Are you considering buying a used stroller?
Or maybe you’ve have one or been given one that is many years old.
And it’s got you thinking ‘do strollers expire?’
It’s actually a common question asked by many parents, with good reason as the safety of your baby is paramount.
That’s why we put together this guide on using old strollers, so we can answer all those burning questions you may have on buying or using a used stroller.
And while we are talking about old baby products, you might want to check out our guides on how to clean a stroller, best stroller car seat combo, and do car seats expire. Or our Nuna vs Uppababy review.
Do Strollers Expire?
Do strollers have an expiration date?
The simple answer is no.
Strollers do not have an expiration date and with the proper care can go on to be used for multiple children.
If you see an expiration date on your travel system package this date is actually for the car seat and car seat base.
This expiration date on your car seat and stroller set is a notification of when the plastic in the car seat is expected to begin to break down and degrade. This plastic can then no longer be trusted to protect your baby from harm in a car accident.
So, if your stroller doesn’t expire will it last forever?
Strollers like all things are not made to last forever. While they do not have an expiration date they do tend to need to be replaced after a few years of use.
The better you care for them the longer they will last.
Ways Your Stroller Can Break Down And How To Protect It
While you may opt to buy a baby carrier due to their ease, many parents will invest in purchasing a stroller.
The good news is, with proper care and maintenance strollers can generally be used for multiple children or sold to recoup some of your investment.
So, let’s look at the ways in which your stroller may break down and how you can best protect it.
Stollers get dirty and they get dirty fast.
Most toddlers can be found with a sippy cup and a snack in their stroller. In fact, most strollers come with a tray designed just for this.
However, although this may be very practical, it leads to the stroller getting dirty and needing to be cleaned.
Unfortunately, though, cleaning the stroller leaves many parents are disappointed when cleaning it doesn’t go as planned.
May stroller’s seats are made of thick cardboard-like compost material that does not hold up well to getting wet. While the fabric covering it may be waterproof that doesn’t mean you can wash it with a lot of water and not risk the stroller breaking down.
So, for the best results, you should spot clean your stroller often to keep it from getting out of control.
If the stroller gets too dirty you can opt to do the occasional steam cleaning to help reduce fabrics to their original state. Use a steam cleaner designed to soak up the water that it pushes out to prevent from soaking the stroller completely. Leave the stroller out in the sun to dry.
Or hire a professional to clean it for you, especially between children.
2. Check The Tiers And Traction
Stroller tires like all tires tend to break down over time.
This is because the plastic or rubber wears off on rough surfaces.
If your stroller has air in the tires, you may also discover problems with them losing air. For most higher-end strollers replacement tires are easy to find on the manufacturer’s website so you can help make your stroller last longer.
If your stroller has air in the tires, you should consider keeping a small hand pump in the basket of your stroller. This can make it easy to air the tire up if it ends up low while you are out and about to help tide you over until you can do a repair.
Most stroller tires that are filled with air can be prepared with a basic bicycle tire repair kit.
3. Grease The Axles
As your stroller gets older the axles are likely to squeak. This can be annoying and near impossible to ignore.
If you find yourself in this situation you can simply grease the axles to stop the sound so you can enjoy your stroller longer.
This trick also works if the breaks or folding locks start to stick due to the manufacturer’s grease wearing off.
4. Tighten The Bolts
As your stroller ages, it is likely to take on a bit of wobble.
This can be a bit scary and make you think it is time to get rid of your stroller but more often than not this is caused by normal listening of nuts and bolts in the stroller.
Just like everything else, movement and the rumbling of rolling across the ground can loosen things up in your stroller.
If you notice some wobble, simply grab your tools and tighten everything up a bit starting from the ground up. This should fix the problem.
If it keeps happening again you can use lock-tight to help keep the screw and bolts where they belong. It is very common for the threads to wear out a bit with use.
What To Do When You Are Done With Your Stroller?
Seeing strollers do not expire you do not have to get rid of them when you are done with them.
You can save it for a future baby, donate to a women’s shelter, or pass it on to a friend that would appreciate having another stroller for their baby.
While it is best to never sell a car seat that came with your stroller, even if it has not been in an accident.
This is simply because the plastic degrades over time.
The stroller that came in your travel system on the other hand can be a blessing to a mom using a convertible car seat or wanting an extra stroller to match their travel system.
When Should You Get Rid Of Your Stroller?
While your stroller doesn’t expire it doesn’t last forever, so there are times when it is best to let things go for safety reasons.
Here are a few signs you should toss the stroller instead of keeping it or passing it on:
1. The Stroller Wobbles And You Can Not Fix It
While most wobbling in a stroller can be fixed with a wrench or screwdriver and a bit of elbow grease this is not always the case. If your stroller wobbles and this doesn’t fix it odds are something important is broken and your best bet is to let your old stroller go.
2. The Bottom Of The Seat Breaks
The composite material on the bottom of stroller seats doesn’t last forever. If this breaks the stroller is no longer comfortable or safe for your baby to sit in. Your baby can even get hurt on any edges that may poke through the fabric.
3. The Safety Straps Are Damaged
The safety straps on your stroller are important to protecting your baby. Going over a bump, incline, or simply going and stopping too fast could cause your baby to slip out of the stroller without the straps. These safety straps also help keep your little one from being brave and climbing out on their own while you are moving.
4. The Folding Mechanism Is Broken
If the folding mechanism on your stroller is broken it could lead to the stroller folding itself while your baby is in it or pinching their finger when they manage to open it on their own.
Final Thoughts on Do Strollers Have Expiration Dates
Whilst strollers do not have an expiry date, that doesn’t mean that you can use them forever. It is important to regularly clean and maintain your stroller so you can ensure the safety of your children.
We hope this guide has been helpful in answering your questions on how long do strollers last and how often to change your stroller.