Strollers are a must-buy for any budding family. These allow you to bring your child outside of your home comfortably, letting them take in the world safely as you rest your aching arms. With dozens of strollers available on the market, which of those should you get – and how many?
Most families will benefit from having an extra stroller, but the necessity of such depends on your family’s lifestyle. Below are a few factors you need to mull over before deciding.
- Budget (How much can you spare?)
- Headcount (How many kids do you have?)
- Common Areas (Where do you usually go day-to-day?)
- Handlebar height
- Infant Age
- Travel Plans (Where do you plan on going?)
- Parental Priorities (Are you on the same page?)
Having multiple strollers is a legitimate consideration, not just a luxury. An extra stroller provides a family with choice, security, and versatility. But is the price worth it for your lifestyle’s needs?
How Many Strollers Do I Need? (Factors)
Strollers are a great investment for parents, but not every family can afford to splurge on more than one model at a time. That’s perfectly fine. It might be wise to stick with one stroller first, then wait and see how your home’s situation goes.
If all of your needs are being met with a single unit, there’s no problem. But if you find yourself in cumbersome situations that make you wish you had a spare stroller on standby… well, no sense letting your wish go unfulfilled! It may just be worth the extra expense.
Ideally, you’ve already started saving up money for this possibility. If not, you’d better start now.
Not all families can afford an extra stroller on such short notice, but that doesn’t mean you have to grit your teeth and settle for a subpar arrangement here. If you need that spare stroller now, try negotiating with your seller – ask them if they’d be open to installment-based payment plans.
Installment-based plans let you benefit from the equipment immediately while being less financially taxing in the short term. You do have to commit to the purchase here, so only do this if you’re absolutely certain you need that spare stroller.
There is a way to make this work for you – buying both strollers gives you bargaining power, which might entice your seller to throw a few discounts and freebies your way. You’ll already be spending a hefty sum here, so don’t be afraid to make the most out of your situation here.
You could also buy strollers secondhand, which might be preferable for some families. The most important thing to do here is to never trust the catalog picture.
When buying secondhand strollers, always see the product in person. Ideally, you should take it for a test run before committing to the deal.
You need to consider how many children you’ll need to handle at a given time. It wouldn’t be very fun to push one kid around in a stroller while another baby hangs off your shoulder.
Having to do this every day would be exhausting, stressful, and most of all avoidable – an extra stroller could save you and your family a LOT of grief.
Grabbing an extra stroller is practical when dealing with more than one kid, but there are some exceptions to this case.
You might want something to handle multiple unruly kids at the same time. Double or even triple strollers can do just that. They’re good for that purpose but are far from a catch-all solution.
For starters, double and triple strollers work best with children close in age. This ensures that the children will grow out of their strollers at roughly the same time. If not, well, the unit starts handling a bit lopsidedly, with the empty seat only serving as needless bulk to push along.
Personally, we strongly recommend sticking with two strollers when you’ve got more than one young child to take care of. This way gets you crucial flexibility while operating.
3. Common Areas
Not all strollers are built equally, but where you take your children can help decide what kind of stroller would help your family out the most.
Do you often take your kids out to rough terrain, far from urban luxuries, for a good chunk of the day? You’ll want a full-sized stroller, which is guaranteed to give your baby a safe, sturdy ride with plenty of cargo space to pack all the supplies you need.
Do you use public transportation with your baby often, or otherwise find yourself in cramped areas? Get yourself an umbrella stroller with a shoulder strap for minimal travel baggage.
Are you planning on running a few laps in your neighborhood, but have a baby in tow? Snag a jogging stroller with a solid suspension to let you jog to your heart’s content. Some models can even be used on hikes! Just be sure to give them a test run without your baby first.
Different strollers are best in certain roles, so grab one that’s most appropriate to what you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis. If there’s a split here, we strongly recommend you purchase more than one stroller – especially when the expected environments differ drastically.
For a lot of households, space is limited. Strollers are meant to be a convenience, but that won’t be the case if you need to rearrange furniture every time you need them stored away.
Umbrella strollers are known to be extremely compact, and some can be folded so efficiently you can fit them in a backpack! Full-sized strollers are a little bulkier, but most can fit a cleared closet comfortably. Jogging strollers can get tough to store since they’re basically cars for babies!
Some strollers also have detachable tops, allowing them to double as car seats. It might be worth picking a model with this function to maximize transport efficiency.
5. Handlebar Height
Handlebar height makes for a surprising factor here, but for couples with big height gaps, this needs to be considered. Not all strollers have adjustable handlebars, which can make pushing the cart a little awkward if it’s not designed for the size of the person handling it.
We’d recommend you just pick up a full-sized stroller here since most of those models come with adjustable handlebars. Alternatively, you could buy and install your own adjustable handlebars for your stroller variant of choice. As far as problems go, handlebar height is thankfully simple to fix.
6. Child’s Age
A kid’s age also needs to be considered when deciding on stroller type. Different age groups have needs that must be accommodated – failing to do so could lead to discomfort, stress, or even spinal damage in select cases.
Very young babies – six months old and below – need to lie down all the time. Sitting them upright that early on is known to compromise the development of their spine.
Infants at this age are usually placed in pram strollers, which are a type of stroller that’s flat-lying rather than upright – basically a mobile crib.
Very young babies are also not allowed in umbrella strollers, since most of them cannot be adjusted to allow the infant to lie flat.
You can’t use pram strollers all throughout their childhood though. Babies grow larger and larger, with their brains seeking out more engaging stimuli to sate them. They’d want more freedom to see and experience new things, which could be provided better by other stroller variants.
The point here is that there’s no “catch-all” stroller that can accommodate your baby’s developing needs all through their growth cycle.
They might even outgrow their old stroller entirely, so try to keep your child’s potential growth in mind when buying a spare stroller – unless you want to spend even more on a third!
7. Travel Plans
While you could pack your old stroller of choice for a trip, you need to consider both your available travel space and the environment you’ll be hauling it to.
You might find yourself using full-sized strollers more often close to home, but can you pack it away for a road trip or plane ride easily? Even if you could, would it be the best choice?
Let’s say you wanted to go abroad here: planes have very strict weight limits, and a bulky stroller might not be worth the opportunity cost of what you could have brought on the flight. It might even end up damaged or broken on arrival, depending on how your airline handles their cargo.
It may be worth buying a smaller, cheaper “travel” stroller. Go for something easy to pack, like an umbrella stroller. Strollers are meant to make your parenting life convenient, so don’t insist on bringing and using them in situations where they would be nothing but a liability.
8. Parental Priorities
You and your partner may have different preferences, which would in turn affect the environments you’d bring your baby along.
For example, you might prefer spending time with your baby at a mall – space is at a premium in these spots, so you’d likely appreciate having a compact umbrella stroller tucked away.
Your partner might decide they’d rather spend quality time with your baby during their morning jog. They can’t use an umbrella stroller for this – using it in this situation could break the model.
Consequently, using a jogging stroller in a crowded environment would just encumber you and serve as a general nuisance. It’s not the right tool for the job, so don’t insist on using it for that.
Rather than argue against your partner for what’s needed, why not just splurge for both? That way everyone has their personal needs met – your baby included!
It can be tough to decide on how many strollers you need, but remember that it’s not just a luxury. An extra stroller will go a long way to making your family life much more comfortable. It’s not cheap though, so carefully consider what your family needs most, then purchase accordingly.