Ten little fingers, ten little toes ...and a brand new stroller for you

So you're having to pack up that fancy Maclaren stroller and send it back to its maker because of the massive recall. Now what? It's not like you can get far without your stroller, especially if you live in the city.

But choosing a stroller these days is about as time-consuming as researching your next car. Do you want a jogger? An umbrella? A pram? A two-in-one? Are the Italian ones better than the Japanese ones? Is Graco better than Evenflo? What about double strollers? A side-by-side or a sit n' stand? Is a $500 Peg Perego lightweight better than an $80 lightweight from Evenflo?

The quick answer: Strollersource, a website that lets you compare stroller brands by price and form and function, with all of the facts and none of the hard-sell of a stroller salesman. While there is no shortage of stroller review and comparison shopping sites, this one has a simple, easy-to-use search function that is blissfully free of blinking, screaming shills. Very important for the frazzled, concentration-challenged mom, in my opinion. The site does not sell strollers at all, so you're getting just the facts, ma'am.

So you can feel free to think about what you want in a stroller: functionality or flash?

Back in the dark ages when I had my babies -- oh, about 13 years ago -- we had to rely on word-of-mouth and what was on stock at the local baby-mart when picking out strollers. (And we had to walk 20 miles in the snow to do it, too...) But then, just as now, strollers were status symbols. At least in San Francisco during the heady days of the dot.com boom, you were what you pushed. Maclaren was the upscale brand of choice, long before Bugaboo took it to another level, but Peg Perego were also favored among the more upscale moms. You could argue that the more expensive brands were better-made and more likely to last. But I always suspected otherwise.

So I never popped for a $300 Maclaren stroller. Instead, I ran my $40 Target brand special hard, all over town. It lasted for a baby and a half before I had to buy a replacement. And last I checked, both my kids have all fingers intact.

The lesson here I suppose is that when it comes to strollers, just because it's a big brand name that costs a lot of money doesn't necessarily translate into safe and sturdy. So now that you're in the market for a new stroller, think price and safety record first. Brand name last. And welcome to the new economy, kids.
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