Today most all babies and small children have a stroller to call their own, but there was a time when only the elite were privileged enough to own this type of luxury item. The stroller concept came to be when an architect from England, William Kent, built a means of transportation that would amuse children as requested by the Duke of Devonshire in 1733. Kent’s design was a richly decorated basket on wheels that children could sit in, and was meant to be pulled by a goat or other small animal.
After other royal families started creating their own strollers, it became in fashion to have a stroller. It wasn’t until 1848 when an American named Charles Burton created a stroller with handles that could be pushed by the parent; the idea was not well received in America so he moved to England where he was hired by members of the royal family to create strollers for them. In 1889, William Richardson patented his idea of the first reversible stroller in which the bassinet could face the parent or outward to the world. Richardson also changed how the stroller worked structurally and made the stroller easier to maneuver. By the 1920’s modern day baby strollers were available to most all parents and featured modern conveniences such as brakes, lower and sturdier frames, deeper prams, and larger wheels. By 1950 the stroller was a considered a must have baby item and most all families with small children owned one. In 1965 the stroller was redesigned again by Owen Maclaren, an aeronautical engineer whose daughter would complain about traveling by airplane with a heavy pram, who using his knowledge of airplanes, built a stroller on a light aluminum frame that folded up compactly for ease of travel. This was the first true umbrella stroller created, and this created a whole new market and strollers were easier to transport and could go virtually anywhere! And by 1980, Phil Baechler came up with the first jogging stroller by taking the strollers off his bike and putting them on his stroller to try and run with it, after several attempts he came up with a jogging stroller design. From the 1980’s until today new innovative stroller designs are being introduced all the time to help make parents life easier while providing superior comfort for babies and children.
Today there are strollers offered for all types of lifestyles and activities, most parents will find they need more than one; here is a list of the most popular types of strollers:
Pram/Carriage Strollers: Features a full recline seat that is perfect for newborns, usually are bulky strollers and are good for walks. Lots of modern day prams offer a bassinet that can be removed to replace with a toddler seat.
Travel System: These are usually standard strollers sold in tandem with an infant travel seat so that the baby seat can be taken directly from the car into the stroller to keep from waking or moving a sleeping infant. Many strollers offer infant car seat adapters so that you can use your stroller as an infant travel system until the child is large enough to ride in the stroller. These usually offer grow with me features that allow the stroller to be used for all stages of the baby and toddler years.
Umbrella Strollers: These are compact, lightweight strollers that fit almost anywhere and many parents use them for travel. These can be also be used as an everyday stroller option as they typically accommodate children well into the toddler years.
Standard/Lightweight Strollers: A good second stroller option, a lightweight option that is good for running errands and traveling. The main difference between this type of stroller and an umbrella stroller is they offer a sturdier frame, more comfortable seating, and more features than an umbrella stroller. These are usually a more compact version of a larger stroller offered by the same manufacturer.
Jogging Strollers: Strollers that are made for serious joggers or runners that have a lightweight weight frame with good suspension and air filled tires for a smooth ride. They also offer safety features to help keep the stroller under control and be able to stop easily.
All-Terrain Strollers: Similar to a jogging stroller in that they can travel over bumpy surfaces or everyday surfaces with ease, but they typically offer a swivel wheel to offer better maneuverability for everyday uses and a more compact fold.
Tandem Strollers: A must have for parents with more than one young child; these are offered from two up to four seat models. These are offered in different configurations as they can be in-line, side by side, or can offer individualized seating options for each child. Tandem strollers are available in jogger, standard/lightweight, and other options to fit your needs.
Some popular stroller brands today are Britax, Maclaren, Graco, Evenflo, Peg Perego, Chicco, Bumbleride, Baby Jogger, and many more! When purchasing a stroller, make sure you do all of your research to determine which stroller will best suit you and your child’s needs. Some things to look for when purchasing a stroller are the ease of use, the type of fold, weight of stroller, weight and height capacity, available accessories , safety features, reviews from people that own the stroller, and any recall information.
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