Melissa: Should you buy a full size stroller or an umbrella?A universal system, a travel system or an all-terrain model?
Melissa: There are so many options and features to choose from these days that choosing a stroller can be one of most difficult decisions you'll make.
Ellie and Melissa: We're Ellie … and Melissa, the Baby Planners.
Melissa: And we're here to help you step by step.
Ellie and Melissa: Safety First. Newborns require a stroller that fully reclines — and go easy.Never push a reclining infant on rough terrain — or use a jogger or do any high impact activity until baby is at least six months old.Other safety tips — Never leave baby unattended in a stroller, even when asleep;always use a safety belt or harness to keep baby secure;don't hang bags on the handlebars which can cause tipping;and always use the parking brake.One rule of thumb in choosing a stroller — consider your lifestyle: If you use public transportation and need portability, consider a deluxe umbrella stroller that fully reclines;if you travel mostly by car and need space for lots of baby things, look at a full size stroller with all the bells and whistles;if you're active outside but still use a car to get around, the full suspension wheels on an all-terrain stroller might be the best fit;And if this is baby number two — or three — the ability to ferry the family in one stroller could be inviting.
Ellie: Be sure to try out a number of models — you'll want to open, close, adjust and steer with one hand — baby is likely to be in the other.
Melissa: And spend some time walking behind each stroller to see if you have enough legroom for your stride.
Ellie and Melissa: Other features to look for are: brakes that are easy to find and use; locking front wheels — for when you want it to go in a straight line;adjustable handlebars — especially useful if parents are two different heights; expandability — can you add options for baby or even for a sibling?cargo space— how much storage do you need? Seat positions — can baby sit up, recline and lay down completely?;Reversibility — it's nice to be able to have baby facing you at times; and don't forget a washable fabric!Carrying baby and all that baby gear is tough — and there are many systems today that focus on easing the strain;universal systems are collapsible frames you can click your infant seat into — universal because they work with any infant car seat on the market;travel systems are similar, but come with an extra toddler sized seat that extends the life of the stroller;remember — make sure you hear a "click" when you add any pieces to the stroller chassis, and always jiggle the seat to make sure it's secure.Another option.. buy an inexpensive lightweight umbrella stroller as a backup.
Ellie: Don't forget all the accessories! A sunshade or canopy and mosquito netting ...
Melissa: Cup and food holders …
Ellie: A blanket made especially for a stroller.
Melissa: A cushioned head support for when baby is tiny.
Ellie and Melissa: And strollers toys for when baby is older.
For WebMD, we're Ellie and Melissa, the Baby Planners.