Inexperienced parents who haven’t spend a lot of time around small children might think that all strollers are more or less the same. But an experienced parent knows when can baby sit in stroller, and what type should it be. There are many factors that need to be taken into account, and your baby’s age could possibly be the most important one.
The First Six Months
The first age category of strollers is the one that is suitable for newborns and children up to six months old. During this period of your child’s life, it is imperative to make sure that the baby is comfy and safe from all the shakes and bumps that are caused by rolling over different types of terrain. So jogging and umbrella strollers are off the table.
What your kiddo needs is a structured and sturdy buggy that is equipped with a reliable suspension system that can absorb harmful impacts. But, more importantly, these kinds of strollers have fully-reclining seats that enable your baby to lie flat during their first months. Babies under the age of six months do not have head and neck control and therefore cannot sit in a stroller, but must lie.
It would be wise to get a buggy or travel system that accepts a baby car seat because it will allow you to move your kiddo in and out of the vehicle without waking them up. Infant car seats can be used with newborns, and some brands of strollers accept specific car seats without special adapters, so it is very easy to attach them. If you have twins and are looking to buy a double buggy, make sure that both seats are suitable for newborns.
If you are an urban dweller that doesn’t spend a lot of time in the car, you can get a stroller that accepts a bassinet attachment. That way you’ll eliminate the need of buying a special infant stroller as such an attachment will allow you to lay down your child in the fully-flat position.
6 to 12 Months
After your baby reaches six months of age, head and neck support won’t be your primary concern. At that age, your child will probably prefer to ride seated. That is when you will really benefit from a stroller that has a seat with adjustable and multiple reclining positions. Since your child will be seated, make sure the seat is equipped with a five-point-harness, to ensure a safe and cushioned ride.
At this stage, a parent can get more confident with the idea of bringing their child along when running errands or going shopping. Consider getting a buggy with a rear facing seat so that you can get more bonding time with your kiddo.
Since your little passenger is a bit older now, you do have more options, but some things also get more complex. If you have a car and want a travel system, look for one that comes with more features, and not just with the basic frame. Let’s not forget about your lifestyle, as now you can choose a stroller that suits you as well as your child.
Now, since your baby is not as fragile, and if you are fond of exercising, you can get a jogging stroller that is great for rolling over all types of terrain and easy to maneuver. If you are always on the go or travel a lot, an umbrella stroller might be a better option as it can quickly be folded and stored practically anywhere.
18 to 24 Months
As your child grows into toddlerhood (18 – 24 months old), their needs change. Toddlers are much more active and curious about their surroundings, but also more independent. Since your child will probably like hopping on and off the stroller, you will need a model that is light, easy to fold and carry for when your child doesn’t want to sit in it.
Even so, your little passenger might be older and stronger, but a five-point safety harness is always a must. Some five-point harnesses can be converted into three-point harnesses, in case it is more convenient for your kiddo. When getting a stroller, be sure that it is JPMA certified (you can find the sticker underneath) as it will attest to its safety.
Considering that you will have to hold the hand of your toddler when they are walking beside you, it will be better to get a stroller that is easy to maneuver and light. While it is not an absolute must, a ride-on board can come in handy when your toddler doesn’t want to neither sit nor walk along your side. Standing on the stroller while you are pushing it might turn out to be the most amusing option to your child.
Rules for All Ages
It must be noted that some guidelines and features are universal for all ages. No matter how old your kiddo is, they need proper sun protection. Try to find a buggy with a sizeable, expandable canopy that will protect them from wind, rain, and sun.
A fully reclining seat is a must for newborns, but older babies and toddlers might appreciate a fully-reclined nap too. Naturally, for them, the seat should also have an adjustable and multi-position recline as well.
Don’t neglect your own comfort. For a stroller to be comfortable and suitable for a parent, the handlebar must suit their height. The best stroller is likely to have an adjustable handlebar, but, if not, make sure its height suits yours before making the purchase.
The-five-point harness needs to have a proper buckle. It has to be designed in such a way that it is easy for the parent to operate it, and that’s only for the parent. A curious toddler should have a hard time unfastening the harness as their own curiosity might put them in danger.
Alas, let us not forget that every situation is different. Each of us has our own priorities and needs. When you are almost done weighing your options, find a friend with a child close in age to yours and ask them for advice as well.