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The Facts on the Full-Size Stroller

Big and sturdy, a full-size stroller could be the only set of wheels your baby ever needs (until he turns 16, of course). But is one right for your family?

Looking for the baby-buggy equivalent of a BMW sedan? Packed with easy-riding, baby- and mom-friendly stroller features, you're sure to find a model that'll feel like it was customized just for you. Here's a guide to shopping for your ride.

Why should I buy a full-size stroller?

If you're looking to invest in one stroller that'll wheel your baby right through the toddler years – and can even convert into a double stroller when your firstborn gets a travel companion (aka a new sibling) – look no further than a full-size stroller. Many models come with accessories that not only make baby's ride a joy (toy attachments, bottle holders, and plush, fully reclining seats), but also make your life easier and more fun (mondo-size storage baskets and iPod hookups – really! – that'll play your tunes on special stroller speakers). Plus, most full-size stroller models are easy to fold and, although they can be bulky, stand on their own for easy storage.

How much does a full-size stroller cost?

A full-size stroller can come in a variety of prices: You can get a basic model for as little as $65 or spend as much as $1,150 for the deluxe models celebrity moms and dads prefer. Keep in mind that lighter weight often translates into a heftier price, so check your priorities and your budget as you make your decision.

Is a full-size stroller right for my baby now?

Thanks to cushy reclining seats and in some cases, bassinets, a full-size stroller can be used right from birth to long beyond (most can hold a 50-pound tot).

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How do I make sure a full-size stroller is safe for my baby?

Even with a top-of-the-line ride, there are some safety points to note:

  • Read the manual to make sure your baby is within the weight recommendations for that stroller.
  • Check whether you can make adjustments at the front of the full-size stroller to reduce
    the size of the seat openings, so your baby
    can't slide out when the seat is fully reclined.
  • Make sure the stroller's base is wide enough to prevent tipping if your baby ever leans over the side. (Do a tip test in the store without baby on board.)
  • Be sure the stroller has adjustable safety straps
    that go over your baby's shoulders and around
    his waist.
  • Look for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association seal (JPMA), which certifies that the product has met rigorous safety standards.
What are the downsides to a full-size stroller?

This might seem like a no-brainer purchase (stylish, practical, and long-lasting!), but there are disadvantages to even the best of the bunch:

  • Lots of components and parts can make
    assembling a full-size stroller tricky.
  • Wide models can be tough to navigate
    through crowds, doors, and stores.
  • A full-size stroller can weigh anywhere from 16 to 35 pounds (that's much heavier than portable stroller models), so it can feel like you're pushing around a small piece of furniture. For the same reason, a full-size stroller can be a pain to carry up and down steps (especially with a baby inside).

for more pregnancy and parenting information,

visit WhatToExpect.com