Data shows that the average price it costs to raise a child from newborn to 18 years old is approximately £190,124. With having a family costing so much, making sure you’re getting the most out of your investments is essential – including your baby stroller.
Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, Product Innovation Director at Bugaboo, says: “A good pushchair is a worthwhile investment for any first-time parents. A pushchair should last you many years, and even a few children, if you treat it right. You should be checking over your pushchair every so often to make sure everything is safe and sturdy - cleaning and storing your pushchair properly can ensure you get the longevity you deserve.”
Looking after your stroller correctly involves making sure it is clean. Whether it is from a spill, storm, or a diaper situation, cleaning the fabric and frame regularly can keep your stroller looking and working its best.
Start by giving your stroller a quick hoover to remove any debris or larger pieces of dirt, especially if you have a toddler who snacks. Then, remove the fabric and wheels, if possible. You can then put the fabrics in the wash with your usual detergents, or scrub them lightly with soap and water – make sure to thoroughly dry these to avoid a damp, musky smell.
While your fabrics are air-drying, wipe down your stroller with a damp cloth and warm, soapy water. Leave the frame unfolded to allow it to air dry correctly. Once dry, reassemble and store away.
Storing it correctly
Aernout says: “Most strollers should have compact foldability. Storing it away neatly in a cupboard or in a corner of your home can make sure it doesn’t become a trip hazard and you’ll always know where it is when you need it. If you have a storage bag, this can keep your stroller safe and pest and dust-free no matter how long you have it in storage.”
To prevent your stroller from becoming damaged in the heat, try placing it in a cupboard near your doorway for easy access. If you’re storing your stroller away after a wet or wintery walk, make sure to wipe down the frame with a damp, then use a dry cloth to remove mud, rain, and salt from rusting your frame and giving the fabric a damp smell.
Any parts of your stroller that seem broken or damaged should be replaced. Things such as wheels and frames can be replaced and can make pushing your stroller easier if working properly. At the same time, the fabric should be replaced if you start to notice any wear and tear, which could compromise the integrity of your pushchair.
Where and what to check
Wheel health is important for your stroller. You should check once a month that these are turning the full circle for all wheels. They should also be able to turn freely. Try pushing your empty stroller forward lightly to make sure that it doesn’t lean or swivel sideways when pushed.
You should also check for wear and tear on the wheels where friction could have reduced the rubber – this can lead to difficulties pushing and might require their wheels to be oiled or replaced.
Seat or cot
You will also want to make sure your seat or cot is the right size for your child as they grow. If they’re getting too large for the cot, you might want to swap to a seated model. You should also regularly check there is no wear and tear on the fabric – which could give way.
Brakes are an essential part of modern strollers and can help with the health and safety of your child. You should test the brakes lightly while the stroller is empty. Simply apply the brakes and try to move your pushchair lightly.
If you’re noticing your brakes are getting in the way of your walking or coming away from the frame, they could be a trip or even a choking hazard. Making sure these are secure is essential for the safety of your baby – especially as they grow to be curious toddlers.
Frame and handles
Your stroller frame should be sturdy and secure. Pop up the stroller and check that your frame isn’t leaning to one side. Check your stroller when it is first delivered, then every so often, to make sure it is in good condition.
If your stroller is moving side to side as you walk, you can tighten your frame using the screws at the side or by contacting the manufacturer. And if your handles have worn down, or even broken, you can replace these too.
Straps and buttons
Your straps should be tight enough to secure your child. By placing a weight into your pushchair and strapping it in, you can check if the straps are strong enough for your journey. If you notice fraying or tears, make sure you replace these before use.
Your stroll straps should be tight enough on your child that they don’t slip over their shoulders once fixed, but not so tight it makes the journey uncomfortable.
Buttons should be secure to the stroller’s fabric. If you notice any buttons coming loose, these can cause a choking hazard and should be removed and replaced.
Before heading out on a wet walk, make sure you’re checking the security of your rain covers. These can be a real threat to your baby’s health and comfort if damaged or not used correctly. They should be free from rips and tears, which could end up in your baby becoming cold or wet. Air holes should be unobstructed, and the plastic should be clear for you to see through.
A good pushchair is an investment which can be used for multiple children across you and your family. So, making sure you’re taking good care of it can help it not only last longer but also keep you and your baby safe.
Aernout says: “Although all pushchairs must comply to the same safety rules and regulations, there is a difference in quality and longevity between brands. At Bugaboo, we take about 10 years of average use to build up our test program, whereas the normal safety standards take about 3 years into account. It can be useful to check websites like e-bay to see how many old models of a brand are for sale to get a feeling of the quality and longevity of the product."