How to Choose A Stroller (from a 3rd-time Mom)

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Moms and moms-to-be! Let's talk about strollers. If you're the mom who wants to be able to get out and go places with the kids, a good stroller is key. I've got homebody, stay-at-home-mom friends who are totally fine with hanging out at home most days of the week. That's just not me--by 9 am, I go CRAZY if we're still home! I walked to the local library storytime when Emma was TWO WEEKS OLD because I had to get out the house with 18-month-Aiden!

I went wild and talked for too long about strollers on my Instagram Stories, so I wanted to dive in and share more in depth my experiences and what's worked for me. Just for reference, I had Emma when Aiden was 18-months-old, and now I'm due with another baby in January (Aiden will be 4 and Emma will be 2). This means I'll have needed a double stroller for 4+ years and a single stroller for 6 years.

What I've used (in this order):
  1. Graco Click Connect Travel System (New, Carrier car seat + single stroller)
  2. Baby Trend Jogger (used)
  3. Baby Trend Sit-n-Stand (used)
  4. Baby Trend Sit-n-Stand (used, and yes I got another, when the first one broke)
  5. Double umbrella stroller (new)
  6. Baby Jogger City Select with double seats (used)
Things to consider when choosing the right stroller for you:

  1. Budget:
    • I will never recommend buying a $600+ stroller brand new. The really expensive ones--Uppa Baby, Baby jogger, etc.--seem to be well-made enough that you can buy them used and they're still durable. If you already have expensive items on your registry you NEED, add something more affordable (like a stroller for less than $200). Read my baby registry tips are H E R E
  2. Your 5-year-goals:
    • Do you plan on having lots of kids close together? If so, go for something that can convert into a double stroller. If you are just going to have one kid for the next 3-ish years, a single stroller will work for you. I used a single stroller for Aiden, and now I use a double stroller for Aiden + Emma and eventually Emma + new baby. 
  3. What will it be used for:
    • Do you take quick walks around the block? Then you don't need a stroller with enormous, all-terrain wheels. Do you go for long runs? You might need a jogging stroller. Do you go on weekly trips to the zoo, the park, the aquarium, trails, Target, etc. with one or more kids? You need something sturdy and adjustable you can push for a long time. We inherited a Baby Trend Jogging stroller from a friend, and it worked great + had lots of storage space, but I just don't run and eventually needed a double stroller. 

What I recommend:

  1. For the parent planning on having 2+ kids close together: City Select by Baby Jogger. This stroller grows from a single kid to become a double stroller, plus you can customize whether you have a carrier car seat and regular seat, how you face them, all the things. The DOWNSIDE is you have to buy all the parts separately. Check Craigslist and Facebook marketplace--don't waste your dollars and buy the cupholders, car seat adapters, second child seat all full price! I got this $850 stroller for $300 on Craigslist. The downside beside having to buy all accessories separately: you do have to completely remove all seats from the stroller frame in order to collapse it. That's time consuming, but the customizability and all other perks make this worth it to me. 

  2. For the budget-smart parent of one baby, with no real plans for another baby anytime soon: The Graco Click Connect Travel System. This stroller was INCREDIBLE for us in the season as first-time parents. The price was affordable, it's a stroller AND a car seat, it's worth it. You don't need to buy extra parts that connect the car seat to the stroller; it just all clicks together, and the stroller is great for forward-facing kids. It has a snack tray for the kid, cup holders for the parent, and tons of storage underneath. It's easy to steer, durable, and I loved it. 

  3. For the budget-smart parent who needs a lightweight, easy to transport double stroller: an umbrella stroller. Double or single, umbrella strollers are NOT easy to steer and the handles are two separate handles (not one bar) so it's impossible to sip coffee and keep pushing the stroller. You also can't have a newborn/young baby in these strollers (the carrier car seats just don't attach in...). HOWEVER. This double umbrella stroller we've had is only $80 brand new, they are so lightweight to transport, they're really easy to collapse and even easier to set up. In 0.5 seconds, the stroller is out of the trunk and ready to go. 
**I WANT to recommend the Baby Trend Sit-n-Stand: it's only $130 and is SO easy to use with a newborn car seat + toddler, toddler + sitting up baby, and two toddlers. I've done all of those combos. My only issue is that I owned two used Sit-n-Stands, admittedly both secondhand, and they broke. One stopped collapsing all together, the other's front wheel bent out of shape and became impossible to push/steer.

All these opinions are just that--opinions. Your baby will be happy and you are a great mom, no matter what you pick. We're all opinionated, so I'm cheering you on, whatever you decide for your family!


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