Wise up to your stroller choices and the features to consider to choose the right one that fits your needs.

Buying a stroller
is one of the most important ― and tough ― purchase decisions you’ll need to make as a new parent. Your choice has to be spot on as a baby buggy is a very convenient way for the family to move about on weekends. It is also a more comfortable option than a wrap or carrier in our hot and humid climate.

While junior will probably use it till he’s about 5 or 6 years old, he’ll be less reliant on it from about age 3, since he’ll prefer to walk, unless he is tired or sleepy. So, you’ll want a durable set of wheels.

Heavier more durable prams may glide along smoothly but they can be cumbersome to assemble and fold if you’re taking public transport. On the other hand, lightweight ones — like umbrella strollers — are easy to fold but are flimsy and don’t do well on rugged terrain. So, there’s no such thing as the perfect pram, only one that meets you and your family’s needs.

The different types of strollers available include:

- Umbrella strollers: Easy to pack and fold, these buggies are perfect if you use public transport as these are compact and usually made of lightweight materials. These lightweight strollers ― from as light as 4kg ― tend to be the cheapest, too. Because of its compact structure, these strollers are best for kids aged 6 months and above.

- Regular full-sized strollers: These steady rides often come with additional features like a grab-bar for bubba, a five-point harness, a broader canopy, a storage basket below, or even cup holders for your drinks. Suitable for kids up to age 4.

- Double or triple strollers: If you’re planning to add another baby to your family in the next one to three years, you may wish to consider a double stroller. These can come in a tandem (front-and-back seats or side-by-side) configuration.

- Jogging strollers: With sturdy wheels and chassis, these prams are made for active parents who love bringing their tot with them when they run outdoors.

- Travel systems: These are full-sized strollers with compatible infant car seats that can be clipped onto the stroller.

- Carriage strollers; Think of these as a portable bassinets on wheels. However, these pushchairs can only be used for newborns, which makes this buy not terribly good value for most couples. Because of the super-high prices, carriage stroller brands like Silver Cross or Bugaboo are therefore more popular among the well-heeled.

Note: Before you buy a stroller, do take note of its dimensions to make sure it’ll fit in your car boot.

Infographic by: Syahirah Maszaid

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Once you’ve decided what type of stroller to get, also consider these features:

- Harness: A restraint system ensures that bubba is safe. A five-point harness that secures your child’s waist, between the legs and down both shoulders is the safest.

- Movement of wheels: The stroller should continue to move in a straight line as you push it. You should also be able to turn the stroller using just one hand. For greater convenience, pick one that have front and back wheels that swivel. Also make sure to test the braking strength ― when engaged, the wheels should lock into position.

- Canopy: An adjustable shade will protect your sweetie’s delicate skin from the elements. If you plan to take him to the parks or playground frequently, pick one that has a UV-protection cover. Also, a cover with a peekaboo window lets you keep tabs on your little one while you walk.

- Seat position: A seat that reclines fully is a must if you’re moving around with a newborn. And if you go out often with junior, he’ll be able to catch a nap when he’s tired.

- Handle bars: Is there a huge disparity in height between you and your spouse? Then get a stroller with a height-adjustable handle bar ― ensure that this is around you or your hubby’s waist or slightly below. When you have a newborn, a stroller with a reversible handle allows your cherub to face you, and when they’re older, they can face front and see the world around them.

- Portability: If you travel overseas often, consider getting a stroller that is airline-approved, meaning that it can fit the overhead stowage bin of the aircraft. One option is Babyzen Yoyo.

- Storage options: A basket at the bottom of your stroller lets you stow your diaper bag neatly.

- Add ons: These may include cup holders, a parent-tray and side storage pockets. If you have a toddler and a baby but don’t want to spend big bucks on a double stroller, you may want to consider using an attachment such as a Lascal BuggyBoard or a Vee Bee EZ Rider. It is a platform or seat with wheels that you can attach to the stroller for your older kid to stand or sit in, so you can move both kids around easily. Do check to see if your stroller is compatible before buying these attachments.

- Colour: While you may think a bright and colourful pram may communicate your personality, you should stick to darker tones like black, blue, grey or brown. These are easier to maintain then brighter neon shades.

Stroller Safety Tips

Follow these simple rules to keep your little one safe when you're out and about. For more information, visit consumerproductsafety.gov.sg

Infographic by: Consumer Product Safety Office

Main photo: iStock

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