If you search for a stroller on BestBuy.ca, you’re going to be faced with dozens of different options to choose from. For a first time parent or one unsure about what type of stroller they want, it can be a surprisingly tricky task. When my daughter was born almost 4 years ago, my wife and I decided the most convenient option for us was probably a travel system. A travel system is essentially 3 pieces: A stroller, an infant car seat and its latching base. The car seat is typically made to attach to both the base and the stroller. The latter two pieces ended up being absolutely great. However, the stroller didn’t work out very well and we ended up with a jogging stroller once my daughter was 6 months old.
Choosing a stroller doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’s look at some questions to ask yourself and your spouse in order to determine what type of stroller is the best for your family and your newborn.
What is the safest stroller option for a newborn?
Like car seats, strollers tend to undergo rigorous testing and approval in order to be released to market. Strollers, like car seats and helmets must have CSA Approval to make the cut and go out for sale. Therefore, you can be assured that new strollers sold in Canada are safe for children. Newborns, however, do require a fair bit more care as they cannot support their own heads and necks and need that security at all times. Unfortunately, many stand alone strollers don’t provide this support immediately out of the box.
This doesn’t mean you can’t go out and buy the stroller of your dreams for your infant’s arrival. Most strollers out there have additional purchase options to support and safely latch an infant car seat onto it. While looking for your stroller, be sure to check the fine print to see what sort of car seat hookups you can purchase for it to make everything come together.
Travel systems are convenient and safe for newborns
If you’re looking for something a bit more out of the box, a travel system is the way to go. As I mentioned earlier, a travel system is a multi-piece solution. In one box, you get a stroller, an infant car seat, and a base to attached to car seat to within your vehicle. The seat itself clips and latches to the car base for your drives out and then does the same thing onto the base of the stroller. It’s incredibly convenient and you can now choose travel systems in both urban (4 wheels and better for malls and flat terrain) and jogging stroller (3 wheels with better shock absorption for the outdoors and parks) models.
Why use a stroller if my child is really young?
You may have chosen the route of wearing your infant regularly, in a sling or baby carrier, and decide that while the child is an infant you may not need a stroller. Depending on the circumstances, you may not. However, I know how inconvenient it can be when you’re super-tired, and you know the baby is already asleep—you both might find the stroller option to be extremely helpful on these days! I used to keep a stroller and carrier in my trunk at all times and found that it was easier to tote the stroller around so my baby could look around while awake, which was more than 50% of the time.
How do I find a safe stroller that fits my lifestyle?
Another consideration you should take into account when choosing a safe stroller option for your newborn is where you plan on taking baby in that stroller. You don’t want to be stuck with a stroller that is not able to go where you want it to. For example, a day at the beach with a stroller that can’t manage mildly rough terrain is not going to be much fun.
Make sure you find a stroller that suits the safety needs for your newborn as well as doing the things you need it to. A 3 wheeled jogging stroller with rubber air-filled wheels will manage the streets and trails better than 4 wheeled urban strollers with hard plastic wheels. However, be sure to keep an air pump nearby as you may have to refill the wheels every few months.
What are some parental conveniences I should look for in a stroller
Now that we’ve spent a little while talking about conveniences for your newborn, it’s also time to think about some of the conveniences that YOU as a parent should look for. If you’re carrying a full diaper bag with extra changes of clothes, bottles, etc, it’s going to be a real hassle to sling the bag over your shoulder while pushing a stroller. You’ll want to look for a stroller with a fairly healthy sized basket or storage area underneath. In all of my travels, I found that jogging strollers actually accomplish this the best. A great example of this is Mountain Buggy strollers. Models like the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle stroller feature a really deep storage basket with the ability to fit a lot underneath. It makes sense. You really don’t want to be holding or carrying anything along if you’re jogging.
With the number of things you may carry, you may also want to ensure that the basket has a specific weight rating and doesn’t begin to sag to the ground if you have something heavy in it. Phil and Ted’s strollers are one of the few I’ve seen with an actual basket weight rating attached and the basket for it is high enough up that it shouldn’t sag if you place a fair few items in it.
There are also strollers out there that allow you to unclip the seat itself and have your child face you or face outward. One good example of this is the Contours Options Elite Dual Stroller that I reviewed last year. With a simple push of a button, you can change the angle of the seat. While this option is found in only a few strollers that I have seen, it’s a good one if your child is a bit finicky and prefers to face you once in a while.
Lastly, think about some of the other conveniences you might need. Think about how wide the stroller that you’re looking at is. If you’re a shopper, for example, it might cut down your shopping options. I literally could not push our second stroller through narrow aisled stores because I’d risk stuff falling off the shelves.
Finally, make sure the stroller you pick has the amenities you need or has accessory packs you can purchase if you need them. The weird thing I’ve found in reviewing many strollers over the years is the more costly a stroller tends to be, the fewer extras it comes with. I received a stroller one time that would be perfect if not for the fact that it didn’t seem to have a cup holder (which doubled as baby bottle and dad iced coffee storage for me.)
How safe are folding strollers for my newborn?
Pretty well all strollers nowadays fold up into the smallest possible size. With this design style in mind, not all stroller folding capabilities are created equal. Be sure that you get a really good handle on how your stroller folds, unfolds and where it clasps and unclasps throughout. In many cases, you’ll be able to go about your business properly only to find one side collapsing inward and folding because you forgot to clip or clasp or pop something together. Get comfortable with what snaps where, before you place your child into a stroller.
Some companies incorporate specific technology to make it easier to fold up a stroller, whether it’s through twists in the top push bar, or clamps and clasps down the sides. When selecting a good stroller, you should remember that it most likely needs to fit into your vehicle at some point: consider what sort of a footprint it will have in your vehicle while folded. Most strollers should be able to fit into the trunk of any standard size sedan, but some don’t. If storage space is an issue, look toward a stroller that uses as little metal or plastic tubing as possible. Once again, jogging style strollers that are meant to be more lightweight may be your first option to check out. These strollers typically tend to provide your baby extra body support through tightening fabric latches. However, these don’t tend to be good options to support a newborn solo out of the box. You’ll have to look at purchasing an add-on that supports the infant seat. One of the troubles you might run into here is that if you’ve purchased a boutique brand seat, it may not be supported by your choice of stroller. Be sure that you’ve picked a completely compatible system if this is the route you’re taking.
This concludes a look at determining what types of strollers are the best for newborns. I’m going to turn this over to parents now for you to tell us what type of strollers you ended up settling on and why. Please tell me in the comments below. In the meantime, for you new parents now ready to narrow your search for a new stroller, please check out the full line of strollers available at BestBuy.ca and bring one home today!