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How to Pick the Right Stroller for Your Family

How to Pick the Right Stroller for your Family?

by Tara Kannas, PT, DPTLeave a Comment

Did you know the right baby stroller can make all the difference in activities from your neighborhood walk to maneuvering the mall? A stroller is a must-have for life on the go with a baby. Experiences with a baby can be simpler if the right stroller is paired correctly with your particular lifestyle. Finding the best stroller isn’t easy and can feel like a considerable expense. However, if you plan to take your baby out often or have more than one child, your stroller will get years of use.

Before purchasing a stroller try out a few to make sure it meets the needs of your baby and family members who will be pushing, folding, and stowing. There are six basic types of strollers, and within each category, there are many models and accessories:

  1. A full-sized stroller is big and sturdy with larger wheels and decent suspension to get a baby through the toddler years. Most have telescoping handlebars to accommodate different-sized people pushing. However, the size makes the stroller heavy, bulky, and more challenging to navigate in small places.
  2. Lightweight umbrella-style strollers are incredibly portable and easy to handle while on the go. However, with this option, you usually have two strollers because they’re not for use with children less than six months.
  3. Jogging strollers are a good alternative if you are on the run. Larger wheels and better suspension for bumps and uneven terrain let you walk or jog easily. Models can be heavy and wider, making steering in tight spaces challenging. Also, most three-wheeled strollers are referred to as a jogger, but some are not equipped with safety features and are not meant to be used for jogging with a baby.
  4. A double stroller, which, as the name implies, is perfect for a baby while having or planning to have a toddler who also needs a stroller. A disadvantage is the size and weight.
  5. A car seat carrier is a wheeled frame transforming an infant car seat into a stroller in a snap. This stroller is for short-term use as the baby will outgrow it quickly.
  6. A travel system allows the infant car seat to connect to your stroller with an adapter. Pairing the two lets you choose the type of stroller you like; however, a second car seat or base will have to be purchased if using multiple cars for the baby

No matter the type of stroller, there are some important things to consider with each type. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What does your lifestyle look like? Where it’s going to be used the most will help narrow ‘big and bulky’ versus ‘lightweight and portable’.
  • Is it newborn-friendly, and how long do you plan to use the stroller?
  • What is your budget?

Then, consider the ease of use of folding and unfolding, along with its weight transferring in and out. When choosing the right stroller for your family, look at affordability for your budget, your lifestyle, and your family size. There are many details to consider before you leave with a baby in the stroller because it can be a celebrated freedom to get out of the house but pushing a stroller can also be strenuous. The weight of the baby and stroller changes the mechanics of your walking. There’s a learning curve to help prevent sore muscles and injuries. Don’t death grip handles. Instead, try holding with one hand while swinging your free arm and switching hands often. When you overgrip, you end up with muscle tightness in your shoulders and upper extremities. Properly adjust the stroller to relax through your back and shoulders while your arms hit the handles naturally and upright, as this will alleviate shoulder pain. Remember to push from your core and legs, which will help you to stay more upright rather than hunched over. Most importantly, remember one stroller doesn’t fit all, as some are built for speed and others for distance.

A baby could spend hours in the stroller; a baby’s safety and comfort should be at the top of the list. Finding what works for you and your child while in the stroller takes trial and error. Avoid disappointment and try modifying the timing of walks and running errands with the baby’s schedule. Until you figure it out, take shorter trips with frequent breaks to check on the baby’s comfort and avoid overexerting yourself. Note, that no matter what shape you’re in, every hill seems like a mountain when pushing a stroller! Taking time with the baby can be a welcome relief from work or chores. Learn to enjoy pushing a stroller to take care of yourself with a healthy activity while still caring for your child. Bringing children along is an excellent way to teach them the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Taking the baby in the stroller is a way to start them to see the benefits of exercise at a young age.

Taking care of Yourself

If you experience aches or pains from pushing your stroller, schedule a free assessment. Our team of experts will assess your condition and recommend treatment options for you. Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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