) but does that mean they are unfavorable? On the contrary, parents love it because despite the weight, these strollers make up with good performance. For a trip around the neighborhood or a stroll in your park, some additional weight of the stroller is not going to be an issue, as long as it fits into your car trunk. A standard size stroller is apt for neighborhood rides.
Frequently Driving Before Strolling?
Some parents love to travel and explore places and they take their entire family along, baby included. If you are that sort of travelling parent, a bulky stroller could get in the way and might be a hassle to handle. Especially if you take a public transport, you would want to buy a stroller that is light and compact that will help you manoeuvre easily in any terrain and crowded places. For example, the Britax B-Agile is one such stroller.
An umbrella style stroller will also help in such situation. They are easy to carry around, compact, light in weight and a perfect stroller for travel. Product such as UPPAbaby G-lite etc are some of the umbrella style products.
Here’s Why Maneuverability Matters
One major point of concern for many parents that I know of has been the ease of movement with the stroller or in other words the maneuverability performance of a stroller. It is easy to maneuver a stroller when your baby is smaller at 6 months but try doing that when he/she is 3 years and you will find a lot of difference between the performances at both ages. So, basically, as the weight of your baby increases, you will find that the stroller maneuverability decreases. A trip to the store and a trial run there won’t help either because the stroller is empty when you try it in a store and the terrain is a smooth tiled terrain. So, what can be done to avoid such a situation? I have explained it below.
Test Drive One-handed and with 25 Pounds of Weight
At the age of 3 years, your baby may weigh approximately 25lbs, so going with that estimate, I would suggest that the next time you visit a store to test the product, place weight of 25lbs in the stroller seat. You also may want to add diaper bag, baby items and essentials to the storage section of the stroller because remember, you will be putting all of those items in the stroller when you go out with your baby. Now you are ready to test the maneuverability. Try to move and maneuver the stroller in the store with all of this. Try doing it with both hands, then switch to using one hand and if you are satisfied with it, only then buy the product.
Do Consider the Terrain
You won’t always move around with the stroller on smooth paved roads. You will encountered all kinds of terrains, be it gravel, grass, or even snow. This is when your stroller goes through the true test of maneuverability. For such situations, you will need a stroller with bigger wheels. Although some experts have claimed that the three wheeled strollers are not good enough on difficult terrains, I have another opinion. Some of the products I tested were jogger strollers that were extremely maneuverable. The three products, all of which had big air-filled tires were a bit heavy and bulky despite it being folded. However, that doesn’t take away from its performance.
Let us look at the BOB Revolution SE and pit it against your standard sized popular stroller, you’ll find that the BOB is only a few pounds heavier, and when folded, its size and weight was around the same as the standard size stroller. When it was compared in terms of maneuverability, ease-of-use, quality of materials, and safety, it was way way ahead than the standard-size. Now, isn’t that something!
Key Functional Elements
Wheel Size Matters
When you compare the front wheel of The BOB Revolution on left and UPPAbaby Vista on the right, the BOB has pneumatic tire (air-filled), and the UPPAbaby Vista on right uses foam core rubber tires. Both are good high quality wheels but the BOB scored 9 of 10 on maneuverability, because of its smooth, easy rolling wheels, whereas the UPPAbaby scored 7 of 10.
The wheels of a stroller plays a significant role in the performance of the stroller. The size and type of wheels have a direct impact on the maneuverability of the product. That is one of the reasons why jogging strollers with air filled tires always rank higher than the others in maneuverability.
Strollers with bigger wheels are always easier to push than those with smaller wheels. Bigger wheels move much easily over bumps and non-paved surfaces. In other words, it takes lesser effort to push a stroller with bigger wheels and air filled tires. Your baby too can enjoy smoother rides, however because the tires are air filled, it could have a flat tire just like a bicycle. Many parents avoid air-filled and bigger tires fearing that it may add to the weight of the stroller but my recommendation is that if you are a frequent traveler and if you stroll over unpaved terrain, you should opt for air-filled tires. In case of a flat tire, you can always keep a spare tire tube handy, although a flat tire is a rare occurrence.
If budget is not a constrain, you can also opt for some of the higher-end products that offer “never-flat” tires. These tires a foam-filled rubber offering more cushion than solid wheels, and there is no risk of a flat tire either. We found these be a good compromise if you are anxious about a flat. While not as smooth rolling as an air-filled tire. These products are just as smooth as the air filled tires and absorbs all the bumps and has a good performed rating.
So, why not get the biggest wheels possible?
Like i mentioned earlier, bigger wheels add on to the weight of the stroller and if you travel frequently, loading and unloading it in and out of your car or using the public transport often can be a bit of a hassle.
Look for Easy Folding Mechanism
Isn’t it convenient when you can fold the stroller with just one hand? Britax B-Agile has a very easy one hand folding system which makes things so much easier for parents. But that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore strollers that need both your hands to fold. There is no dispute in the fact that a one-hand folding system is very convenient but it is sometimes given too much focus than necessary making parents believe that a one-hand fold system is a must in a stroller. There are many strollers which need you to use both hands to fold but make up with some other great features. So, keep an open mind about it and try out both one hand folding strollers and two hand folding strollers.
Another interesting fact for you: Two products that were judged best products and neither of the two Editors’ Choice winning products offer a one-handed fold, but both scored 8 of 10 in ease-of-use.
Does it Offer Storage Space?
While reviewing all products based on storage, factors that were considered were size of the basket, ease-of-access, and whether additional storage is provided such as a pocket behind the seat, or seat-pockets next to baby etc. Storage in a stroller is an important factor to consider before buying a stroller. Where else will you keep your baby items such as diapers, bottles, extra clothes etc? You need enough storage space so that you don’t have to use your hand to carry the additional luggage. Most products offer a basket for storage underneath the seat.
The Orbit G2 has used quite an innovative approach for storage. It offers a carry-bag storage option. Not only is the storage removable but it also includes a carrying that can be used like a diaper bag or purse. However, despite its uniqueness, the design doesn’t live up to the expectations when it comes to actual reality. What would have rather been preferred would be a larger storage basket that can be used with a better performing diaper bag.
Seats, Padding, and Materials
Your baby needs a good comfortable seating in the stroller. The best option would be an amply padded seat covered with a material that is easy to clean yet durable. Different brands offer different quality of materials, so make sure that you check thoroughly before you buy. There are some brands that offer eco-friendly materials, for the environmentally conscious parents.
The popular belief is that adjustable handlebars in a strollers equals to more maneuverability but I found that not to be entirely true. The point of adjustable handlebars was to helps a short and tall parent from the same family to adjust the handlebar to make it easy for them to push the stroller. But on testing the handlebars, it was found in fact that people found higher height handlebars more maneuverable than the handlebars that are short. In other words, height of the parent or the handle bar had nothing to do with convenience, it was more to do with the maneuverability of the product that made it easier for parent both tall and short to steer it comfortably.
It was found that most of the strollers with the so called “adjustable handlebars” have some up/down “play” into the handlebar steering, which made the maneuverability performance unsatisfactory or “loose”. In other words, buying a stroller with adjustable handlebar will mean that you are compromising with the maneuverability performance of the stroller.
The only possible exception is the Bumbleride Indie which despite the adjustable handle feature retained tight, solid control, and earned one of the highest maneuverability ratings.
Among the top scoring 6 products, none of it offered a parent tray as a standard feature. Instead, it was offered as an accessory that you will have to buy separately. A parent tray is a very convenient option for parents to place their bottles along with other small items. You can buy these separately. Ironically, the lowest scoring 6 products had a parent tray that came along with the stroller itself.
Having a parent tray attached to the stroller has its advantages and disadvantages. Where on one side, a parent tray is convenient additional storage option that is within your reach and easy to use, on the other hand, it comes in the way when you want to fold the stroller. It makes the stroller bulkier and awkward while folding and after all of that it doesn’t even hold a large water bottle securely because most of the parent trays are shallow. That increases the risk for the baby because the bottle may just fall on the baby causing injury.
The parent tray is optional for both the strollers and is of top quality; you can buy it separately for an additional cost. Both the strollers use parent trays that are similar in design. They use a soft neoprene providing a deep cup holder and a separate compartment for keys that can be secured with a zip. Neither of the strollers adds on to the size with the addition of the parent tray unlike the other plastic trays available in the market.
Just like the parent tray, the child tray is not offered by many products. In fact none of the top 8 scoring products reviewed by me offer a child tray along with the stroller. Seems unusual doesn’t it? Since a child tray seems like a obvious feature that one would expect to be as a part of the stroller package. However, you can always order is separately however let me warn you that adding a child tray will only make your stroller bulkier. Just like in the case of a parent tray, the child tray too is a standard feature in the products that are rated lowest in my review. But the real question is do you and your child really need a child tray? You may think you do but in fact neither you nor your baby need one. It is just another one of the marketing tactic that make it seem as an essential feature, when in fact it is not.
Top Tips for Safer Strolling
The following piece of information is purely a precautionary one. So, do not worry about the types of injuries stated below while using a stroller. Like they say – “precaution is always better than the cure” and these points below are just precaution.
Use the Safety Harness
According the studies published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the number one reason for injuries while strolling are caused due to the baby falling from the stroller. In fact half of the numbers of injuries are result of falling and that is a big number. A close second is tip-over, mostly resulting due to the baby not being restrained with a safety harness.
In extreme cases, these injuries have even led to the death of the child. However, experts have reassured that if you properly use the safety harness for your child, you can avoid fatalities as well as injuries to the child. The CPSC has advised the use the safety harness at all times for the baby. Today, in the U.S. you won’t find any standard-size product that is without a safety harness. The best strollers offer a 5-point harness with an easy-to-use latching mechanism. Ensure that you at all times use the harness to keep your baby safe and secure.
Keep Baby Away When Folding
While folding the stroller, ensure that your baby is not in the near surroundings. There was a case where a baby’s fingertips got pinched in the hinge of the stroller while folding it, which led to amputation. A very disturbing account indeed but it is a rare case. However, there were 3 other similar cases of amputation reported in the summer of 2012 after which Kolcraft recalled 36,000 products. Before that in 2009, Maclaren recalled more than 1 million products following reports of 12 fingertip amputations. The reports did not end there however, there were another 5 fingertip amputations that occurred in the 2 years after the recall. It is always therefore recommended that you keep your baby away while folding or unfolding the stroller.
Make Sure It is Locked After Unfolding
Unfolding is only half the job done. Make sure you hear the reassuring click sound that indicates that the stroller is fully locked and ready to use. When you don’t unfold without the click, the stroller might just collapse with the baby’s weight causing injuries to the child.
Double Check the Parking Brake
Can you imagine the disaster that can happen if the parking brakes on a stroller are not applied or malfunctions. Two of the products infact- Chicco Cortina and the Orbit Baby G2, had parking brakes that would appear to be in locked positions but would release when bumped which could lead to dangerous situations. You have to be specially alert while travelling in public transport or crowded areas such as a train station or a busy road. My suggestion is always shake the stroller a little to check if the parking brakes are indeed set fully. The CPSC notes one report of a stroller which rolled off of a dock and into a bay, which resulted in the child drowning.
Never Put Hot Coffee or Tea in the Cup Holder
Everyone loves their cup of hot coffee or tea. Some busy parents even carry it along while strolling with their baby. But, hot beverages should never be placed in the cup holder. Cupholders are usually shallow and some are dangerously placed above the baby. Due to any reason, if the hot beverage spills over on the child, it could cause serious burn injuries. So make it a rule to not have hot liquids while pushing the stroller and do not balance your hot beverage cup in one hand and your baby in another hand, which is a sure way to cause accidents.
Use the Elevator
If fall injuries are dangerous, imagine what a fall from the stairs could do to your child. It could turn fatal. Falling may cause minor injuries to the baby to its face or head but a fall from the stairs is disastrous. The CPSC had reported an incident that occurred when a parent attempted to take a stroller with a child who was unrestrained and sleeping up on a flight of stairs. Unfortunately the child fell out, which was fatal for the baby. Similarly, escalators are equally dangerous. So my advice would be to avoid taking the stroller on escalators or stairs and stick to using an elevator instead. Or you could ask for help to carry the stroller over the stairs or carry the baby in your hand while climbing up and down the stairs and have someone else get the empty stroller.
Don’t try this at home folks, we’re professionals…
Do not do a trial and error experiment to test a theory with the stroller. When i have to test a stroller, i use test dummies to test the stroller strength or to see if it tips over. However, it is not to be in any way replicated at home with a real baby.
Check for Recalls
Before making a purchase, search the Consumer Products Safety Commission website to check for any product recalls. Especially in case of hand-me-down products from relatives or friends, doing a check is mandatory. The CPSC maintains a record of any active recalls, all it needs is for you to check on their website. You can also fo a search on the basis of product name which makes the search easier.
Don’t Run Unless It’s a Jogger
Standard size strollers are not meant for jogging, for that we have a special jogging stroller available. Many parents try to use strollers which are not meant for jogging for their jogging and running activities. Even worse, they think it is ok to take their babies who are less than 8 months along with them. Any baby below 8 months does not have enough neck muscle strength to hold its head firmly. Besides their spine and neck muscles are not yet fully developed. In such a situation, when you take your baby in a stroller, they cannot handle the shocks and bumps caused during the jog, causing health risks to the child. For jogging, always use a jogging stroller only and take the baby only once he/she has crossed the minimum age requirement that is specified by the manufacturer. I often encounter parents who are confused that products manufactured by “Baby Jogger” such as the popular City Mini, or products that look like a jogger such as the Bumbleride Indie are NOT designed for jogging.
Jogging strollers are safe for your baby. They have the necessary safety precautions such as suspension systems, reclined seating, and locking-swivel front wheels to reduce the shocks and make them suitable for running. It is always advisable to wait till your baby is 8 months before taking him/her on the jogger for jogging, till then you can keep fit with regular brisk walking workouts.
Don’t Hang Anything from the Handlebar
Do not hang anything from the handle bar as it could cause the stroller to tip-over causing serious injuries to your child. As mentioned above, tipping over is the 2nd most common cause of injury when strolling. Especially a back-tip is very dangerous and can cause injuries to the baby’s head since since the baby is more likely to fall on their head. When you hang a diaper bag or groceries bag on the handlebar, the weight of it could cause a head tip over. Sometimes even going up and down the curb could cause a tip-over. Basically, all factors such as your baby’s weight, weight in the bottom storage basket, angle of terrain etc could cause a tip over. If your baby weighs on the lighter side, there could be a tip over. My suggestion, place all your bags in the storage basket instead of the handlebar. That will also even out the weight evenly and cause stability.
Carry Infants Whenever Possible
But do you know? Your baby would prefer you holding them close to you rather than riding in the stroller. Especially in the first 6 months, babies like the feel and warmth of your skin. They like the cuddling and the snug feeling that comes from carrying the child.
So, what is the solution?
You can opt for wearing your baby in a baby carrier. With a carrier, you can hold the baby close, it leaves your hands free to use, your baby feels comfortable and it is also convenient to use apart from the fact that it is also much cheaper than a stroller. And don’t worry about the strain on your back. If you have a good carrier, the babies weight will get evenly distributed allowing you to carry your baby for hours even.
Take a look at our Baby Carrier Review for more detailed information on the top baby carrier products.
Health Benefits of Wearing Your Baby
Did you know, that if a baby spends too much time sitting in a car seat, bouncer or baby swing, they are prone to something called as plagiocephaly, or in other words, flattening of the back of baby’s head.
Why am I suddenly talking about plagiocephaly?
Because in relation to strollers, during a child’s first 6 months, most parents put their babies in a car seat and use it even in strollers. Of course, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid car seats completely. It is ok for your baby to spend 1.5-4 hours in a day in car seats, bouncers or swings but anything more than that is not recommended. The first few months of the baby is a phase where your baby’s skull is still soft, so get them off that car seat or stroller and use the baby carrier instead! You can carry your baby with the baby facing your chest, which takes the pressure off from the babies head in the back and prevents flattening of the baby’s head.
Human beings have been moving from one place to another for ages, and as a result different modes of transportation exists for babies. Some of these are unique to cultures, and to the age of the child, and over the years most of these methods have undergone a see change (because availability of better materials & technology).
Some of the popular methods included:
- Slings and backpacks
- Infant car seats
- Bicycle carriers
Today, Baby strollers and prams are popular products, available to parents, that are used to carry babies. There are different types of strollers and prams depending upon the weight and age of babies.
Prams are specifically used to carry infants in lying position, while strollers are used to carry babies of age between one and four years in sitting position. Prams are heavier and bulkier than strollers.
The larger and heavier prams (perambulators), which were quite popular during the Victorian era have been now replaced with lighter and more flexible designs.
There are prams which can easily convert into a pushchair. These compact and lightweight combination systems offer unbeatable value.
Some features of these baby transporters include:
When taking your baby out in a pram or stroller, safety is very important so all safety features are incorporated.
Baby pram strollers are suitable from birth and these can also be upgraded into a travel system. All accessories are usually included.
India, China and Russia are witnessing robust demands for baby care products and are expected to be the next destinations for all major global players in the Global Baby Stroller and Pram market. E-commerce and several online shopping websites have only made it easier to buy these products, and has increased the demand for baby strollers and prams, leading to the growth of the Global Baby Stroller and Pram market.
With government laws enforcing use of baby car seats, parents are increasingly considering the combined usage of baby strollers and baby car seats, which is not only convenient but also economic.
Buyers want products that can carry two babies, and also have provision to store goods such as milk bottles, diapers, or other baby accessories.
Key vendors in the Global Baby Stroller and Pram Market are Chicco, Bob, Britax, Evenflo and other Kids Brand.
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