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The Patriot Ledger
August 2, 2010
By Ashlee Fairey
"Checkout Lane: Picking Out The Right Baby Stroller"
HINGHAM — As a new parent, you'll encounter many unknowns. One thing is certain, however: You will need a stroller.
Strollers come in a wide range of weights. There are lightweight umbrella-style strollers that are easy to lift and fold up, for example. At Magic Beans, a baby supply store in Hingham, these cost $90 to $250.
While umbrella strollers are very manageable, they are not for newborn infants and lack the sturdiness of heavier models, said Martha Prestandrea, owner of A Baby's Nest in Norwell.
Midsize strollers run between $230 and $650 at Magic Beans; all-terrain styles have wheels to handle all types of weather.
The most popular type, said Sheri Gurock, owner of Magic Beans, is the hybrid stroller, which features all terrain wheels in back, smaller wheels in front and a reversible seat, so your child can look at you or out at the world. Gurock sells hybrids from $499 to $1,000.
Parents should consider buying two types of strollers, Gurock said: An all-terrain or hybrid stroller with wheels that can maneuver through snow and ice, and a more compact stroller that fits easily into a car trunk for shopping trips and walks in mild weather.
Though online shopping can be convenient, Gurock stressed the importance of purchasing a stroller in person.
You should push the stroller to check the way it steers and moves, as well as how it fits with your stride and height. Try lifting the stroller and fitting it into your trunk.
Some strollers collapse with the seat still attached, another selling point, Prestandrea said.
"Strollers are parents' key to mobility," Gurock said. "It is easy to feel isolated with a new baby. To be able to get out of the house makes a huge difference for your mental health."
A stroller can have many moving parts, Gurock said, so make sure to read instructions and understand how to operate it before leaving the store.
Other features to consider are snack trays, cup holders, undercarriage storage, screens, rain coverings and reversible seats.
Things you'll need on your stroll: