Baby Stroller Guide: Answers to Common Stroller Questions

Updated September 9, 2020

Guide with answers to frequently asked questions, including the different types of baby strollers, what to look for in a baby stroller and how to choose a stroller for your baby.

text-little-spokes-epic-baby-stoller-guide

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Choosing a stroller can be overwhelming, especially for first time parents. This baby stroller guide aims to ease confusion around picking the best stroller for your family. We'll see examples of the most common types of strollers. We'll also list important things to look for when buying a stroller. And we'll answer many commonly asked questions about baby strollers.

Baby Stroller Guide: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

When should I buy a baby stroller?

If you're expecting your first little one, you probably have a long list of needed baby gear. Between car seats, cribs and changing tables, you may be wondering when you should buy a stroller.

There's no hard and fast rule about when to get a stroller. The important thing is to give yourself enough time to test out the stroller before your wee one arrives.

Test the handling

Take the stroller out for a test drive. Put some weight in it, take it for a spin and see how it handles.You probably plan to use your stroller through the toddler years, so make sure the stroller handles well and is comfortable to push at both lighter and heavier weights. 

Also, pay attention to the handlebar height, since that plays a big role in how comfortable it is to push a stroller. Many strollers have adjustable handlebars, but many don't. Make sure you're happy with the height of the handlebar. If the handlebar is adjustable, learn how to use this feature, especially if you think you'll use it often.

Test the fold

If you bought a stroller that folds down for transport and storage, test how easy the folding process is. Lots of strollers advertise easy one hand folding; make sure this is the case. Practice folding and unfolding the stroller until you're comfortable with the process. If you find the folding process more difficult than advertised, this may not be the stroller for you.

"There's no hard and fast rule about when to buy a stroller. If you start searching and testing at the beginning of your third trimester, you should find the right stroller before baby arrives."

Test the car seat compatibility

If you purchased a stroller with a car seat, or one that is compatible with a car seat you already own, check how easy it is to insert and remove the car seat from the stroller. The process should be smooth and quiet. You don't want to wake a sleeping little one trying to wrestle their car seat out of the stroller.

While you're at it, test the adjustable backrest too. In most traditional strollers, the backrest reclines using a simple strap and clasp mechanism located on the back of the stroller. Try this out to see how easy or hard it is to adjust the stroller's backrest.

After testing, you may find the stroller you purchased isn't going to work for your needs. If so, return it and try a different stroller. It may take some time to find the best stroller, so you don't want to wait too long to start looking. If you start searching and testing at the beginning of your third trimester, you should find the right stroller before baby arrives.

Can you put a newborn in a stroller?

Babies under six months old don't have enough neck strength to hold up their heads. So, if you want to use a stroller with a newborn, you have a few options.

First, you can buy a stroller that lays completely flat, so baby can ride lying down. More expensive lay flat strollers often come with an attachable bassinet.

Second, you can buy a stroller that fits a car seat. This will allow you to use the stroller with a newborn, forgoing the car seat once baby is old enough to sit and hold their head upright.

Strollers that come with a bassinet or car seat (or both) are called travel systems. You can learn more about travel systems in the next section.

What are the different kinds of baby strollers?

There are six common kinds of baby strollers:

  • Car seat carriers
  • Full sized strollers
  • Travel systems
  • Umbrella strollers
  • Double strollers
  • Jogging strollers

This section of the baby stroller guide looks at each type of stroller in more detail, showing examples and discussing the pros and cons of each kind of stroller. You can click through the tabs below for a summary.

  • Car Seat Carriers

  • Full Size Strollers

  • Travel systems

  • Umbrella strollers

  • Double Strollers

  • jogging strollers

Car seat carriers are also called stroller frames. These lightweight frames with wheels allow your infant car seat to function as a stroller. They're less expensive than strollers, but won't last as long, since your baby will quickly outgrow the car seat.

Car seat carriers

Car seat carriers are also called stroller frames. These are lightweight, portable frames with wheels that allow your car seat to function as a stroller. Most companies make stroller frames that are only compatible with their own car seats, but there are some universal stroller frames on the market.

maxi-cosi-stroller-frame

image source: maxicosi.com

Example of a stroller frame, also called a car seat carrier, by Maxi-Cosi.

Car seat carrier pros and cons

The biggest advantages of car seat carriers are their size, amenities and price. Car seat carriers are made to be lightweight and easy to fold and store. As you can see above, car seat carriers also have some features of traditional strollers, including underseat storage Finally, car seat carriers tend to cost much less than full size strollers.

The biggest disadvantage of car seat carriers is their limited usefulness. Car seat carriers only work with infant sized car seats. Once your baby outgrows the car seat, you'll likely need to buy a full size stroller.

Car seat carriers can be a great option for parents who want affordability and portability, and who plan ahead for the limited longevity of the carrier.

Full size strollers

Full size strollers are also called standard stollers, traditional strollers or all purpose strollers. This is what most of us think of when we envision a stroller, as it's the most common type of stroller sold in the United States.

Full size strollers typically have four wheels and are best for indoor/outdoor use on flat surfaces. They also feature a large canopy for sun protection and a large underseat storage basket. Some full size strollers come with accessories, like cup holders and a snack tray.

Full size strollers have wide seats that recline, allowing baby to lay near flat. However, unless a stroller lays fully flat, you'll need a car seat to use the stroller with infants under six months old. Fortunately, most full size strollers come with the option to attach a car seat.

Full size strollers are designed to grow with baby. Most have a weight limit of 50 pounds, so can be used well into the toddler years. More expensive full size strollers sometimes allow you to attach a second seat, turning the full size stroller into a double stroller.

graco-modes-stroller

image source: gracobaby.com

The Graco Modes Click Connect is a good example of a full size traditional stroller that is car seat compatible.

Full size stroller pros and cons

The biggest advantages of full size strollers are their longevity and price. The strollers are made to last through the toddler years, so baby won't outgrow this type of stroller as quickly as some others. Full size strollers come in a variety of price ranges; you should be able find a quality stroller to fit just about any budget.

The biggest disadvantage of full size strollers is their size. Full size strollers tend to be fairly heavy, weighing upwards of 20 pounds. And, while most full size strollers do fold down for storage, they take up much more room than lighter weight, more compact strollers.

Full size strollers are best for families who want a good, general purpose stroller that will last several years, for whom weight and size/storage issues are less of a concern.

Travel systems

A travel system is basically a full size stroller that is sold with a compatible infant car seat and car seat base. More expensive travel systems may include both a car seat and a bassinet, and are called convertible strollers. Like full size strollers, travel systems are meant to grow with baby into the toddler years.

chicco-bravo-genesis-travel-system

image source: chiccousa.com

The Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System is a good mid-priced example of a travel system.

Travel system pros and cons

The biggest advantage of travel systems is compatibility. Since the car seat and stroller are sold together as one unit, you're guaranteed that the car seat will fit. Also, buying the car seat and stroller together may cost less than buying them separately.

The biggest disadvantage of travel systems is limited usefulness. While you should be able to use the stroller for several years, baby is likely to outgrow the infant car seat fairly quickly. You'll need to plan on buying a bigger seat for car rides as baby ages.

That said, travel systems can be a really good deal. You get both a car seat and a stroller, likely spending less than buying those items separately, and you're guaranteed that your stroller and car seat will work together.

If you're considering a travel system, be sure to evaluate the car seat and stroller separately. The car seat may be great, but the stroller may be average, especially if the travel system is lower priced. Make sure both the car seat and the stroller are good quality, especially since baby will outgrow the car seat fairly quickly, but will be riding in the stroller for years.

Umbrella strollers

Umbrella strollers are also called lightweight strollers or travel strollers. These strollers are lightweight and highly portable. They're best used for quick errands or when travelling with baby. As such, these strollers often come with a carrying case.

kolcraft-cloud-umbrella-stroller

image source: kolcraft.com

The Kolcraft Cloud Travel Stroller weighs less than 10 pounds.

Umbrella Stroller Pros and Cons

The biggest advantage of an umbrella stroller is portability. These strollers are usually lightweight (under 15 pounds), fold easily and can often be pushed with one hand. In addition, they typically have a much lower price tag than other types of strollers.

The biggest disadvantage of umbrella strollers is lack of functionality. These strollers usually aren't car seat compatible, so can't be used with babies under 6 months old. They tend to have smaller wheels and less suspension than full size strollers, making for bumpier rides. In less expensive models, the seat is very narrow and the backrest doesn't recline, which may be uncomfortable for baby.

Umbrella strollers are best for urban families reliant on public transit, where their small size and weight are handy. Families who travel often, especially by plane, may also find an umbrella stroller essential. Otherwise, these strollers have too many disadvantages for most families to consider making them their primary stroller.

Double strollers

Double strollers are designed to hold two children, either two infants or an infant and a toddler. Double strollers come in two models: side-by-side and tandem, which often allow children to face each other. Many double strollers accommodate one car seat, and some models allow use of two car seats.

britax-b-lively-double-stroller

image source: britax.com

Double stroller pros and cons

The obvious advantage of double strollers is that you only need one stroller for two children. The adaptablity depends largely on the price. Some double strollers will allow for two car seats, while others allow only one. Some tandem double strollers allow seats to adjust so children face each other, while others have fixed seat positions.

The main disadvantage of double strollers is their size. It's common for double strollers to weigh more than 40 pounds. Side-by-side double strollers may be too wide to fit through standard doors. The width of double strollers and length of tandem strollers make them harder to steer.

Double strollers are best for families with twins or with two children close in age. If you plan to have children close in age, you may consider a double stroller with the first, so you won't need to buy a different stroller when the second little one arrives.

Jogging strollers

Jogging strollers are easy to spot because they have three, large air-filled tires. The front wheel swivels, but can also be fixed. Many jogging strollers are car seat compatible, so can be used with infants. However, you should consult a doctor if you plan to jog with baby. Jogging strollers are sturdy and typically have a higher weight limit, so you can use them with older children, too.

thule-urban-glide-two-jogging-stroller

image source: thule.com

The Thule Urban Glide 2 jogging stroller. Note the swivel front wheel.

Jogging stroller pros and cons

The clear advantage of jogging strollers is that they allow you to run with baby. Traditional strollers are made exclusively for walking, so if you're a serious runner, you'll need a jogging stroller. Jogging strollers are designed for maneuverability and are easy to push.

Some jogging strollers double as all-terrain strollers. These can be used on trails and snow. If you plan to do a lot of off-road, all-weather hiking with baby, be sure to look for an all-terrain stroller instead of just a jogging stroller. Do be aware that not every all-terrain stroller is suitable for jogging (check with the manufacturer).

The primary disadvantage of jogging strollers is their size. These strollers are meant to be durable, so they're heavier than typical strollers and don't fold down as compactly. They're also more expensive than regular strollers, are harder to assemble and require more maintenance.

When shopping for strollers, you might see something called "joggers." These may look like jogging strollers, but lack some of the design and safety features of true jogging strollers. Two of the main things to look for in a jogging stroller are a safety tether and a handbrake on the handlebar. A true jogging stroller will have these safety features, while "joggers" typically do not.

What's the difference between a stroller and a pram?

If you've been researching strollers for a while, you've likely run across the term pram. Pram is the British word for a lay flat stroller used with newborns and very young babies. A pram has a rear (parent) facing bassinet. Prams typically have a large canopy and large wheels. In the United States, we use the term bassinet stroller instead of pram.

You may have also run across the terms buggy and pushchair. These are the British equivalent of stroller. So, you may see terms like "double pushchair" or "travel buggy," meaning a double stroller or travel stroller.

mom_with_pram_style_stroller

Mom pushing a pram style stroller.

How many strollers do I need?

Plenty of families get by just fine with one stroller, but others may buy two, or even three, strollers. It really depends on your lifestyle.

Many parents start out with a stroller and a car seat, either purchased individually or together in a travel system. On-the-go families may decide to buy an umbrella stroller once baby is old enough to sit upright unassisted. This makes short trips easier, since umbrella strollers are less cumbersome than traditional strollers. An umbrella stroller is really essential if you travel often by public transit or plane.

If you're a runner, then you'll need to buy a dedicated jogging stroller. You can make this your primary stroller, though there are downsides to that since jogging strollers are larger, heavier and harder to transport than most other strollers. A jogging stroller complimented by an umbrella stroller for daily use might work well, once baby is old enough.

To determine how many strollers you need, and which kinds, check out the next section. It includes a list of questions to ask when choosing a stroller.

How do I choose a baby stroller?

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a baby stroller. You need to take into account lifestyle factors, as well as actual stroller features. This section of the baby stroller guide goes over six important questions to ask before buying a baby stroller:

  • What is your budget?
  • Who will use the stroller most often?
  • Where will you typically use the stroller?
  • Where will you store the stroller?
  • How often will you transport the stroller?
  • How many children will use the stroller?

What is your budget?

If you've done even a little research, you know that stroller prices are all over the map. You can buy everything from a lightweight, umbrella stroller for less than $30 to a luxury travel system for over $1,500. So, budget is definitely one the most important factors to consider when choosing a stroller.

You need to determine an overall stroller budget. When making that budget, be sure to do some price comparisons. A travel system will include both a car seat and a stroller, but may not actually be cheaper than buying a stroller and car seat separately. Cost out both options and see which one is better for you.

You also need to decide how many strollers you'll need. Your lifestyle might be suited to one all purpose stroller, so you may be able to spend more on a quality traditional stroller. But, you may decide to buy a less expensive full size stroller and supplement it's use with an umbrella stroller. You'll need to factor into your budget how many strollers you actually want to buy.

Who will use the stroller most often?

Besides the baby, of course. When choosing a stroller, you need to consider who will use the stroller most often, and make sure the stroller suits that person's needs.

For instance, handlebar height is a big factor in how comfortable it is to push a stroller. Many strollers have adjustable handlebars, but some don't. Who will be pushing the stroller most often? Is the handlebar at a good height for that person? If two or more people will be using the stroller regularly, does the handlebar adjust to comfortable heights for all of them?

Similarly, some strollers are fairly heavy. Is the person who'll be using the stroller most often able to push the stroller without much effort? If they'll be folding and carrying the stroller, are they able to carry it up stairs or lift it into and out of a car trunk? 

When choosing a stroller, we tend to think about baby's needs, but don't forget about your needs. You or another of baby's caregivers may have health or mobility issues; be sure to consider that when looking for a stroller. You'll be using the stroller a lot, so it needs to work for everyone who tends to baby.

parents-pushing-baby-stroller-in-park

When buying a stroller, think about who will use the stroller most often, and where.

Where will you typically use the stroller?

Other than all-terrain strollers, strollers are meant for use on flat surfaces. Traditional strollers will struggle with cobblestones, gravel roads and other uneven or bumpy terrain. So, you need to consider the types of terrain where you will use the stroller most often.

The majority of strollers on the market today have tires made of plastic or thick foam. These tires are meant to glide easily over flat surfaces, such as sidewalks and floors. If you'll primarily be using your stroller indoors and around the neighborhood, plastic or foam tires should be suitable.

If you live in an area with gravel roads or plan to use your stroller on uneven surfaces like trails, you'll want to buy a stroller with air filled tires. These tires are meant to absorb shocks in ways rigid plastic and foam tires can't. If you plan extensive outdoor use of your stroller, your best bet is an all-terrain stroller. Those are some of the most expensive kinds of strollers, so be sure to factor that into your budget.

Where will you store the stroller?

If you live in a small space, you need to think about how much room you have to store a stroller. Most strollers fold down, but some are much more compact than others.

If you have limited space, a hybrid traditional-travel stroller might be a good option for you. These strollers offer many of the features of a traditional stroller on a lightweight, travel stroller frame. They typically include a large sun canopy, underseat storage and reclining backrest. They're designed to be easy to fold and to take up less storage space than full size strollers. The downside is that the frame tends to be narrow, so baby may outgrow this stroller more quickly than others.

If you're interested in traditional-travel stroller hybrids, check out Little Spokes' review of the Britax B-Clever stroller.

"If you live in a small space, a hybrid traditional-travel stroller might be a good option for you. These strollers offer many of the features of a traditional, full size stroller on a lightweight, easy to fold travel stroller frame."

How often will you transport the stroller?

Another factor to consider when purchasing a baby stroller is how often you'll transport the stroller. If you'll be collapsing and transporting the stroller often, you need to consider how heavy it is to lift in and out of a car trunk. You also need to consider the amount of space it will take up in the trunk.

Lifting, folding and unfolding are the primary reasons families choose to supplement their full size stroller with an umbrella stroller. Umbrella strollers weigh much less, are easier to fold, and take up much less space. So, if you'll be transporting your stroller often, you might consider a two stroller set up, once baby is old enough to use an umbrella stroller.

How many children will use the stroller?

If you're expecting your first wee one, you should look to the future. Do you plan to have more children? If so, how soon? If you plan to have children fairly close in age, you should consider buying a stroller that can be coverted to carry two children. These types of strollers will cost more upfront, but if you buy quality, the stroller should last through all the kiddo's toddler years.

If you buy a stroller that can carry an infant and a toddler, make sure there's enough room for both babies. Many tandem strollers can fit a toddler and an infant car seat, but often leave little legroom for the rear seat. Again, when looking at strollers, consider your lifestyle and take into account the needs of the entire family.

This section of the baby stroller guide looked at important questions to ask when buying a stroller. But, what about stroller features? Sure, you know a stroller must have a harness, but does a reclining backrest really matter? And what about the wheels? The next section discusses those and the other important features to look for when buying a stroller.

What should I look for when buying a stroller?

We've already discussed some important considerations when buying a stroller, like lifestyle and budget. In this part of the baby stroller guide, we go into more detail about what to look for when buying a stroller.

Safety

Safety is the most important thing to look for in a stroller. All strollers sold in the United States must be JPMA certified. JPMA is an organization that tests and verifies the safety of products made for children. As long as your stroller carries a JPMA sticker, you know the stroller meets basic safety requirements.

That said, there are a few things you want to pay particular attention to when evaluating strollers.

Harness

You should buy a stroller that has a five point safety harness. This type of harness has straps that go over baby's shoulder's, between baby's legs, and around baby's waist. Five point harnesses are pretty standard these days, but some cheaper strollers still use the older three point harnesses.

britax_b_clever_wheel_brake

image source: britax.us.com

Brakes

Most strollers these days have a brake that will lock both rear wheels. You should locate the brake and see how easy it is to engage and disengage.

Strollers with swivel front wheels will probably come with wheel locking mechanisms too. These are usually located above each front wheel. As with the rear brakes, check these out and see how easy they are to use.

Size and portability

We've mentioned this before, but you need to assess the size and portability of a stroller.

Size

Be sure to consider how much a stroller weighs, especially if you'll be carrying it up stairs or lifiting it into a car trunk often. Also, think about storage space. Look a the folded dimensions of a stroller and make sure you have enough room in your home and car trunk for the stroller.

Portability

Most strollers fold, but that process is much easier with some models than other. Test how easy it is to fold and unfold a stroller. Try to find a stroller you can fold easily with one hand, since you may often be holding baby or car seat in the other hand.

Maneuverability

The more you plan to use your stroller, the more important maneuverability becomes.

Wheels

For easier turns, look for a stroller that has front wheels that swivel. The swivel feature is typically lockable, for times when you may be going over slightly bumpier terrain, like gravel in parking lots.

Also, look at the texture of the wheels. Some wheels are very smooth, while others have grooves. Think about the type of terrain where you'll use the stroller most often. Small rocks and pebbles can get caught in wheel grooves, while smooth wheels may not provide enough traction on some surfaces.

Handlebar

Check the handlebar height. You don't want a handlebar too low, forcing you to stoop to push the stroller. If you know multiple people will be using the stroller a lot, you should invest in a stroller with an adjustable handlebar.

Also consider how far the handlebar extends from the frame of the stroller. Make sure there's enough room so that you don't kick the underseat storage basket, frame or wheels of the stroller when you walk. It's especially important that your feet stay clear of the wheels, so you don't accidentally engage the brake when walking.

Amenities and accessories

Other important things to look for when buying a stroller include amenities and accessories.

Canopy

Even inexpensive travel strollers will come with a canopy to protect baby from sun and rain. But, some strollers offer much more protection than others. There are several features you want in a stroller canopy.

First, the canopy needs to be big enough to provide adequate protection. Traditional strollers tend to come with large canopies, but smaller and less expensive strollers may skimp a bit on canopy size.

Second, for added sun protection, you should look for a canopy made of material that has an SPF rating. This isn't essential, but is nice to have, especially if you live in an area that gets a fair amount of sun year round.

Third, look for ventilation in the canopy. Most strollers with large canopies come with a mesh opening in the top. Often called a peek-a-boo window, this allows you to keep an eye on baby while also providing ventilation. The window usually closes with magnets, zippers or velcro, to shield baby from rain.

mom-posing-with-baby-stroller

Look for a stroller with a good canopy to protect your baby from sun and to provide ventilation.

Storage

Most strollers come with an underseat storage basket, but that may not be enough storage for your needs. If you travel with baby often, or have another child in tow, you may run low on storage space quickly.

Some strollers have a storage caddy on the handlebars. They also have storage pockets inside the stroller for smaller items. These can supplement an underseat storage basket, but are not meant to carry large or heavy items.

Think seriously about your storage needs when buying a stroller. If you find the perfect stroller but realize it lacks enough storage space, you should look into buying a good quality stroller organizer.

Accessories

Be sure to include accessories in your stroller comparisons. Some strollers come with standard accessories while others require you to purchase these separately.

Some of the accessories you may want to look for are cupholders for both baby and adults. A snack/play tray for baby is a nice feature, too. And some strollers may include a rain cover as part of the purchase price.

Easy care features

The plastic and metal parts of a stroller can often be cleaned with just a soap-and-water wipe down. However, getting spit up and other materials out of the fabric may be harder.

Look for a stroller that has easy care features like a removable seat cushion. You can remove the fabric covering for machine washing. The cushion may not be washer-safe, but will still be easier to clean if you can detach it from the stroller.

Warranty

A final thing to look for when buying a stroller is the warranty. Some strollers come with a one year warranty, while others have a two year warranty.

Make sure you understand what is covered by the warranty and what might void the warranty.

Your stroller should come with a registration card. Be sure to register your stroller with the manufacturer, so you can be informed of any recalls. Stroller recalls are pretty rare, but you definitely want to know if your baby stroller gets recalled for safety or design defects.

How much should I spend on a stroller?

We've already noted that budget is an important consideration when buying a stroller. But realistically, how much should you spend on a baby stroller? There's no clear answer to that question. Stroller prices vary widely; you can spend upwards of $1,500 on a luxury travel system. Most people don't spend that much, but cost ultimately comes down to what kind of stroller you want to buy.

In this section of the baby stroller guide, we give prices ranges for each type of stroller and an estimate of what you should expect to pay for a quality stroller in each category. Here's a summary table, for a quick overview.

Stroller Type

Price Range

Typical Price

Sample Brands

Car Seat Carriers

$75-$125

$80

Baby Trend, Maxi-Cosi, Chicco

Full Size Strollers

$100-$1,000+

$150-$300

Graco, Evenflo, Britax, Bugaboo, Uppababy

Travel Systems

$150-$1,000+

$250-$400

Graco, Britax, Maxi-Cosi, Peg Perego, Uppababy

Umbrella Strollers

$40-$150

$50-$75

Kolcraft, Baby Trend, Graco, Joovy

Double Strollers

$200-$1,000+

$200-$400

Britax, Baby Jogger, Joovy

Jogging Strollers

$400-$1,000+

$500-$800

BOB, Thule

Car seat carriers

One of the biggest advantages of car seat carriers is cost. Car seat carriers usually cost much less than strollers.

You can buy a quality, universal car seat carrier for around $75. Universal car seat carriers should work with all brands of car seats, though you may need adapaters for some car seats.

Some car seat carriers cost upwards of $100, but these are ususally for brand-specific car seats. For example, Maxi-Cosi and Chicco make carriers that only work with their car seats.

Full size strollers

Full size or traditional strollers are the most common type of stroller sold in the United States. So, you find this kind of stroller at all price ranges.

You can buy a stroller for less than $100, but families typically pay between $150-$300 for a full size stroller. Several trusted brands sell strollers in this price range, include Graco and Evenflo.

If your stroller budget is a bit more generous, you can look at brands like Uppababy and Bugaboo. These strollers usually start in the $500-$700 range. They can cost more than $1,000, though at that price point, you're usually buying a travel system instead of just the stroller.

Travel systems

Remember, a travel system usually consists of a stroller, a car seat and a car seat base. Luxury brand travel systems often include a bassinet in addition to a car seat.

It's possible to find travel systems for around $150, but a typical stroller-car seat travel system will run you $250 to $400. You need to do the math to determine whether that price is cheaper than buying the stroller and car seat separately.

In higher price ranges, you can spend well over $1,000 on a travel system. For example, the Uppababy Vista includes a bassinet, a car seat and a stroller, and retails around $1,200. For less expensive, but still somewhat luxurious travel systems, check out brands like Maxi-Cosi and Peg Perego.

Umbrella strollers

Umbrella strollers are the least expensive type of stroller you can buy. They often cost the same as a car seat carrier. But remember, most umbrella strollers aren't car seat compatible, so you can't use them with infants younger than about six months old.

You can buy an quality umbrella stroller for $50 to $75. The price you pay here will depend a lot on the features. Some inexpensive umbrella strollers have smaller sun canopies, lack storage and often sell for $40 or less. In the $50+ price range, you'll get better sun coverage and storage options, and maybe a carrying case.

If you plan to use an umbrella stroller as your primary stroller, you should plan to spend a bit more to get some extra features, including a reclining backrest and adjustable handlebars.

Remember: strollers sold in the United States have to meet minimum safety requirements. This is true for all stroller types. Don't fret if you can't afford a $1,500 travel system. You'll be able to find a safe, quality stroller in your price range.

Double strollers

Double strollers carry two children, so by nature are bigger and more expensive than other types of strollers. Whether you decide to go with a side-by-side or tandem stroller, you'll pay about the same.

Depending on the featues you want, you should expect to spend $200-$450 on a double stroller. You can find double strollers for considerably less than this, but they tend to be umbrella strollers, not traditional strollers.

There are double strollers that cost much more, of course, such as the Baby Jogger brand. But, if you're looking for a luxury-feeling, affordable double stroller, check out Joovy, which makes several models of double strollers.

Jogging strollers

Jogging strollers are among the most expensive types of strollers you can buy. Remember, we're talking about true jogging strollers here, not "city joggers" that lack the safety features of actual jogging strollers.

A true jogging stroller will cost you at least $400, but often will cost much more. If you find a "jogging stroller" for much less than this, it probably isn't meant for jogging. The best know brands of true jogging strollers are Bob and Thule.

Bob makes a well known line of double jogging strollers called the Duallie. Like most double strollers, it costs more, retailing for around $700.

Is it safe to buy a used baby stroller?

If you're pricing strollers and experiencing sticker shock, you may be wondering if buying a used stroller is an option. Unlike car seats, strollers don't have an expiration date, so secondhand baby strollers are generally safe to buy. Here are a few tips for buying a used stroller.

Check the date

Stroller safety guidelines underwent a massive update in 2015, so it's critical that you buy a stroller made after that date. Hopefully the seller has the owner's manual. If not, you can find the date of manufacture on the stroller's frame, ususally under the seat.

Check the recall list

If the original owners didn't register the stroller, they may not be aware if the stroller's been recalled. To be on the safe side, check the Consumer Products Safety Commission's recall list before buying a used stroller.

Buy from a legitimate dealer

There are many options for where to buy a used stroller, from yard sales to online sites like Craigslist and OfferUp. However, your best bet for finding a high quality used stroller is to buy from a legitimate dealer, like a local or online consignment shop that specializes in baby gear.

These shops are knowledgeable about what to look for in a used stroller. They can tell right away if a stroller has defects that make it unsafe. And they stay up-to-date on recall lists, since it's illegal to knowingly sell recalled products in the United States.

So, if you're looking to buy a used stroller, especially a luxury brand stroller, check out a local or online consignment shop first.

Remember: strollers don't have an expiration date, but car seats do. If you're considering buying a used travel system, you need to make sure the car seat hasn't expired (or been recalled). If it has, you can still buy the stroller, but you'll need to buy a new car seat that's compatible with the older stroller.

How long do kids use strollers?

If you're spending a few hundred dollars on stroller, you want to get maximum use out of it. So, you may be wondering how long you can use your stroller. The general wisdom is that kids should start transitioning out of a stroller around age 3.

There are exceptions, of course. By age 3 or 4, most children are capable of walking for short trips around the neighborhood or quick errands. But, they're still too young to walk during an all day outing at the zoo. You'll need to use your judgement and your child's cues about when they do and don't need a stroller.

Most traditional strollers on the market today have a weight limit of 50 pounds, much heavier than your typical toddler. So, you can use a stroller with a child much older than three. However, be aware that strollers also have a maximum height limit.

If you take good care of a stroller, it will last for years, meaning you can use it with future little ones. So, you can get years worth of use out of a quality stroller. That's why you should consider buying the best stroller you can afford.

"Kids should start transitioning out of a stroller around age three. But, use your best judgement and your child's cues about when they do and don't need a stroller."

Conclusion

Thanks for reading the baby stroller guide! Hopefully the guide has made you feel more confident about choosing and buying a stroller for your baby. The most important thing to keep in mind when picking a baby stroller is your overall lifestyle. Realistically assess your budget, activity level, and caregiving situation, and you’ll surely find the right stroller for your family.