Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Strollers: Fold-up-and-go or baby SUV?

It has pneumatic tires and shock absorbers for an oh-so-smooth glide. There’s a cup holder for Mommy and adjustable handles so she won’t strain her back. To keep the sun at bay and the bugs away, Mom can clip on a nifty parasol or mosquito net for you.The cost for this beautifully bodacious baby buggy? Just $900. A far cry from the bucket-on-wheels that poor Victorian moms pushed, these strollers have big, fat tires so modern moms can stroll off-road on trails and beaches. They have rain covers, cargo pockets, weather thermometers and iPod hookups. That’s what you call fully loaded — some strollers call themselves “SUVs for babies” — and it’s what mommies demand, some retailers say. They want strollers that are compact, lightweight, easy to fold, easy to wheel over curbs and fit through doors, and have at least, at least, one cupholder. As seen in celebrity magazines, strollers have become just as hot an accessory as the babies themselves. The Dutch-designed Bugaboo has been the favored “power toy” of the Hollywood set for several years.

But is it a good idea to buy a stroller just because a supermodel pushes one? The editors of American Baby magazine don’t think so. American Baby’s bottom line on stroller buying? Any model safety-certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association will do.

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