One of the biggest thrills of being a first-time parent is shopping for your new baby. You get to pick every single item your baby will use, from booties and onesies to sterilizers and cribs. You can spend hours in a department store and find so many things to buy, and believe us there's a lot (it's also a great excuse to shop, by the way). But, while that part is exciting, it can even be overwhelming with the number of choices now available in the market.
Take, for example, a stroller. If you intend to buy one, where do you begin? What do you look for? When should you buy? And how do you pick the right one for you?
To help you decide, here are three questions you should ask yourself:
1. Does it pass safety standards? The safety features on most strollers these days can rival those of cars when it comes to the attention to detail. Obviously, safety is the primary concern of parents when buying such a high-ticket item, especially since we've seen several recalls in the last few years.
Finding the safest stroller is no easy task, so it's essential you get familiar with the following terms:
5-point harness It refers to the "webbing" that holds the baby to his seat—the "seatbelt," if you will. Almost all modern strollers have a 5-point harness: two on the shoulders, two on the hips, and one between the baby's legs.
Bearings and suspension It impacts the overall "ride" experience. Among the different types of wheels (air-filled, pneumatic, wheels with ball bearing, and standard rubber), those with ball bearings are often the largest and give the smoothest ride.
Locking swivel wheels Swivel wheels allow you to maneuver the stroller easily, as against fixed wheels. However, swivel wheels alone won't do. A locking mechanism, which many strollers now have, give additional safety features.
Reclining seats Having a stroller that can recline fully flat means that babies who cannot support their head yet, such as newborns, can use them. You will also want adjustable backrests that grow with your child.
2. Will it fit our lifestyle? Surely there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to strollers, and you must buy one according to your family's needs. Do you expect to do a lot of traveling? Are you the active type who plans to bring the baby with you when you jog? Do you have an older child (or plan to have more kids), so in which case do you expect to have both hands full? Being clear about your purpose for buying the stroller will help determine the best one for you.
3. Is it within our budget? Ultimately, the most significant deciding factor when buying a stroller is the price. Should you get a cheaper stroller or something mid-range? It again depends on how you plan to use it and how frequently. Do the math cautiously so you won't regret your decision.
Once you figure out the answers to the questions above, here are some brands worth checking out (the colored dots represent each stroller's available colors):
The Mirus has a one-hand smooth recline system to keep a sleeping baby steady and deep in slumber. Its lightweight aluminum chassis is easy to maneuver. For easy entry, its padded armbar rotates to the side when needed. Available at selected Baby Company stores, Chicco Boutique in SM Megamall, and Ollie in Shangri-la Plaza, or visit their website.
Chicco's Ohlala is one of the lightest in this bunch at only 3.8 kgs, making it easy to maneuver with one hand, although it works best on an even flooring. The soft materials used in the seat, crotch, and shoulder straps offer maximum comfort for babies up to 2 years old. Available at selected Baby Company stores, selected Robinsons Department Stores, selected Metro Gaisano Department stores, Chicco Boutiques, or visit their website.
Parents can stay on-the-go with ease with the Graco's Featherweight without worrying about trunk space or mobility. At only 3.6 kgs, it weighs approximately the same as a newborn baby. And with a carrying strap, the Featherweight is easy to lug around without sacrificing baby's comfort. Available at selected Baby Company Boutiques and SM Store branches, or visit their UK website.
Extremely easy to use, the Squizz 2.0 can be opened and folded using only one hand. And if you're on a stroll, you can pull it around using the T-bar luggage handle. When folded, it's ultra-compact, and the castor wheels keep the stroller upright.
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The Squizz 2.0 is suitable from your baby's birth until he weighs 20 kilograms, approximately until 5 years old. It has a removable bumper bar to make putting baby in the stroller very easy. Most importantly, it complies with the current European safety requirements and quality standards. Available at Baby Company (SM Aura, Megamall, Powerplant Mall Rockwell), Rustan's, SM Store (Mall of Asia, Megamall B, Makati), The Parenting Emporium, Milkandhoney.ph, or visit their website.
You can carry Babyzen's Yoyo+ on your shoulders easily. In fact, it fits in a plane's overhead compartment and is the first stroller certified by the International Air Transport Association for cabin baggage. It has a hand open-and-close function and allows for one-hand driving.
You can get a Yoyo+ board, which is similar to a bicycle seat that you can attach to the stroller, for older kids. The Yoyo+ eliminates the need for parents to turn on the front wheel brakes on rough roads or uneven surfaces. There's a single-step braking system that makes it convenient to keep the stroller in place. The solid aluminum frame can safely carry your child from baby to toddler age. Available at Powerplant Mall, Pottery Barn Kids, Baby Company, Mothercare, or visit their website.
Aprica's Optia was designed with a 360áµ’ dynamic protection, based on baby's point of view. It offers the widest seat in the bunch, with a seat made with "Silky Air" material that allows superior ventilation to keep babies comfortable, even those who sweat easily.
The Optia allows you to easily switch the direction of the handlebar, whether you want the baby facing forward or facing you, with the push of a knob. The 7-level adjustable handlebar lets you adjust the height to the user, giving more room to walk, so you avoid kicking the rear wheels. It also features the patented Medical Growth Mamolu technology specifically to protect immature babies' head and neck and keep their waist and hips in a natural position. Available at Baby Company, SM Store, Rustan's, or visit their website.
No matter which stroller you choose, it is an investment worth making for your baby's safety and your convenience.