Talk to any mum about her stroller collection and she's sure to have a very strong opinion on the matter. Because we all know that one stroller is never enough...
If buying a TV is a man’s domain, then we’re totally claiming strollers. All of them. Yes, we know that’s entirely sexist and unfair, but we’ve never come across a mum who doesn’t have an extremely strong opinion on prams and their various strengths and weaknesses.
Wind the clock back to that fantastical, sleep-rich time pre-children and think of the first stroller you bought. Chances are, if you’re a second or third-time mum, that original stroller has either been sold on the second-hand market gifted to a relative or hidden in the back of a closet to ensure the husband forgets it ever existed.
The thing is, pre-children is not the right time to be making an informed choice on buying a stroller. If time were elastic, you would ideally jump ahead to having two children, take all the learnings from wrangling those two gorgeous kiddies and then buy your first stroller. But alas, said time machine has not yet been invented, so us seasoned HoneyKids mums have come up with our nuggets of advice that we wish someone had told us before we even considered typing the words “best stroller” into Google.
Make a laundry list
Sit your pregnant self down, have a cuppa and a biccie (or five) and think about what you need. There are so many considerations as to what makes the perfect stroller for a family. Here are some suggested considerations….
- Are we planning on one child or more?
- Will we have a car, or be relying on taxis and public transport?
- Are we likely to be active, with lots of walking or more urban (i.e. shopping malls)?
- Is it important for me to be able to fold the stroller with one hand?
- How tall am I and how tall is my husband? Hot tip: being a tall person with a short-handled stroller is the pits
- Do I want the baby to be able to face me and then face out?
- Do I need to be able to plug a car seat onto the stroller base?
- Do I want the baby to be able to lay flat to sleep?
- What is the maximum weight allowance?
- Will a buggy board attach to the back?
- Do I have a lot of storage space in my home for a stroller?
- Will I need to carry groceries underneath the stroller?
- Do I have a maximum budget?
- How heavy is the actual stroller and is that important?
Listen to other people’s advice
This is not one of those instances where you should drown out opinions, like when you’re choosing your baby name…definitely drown out the downers who want to rain on your name parade. When considering which stroller to buy, we suggest speaking to friends and relatives with kids and asking them why they like their stroller. You’ll hear all sorts of reasons that you never even knew were important, like ‘because it has a sturdy shopping basket underneath’ or ‘because it fits a buggy board onto the back for my toddler’.
And don’t be afraid to ask strangers for their opinion too. If you’re tossing up between two models and see a stranger with the same model, ask them what they think about it. You’ll find that most women are very happy to let you know what they do and don’t like about their stroller (more so than a salesperson). We went through a stalky phase at Tanglin Mall when we were tossing up between the Baby Jogger City Mini GT and the City Select.
You may need more than one stroller to tick all the boxes
Don’t wed yourself to the idea that you need to find one stroller that will fulfil every need. Because the reality is there isn’t the perfect stroller for every circumstance – a stroller that is ideal for travel is not the same stroller that is ideal for navigating the uneven footpaths of your neighbourhood with a 20kg toddler on board.
You may start with one stroller that is perfect for a small child and then as time passes, you may need a bigger sturdier stroller to fit a toddler and a newborn, or a one-hand fold stroller so that you can manage getting in and out of taxis.
Don’t buy a stroller because a celebrity owns one
We’ll admit, we drank the celebrity stroller Kool-Aid. We got caught up in how pretty it was, but it just wasn’t the right stroller for our circumstances. There were so many factors that we hadn’t considered before making the purchase – we should’ve bought a stroller with big cushioned tyres that was better suited to our suburban adventures to playgrounds and journeys through sand and dirt. And it should’ve been able to fold down more easily and had a really big sturdy shade cover.
The short version of this story is don’t get hung up on what looks pretty and who owns what stroller. Do your best to stick to your list of requirements.
If you’re going colourful, think about the future
Albeit a slightly obvious point, unless you’ve travelled in that time machine and know you’re having all girls, avoid buying a pink stroller (in case you’re the type of person who prefers pink for girls and blue for boys). You could opt for a gender neutral colour or jazz up a black stroller with a pretty stroller liner or shade cover instead.
Consider your family plan
Most people have an idea of how many children they’d like to have. Let this guide your stroller purchase. If you’re sticking with one child, go right ahead and buy a stroller that is designed to only ever carry one child. But if you’re thinking of having more than one, try to consider how your needs may change in the future.
For example, if you’ve got a two year old and a newborn, you may want to think about a stroller that can adapt to carrying two children or a stroller that allows you to attach a buggy board or seat to the back.
Expensive does not necessarily mean better
The stroller that is best need not be the most expensive. Always go back to your list of requirements. If you’re after a lightweight, sturdy stroller that can handle a buggy board, there are loads on the market that won’t break the bank. And it’s also not fair to assume that the more you spend the better the quality – there are loads of more affordable strollers that are made to last and can withstand the rigours of everyday family life.
Don’t buy all the accessories straight away
When you go into the store to purchase your strollers, it’s so tempting to buy every single accessory that is available. We’re talking cup holder, rain cover, mosquito net, bassinet, car seat adaptors, additional seat liner, travel bag, stroller organiser, bag clips, buggy board, shade canopy…so many things and all with a legitimate excuse to buy them! So exciting!
Hold up. Wait a minute. Our advice is to purchase the bare minimum until you’ve had the baby and get a good understanding of your daily life with a new bub. We can tell you right now we never used that shade canopy thingy or travel bag. We could’ve spent that $100 on a month of good coffee!
Don’t turn your nose up at second-hand
As first time parents it’s tempting to want shiny, brand new things. However, it’s encouraging to know that there is an impressive second-hand market for baby things in Singapore and you can save yourself some serious cash buying pre-loved items. Many families keep their strollers in great condition or own them for a very short time before realising it’s not the right stroller for them.
As mums of many, trust us…there will be loads of opportunities to buy brand new things!
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