Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Just a Strolling...How To Choose The Perfect Stroller

Purchasing a stroller for your baby is one of the most important (and expensive) purchases you’ll make when preparing for your new arrival. With so many choices of strollers in the marketplace, how do you know which one to choose? Here are some helpful tips from Pure and Honest Kids that will aid you when selecting your stroller.

Tip Number One: Think about Your Lifestyle
Think about your lifestyle and what you will be primarily using your stroller for. Exercising? Light walks in the park? Or running quick errands? For most people, it is usually a combination of the three, so weigh the options of what you will use your stroller for most and go from there.

There are so many models out there- jogging strollers that you can run with, lightweight umbrella strollers that weigh less than 20 pounds (which are great for running quick errands), travel systems, which serve as both a standard stroller and an infant carrier stroller, standard strollers, which is a good multi-purpose choice, double-strollers for more than one child, carriage stroller for parents that are chic and trendy, plus many other models.

You may decide you need a primary every day stroller, such as the Baby Planet's Endangered Species line from Pure and Honest Kids ($189.99) or a travel system, such as the Baby Planet Max Pro Travel System, also offered at Pure and Honest Kids ($399.99). Some parents opt to purchase both a standard stroller and a specialized stroller, such as a jogging stroller or lightweight umbrella stroller. It’s up to the individual parent to make that call.

Tip Number Two: Safety Features
Safety is always the number one concern of any parent, and you want to make sure the stroller you select has the best safety features available! One major safety feature to look for in a stroller is a reliable restraint system (such as a five-point harness, offered with the Baby Planet Deluxe stroller from Pure and Honest Kids, $229.99.), which secures baby at the shoulders, waist and crotch.

Also look for the following safety features: a secondary locking mechanism on the frame of the stroller to ensure that the stroller cannot fold up while in use, rear-wheel breaks, tip-resistant frame, and some type of canopy to protect the baby from sun and inclement weather.

Tip Number Three: Fit and Ease of Use of Stroller
One thing people often overlook when purchasing a stroller is does it feel comfortable to you, the parent, when you are pushing it? Taller parents should look for strollers with adjustable handle heights, so you don’t have to crouch when pushing your baby along! For example, the Easy Walker Sky single stroller from Pure and Honest Kids ($499.99) comes with an adjustable push bar, making it a perfect fit for anyone pushing baby.

Also, consider if you can easily get your baby in and out of the stroller. Some strollers offer bars that open with the push of a button for easy access to remove baby from the stroller.

Something else to consider: Does your stroller fold and unfold easily? You will most likely be holding your baby with one arm, and folding and unfolding your stroller with the other. Try to find a stroller that has an easy-to-use mechanism to open and close your stroller frame.

And lastly, how maneuverable is the stroller? Look for dual, swivel front wheels and one-handed steering. Pretty soon, you’ll be whizzing in and out of crowded malls and parks and you’ll want your stroller wheels to move with ease.

Tip Number Four: Storage and Features
Your baby, albeit small, requires quite a bit of “stuff” to travel around town. Make sure you look for a stroller with some storage areas. A generously-sized storage basket on the bottom of the stroller is a wonderful feature to consider, such as the one offered in the Easy Walker Sky stroller ($499.99 at Pure and Honest Kids.)

You will also want to consider a stroller with a tray in the front for baby’s juice and snacks. Some strollers even offer a tray or cup holder located on the stroller handle for parents’ drinks and keys.

Another feature you might find desirable is a Peek-a-Boo canopy that have a plastic viewing window. You won’t miss anything with these great see-through windows. The Baby Planet Solo Sports stroller ($169.99 from Pure and Honest Kids) has the “Peek-a-Boo” window in its canopy that many parents rave about!

Tip Number Five: Ease of Cleaning
Washable fabric is a wonderful feature to look for when selecting a stroller. Make sure the seat cover is both removable and machine washable. In no time, your stroller will be covered in Cheerio dust, sticky juice and drool, and you’ll want to be able to wash it clean!

Tip Number Six: Quality Construction
Make sure you choose a stroller that is well made with quality materials. The metal or aluminum frame of the stroller should be strong and stable. Also look for welded seams, tightly stitched seat covers and finished edges.

You may also want to check the wheels. Are they even or do they tip? You want the stroller to sit on the ground evenly and be a sturdy, safe place for your child.

Tip Number Seven: Stroller Grows With Baby!
As your baby grows, you want your stroller to grow with him or her. Look for a weight maximum of at least 40 pounds, a generously sized seat, a multi-position back that adjusts from a reclining position for when they are small, to a sitting up position when they reach the toddler stage and an adjustable footrest for baby as they grow taller. One example of a great stroller that grows with your baby is the Baby Planet Max Traveler stroller. It is suitable for newborns up to children weighing 45 pounds (available at Pure and Honest Kids for $329.99).

Tip Number Eight: Breakdown of Stroller
Is it easy to breakdown the stroller you selected? Can you store it within the trunk of your car or inside a closet? This is something to consider because strollers come in many shapes and sizes, and you need to choose a stroller that fits in your vehicle and in the designated spot in your house. The Easy Walker Sky stroller, for instance, easily be folded into a handy package, and stores neatly in small spaces ($499.00 at Pure and Honest Kids.)
Tip Number Nine: Personal Style
There are so many kinds of strollers available today for parents. They come in many different colors, designs, styles and models. Choose a stroller that is true to your personal style and one that you will feel proud to push around town. There are sporty strollers, chic strollers, colorful strollers, shabby chic strollers…you name it, there is a stroller out there that meets your personal style. It should be a practical purchase, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and stylish, too!
One great stroller system that is stylish but still functional is the Easy Walker Sky Carrycot and Stroller ($169.00 and $499.00 respectively at Pure and Honest Kids.) The carrycot (which looks like a carriage) comes in so many great colors, and will fit right onto your Easy Walker Sky stroller. You get two different looks within one stroller. You can have the carriage look with the carrycot, and once baby gets older and is ready to see the word, take the carrycot off and you’ll be set with the sporty and very stylish Easy Walker Sky stroller. Talk about personal style….

Tip Number 10: Price
Pure and Honest Kids knows price is a factor, too, when it comes to a big purchase like a stroller! That’s why we offer strollers from $149.00-$699.99.

Remember that the more expensive models are often times built with higher quality materials and more features, and are likely to last longer. A few dollars extra at the start makes more sense than having to purchase a brand new stroller down the line with child number two. Choose a stroller that will last for years to come.
Remember, strollers carry the most precious cargo of all-your darling babies, so choose wisely. Happy strolling!

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