Navy remains a popular color, and black is now in vogue. You’ll also see shades of green, silver, and other bright colors. Electronic gadgets for babies and parents abound.
The biggest-selling brands are Cosco, Evenflo, Graco, and Kolcraft. High-end import brands include Aprica, Combi, Maclaren, and Peg Pérego. Your baby’s needs and your own preferences will determine which you’ll use and how you’ll use it. There’s a host of types to choose from:
Traditional strollers. This category includes conventional strollers and lightweight umbrella strollers. Many conventional models can accommodate infant car seats. Unless used with an infant car seat, they’re generally not suitable for babies younger than 6 months.
Pros: Often fairly lightweight and convenient.
Cons: Heavier models are difficult to carry on public transportation or to use in buildings with elevators or escalators. And you still need a car seat.
Price range: $20 (for some umbrella strollers) to $300.
Travel systems. A stroller and infant car seat combo for use with newborns and toddlers. The car seat fits in the stroller. When the child outgrows the car seat, usually at about 22 pounds, the stroller is used alone.
Pros: Adults can move a sleeping baby undisturbed from car to stroller.
Cons: Some early models were recalled because the stroller collapsed suddenly or the car seat handles failed. New models are improved.
Price range: $150 to $200.
Jogger or all-terrain strollers. Three-wheeled strollers for running with mom or dad, or traditional-style strollers with heavy-duty suspension or air-filled tires.
Pros: Good for off-road use.
Cons: Not suitable for babies younger than 6 months old. Can be unstable when the rear wheels are lifted over a curb.
Price range: $100 to $300.
Double strollers. Some models seat children side-by-side; tandems seat one child behind the other or face-to-face. Some can accommodate newborns in infant car seats.
Pros: The only way to push two children.
Cons: Heavier and harder to maneuver than single strollers. Side-by-side models can’t be used with infant car seats; tandems can be hard to push over curbs.
Price range: $100 to $500.
Seat carrier frames. Lightweight, empty frames designed to hold an infant car seat, using it as the carriage.
Pros: Inexpensive and convenient.
Cons: Both the car seat and the frame must be replaced once the child outgrows the seat.
Price range: $40 to $50.
Generally, paying more gets you options such as extra padding, additional reclining positions, or a sophisticated suspension.
Safety belts. Get a model with a sturdy safety belt and crotch strap, which help keep a baby or a toddler from slipping out. Thick nylon webbing is the typical material used. Look for buckles that are easy for you to operate but difficult for small hands to unfasten. Most strollers offer only waist and crotch straps, but more (usually upscale models) are starting to offer an adjustable five-point harness (two straps over the shoulders, two for the thighs, and a crotch strap), much like those found in car seats. baby strollers