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Joovy Zoom 360 Jogging Stroller
Joovy Zoom 360 Jogging Stroller

How to Buy a Stroller

When baby makes three, parents don't need to feel limited in their travels. Today's strollers make it easy for families to continue to be just as active after baby's arrival as they were before. Not sure what type of stroller will fit your lifestyle, your baby and your budget? Here's what you should know to stroll your way to a wise purchase!

The Basics

Step 11. Baby's Age: Newborns and infants need a lightweight or a full-size stroller. A jogging or umbrella stroller should be reserved for older infants and toddlers.
Step 22. Terrain: Small strollers and plastic wheels are best for mall walking or the occasional stroll around town. Air-filled tires and a solid frame are necessary for hiking, jogging or navigating cobblestone streets.
Step 33. Frequency of Use: If you expect to use your stroller daily, you're wise to spend a bit more money on one that can stand the test of time. However, if you are the sporadic stroller user, a lightweight or umbrella stroller can meet your needs nicely.
Step 44. Extra Features: Even strollers offer options. From cup holders and trays to baskets underneath the seat, there are many different options to choose from.
Step 55. Size: Size and weight do matter where strollers are concerned, especially if you need to fold and stow your stroller in your car on a regular basis. A stroller should fit into the trunk of your car. Don't forget to check that the height is a good match, too.

The Lingo

Travel System: For first-time parents, purchasing a travel system that consists of a full-size stroller, car seat and car-seat base is the most cost-effective stroller option.
Umbrella Stroller: This extremely lightweight stroller with a flip-top umbrella for shade typically includes a lap belt only and is best suited for toddlers. It folds up small and can be carried like an umbrella. The seat on an umbrella stroller does not recline.
Full-Size Stroller: This can fit a car seat or an older infant/toddler. The seat can recline or be used upright. It usually has a five-point harness for safety and amenities such as cup holders, a basket for the diaper bag and a tray for both parent and child.
Lightweight Stroller: This is a slightly scaled down version of a full-size stroller with limited amenities. It can still fit a car seat and will offer some recline options.
Jogging Stroller: For moms and dads on the run, a jogging stroller is designed to be easy to steer so that infants and toddlers get a smooth ride. They are usually not recommended until an infant has good head control.

The Experts

BabyFit.com suggests that those trying out a jogging stroller should give the stroller a test drive to make sure the handlebars are at a good height for the primary user. This is a great suggestion, whichever brand or type of stroller you choose.
Parents magazine points out that it isn't only important to be sure your stroller will fit into your car, but also that it will fit through the front door, through the aisles of your supermarket or in between two cars in the parking lot.

The Price

$: Expect to spend $20 to $100 on a decent umbrella or lightweight stroller without the bells and whistles of a pricier model. Try the First Years Jet Stroller.
$$: Full-size strollers and travel systems, as well as some jogging strollers, will typically cost $150 to $300. They'll include some extra features and should last your child through toddlerhood. Try the GoGo Babyz Urban Advantage Single Stroller.
$$$: Top-of-the-line strollers run $300 to $600. They'll often include better suspension, construction and wheels, and may include a better warranty from the manufacturer. Try the Tike Tech Double City X3 Swivel Stroller.