Strollers are not simply the cars of the baby world. They’re a window into one’s very parenting soul. Look, we don’t want to judge a stroller by its rain cover, but you know everything you need to about the couple rocking that tricked-out $3,000 pram with a polished chrome chassis, hand-stitched canopy, and a patented suspension — a ride so pimped you’d think Xzibit was the father.
So, is it OK to judge? It is, as it turns out. “I totally judge people by their stroller. Some strollers cost more than my first car. It says a lot about your personality,” says Jennifer Beall Saxton, the founder and CEO of Tot Squad, a service that connects parents to experts in particular fields. “It’s hilarious how many people become obsessed with strollers. Some people have 11 strollers. Others get the free one off the curb.”
When parents are out in the wild pushing tots around (I’ve been doing a lot of these masked walkathons lately, aka the Pandemic Push), we read other strollers like tarot, searching for clues about the bro behind the Britax. It’s human nature. So what exactly does your stroller say about you?
If You Push… The Mass-Market Affordable Stroller
It tells the world: You’re centered and practical. You own a Honda Civic. You’ve done your research, read a few reviews, but you also know that wheels haven’t changed in the last thousand years and a few bumps in the road will prepare your baby for the realities of life. You don’t have time to decipher Scandinavian stroller directions. You probably have about 1,000 Instagram followers. There may no longer be a middle class in this country, but if there were, you would be there, warming up frozen TV dinners and eating Wonder bread. But never fear, your stroller doesn’t read “basic bitch” — it reads practical bitch, who understands this stroller has to last but not break the bank.
If You Push… The Practical Luxury Stroller
It tells the world: You appreciate “quality.” Would you call yourself rich? No… no, of course not… you’re comfortable. You’re doing just fine. And you love your little person and you want the best for them, so why not break the bank a little for a stroller that can do a bit of everything in style. You don’t own a BMW… but maybe one of those Audis that says your name when you get inside. You work hard, and your baby is going to be working hard, so a stroller that’s thoughtfully engineered and trimmed with leather (just a touch — it’s tasteful) doesn’t seem out of the question. And you think your nanny will probably enjoy pushing it. No shame. You work hard for your money. Get yourself something nice.
If You Push… The Umbrella Stroller
It tells the world: You don’t have time for bullshit. You live in a major market city and take mass transit. You have a fifth-floor walk up and you swear you’re not leaving. (See you in the burbs soon.) This is the stroller of the working person, the stroller that will get you a few blocks to daycare and then be chucked in a small room somewhere in the bowels of a learning center. These strollers are like umbrellas, and not just in weight and look: You will also lose this stroller in a coffee shop, and you’ll be pretty much OK with it. Simple, efficient, and flexible. You’re living your parenting life a few blocks at a time and you’re not overthinking it.
If You Push… The Jogging Stroller
It tells the world: You’re one of those people. Let’s get this out of the way. We hate you. But we envy you, too. Maybe the stroller is aspirational, but most likely you’re one of those people who carried a yoga mat to work, or maybe you have one of those water backpacks. Do you really need a backpack’s amount of water? How does that work? Either way, congrats on your healthy lifestyle and your fingertip push-ups. We hate you… but we also want to be you. And you know, now that we think about it, maybe we would jog if we had a stroller that could handle it, and maybe we would finally start our own business, and maybe we would finally submit to be on Shark Tank and dunk all over Mark Cuban… Where did you get that Thule Urban Glide 2 again?
If You Push… The Travel Stroller
It tells the world: You have multiple stamps in your passport, and you know that coffee is actually the best in Berlin. You were a pain in the ass after your first semester in college. You wore a scarf. You’re convinced that just because you had a baby doesn’t mean anything has to change, and so you’re still gonna jet set. Except, well… this is unfortunate. Not sure if you’ve read the news lately, but none of us are going anywhere…. So, why do you have this stroller? You have it for flexibility, because travel strollers are small yet functional. The multi-hyphenate of the stroller world. Travel, after all, is a state of mind, or a thing for parents who live in New Zealand.
If You Push… The Tricked-Out Statement Stroller
It tells the world: You’re a lesser Disney. Perhaps you’re an influencer? You can’t watch Succession because it hits too close to home. No matter how you made your money (it’s legacy wealth… which is true wealth), you live in a place where your stroller is a thing that matters to people. Status matters. And so does your baby. You can go top of the line, so you do. You turned down appearing on Housewives this season (sorry, Andy) so you can focus on raising your child. You might as well ghost-ride a stroller that costs more than the entire economy of a third-world country. Some people want to eat the rich, but they’ll really want to gobble up your bundle of joy when they see how cute they look in the Mima Xari.