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Narrator: When you have a baby, you’re sure to have your hands full.
Thank goodness for the stroller.
But with so many options out there, how do you know which one to choose?
To help you through the maze, we’ve organized all those strollers into six basic categories.
Before we jump in, one important note: Young babies who can't yet hold their head up steadily should ride in a stroller with a seat that reclines to a flat or nearly flat position, or in an infant car seat that fits on the stroller. If young babies are placed upright in a stroller, their head can fall forward and restrict their breathing.
Also, check any stroller you're considering to see what age, weight, and height it's meant for.
Standard strollers work for kids of all ages, from infants on up. These strollers run the gamut in terms of style, design, and features, but most have a comfortable padded seat that reclines, a canopy to shield your baby from light and the elements, and a storage area below the seat.
In some models, the seat position is reversible so your child can face you.
Many standard strollers accept infant car seats, allowing your baby to go straight from one moving vehicle to the next without skipping a beat – or waking up… at least most of the time.
Standard strollers vary quite a bit in size and weight. Whichever one you choose, it'll make a great all-purpose stroller that can last your family for years.
A travel system is a two-in-one package that includes a stroller and an infant car seat.
Since the pieces come as a set, you can be sure that the car seat will fit nicely into the stroller – and that they'll look good together.
You can use the stroller without the car seat once your baby is old enough to sit upright with good head control, or sooner if the stroller seat reclines far enough.
A stroller frame isn't a fully functioning stroller by itself – it's a lightweight frame with wheels that's designed to carry an infant car seat.
When the car seat is attached, voilà! It's a stroller.
This is a good pick for parents who want a lightweight stroller that works with their chosen car seat.
Remove the car seat and the frame folds up fairly small.
Once your baby's too big for the car seat, you won't have any more use for the frame – unless it came with a stroller seat attachment you can snap on instead.
An umbrella stroller is a popular choice for getting around town easily, family travel, and a backup stroller.
These strollers tend not to have much padding or be very adjustable, but they're lightweight, compact when folded, and often cheaper than other strollers.
Some fancier models offer extra comfort and features for a higher price.
Umbrella strollers typically recline only partially, and on some models they don’t recline at all – so these strollers aren't for newborns. But they're fine for older babies and toddlers.
A jogging stroller is an excellent choice for parents who want to jog, power walk, or go off-road with their baby.
These strollers are large, lightweight for their size, and stable, and usually have three sturdy tires and a suspension system for a smooth ride. Some have an emergency brake to help you stop quickly if you need to, or a wrist strap to keep the stroller close.
Jogging strollers are best for kids who can sit up and hold their head steady. Some models recline and some accept an infant car seat. Ask your child's doctor when it's safe to start using a jogger.
When you need to wheel around two little ones, you have one big choice to make: tandem or side-by-side.
Tandem strollers are easier to fit through doorways, but they're long from front to back and in some cases the backseat lacks legroom. Some tandem models can be configured in several ways, for different ages and seating preferences. For example: an infant and an older baby, a baby and a bigger kid, and even an option to stand.
Side-by-side double strollers make for a wide load that doesn't always fit through doorways, so check the measurements of the model you're considering. These strollers can work for a range of ages, and some accept infant car seats. Their main appeal? They can be easier to steer than tandems, plus both riders get the same amount of space – and the same view.
Got more than two riders? There are strollers that seat three, four, and even more!
We hope this overview helps with your hunt for a stroller. One last tip: Make sure the model you choose fits in your trunk!