Investing in a sturdy and safe stroller for your baby or toddler is a high-priority when it comes to having a child. But with so many options available - different types, sizes and features - choosing the right one for you and your child can be a tricky task. Our stroller buying guide explains the most important things to look for when browsing for a stroller that best suits your lifestyle.
Always check the recommended age for the stroller before purchasing to ensure it is suitable for your child.
Strollers are designed for babies and toddlers to travel in a sitting position. Many modern baby strollers provide adjustable seat positions - reclined, semi-reclined and fully seated - to suit the needs of your baby from birth to infancy. Deciding on the type of baby stroller that is most suitable for you and your little one mostly depends on the age of your child, where you live and the lifestyle you lead.
For parents who often take their babies for morning walks or strolls in the park, a stroller that has larger wheels and is better on variable surfaces may be a better choice. For parents who are constantly on the go and regularly in and out of the car or public transport, strollers that are lightweight and easily foldable are more suitable. The lighter and more compact the stroller, the easier it is to travel with, store away or carry upstairs.
4 wheel strollers4 wheel stroller models are suitable for kids at different ages & ideal for everyday use in various environments. Some have adjustable seat positions. The umbrella stroller is a lightweight 4 wheeler model. They are a good option for parents who commute on public transport, or parents who want easy access in and out of a vehicle. Advantages include:
3 wheel strollers3 wheel stroller advantages include:
For parents with twins or two babies, the double stroller is a good option. There are two main models to consider - the side-by-side and front-to-back.
Side-by-side models may be:
Note that the child in the back may not be able to see out of a front to back stroller, although some strollers will boost the back seat so both children can enjoy the view.
Regardless of the type of stroller you choose, always make sure there are adequate safety features that meet the mandatory Australian safety standards. Small children almost never sit or lie still, so it's important to make sure the stroller you buy is safe and comfortable for your child. Absent or insufficient harnesses, protruding parts that your child can harm themselves on, gaps they could trap their fingers in and sharp edges or points are safety hazards you should look out for when shopping for a stroller1.
The standard dictates that strollers must have waist and crotch tether straps, and brake pedals or levers that are located in positions where they can't be reached by the child restrained in the stroller2 . And 5-point adjustable safety harnesses containing shoulder, waist and crotch straps are considered the safest option for protecting your child from slipping out of the stroller seat and getting injured3 . Look for straps that are adjustable, as they allow for your child's growth.
Linked, foot operated brakes allow you to activate both the left and the right brake by a single action without bending down. Brake levers should be red, so they contrast the surrounding framework and can be seen easily 4.
Apart from safety features, additional features such as an adjustable backrest, a canopy or storage space can provide that extra bit of convenience you need when going out with your child.Seats
As mentioned above, an adjustable backrest can move from seated to fully reclined positions. This is ideal for young babies and can provide more comfort for older children who want to take a nap on the go. Younger children may also prefer having their parents in sight, while older children may be keen to observe all the exciting things that are happening around them. In these cases, reversible seats come in very handy, as they allow you to switch your child's positions between facing you and facing forward.
Large inflatable wheels are better for wear and tear on rough or bumpy surfaces, as the pressure in the tyres provides softer suspension. Use a manual pump to inflate the tyres and make sure to stick to the tyre pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Strollers with swivelling front wheels are ideal for use in varying environments, although it is good if the front wheels can be locked.
When out and about in the sun, it's important to keep your baby's skin protected. A stroller with an extendable canopy is perfect for long days spent out on a picnic or at the beach, as they can keep your child sheltered from direct sunlight. If you are spending time outdoors with your child between 10 am and 4 pm, make sure you keep the canopy open, as this is when the sun's UV rays are the strongest5 . Remember to keep your child hydrated when on the go and to apply sunscreen before leaving the house.
Strollers with adjustable handles can come in handy when switching between 'drivers' with different heights. You might not have to worry again about slouching to suit the height of the stroller. Simply adjust the handle to facilitate ease and comfort of use!
Nappies, food, sippy cups, cot toys - as a parent you know the essential items to bring along with you when you are on the go with your child. Make sure to check that the basket or tray under the seat of the stroller provides ample space to store everything you need for your baby as well as additional packages such as shopping bags.
To make your kid's ride is as comfortable as possible; Big W has a great range of baby stroller accessories available. If your stroller doesn't feature a canopy that can be extended, separate travel shades and weather shields are available. Cushions specially designed for car seats and strollers can increase your baby's comfort by providing additional head and neck support during naptime. You can also find soft harness covers that can help protect your baby's skin from irritation. If you are about to embark on a long journey and plan to take your stroller with you, investing in a travel bag with carrying handles could make transporting the stroller around an easier task.
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