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A stroller is one of the most functional — and expensive — pieces of baby gear you will need as a new parent. Unlike, say, a onesie or a wipe warmer that will only set you back a small amount if you don’t end up using it, most quality strollers are priced somewhere between $100 to more than $1000 for luxury models. So, getting the right stroller that works well for you and your child’s needs is crucial since it’s such a big investment.
Plus, as your child grows from a newborn to a toddler, your requirements for a stroller will likely change, too. It’s a good idea to consider ahead of time whether you may need to upgrade your stroller later on or if you’d prefer a convertible one that can grow with your child instead.
To help you figure out which stroller to buy (or to add to a registry), we’ve compiled a list of the features and common needs that you may want to consider for each age and stage.
Best Strollers For Newborns To 6-Month-Olds
Newborn and young babies sleep a lot, so in the first six months of their lives, having a stroller that will double as a comfortable snoozing spot is key. Young babies also need to be fully reclined while in a stroller since they can’t support their heads or sit upright on their own yet.
That’s why a stroller with a bassinet attachment is the ideal choice for newborns. Bassinets allow babies to lie flat in the stroller so they sleep as peacefully as if they were inside their homes. Once babies get older and can support the weight of their head, upright seats can be used. Or you can look for a convertible option, like this Baby Joy stroller.
If you will be taking your baby in and out of the stroller and into a car frequently, purchasing a stroller and car seat combo is a time-saving option, so you don’t have to unstrap your child and lift them from the car seat to the stroller. With travel systems like the Chicco Bravo Trio and the Baby Trend EZ Ride 35, you can simply move the entire car seat from the vehicle and click it into the stroller base, which is a much quicker process. (Do you already own a car seat? You can still look for a compatible stroller, like the Graco SnugRider Elite Car Seat Carrier, which works with any Graco car seat.)
Best Strollers For 6- To 12-Month-Olds
A baby at this age is sitting up and becoming much more independent by the day! That’s why a five-point harness that can keep a wiggly baby secure is an important feature to look for in a stroller with an upright seat.
Attaching a few stroller toys, like this Skip Hop teething toy/rattle or this soft, crinkly book by Eric Carle, will also be appreciated by babies in this age range as a way to keep them entertained during strolls around the neighborhood or errand runs.
At this point, you might want to start looking at specialty strollers, such as jogging strollers, that can fit into your lifestyle more easily. Check out this list of the best jogging strollers you can buy for our top picks.
Best Strollers For 18-Month-Olds And Up
As babies grow into toddlers, they become less inclined to sit in a stroller and more interested in walking alongside it or even pushing the stroller themselves!
That’s why a lightweight stroller, like the Summer 3Dlite one, is a great option at this development stage. It can hold up to 50 pounds, but the stroller itself weighs a mere 13 pounds, making it easier to fold up and carry should your toddler want to hop out. Alternatively, you could also consider purchasing an Evenflo stroller wagon that has room to fit both your child plus a sibling or friend.
You might also want to consider a foldable umbrella stroller, which can offer more flexibility because of its portable nature, or a stroller with a ride-on board so that kids can stand if they want.
No matter what your child’s age, you’ll also want to consider sun protection, storage space, size, handlebar adjustability, available accessories and other factors. Take a look at these lists of the best strollers for some additional suggestions.