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How many strollers parents need? Pros and cons of convertible and lightweight strollers

Many parents, while searching for the perfect stroller, consider different types of strollers: the most popular are convertible strollers and lightweight strollers. The choice is not easy – there are hundreds of strollers on the market and each year there are some new models released by popular brands.

For example, although it is still 2017 and there are plenty of awesome strollers that were released few months ago, manufacturers have just announced their new strollers coming out in 2018. It's really hard to follow all of these trends, new models and versions. No wonder parents feel confused when looking for a stroller for their baby.

There are two main types of single strollers: convertible strollers, which can be also called all-in-one strollers and lightweight strollers. What are theirs advantages and disadvantages? How to choose the best one?

First of all, convertible stroller, if properly chosen, will grow with the baby. It’s a big plus. It usually offers many different seating options, thanks to which we can customize the stroller depending on our needs and style. All-in-one strollers feature compatibility with infant car seats and often come with a bassinet, therefore they are suitable for newborns and infants. Such a stroller can be used since day one.

Convertible strollers are also equipped with a toddler seat, in most cases suitable from 6 months. The best strollers in this category feature reversible seat, so baby can ride facing parents or the World and the seat can be lowered down for more comfortable naptime. Another advantage of convertible strollers is a large amount of useful features: large storage basket, extendable canopy that provides nice sun coverage and adjustable handlebar to accommodate parents of different height.

Some of the most innovative convertible strollers are also expandable. It means that when the second baby comes into the World, we can add another bassinet, infant car seat or toddler seat and use this stroller as a double. Expandable stroller are getting more and more popular. Some of them offer even a place for the third kid! Usually the oldest third child can ride on a board attached to the stroller frame.

Therefore buying one, convertible and expandable stroller may be a really smart investment for years! One stroller can serve even three kids. This is undeniable advantage of convertible strollers.

Nevertheless, this type of strollers have also some flaws. First of all, it is pretty expensive and not every family can afford it. Especially that new parents have to purchase a lot of baby gear: crib, changing table, bath tub, baby monitor, cloth and products for skin care, diapers etc.

Another thing that parents should pay attention to is the quality of all seating options. Some strollers offer really nice, comfortable and convenient bassinet, but when parents want to switch to toddler seat, it turns out it’s impractical and uncomfortable. That’s why before parents decide to buy a convertible stroller they should check out all of the attachments. Here are few things worth considering:

  • Is the bassinet big enough to accommodate 6-month-old baby?
  • Is the mattress thick enough and breathable?
  • Does the bassinet provide proper ventilation?
  • Does the bassinet canopy provide enough sun shade?
  • Is this stroller compatible with just one model of infant car seat or at least few brands?
  • Are the infant car seat adapters expensive?
  • Is the toddler seat roomy enough to accommodate 2-year-old or 3-year-old?
  • Does the toddler seat have 5-point harness?
  • Is the toddler seat reclinable and reversible?
  • How difficult is to switch between bassinet, infant car seat and the main seat?

Convertible strollers have one more flaw: they are usually quite heavy. It’s mainly because of the frame – it has to be strong and robust enough to accommodate a bassinet with an infant at the beginning. However, it can be too heavy or bulky for an everyday use with a toddler, who weighs much more than an infant. That’s why parent often decide to buy second stroller – small and compact lightweight stroller, when their baby can sit straight.

Biggest advantages of lightweight stroller are the size and weight. Usually this type of strollers is very compact and weighs less than 15 lbs. Moreover, many lightweight strollers fold into a small package that can be carried in a travel bag or as a backpack. Thanks to such a compact fold they don’t take up much space in car trunk, many of them even fit behind the driver's seat. Some of lightweight strollers meet carry-on luggage requirements and fit into overhead compartments on airplanes! This type of stroller is excellent for parents who travel with their kids, because they are light, compact and portable.

However, lightweight strollers have also few disadvantages. Many of them don’t have the same features as convertible strollers. Only few lightweight strollers feature reclinable seat or big storage basket. They usually have smaller wheels which handle flat terrain, but don’t work properly on pavement, grass or unbeaten road.

Lightweight strollers are mostly designed for toddlers who can sit and control their heads, which means they can be used as a second stroller. For first few months parents have to buy different stroller that features fully flat position suitable for newborns and infants.

Nevertheless, there are few lightweight strollers that are suitable for newborns with additional attachments, have all-terrain wheels and plenty of useful features (for example new Baby Jogger City Tour LUX 2018 or Mountain Buggy Nano). There are also pretty light convertible strollers like UPPAbaby CRUZ or Nuna MIXX2.

Many parents ask which one is better: convertible stroller or lightweight stroller. It really depends on their needs and lifestyle. Parents who are searching for a stroller should always consider how long they want to use the stroller, how often and where will they go with itFree Web Content, how much weight will they handle and what features will be useful for them and the baby.

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Zooey Barnett is a mother of three and a blogger on Little Baby Gear. She reviews strollers for newborns, toddlers and older kids and recommends the best baby products. On her blog you can read articles about pregnancy and parenthood and also find reviews of strollers like Mountain Buggy Nano or Nuna MIXX2.

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