As a new mom, I am constantly bombarded with information on baby products that companies tell me I need. Do I really need a ring sling? Does my baby need to sleep in a bassinet? Are diaper warmers necessary? When it comes to strollers, it’s even worse. There are so many types of strollers on the market, each with many different features. There are electric-assisted strollers, there are umbrella strollers, there are strollers for rough terrain and strollers for traveling. To be honest, stroller shopping can be quite overwhelming for a new mom!
While I was pregnant, I paid a visit to Love Me Do Baby and Maternity in Liberty Village for a free stroller consultation. Linda walked me through each type of stroller and the functionalities of each one. We discussed how I would be using the stroller and how often I would be using the stroller.
In the end, we chose the UPPAbaby VISTA (2019 in WILLIAM) because we wanted an all-in-one stroller. An all-in-one adapts as baby grows from an infant to a toddler. It also has the versatility to accommodate 2 children as our family grows.
Keep scrolling to check out my conversation with Linda!
Grayce: Hi Linda, Thanks for chatting with me! 🙂 Today we are shopping for our stroller. It’s a huge investment. What do you think are the basic essentials I’ll need in a good stroller?
Linda: The most important thing to remember about strollers is that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Your specific needs will determine what you deem essential, whether that is a reversible seat, lots of storage space, the ability to expand for more children or something lightweight. To me, good wheels and an easy fold are absolutely critical. I want to make sure that a stroller is user-friendly and will be able to take the brunt of being used every day. Of course, washable fabric for those inevitable messes is always a plus.
Grayce: Oh yes, washable linens are a must considering how often I plan to use it! What else should new parents be looking for in a good stroller? (From wheels to child’s sitting position…)
Linda: I generally recommend looking for a good warranty and positive customer service experiences from other parents. Take a look at stroller joints and welds to make sure that it feels sturdy. Test mechanisms such as recline, fold, brakes, and bumper bar. Everything should feel relatively effortless and shouldn’t feel too clunky. Remember, a good stroller depends on what meets the individual’s needs – as long as the parents are happy then it’s all good!
Grayce: I’ll be walking everywhere down but for those that drive, how would you choose a stroller for someone that walks everywhere vs someone who drives everywhere?
Linda: When selecting a stroller for someone who primarily walks, great wheels are a must-have. We are also ideally looking for good suspension, an adjustable handlebar, and a great canopy to keep babe out of the sun. For someone who drives, on the other hand, a stroller that is quick and easy to fold will be essential especially if they are in and out of the car with it multiple times a day. Depending on the vehicle, and space constraints, it might be important that it is compact and, of course, we want to make sure that the parent can easily lift it in and out.
Grayce: What about car seat attachments? Is that an important factor?
Linda: This question is a bit of a double-edged sword. While we are all about the convenience of being able to pop the baby out of the car and into the stroller for a quick errand we are also mindful of the fact that car seats are for cars and that it is important to limit car seat use to under 90 minutes at a time. So, while it is nice to have the ability to attach your car seat, to your stroller, it isn’t a habit that we want to encourage if it can be avoided.
Grayce: Are there different properties to look for when stroller shopping for an infant vs a toddler?
Linda: Absolutely! With a newborn, we tend to place a lot of emphasis on a flat lay or a bassinet option and the ability to parent face. New parents are often also concerned with having a big basket for all of the items that accompany the baby. However, for a toddler who uses the stroller infrequently, many parents choose to downsize and look for something, light, compact and easy to maneuver.
Grayce: How important is a good warranty?
Linda: The hope is, of course, that you will never need your warranty but when you do, you want to have the best coverage and customer service possible. Remember, register your stroller!
Grayce: Are strollers like car seats with expiration dates? How long are strollers good for? Can I use a stroller my friend inherited from a cousin who got it from a family member back in 2002 or is that too old?
Linda: Unlike car seats, there are no expiration dates on strollers BUT there are a few things to keep in mind with older strollers. First, as newer generations of strollers are released, they tend to discontinue parts for older models but of course, the older the stroller gets, the more likely it is to need replacement parts! Secondly, here in Canada, our strollers are exposed to the elements which can be really hard on the wheels and joints. That said, with proper maintenance a good stroller can last for ages!
Grayce: Do you have any tips on when it comes to shopping for strollers?
Linda: Take your time! Start shopping early, to get an idea of what you like and what you don’t like. Don’t over research, you will end up driving yourself crazy. Try to determine what is most important to YOU and YOUR PARTNER. It’s really easy to be swayed by friends, families, and reviews but, at the end of the day what is important is that you are in love with your stroller.
Grayce: Let’s talk about stroller accessories – there are so many out there. Can you introduce a few basic accessories and what they might be needed for?
Linda: The 5 key accessories that we get asked for are: stroller caddy, cup holder, rain cover, snack tray, and stroller liner.
- Stroller Caddy: The modern parent wants convenience and having everything at hand with a good stroller caddy will make all the difference.
- Cup Holder: For our coffee drinkers, a cup holder is high on the priority list – however, a word of warning, invest in a good mug with a proper lid, coffee scalds from unintentional spills are one of the top reasons children under the age of 1 are seen in the emergency room.
- Rain Cover: Many strollers will come with their own rain cover which is wonderful for protecting your little from the elements beyond what the water-resistance of the canopy can provide. Rain covers are also great for shielding babe from those windy days!
- Snack Tray: Although by its name, a snack tray implies that it is for eating, they are also great as a play surface!
- Stroller Liner: Stroller liners are a MUST in the summer months between all of the sunscreen, sweat, and liquids that are likely to come in contact with your stroller. Protect your investment and make it your own with a custom liner or keep it simple with a cooling core. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s machine washable!
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