Last Updated on June 30, 2021
The big question is, “should I get two strollers or just one for my first child?”
For many families, the price for a stroller is high and they can only afford one. Most start thinking about getting another stroller when there is a second child on the way.
In addition, there are so many stroller choices these days that come in all shapes, styles, sizes, and seating options. Picking out the best stroller for your family is getting more difficult.
Nearly all parents we asked agreed that you will likely need more than one stroller during your child’s early years.
While you may be able to get by with one early on, you’ll likely want different strollers for different needs. Such as a lightweight stroller when you’re traveling or a full-size convertible stroller when you’re out at the park.
While it’s always nice to have options, the more strollers you need to store, the more likely you are to keep them in the garage or even sell them altogether.
There Are Different Types of Strollers
There are six basic types of strollers:
- Full-size stroller
- Lightweight or umbrella stroller
- Jogging stroller
- Double stroller
- Convertible stroller
- Travel system stroller
Despite the fact that many strollers fit into the above categories, there are plenty that don’t. There are strollers that have characteristics of more than one type, like a double jogging stroller.
Here is a brief description of each type of stroller.
This is what most people think of when they think of a stroller. They are almost always in 4 wheels and may have room for more than one baby. They come with a seat that can face forward or can be turned around to face the parent.
Lightweight or umbrella stroller
Lightweight strollers are generally umbrella strollers. They generally have 4 wheels, are lightweight, and typically have less features compared to a full-size stroller. An umbrella stroller is more compact and can fold up to make it easy to store or carry.
Jogging strollers have a wider wheelbase and are more sturdy than ordinary strollers. They are an excellent solution for longer walks and running, as the wheels and suspension system are able to handle turns, bumps, and terrain like gravel or sandy beaches with ease.
If you are an active parent and love jogging, or you are planning to jog with your baby, then jogging strollers are made just for you.
Double strollers are strollers designed to provide comfort and safety for two children at the same time. Double strollers are either side-by-side (parallel) or front-to-back (tandem) in design.
Many doubles usually have a wheel suspension system to allow for a smoother ride. These strollers are great for twins or children of different ages.
A convertible stroller is a stroller that can change from a single to a double. The stroller can be used with an infant and toddler or can be used as a double stroller for two children of different ages.
These strollers are very popular because they can be used for a long time without purchasing a new stroller. This can make it less expensive if you are planning to have multiple children.
Travel systems are convenient since they make it easy to move a baby from the car to stroller while keeping them in the car seat carrier. They are a combination of a stroller and a car seat, which makes them ideal for newborns.
The stroller comes with attachments to accommodate the included car seat and may also have a regular stroller seat. It also has a base, which you can use to secure your car seat infant carrier in the car. The stroller frame is often easy to collapse and toss in the car when you’re ready to go.
Guide to Strollers & Features You May Need by Age
First, when can a baby go in a stroller? Ideally, they can go in a stroller immediately after birth if you have the right one. Pediatricians don’t recommend taking newborns on a bumpy trail or out for a run in the stroller for the first few months.
The most common strollers you can use with a newborn are travel systems which work with car seats or bassinet strollers where your baby can lay flat. While a travel system stroller isn’t lightweight, it provides the extra flexibility new parents need. Unless you have twins or two children, avoid big and bulky strollers for your newborn unless you plan to use them in the future.
At 6 months, this is about the age where you’ll want to transition the baby into a full-size stroller since they may be moving out of the infant car seat. If you have a travel system, you can now attach the regular seat since they should be able to hold their head up and sit with some assistance from a five-point safety harness.
You’ll also need the extra room in the storage basket for the diaper bag, snacks, purse, and anything else you may need. This is also when you can start using a jogging stroller with your little one if you are an active parent.
After the first year, your toddler may be starting to walk. They could be ready to climb in and out of the stroller on their own, so having a forward-facing seat is a must. You should also look for a stroller with seats that recline for added comfort during those times when they need a midday nap.
If you’re planning a trip, this is when you may want to purchase a separate lightweight or umbrella stroller. These are easier to carry and fold up while traveling.
24+ Months (or when you decide to have another baby)
If you plan on having another baby, you may want to consider a convertible stroller from the start. When you have a baby and toddler at the same time, you’ll want the flexibility for them both to sit.
Just be prepared that pushing two kids in a bigger stroller is a lot more difficult for petite moms and dads.
How to Choose the Right Stroller for Your Family
The right stroller for your family depends on a lot of different factors. In reality, there is no “one-size-fits-all” stroller since you may need a different one for different uses.
Other factors like cost, lifestyle, and family size are just some of the reasons why what works for one family may not work for others. It’s important that you think through these things before making a final decision.
The cost of strollers can shock first-time parents; especially if you’re just used to cheap umbrella strollers. Better suspension systems, higher-end fabrics, color choices, seats that can switch between front and rear-facing, and convertible strollers that expand to hold more than one baby will cause the price to increase.
The brand name will also make a difference since higher quality and more robust strollers will charge a premium. These costs are what you’ll need to consider when building a budget for your baby.
Lifestyle & Routine
One of the most important factors to consider is the lifestyle and daily routine. Families that live in the city may use them every day while suburban families may only use them occasionally for trips to the store or park. Think about things like:
- How often will you need to use one?
- How much will you need to carry the stroller when you can’t push it? (up or down stairs, public transportation, etc.)
- What type of storage space do you need to carry the diaper bag and your family’s things?
- Do you want a different stroller for specific purposes or one that is multi-purpose? (one for jogging or hiking, one for travel, one for everyday use, etc.)
These questions can help you think about what type of stroller and how many your family may need.
This is often the deciding factor for many new moms and dads. If you have twins or babies around the same age, you’ll likely need a double stroller. However, if you only plan on having a single child or space them out by several years, then you’ll be fine with a single stroller.
If you’re still on the fence when your first baby comes along, it might be wise to invest in a convertible stroller that starts out as a single, but can expand with another seat. Some even offer a stroller board that allows a third child to ride along as well.
Stroller Features to Consider
Many parents want a stroller with plenty of storage space while others want adjustable handlebars to accommodate different heights. Keep in mind, there are many differences in the types of features that each stroller offers and some may be deal breakers for you.
Here’s a breakdown of features to think about when shopping.
- One-Handed Fold: Being able to fold up the stroller with one hand can be very helpful if your hands are full. These often work by pulling a single lever or strap to quickly fold up the stroller’s frame.
- Machine Washable Fabrics: Babies are messy little humans. They spill a lot and get things dirty, so having removable fabrics that are machine washable comes in handy.
- Adjustable Handlebar: If your spouse is much shorter or taller, you may need to have a stroller with an adjustable handlebar. Strollers for tall parents are a struggle to find so they don’t have to awkwardly hunch over the handlebar.
- Convertible Seating: As covered, you may want a stroller that has modular seats that can be rotated or expanded to accommodate a second seat. These often work with a bassinet or car seats as well, which is ideal and convenient for growing families.
- Car Seat Compatible: If you want to use the stroller with your newborn or infant, you’ll need a stroller with infant car seat attachments. This makes it incredibly easy to move the baby from the car to the stroller.
- Wheels & Suspension System: Hard plastic wheels are more difficult to push than strollers with soft rubber wheels. In addition, all-terrain strollers with a suspension system make for a much smoother ride since it can absorb all the bumps for your baby.
- Adjustable Sun Canopy: Protecting babies from harmful UV rays is important and the best way to do that is with the sun canopy. Canopies allow you to keep your baby covered and often has a peek-a-boo window to check on your little one.
- Storage Basket: A large storage basket is a must. The storage area is critical to hold all of your baby’s gear.
- Accessories: Some strollers include things like parent cup holders and child snack trays, but many require a separate purchase. These accessories will increase the total cost of the stroller.
- Stroller Weight: Lightweight strollers are around 10-14 pounds while larger strollers can be over 30 pounds. If you need to haul the stroller around or take it in and out of the car, heavier strollers can be a pain.
- Weight Limit: If you’ve got a bigger baby or a toddler that refuses to walk, a stroller with a higher weight capacity may be needed. This shouldn’t be a major factor for most parents.
What age do kids stop using strollers?
Children will typically use a stroller until they can walk. However, almost all of them will gladly hitch a ride until they are 4 to 5 years old when they can no longer fit. This is especially true during long days where they’ve been walking for hours. Think about how tired you get when walking around the zoo, mall, or a theme park like Disney World all day long!
Strollers also have a weight limit which can range between 30 and 75 pounds. So your kids may need to stop using the stroller sooner than they’d like.
There are so many stroller options these days which address specific situations or needs. If you were wondering, “how many strollers do I need for my baby?”, hopefully we’ve helped narrow down the answer.
Most parents agree that you will need more than one stroller for your child’s early years. You may want a lightweight stroller when traveling or a full-size convertible stroller when you are out at the park. Ultimately, you could end up with one to three strollers.
It’s important to keep in mind your personal situation and factors like how much you want to spend, how you’ll use the strollers, and whether you’ll have more babies in the future. Hopefully, we’ve given you some good points to think about as you begin shopping for the best stroller for your family.