On the list of things parents spend time thinking about, stroller maintenance probably doesn’t even break the top 10. From missed naps to potty-training accidents, your stroller is just another piece of gear you use to make it through the day. While you can probably get away with chucking it in the closet after each trip (out of sight, out of mind), you’ll get more out of your stroller if you give it the TLC it deserves. Here are five tricks to keep your stroller in tip-top shape, so you can worry less, parent more, and let the good times roll.
1. Keep the seat clean.
The stroller seat is the hub of all the action. From juice spills to impromptu mud baths to, dare we say it, messy diapers, your LO’s stroller seat bears the brunt of most messes. Use a damp cloth to spot clean spills, getting to the mess ASAP before it has a chance to settle in. Once you’re home, gently shake out any crumbs and use the nozzle attachment on your vacuum to grab any stubborn straggler crumbs.
For deeper stains or sticky spots, go back in with a damp cloth, cold water, and a mild soap to spot clean the affected areas again. Avoid harsh cleaners or bleach – they can damage the fabric. Detach what you can for an even deeper clean. Some stroller parts, like the fabric, can be thrown in the washing machine. Check the instruction manual before starting that load!
2. Wash the wheels.
You know what they say: A stroller is as good as its wheels. OK, maybe no one says that, but it’s true. The wheels are on the front lines of every family adventure, rolling through mud, sand, dirt, and more. After an especially messy day with the kiddos, give those stroller wheels a good wipe down to remove the grime. If the gunk is determined to stick, remove the wheels and give them a good soak and scrub until they sparkle (just like that twinkle in your little one’s eye).
3. Store it properly.
Your stroller can handle just about anything – for a while, at least. When storing your stroller between uses, keep it away from extreme temperatures, too much humidity, or exposed water. Just because you stroll outdoors doesn’t mean your stoller should stay out there! If you get caught in the rain, always dry the stroller frame before stowing it away. (Thank us later.)
4. Follow the weight limits.
The stroller handle might seem like the perfect place to hang your diaper bag, but attaching it there can cause the stroller to become unsteady and tip. You might be tempted to cram as much stuff into that storage basket as possible (that’s what it’s for, right?), but you’re better off making two trips from the car if you’ve got a lot to carry. Weight limits are created for a reason (we are Safety 1st, after all).
Speaking of weight limits, keep an eye on your kiddo’s height and weight to make sure they don’t exceed the stroller’s limits. They really do grow up fast. By then, they’ll probably want to walk on their own, but after a long day running between exhibits at the zoo, you never know
5. Maintain proper use.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Read. The. Manual. You’ll be able to stroll around with your little VIP for longer if you follow all the proper usage guidelines for your stroller. Learn how to open and fold your stroller, where to store your things, and more essential DOs and DON’Ts in your instruction manual. Then you can be on your way to the playground, grocery store, or any other adventure without breaking your stride.