Dad’s Guide to Finding the Right Stroller

By Sharon Perkins, Stefan Korn, Scott Lancaster, Eric Mooij

Don’t be intimidated dads. Strollers have evolved into high-tech, fold-at-the-touch-of-a-button contraptions that can double as shopping carts, hold water bottles, be taken off-road, and cook you lunch (just kidding). Many strollers integrate with your baby’s first car seat, so you can transfer the whole seat into the stroller without removing him when he’s tiny.

Baby stores are packed with different models of strollers. A stroller is often one of the bigger purchases you make in this fatherhood game, so shop around.

Some research suggests that babies in strollers that face toward you rather than out into the world are better as your tyke is less stressed. Facing each other encourages more talking, laughing, and social interaction.

These are some of the things you need to look out for:

  • Can you put a car seat or bassinet attachment on it in the early months, making it easier to transfer junior from bed or car seat?
  • Does the stroller come with a fitted sunshade and fitted weather cover?
  • Does the stroller fit through the door of your favorite stores? Can it be easily maneuvered through a packed supermarket? If you’re looking at three-wheeled strollers, make sure the front wheel isn’t fixed so you can maneuver it easily.
  • How easy is it to adjust the back of the seat? Can your baby lie down flat in it for sleeping? Can the back be raised up high for a growing child to see more of the world around him?
  • How easily will the stroller fit in your car trunk — or in your house? Some models can be bulky.
  • How easily does the stroller fold down? The last thing you want is to be pulling levers all over the place when you’ve got a fussy baby to deal with. If you’re traveling by bus, strollers that can be folded down with only one hand are ideal so you don’t have to hand your baby to a total stranger while you wrestle with getting the stroller onto the bus.
  • How well does the stroller support your child’s growing spine and neck?
  • How well will the stroller survive if you want to take it on unpaved walkways or paths?

CPSC.gov provides valuable safety information on strollers and buggies.