“Babies spend a relatively short time in strollers, which is what makes this stage so special,” says Janet McLaughlin, a mom of three in Santa Monica, CA, who also happens to be The Stroller Queen, a bonafide expert in baby buggies. “You want to be sure to enjoy it while it lasts!” But if you’re constantly cursing under your breath about your stroller’s rickety wheels or the fact that you have to wrestle it into a fold, you’re going to miss out on some of that joy. We refuse to let that happen! Follow these tips as you shop, and you’re guaranteed to find one sweet ride.
Take the stroller for a test drive—fully loaded.
A lot of new parents really don’t think about how well the stroller will actually maneuver, says McLaughlin, and this is The. Most. Important. Factor. to consider, no matter what type you want to buy. “There are some strollers that are just miserable once they’re filled with 25 pounds of kid and gear,” she says. Because most will push just fine while empty, try to load up the floor models (if you have some weights, go ahead and bring them!) and then push it with one hand. That’s when you’ll start to notice the differences.
See how easily the stroller folds—one-handed.
This is the second most important issue to consider, especially if you’ll be taking it in and out of the car all the time. Does it collapse and open up easily? Can you do it one-handed? There’s a lot of emphasis on stroller weight, but if you find a heavier model that folds like a breeze, it’s probably the better option.