Anyone else got a complicated relationship with stroller shopping?
Yes, it’s an exciting part of baby prep. You can imagine your little one strapped into the stroller you’re testing. They’re staring happily at the outside world, gurgling away, as you do laps of the park, coffee in hand (we can dream, right?!).
But, it can also be f*cking overwhelming. There’s so much choice, so many features and – as with many other baby products – it feels like you’ll ruin your baby’s chance of a happy, successful future if you make the wrong decision. The pressure!
So how the hell do you make stroller shopping an easier experience? We spoke to Yvette Picthall, Store Manager of Sydney-based Baby Village, to find out what to look for when choosing a stroller.
Read her tips below and learn how you could win one of our favorite strollers in Mumli’s Launch Giveaway!
Do your damn prep work
And yes, that’s before you go to the store.
Think about your lifestyle and your preferences because these are the things a shop assistant will ask you about to help recommend a stroller.
According to Yvette, specific things to consider include:
How you get around
“We always ask what sort of lifestyle people lead,” said Yvette.
- If you walk a lot, check out a stroller with top notch wheels and suspension
- If you often take public transport, consider something compact
- If you’ll mainly be driving, make sure the stroller fits in your boot (which sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised…). Which leads to the next point…
Where you need to fit the stroller
Measure your front door, entry gate, side passage – anywhere you need to fit the stroller. Just do it.
“And consider what sort of car you have. If you have a small sedan, a stroller that has a separate seat or bassinet does take up room,” said Yvette.
Where you’ll store the stroller
Strollers can be bulky. Plain and simple. They’re not a cute little toy you can hide away in a drawer. So if you don’t drive (e.g. you won’t be storing the stroller in your car), think about where it’ll sit in your apartment or home.
Regarding preferences, Yvette recommended pondering things like whether you want to be able to turn the stroller seat so your baby can face you. “A lot of first time moms want to see their newborns. But we often see this change as people have more children,” she said.
Go in with an open mind
A big “well done” to you if you’ve done any form of research before going in store. But go in with an open mind – what you thought was the chariot for you may not actually be the best fit for your lifestyle or preferences.
- If you’re outdoors a lot, a stroller seat or bassinet that can be adjusted to face you can provide your baby with more protection if it’s a cold, windy day.
- If you’re not a strong person (everyone is different), you’ll want a lighter frame.
- You might love the idea of a stroller that can fold down in one – but they can actually be heavier and more awkward to get into your car or home.
- You may think you can squeeze your ideal stroller into your car by removing the wheels. Love the optimism, but do you really want dirt and the like on your hands?
Test the stroller out fully
“This is going to be your family’s mode of transport for the next couple of years, so you want something that you’re happy with, that you find easy to use and that you know your baby is going to be comfortable in,” said Yvette.
Long story short: go ham on testing out that four-wheeled beauty. Specifically:
- How it feels when you push it.
- It’s height and how much you can adjust the handlebars – because not everyone is of ‘factory-average’ stature.
- If you can easily fold it, unfold it and take it apart – some strollers are easier than others, or require more wrist strength to handle, for example.
Buy for now, not for the future
Leave the “we’ll grow into it” mentality at the door, mama.
Yvette often sees people coming in to buy strollers that will take them through multiple children and situations.
While this is great in theory, you might end up with a toddler that prefers to walk, or you may find yourself doing more travel than planned (Covid be gone), for example. If that’s the case, you’ve spent money on something that you didn’t necessarily need, and will likely end up buying a different style of stroller down the track anyway.
“Buy the stroller that you want this time around, because down the track you’ll buy the stroller that you need,” she recommended.
There you have it; you’re a stroller-shopping-pro. Well, we can hope. For those that have done it before, what are your best tips for shopping for a stroller?