by Andrea Sparks
A stroller can make outings with your child easier on you, so show your stroller some love in return by properly taking care of it. Whether you're pushing it out the door or packing it up, you want to make sure your stroller is in top shape for your baby. Properly taking care of and maintaining your baby gear can help prevent accidents and injuries.
Cleaning: You'll want to make sure to clean your stroller on occasion, especially if you often take walks outside. Whether you're cleaning up a small mess or doing a deep cleaning, you'll want to make sure you clean your stroller properly. Start by vacuuming out all crumbs and dirt. Then wipe down wheels and hardware with soap and water. Fabrics should always be washed or wiped down with cool water to avoid shrinking. Be sure to completely remove all accessories and toys and wash them separately.
Storage: When storing your stroller, you'll want to make sure it is protected while not in use. If your stroller comes with a protective case or bag, you'll want to make sure to use it while your stroller is in storage. Keep your stroller away from heat or air conditioning vents, windows, furnaces or anything else that can cause a dramatic change in temperature. Extreme temperatures and frequent temperature changes can cause the pieces of your stroller to warp or crack. You'll also want to make sure your stroller is stored in a dry, clean area to keep fabrics from mildewing.
Maintenance: To keep it in the best shape, you'll want to make sure you properly maintain your stroller. If pieces break or wear out, make sure to replace them with the proper pieces from the manufacturer to keep them working correctly. Clean and oil joints frequently to avoid stiffness and breakage in the hardware.
Height and weight limits: Many strollers have maximum weight and height limits. Just as it's important not to put infants in too large of a stroller, you don't want to put toddlers in too small of a stroller. Not only is it uncomfortable and dangerous for your child, but it can wear down the fabrics and hardware in your stroller as well.
Proper use: Properly caring for your stroller also means only using it for its designated purpose. If you want to go jogging with your child, don't attempt to use your everyday stroller as they are not built to endure the bumps and speed of jogging. Likewise, using a jogging stroller for everyday use can wear down the tires quickly, making it unsafe for the times when you do want to take a jog. An umbrella stroller is lightweight and easy to use, but it's not meant for extended periods of use. It's a good idea to invest in various strollers for different uses.
Traveling: Whether packing up the car or catching a flight, you'll want to make sure you have your stroller properly packed up for the trip. If your stroller comes with a protective storage/carrying case or bag, that is the best way to keep your stroller safe from scratches, dings and breaks during travel. If you do not have a protective case for your stroller, a heavy-duty plastic bag will help protect it. Make sure to take off any accessories before packing your stroller up, so that there won't be any undue stress on these pieces that can cause them to break off. You can pack any accessories separately to keep them and your stroller safe.