Strollers - Buying guide

Parentree-editors 2008-10-18 10:36:36

Strollers (often referred to as prams) can be a useful accessory for Indian parents. Here are some tips on how to buy a stroller.

Types - Umbrella strollers

This is a simple stroller which consists of a  metal frame with a seat. They are usually light, fold easily into a compact shape, and are easy to store. They also have curved handles like umbrellas and thus the name. They are also less wider than typical strollers. They are also easy to carry and can be easily folded or unfolded by one parent. They do not offer a lot of head and body support and maybe suitable only for babies who can sit on their own.

Umbrella Stroller

(Image courtesy of Kolcraft)

These strollers usually do not have any shock absorption mechanism. Thus they are more suited to smooth surfaces rather than Indian roads. If you use them on Indian roads and footpaths, the baby may have a very bumpy ride. But they are great when you have to travel and need a compact stroller for your baby. 

They can be used till your baby crosses the weight limit for the stroller.

Types - Regular strollers

A regular stroller consists of a sturdier metal frame and more padded seats. They also come with features like a rollbar/tray in front of the baby, reclining seats for the baby, sunshade canopies, transparent cutouts in the canopies for parents to view the baby, a basket below the seat for storage etc., These usually have one or two trigger points which must be pressed to fold them. They do unfold easily. Many come with front wheels that can absorb some shock and thus reduce bumps for the baby.  When folded, they occupy as much size as a mid-sized checkin luggage.

Depending on the manufacturer and model, these strollers come with mechanisms for securely affixing an infant carseat to them. If you buy an infant carseat that is compatible, you can transfer the infant carseat to the stroller seamlessly, without disturbing your baby.

Regular Stroller

(Image courtesy of Graco)

They usually have a 5-point harness and reclining seats and are suitable for infants even without an infant car seat.

Types - Travel systems

Travel systems basically sell you a regular stroller and an infant carseat (the removable part and the base) in one package. This assures you that the carseat you buy will fit your stroller and is even colour-coordinated.

Travel System Stroller

(Image courtesy of Graco)

Types - Seat carrier

A seat carrier is the most minimal accessory you can find. It consists of a frame with no seat. The frame allows an infant car seat to be locked into it.  They are light, and compact but need an infant car seat all the time. They are suitable only for infants and once your baby outgrows their infant car seat, this stroller cannot be used.

Seat Carrier Stroller

(Image courtesy of Kolcraft)

Types - Other

Many other types of strollers exist. There are dual strollers to carry two children. There are strollers that fit an active lifestyle and can be pushed along by a parent who is jogging. Typically, these active strollers come with three wheels.

Selecting the right stroller

1. Safety - Find a stroller that is safe for your baby. Check to ensure that it has a good construction. Also check the manufacturer's website to ensure that it has not been recalled.

2. Suitability - Think about where you will use a stroller and find one that works for your need. If you travel a lot and are looking for a basic stroller, an umbrella stroller may work for you. If you want to be able to easily transfer your baby between the carseat and a stroller, a travel system maybe the best choice.

3. Price does not mean higher quality - A higher price does not mean higher quality. Ensure that you are not paying for features you will never use.

4. Ease of use - If you are buying anything other than an umbrella stroller, you should fold and unfold the stroller a few times in the store. You will be surprised how hard some of them are to use.

5. Safety - Ensure that the stroller you get has easily accessible brakes and a good harness to secure the baby.

Don't forget to share your recommendations for particular models. Please write a review in our Reviews section so others may benefit from your wisdom.


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