One of the first things you should know about newborns is…
… they can’t hold their head up on their own!
Their little neck muscles just aren’t strong enough for the first month or more.
This is a huge factor when it comes to infant safety in strollers.
Most strollers for newborns will offer a significantly reclined seating position (if it doesn’t, beware… it’s probably not suitable for kids under 6 months), but the best, safest, and most comfortable position for newborns is full incline, or flat.
So what are the best fully reclining strollers for a newborn (strollers that lay flat)?
If you’re looking for the best fully-reclining strollers for newborns, here are my top 3 picks:
- Best Budget Stroller: Maclaren Quest Arc Stroller (Amazon)
- Best Mid-Range Stroller: Mountain Buggy Terrain Premium Jogging Stroller (Amazon)
- Best High-End Stroller: UPPAbaby Vista Stroller (Amazon)
|Maclaren Quest Arc||Extremely lightweight, umbrella style, budget-friendly||Check on Amazon|
|Mountain Buggy Terrain||Tough & durable jogger, mid-range price, excellent value – My overall favorite||Check on Amazon|
|UPPAbaby Vista||Sturdy carriage-style stroller, gorgeous design, unlimited canopy options||Check on Amazon|
How to shop for a lay down newborn stroller
These days, it’s hard to go too wrong when shopping for baby equipment and accessories.
You pick a budget, read some reviews to make sure the product isn’t a total dud, and things are bound to work out pretty well.
The biggest problem is that there are SO many options it can be overwhelming.
So the best thing you can do before you start shopping is to figure out what you actually need, and start narrowing down the options.
Here are the 3 basic kinds of strollers:
- Travel systems / car seat compatible strollers: If you just want one stroller that you use for pretty much everything, this is the way to go. In this case, you’ll usually buy a stroller and matching car seat and base all at once and call it a day. You’ll install the base in your car, then easily click baby in and out of the car and stroller as needed. The upside to this is that it’s mega convenient to just use one system for everything. The downside is that these systems are usually bulky, and the stroller itself isn’t always the best once baby outgrows in the infant carrier.
- Umbrella strollers: These are usually for slightly older babies and toddlers, but as I wrote above, there are a select few that are great for newborns too. These are lightweight, foldable, super portable strollers that are great for short day trips and traveling. They’re also usually a lot less expensive. The downside here is that you often can’t pop baby’s carrier into these, and they’re not great for rough terrain, long stretches in the stroller, or carrying shopping or grocery bags.
- Joggers: Again, joggers are often best suited to babies older than 6 months, but the one I listed above (the Mountain Buggy Terrain) is a great example of a newborn-friendly jogger. These are the toughest and most durable strollers around, meant for… well… jogging. But they’re really great for any long walk, a long day in the stroller, going on rough terrain or trails, or holding a bunch of your stuff underneath! The downside? They’re huge and a pain to lug around.
Most parents end up using some combination of these strollers to cover all their needs.
They might use a travel system for most day to day stuff, but they’ll have a lightweight umbrella stroller around for traveling and quick trips.
Or they’ll pair a big, hefty jogger with an umbrella stroller and switch between them as needed.
The first step toward buying a good newborn stroller is to figure out how you’ll be using it on a daily basis and go from there.
Your other option instead of a lay flat stroller with recline (or, in this case, full recline), would be a pram-style stroller.
Prams are basically cradles on wheels, and they are generally locked in a fully reclined, horizontal position so baby can sit up, roll around, and sleep comfortably.
Prams tend to be really ergonomic and easy to push. The downside of prams is that once baby outgrows them, many of them don’t convert into a regular stroller.
However, you can definitely find some prams that convert and evolve as baby grows — if you can find one, they’re a great investment!
Best Budget Fully-Reclining Stroller: Maclaren Quest Arc Stroller (Simple umbrella stroller)
Overview: The most common stroller option for a newborn is going to be one that integrates easily with your car seat and carrier. It’s mega easy to just transfer baby from one to the other without a whole lot of fuss. HOWEVER, Mayo Clinic recommends not leaving your baby in the car seat carrier for more than 2 hours at a time, even if they’re sleeping.
With that in mind, it pays to have a simple, lightweight umbrella stroller available for your newborn that features a completely flat, reclined position.
This stroller from Maclaren is a fantastic option: lightweight, durable, supremely easy to use, and with an unmatched lifetime warranty
Weight: 12.2 pounds
Weight Limit: 55 pounds
Why I Like It: Big strollers that attach to car seat carriers can be really bulky and difficult to lug around. I love this simple umbrella stroller for newborns because it’s really portable and one of the few strollers in this style that offers full recline.
A few other features I like about the Maclaren Quest Arc:
- Waterproof, SPF 50+ sun visor to protect baby
- Machine washable seat
- Full rain cover and tether
- Ships completely assembled
Plus, the warranty on this stroller is one of a kind. You’ll get access to replacement parts for the lifetime of the stroller, which makes this an ideal piece of equipment to grow with your baby or keep around for baby number 2.
Potential Drawbacks: For the “budget” option on this list, you might find the price on the Maclaren a little higher than you’d like. It’s the cheapest option on my list, and the quality and warranty are through the roof, so for that reason, I think it’s the best option.
(I wouldn’t skimp on this if you’re planning to get a lot of use out of your baby stroller.)
This stroller also only comes in black, silver, and charcoal. More color options would be ideal.
Best Mid-Range Fully-Reclining Stroller: Mountain Buggy Terrain Premium Jogging Stroller (Jogger)
Overview: Jogging strollers are a fantastic choice for going off-terrain with baby (like walking in parks or on roughly paved trails), or for any occasion where you’ll be pushing the stroller long distances. And, of course, running!
But it’s rare to find a jogger that offers full recline, which is exactly what makes this option from Mountain Buggy so awesome.
You can use this stroller as a stand-alone jogger with it’s many reclining positions, or use it to click into a cot-carrier from the same brand. They even say it’s compatible with most major car seat brands.
If you like jogger style strollers, this is one of the few around you can start using as soon as your baby is born. You’ll get a ton of use out of it.
Weight: 28.5 pounds
Weight Limit: 55 pounds
Why I Like It: I’ll reiterate what I wrote above: If you like jogger style strollers for their durability, maneuverability, and convenience, then you’ll absolutely love this one. It’s one of the only ones I’ve found that’s compatible with newborns and offers the full recline position.
A few other features I like about this jogger:
- Adjustable handlebar height
- Handbrake and foot pedal
- Holds up to 55 pounds (should last you a while!)
- Can fit lots of accessories like carriers, duffels, and car seats
- Fold it up with one hand
- Zip-covered gear tray
Reviewers love that the stroller includes extra wheels, just in case, and the awesome brakes that help you keep full control even on hills and rough terrain.
Potential Drawbacks: This is a pricey option, for sure. The quality and features are outstanding, but be prepared to shell out a pretty penny.
It weighs 28 pounds, which is pretty bulky and won’t be easy for petite parents to lug around on their own. The size is par for the course when it comes to joggers, but if you’re looking for something mega portable, this one might be too big.
Best High-End Fully-Reclining Stroller: UPPAbaby Visa Stroller (Car seat compatible)
Overview: If you’re looking for a true, do-it-all stroller design and exceptional quality, you probably won’t do much better than the UPPAbaby Vista.
This is your classic, old-school newborn stroller. It connects to an infant car seat from the same brand (the MESA), can adjust from rear to front facing, and has a completely flat (fully reclined) bassinet-style attachment for newborns.
You know the kinds of baby strollers you see people pushing newborns around in in old movies? This is like one of those with some modern touches, amazing design, and top of the line safety.
Style: Pram/bassinet/carriage + car seat compatible
Weight: 50 pounds (including bassinet attachment)
Weight Limit: 50 pounds
Why I Like It: This gorgeous and stylish stroller pretty much does everything, and should quickly become your go-to, day-to-day infant stroller.
For a completely newborn baby, it doesn’t get much better than the bassinet / basket. Plop them in there and they’ll be comfortable, sleep wonderfully, and have lots of room to stretch out.
Not to mention they’ll be super safe with their head and neck supported.
A few other features I like about this one:
- Amazing design with high-quality cloth and leather components
- So many canopy options!
- Front and rear-facing
- One-step fold
- Huge storage basket underneath
- Unbelievably smooth ride
Reviewers on Amazon say they’re blown away by the design and quality here, as well as the easy operation.
Potential Drawbacks: Two main things:
- It’s HEAVY
- It’s expensive
With all the attachments included, this stroller is edging close to 50 pounds. That’s a lot to be lugging around day to day.
The comfort for baby and overall quality are unmatched, but at some point you might be interested in a more portable option.
It’s also the most expensive option on the list, by a good margin. You’ll pay a pretty penny for top of the line design and quality.
Fully reclining strollers are amazing for newborns.
They’re the safest option, for one, and the most comfortable for young babies who can’t hold their heads up.
If you’re looking for a stroller for your newborn, full recline is a really nice option, however, it’s not 100% necessary.
As long as the stroller can recline significantly and cushion baby’s head and neck properly, you’ll be fine. Stay away from joggers and umbrella strollers that don’t offer much recline — you can switch over to one of those when baby is about 6 months old or so, if you want.
For my money, I really love the Mountain Buggy Terrain Jogger fully reclining stroller.
There’s just so much it can do, and the design and packing are incredibly well-thought-out. I also love that, depending on the brand, you might be able to connect your car seat to it, which gives it even more functionality. It’s on the heavy side and comes at a higher cost, but it’s one of the best newborn stroller options around.
Check out the Mountain Buggy Terrain on Amazon here.
Hope this helps, parents!