How to Buy a Stroller for Big Kids (Large Toddlers, 5-Year-Olds or Even 6-Year-Olds)

By Sara Ipatenco
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A strollers is a necessity if you have an infant or a toddler, but many parents continue using them even as their children approach preschool and school age. You might need a stroller for your older child if he has a developmental delay that prevents him from walking for long periods of time or if you have several children in your care at once and need a safe way to keep track of them all. Choosing a stroller for a big kid can take a bit more work than selecting one for a baby, but numerous options are available.

Measure and Weigh Your Child

Measure your child's height and weight. Strollers have a weight limit, so it's essential to know how much your child weighs in order to choose a stroller that can safely accommodate him. While strollers usually specify no height limit, knowing how tall your child is will help you choose a stroller that he can comfortably sit in. Some strollers are designed to allow an older child to stand up, and these might accommodate heavier and taller children. Be sure to check weight guidelines for these types of strollers.

Do Your Homework

Do a bit of research to determine what brands and types of strollers are best for older children. Ask other parents who use strollers for their older children for recommendations. This can be especially helpful for learning what brands of strollers roll most easily with a big kid inside or how comfortable certain strollers are for older children to sit in. Visit children-focused websites such as KidsHealth or HealthyChildren.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. These sites offer tips on buying safe items for children, including strollers.

Take a Test Run

Take your child to retail stores that sell strollers and try a few of them out. Have your child sit in the stroller. Strap him in and push the stroller up and down the aisles a few times. This will help you determine if the stroller's straps are large enough to use with your bigger kid, as well as whether the stroller will be comfortable enough for him. Press lightly on the handles of the stroller to be sure it's stable and won't tip over easily, recommends KidsHealth. Register your stroller as soon as you buy it so the manufacturer can contact you if it's ever recalled and you can maintain your warranty should you need a replacement part or a replacement stroller.

Consider a Used Stroller

Since your child is older and might not be using a stroller for too much longer, you might save some money by opting for a used stroller. If you're considering a used stroller, do a test run, but also check to make sure the straps are intact, that there aren't any loose or missing parts and that the brakes are in good working order. Before you buy a used stroller, go online and visit the website of the manufacturer of the one you're considering. Type in the make and model of the stroller to see if it's been recalled for any reason. Alternately, call the company directly to get recall information.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.