The 15 point stroller buying guide

I know quite a lot about buying strollers now. I’m at the end of my 3rd year of motherhood with 2 kids.  And more importantly I’ve bought 3 wrong ones before I found my right one. Yep, so that’s 4 strollers to my credit (card!)

There are tons of really great ones out there.  All the strollers I bought were fantastic ones, but only each in its own way. The only reason I had to get rid of them and look for a new one was – My need was different and it took a while for me to figure out what I actually wanted from a stroller!

15 point stroller buying guide

My first one was a full-sized stroller with great cushioning and would recline 180 degrees, but it did not have a 5 point harness. My second one was a famous European brand, had 5 point harness and and all great features but it stood so bulky at the corner of my room. My third one was a jogging stroller. What a bump-free ride it would give my baby! Even when bouncing down some stairs or on snow or beach too. But how many times can I go to the beach and what do I do when it’s not snowing? It was a bit gigantic in my living room. So now quiet fed up with the so many misfits at home, I wanted to get rid of them all and see what I actually needed my stroller to be the most for me.  After a lot of research I made myself a check-list with all the features of a good stroller to prioritize my need and pick my hopefully final stroller!  So now I just wanted to share my checklist with you and if I can make you buy one less wrong stroller, you’ve made my day : -)

So here’s my 15 POINT STROLLER BUYING GUIDE for you. This guide has all the features of a good stroller that you should keep in mind when you are buying.

  1. TYPE OF STROLLER: Full sized, jogging, Travel system (car seat adaptable) or Light weight umbrella. The terrain you are in and the extensive type of activities you plan to do with your child plays a vital role in your decision. If you actually know the answer to this question, your problem is half solved!
  2. SIZE: This was the most important thing for me. You don’t want a gigantic stroller occupying your living room or at back of your door, or your baby’s room or the bathroom. That’s all where I tried to hide mine!  I now live in HK and you can imagine my need to save space. But if you have a garage or a storage room, you can go easy on this.
  3. WEIGHT: If you like to travel a lot or move around, you should pick a light one.  Umbrella strollers are the best options for travel and especially if you have to lug the stroller down a flight of stairs!
  4. WHEELS: Wheels are important for manoeuvring. Make sure the front wheels swivel for an easy ride. I also think the bigger the wheels, the better suspension you get for your baby.
  5. AGE COMPATIBILITY: If you don’t want to buy too many strollers, invest in one that can be used from NB to 2 or 3 yrs. Or maybe in one that can be used from 3 months and up.
  6. RECLINING OPTION: This is very important in giving the baby a comfortable place to sleep when we take them out. Pick a stroller which gives you at least 120 degree reclining options. Some strollers give you up to 180 degrees!
  7. FOOT REST FOR BABY: This is not very essential, but it would be nice if the baby can stretch their legs when they fall asleep. So if you like that, look for extendable foot rest option.
  8. RAIN COVER: I prefer a stroller that has its own rain cover so that it fits very snugly on the stroller to protect your baby from rain. I once got caught (not really caught when you are in Disneyland, are you!) with my baby and it started to pour for about half hour. We were all drenched, but not a drop on my baby who was enjoying the scene cozily from inside! This is great to protect the child from the cold winds too.
  9. SUN PROTECTION CANOPY: Its important to protect your child from the UV rays and the heat directly falling on their heads. Some strollers give you the extended sun canopy protection that almost covers your baby from the direct rays.
  10. WASHABLE SEAT COVER: You are going to put a kid on it. So you better expect the seat cover material to be stain resistant or easily washable.
  11. SEAT CUSHIONING: Pick a stroller with nice cushioning. This is essential if you plan to put your baby when she is very small. This will make a cozy place for her sit as well as protect during the bumpy rides.
  12. 5 POINT HARNESS: Do not settle in for 3 point harness, especially if your child is still young. You don’t want your baby to stand up when you are walking her down in the stroller. Maybe after 2 yrs, you can consider 3 point harness.
  13. CUP HOLDER AND TRAY FOR MAMMA: While the stroller is for the comfort of the child, its important that you also have a couple of extensions on it to make your walk a bit more relaxed. Make sure you at east have a cup holder. It would be nice to have a small tray where you can throw in baby’s bottle, a pacifier, your keys, some change etc. Even if there is no tray there are actually loads of stroller attachments that you can buy separately.
  14. BASKET UNDER STROLLER: You really don’t want to lug a diaper bag always! Even when I decided to buy an umbrella stroller, I was particular that I wanted to have a small basket underneath to throw in some diapers, change of clothes and some space to put some things that I buy on my way. This is so crucial when you start walking around.
  15. EASY OPEN AND FOLD OPTIONS: If you are going out alone, it’s important that you are able to do it effortlessly all by yourself. There are some great strollers that let you open and fold them using one hand, in case you have to carry your baby in the other. Definitely try to do this and see at the store!

There were a lot great strollers that I came across when I was researching. But some of my personal favorites were from these 7 brands that are from across the globe. They are : @Uppababy @Maclaren, @Bugaboo @Bumbleride @BobRevolution @PegperegoUSA and @Babyjogger. 

Btw,  just in case you want to know what I bought 🙂  –  I narrowed down and decided to buy a space-saving light weight umbrella stroller that gave me all the features of a full-sized stroller! Yes, I found one like that and couldn’t be more happier with my choice! It was also compatible for babies from 3 months to 15 kgs and I’m using it for second child now!

I hope you find this guide useful. If you did, let me know what stroller you bought.

Happy Parenting!

Has she woo-ed you ? Sophie!

This is a pretty looking giraffe teether toy named Sophie, manufactured by a French company called Vulli. I had heard so much about this toy that after I got pregnant this was the first item I put on my baby registry and couldn’t wait for my baby to open it. You can imagine that long wait of mine. But I was certainly a bit disappointed for all the hype that was out there. I’ll give you a few reasons to like it and more reasons to reconsider it too. Happy baby toy shopping 🙂

Image

Image taken from Vulli’s french website

Why I liked it before I opened the box :

  • Good looking teether toy
  • Very easy for baby to grab and put it in her mouth
  • Made of natural rubber and safe for baby to chew on (Though questionable by German standards in Nov 2011. I think there are more details on Wikipedia)

Here’s why I din’t like it after I opened the box : I opened this for my boy when he was 3 or 4 months old and within few days I put it away.

  • DUST AND FUR MAGNET: Its body is made of soft flexible rubber that seems to collect mild moisture and so much dust particles and fur on it very quickly.  These tiny particles get stuck onto them and takes a bit of an effort each time . Do I blame my carpet? Do I blame my  cushion sofa ? No. I think they are meant to be soft and furry. I just don’t understand why Sophie giraffe pulls them out onto her! and really I can’t clean her before everytime my baby wants to play with her!
  • SQUEAKER WENT MUTE : I have an older daughter (3 yo) who likes to play in water. She dragged this into her bath along with her bath toys and while the toy came out clean, it also came out muted. Muted till date. Clearly this was not the way to clean.
  • WATER TRAPPED INTO ITS BODY : So after that, there was so much water that went into its narrow-hollow body and legs and there was no way to drain it fully.  The squeaker hole was in the middle of its body so if turned it upside down the water would rush to its head and not drain through the hole. Finally, it took about a week for me to drain and dry her fully and even then I was not sure! Seriously I’d much rather have a teether toy that I can simply immerse sterilize in hot water every night.
  • NO WAY TO STRAP IT TO STROLLER : So if you do decide to take this along with you in your stroller , there’s actually no way your gripper can hold it securely in place. You baby will drop it in a few minutes and you have to put it back in your bag immediately to bring home and clean!

So, Sophie – will not make it to the permanent brood of our other animal toys!

RATING : 6/10

Have you faced any of these problems with this toy ?