There are so many kinds out there. What is the most important thing to consider? That it would be easy to close it or that the child will be facing toward you?
I bet there are books on "how to choose a stroller";) A short list of important things to consider:
- size and type of wheels - a stroller with bike-like large wheels will handle better than a stroller with small plastic wheels. It will also behave better in difficult terrain. Also, the inner tube should be replaceable.
- brake - it should have one. It should be impossible to move the stroller with the brake on. Are they easy to operate?
- stability/construction - try to shake the stroller when the brakes are on. It should tilt only slightly to the sides and hardly to front and back
- modularity - some strollers can be interchanged with car seats or prams. Travel Systems are quite handy.
- weight - if you have to go to places not adapted for strollers or disabled people, the weight will be an issue
- space it takes - can the stroller be easily disassembled (folded? sorry, struggling with English here) for transport?
- rocking - some strollers allow for some degree of rocking in vertical direction - it can be useful. It'd be good if such rocking can be easily enabled or disable
Additionally, I would suggest choosing the stroller in two pahases. First, go to the shop and find those you (and your partner) find acceptable. Then come with your baby and let it have some influence on your decision.
And lastly: take it for a test drive:)
You almost certainly will need more than one stroller. Don't try to get just one that is perfect; consider getting two imperfect ones that complement each other.
For example, portability is important; but you can get an umbrella stroller (a super-lightweight one that cost around $20-$30) for the times when you get on the bus or train and want very little space, and then buy a larger stroller that isn't as portable but has better features (big wheels, cup holders, etc.) for times when you don't need the portability.
It really depends on your usage. When my child was born, I didn't have a car and was going to college, so something sturdy that collapsed to being small and had a detachable section so that I could put her in a friend's car was important. For going around to class, I had a sling I held around me that kept her close to me and allowed me to sit in a desk. Also, because I would spend hours out and about with her in it, it needed to have plenty of storage space for her diapers, change of clothes (never know when something will happen), and other sundries (like a small med kit -- I'm a bit obsessive about planning for everything [though I didn't plan for her throwing up on me twice on the bus on one trip home!]).
So, ask yourself, what is your usage? Make a detailed list and search online for various strollers so that you can find one that meets your needs... then research complaints from owners by searching for "review stroller_name" or "complaint stroller_name". Finally, go to the store and check it out yourself. You'll be well-armed to make a good decision.
Finally, don't settle for price over quality -- they're not one and the same.
Hope that helps!
I have to say, this caused me a near nervous breakdown because there is just so much choice.
I looked at the practical element, and really struggled because it was nearly impossible to compare, but the key things for us were (in this order):
1) how easy was it to put up or down.
2) Would it fit into the boot of the car (and/or would there be space for shopping if it did)
3) How heavy was it.
HEavyness isn't always a bad thing, a bit of weight gives stability, but too heavy was a no-no, and storage isn't the everything because you can always carry a bag - you did before you had kids right? So for us, the ability to manuver it around when the kid wasn't in it was quite key. Imagine trying to get in or off a bus or in a carpark with the little one screaming. If it took more then 1 minute to collapse, that's a no no.
In the end, we bought a pram for the first year and a half, and swapped to a stroller, after that: for the pram we bought a moderately expensive one, to give protection when she was so small, but for the stroller we opted for a quite cheap, lightweight one that collapses really well. Its easy to push around when collapsed, so we can go into town and she can run but I have this for when she gets tired and we havn't finished shopping.
I don't think there is a perfect 'this stroller is the one everyone should buy', you've got to work out your priorities. You can rule off a bunch of strollers quickly, and narrow it down. Just don't do what I did and have a nervous breakdown over it.