As a short parent myself, I feel your pain.
I’m about 5′ 5″, and I already know the frustration of cribs, strollers, and other baby gear that just aren’t built for me.
When it comes to strollers, there’s nothing worse than a model that’s too tall for your frame.
Pushing your baby around for long stretches should be comfortable, not torture! When the handlebars are too high, it definitely feels like the latter.
If you’re looking for the best strollers for short moms (and dads), there are some pretty good options if you know where and how to look.
Here are my top picks:
- Best Lightweight Short Stroller: Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller (Amazon)
- Best Short Stroller Only: Peg Perego Book Stroller (Amazon)
- Best Short Stroller Travel System: Chicco Cortina CX (Travel System) (Amazon)
|Baby Jogger City Tour
|Peg Perego Book
|Chicco Cortina System
Best budget stroller for short moms and dads: Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller
Overview: This is a great lightweight stroller option for shorter parents on the go. It weighs a scant 18 pounds and is in the mold of an umbrella stroller, meaning it folds up relatively compact. It also comes with its own carrying bag, making it crazy portable for even really petite parents.
It comes at a fair price (though it’s not a bargain-bin model by any means) and has hundreds of positive reviews over on Amazon.
The handlebar doesn’t adjust but comes in at only 38-39″ off the ground, making it one of the shorter models around.
Max Height: 38.9 inches
Weight: 18.4 pounds
Adjustable Handlebar: No
Why I Like It: There’s a lot of value in having a really portable, lightweight stroller like the Baby Jogger City Tour. I really can’t stand super bulky baby gear like pack and plays and massive stroller systems (though they serve an important purpose in many situations… see below for a good short travel system). This model weighs in under 20 pounds and you can quite literally throw it over your shoulder like a backpack, making it great for trips to the zoo, park, aquarium, and more.
It’s also really short when it comes to handlebar height. 38″ is a solid couple of inches lower than most fixed-height handlebar strollers, making this a pretty good fit for parents as short as 5′ 0″ or below.
You’ll also love this stroller’s near-flat recline function (great for very young infants) and built-in sun-shade canopy.
Potential Drawbacks: There are two main reasons this stroller may not be a good fit for you. First, the handlebars don’t adjust. That’s a problem for couples with a short parent and a tall parent (this stroller will drive tall dads crazy, not to mention hurt their back). Adjustable models are great for couples because they can accommodate a wide range of pushers. Also, consider if you have a taller grandparent or uncle who might be using this stroller a lot and find it uncomfortable.
The other drawback is that, as a travel/lightweight/umbrella stroller, this model isn’t going to be great for long treks, bumpy paths, or carrying grocery or shopping bags. It’s not designed for heavy loads or off-roading.
Best mid-range stroller for short moms and dads: Peg Perego Book Stroller
Overview: If you’re looking for more of a full-sized option that can handle a bit more than your typical umbrella stroller, check out the Peg Perego Book. It’s a little heftier than the Baby Jogger model above, weighing about 27 pounds, but still folds up pretty small and should be easily portable for almost everyone.
When it comes to handlebar height, this model from Peg Perego has adjustable handlebars that’ll make both short and tall parents very happy.
Max Height: 41.7 inches (handlebar 34-31.7″)
Weight: 26.9 pounds
Adjustable Handlebar: Yes
Why I Like It: This is a nice step up in durability and sturdiness, but it’s still pretty portable and great for shorter stature parents. It’s a solid low profile full sized stroller.
The adjustable handlebar is the biggest selling point of this model, and it should be able to adjust to as low as 34 inches (that’s super low, so all you short parents should love this one), and as high as almost 42 inches. That’s about average height for most strollers. So this model should work for pretty much anyone.
Some other cool features you’ll probably love: The wheels rotate 360 degrees for a super smooth ride and great agility. The Book almost folds up really nice and tight (and easily) and can stand on its own when folded, which is a great feature. It’s also got great storage underneath and should be good for trips to the store and long walks with baby.
Potential Drawbacks: One thing I don’t love about this stroller is that it’s part of a travel system where the separate parts appear to be sold separately. The matching car seat and base, for example, costs nearly $300 making this an expensive system if you need the whole kit and kaboodle.
This model also doesn’t recline anywhere close to flat, which might be a drawback if you have super young infants who need the extra head and neck support.
Best high-end stroller for short moms and dads: Chicco Cortina CX Travel System
Overview: If you’re looking for a full travel system for shorter parents (full-sized stroller, car seat/carrier, and base), this option from Chicco is definitely worth a look. All pieces considered, it’s a good deal, and while it’s a bit of a bulky system, it’ll definitely fit your handlebar height needs, with three different built-in settings.
This is a perfect fit for short parents of young infants.
Max Height: 44 inches (plus two lower handlebar settings)
Weight: 47 pounds (all pieces)
Adjustable Handlebar: Yes
Why I Like It: The Cortina travel system is super sturdy, well-made, and perfect for parents of shorter stature. If you’re looking for a stroller that can handle a bit of rough and tumble, hold your shopping bags, and provide an uber-comfortable surrounding for a young infant, this is the one.
Let’s start with the handlebar. At its highest settings (44 inches) it should be perfect for all but the very tallest parents. And it also comes with two lower settings which should help out us shorties quite a bit.
The actual stroller itself has a big, sturdy sunblocking canopy and reclines into a fully flat position, making it a great stroller for napping babies. I also really like the parent tray which gives you a place to set your coffee and phone on long walks, or when your hands are tied up.
Potential Drawbacks: The biggest downside to this system is that it’s just big and bulky. Petite moms and dads may not love lugging this thing around. But it’s probably the best option on this list for very young babies because of its extra durability and comfort.
I do love that this stroller has a parent cupholder built in, but some reviewers complain that it’s too shallow to hold bigger cups. Some reviewers also note that this can be tough to fold up before you’ve gotten the hang of it.
What to look for before you buy & how to shop for a short stroller
So before I send you off into the wild world of retail all on your own, here are a few notes and tips for what you should be looking for as you’re browsing stroller options.
Adjustable handlebars or max handlebar height
This is the big one, and you have some different options here. If you’re a short parent, you can simply look for a low profile stroller or one with handlebars that are lower to the ground. That’s the simplest solution.
From everything I’ve seen, the average handlebar height is somewhere around 42″ and up (or 3 feet 6 inches and above). This isn’t too terrible, but 42″ is probably cutting it a little close for people who are close to 5 feet tall.
If possible look for a stroller with a maximum height of around 40″.
The other option, especially if you’re part of a couple with one tall and one short parent, is to find a stroller with an adjustable handlebar that accommodates both of you.
Chances are if you’re very short, around 5 feet or under, or even in the low 5′ range, you won’t be thrilled about lugging around a huge stroller all by yourself.
The height of the stroller is important, but that may be more easily dealt with than a stroller that’s too heavy for you to manage.
The weight of your stroller will definitely depend on the kind of stroller you choose (see below), but in general, if you’re a very petite mom or parent I would avoid a stroller over 30lbs.
This doesn’t have to do so much with your size as it does your planned usage of the stroller. You’ll have to figure out if a regular stroller, jogger, or umbrella stroller works best for you (or a full travel system with a car seat carrier that clicks into a full-size stroller).
This choice will affect the height and weight of the stroller most likely. Lightweight and umbrella strollers will be smaller and more portable, but less durable and functional. Full-sized strollers will be a bit larger but much less durable than often big and bulky joggers.
The choice and compromises you may have to make are up to you.
It can definitely be frustrating shopping for, well, anything when you don’t fit into the industry’s normal size range… clothes, swimsuits, and definitely strollers.
In fact, tall parents have their own issues with buying strollers… but that’s another article.
In general, look for something lightweight and a model where the handlebars are under 40″ or so. If you can find something you like with adjustable handlebars, that’ll work even better, especially if you’re a part of a couple.
For my money, I’d probably go with the Peg Perego Book stroller. It’s heftier and sturdier than a typical umbrella stroller, but not as bulky as one of those big travel system strollers. And the adjustable handle goes all the way to 34″ or so, which should be perfect for shorter parents.
Check out more specs and user reviews of the Peg Perego Book on Amazon.
Hope this helps, parents!
Short Stroller FAQ
What is the average height of a stroller handlebar?
Most strollers have handlebars that are about 40-45″ high off the ground. I would say a stroller is considered short if it handles are 40″ and below, or if it has adjustable options below that threshold.
What do I do if I bought a stroller and it’s too tall for me?
Return it! You should be able to send it back if it’s not too nicked up from use.
Another thing some parents do is keep their arms out straight when they push tall strollers. It helps make the handles feel like they’re not too high.
(And if the handle is digging into your upper chest, they’re too high!)
What should I do if I’m short and my partner is tall? What kind of stroller should we get?
Definitely look for a model with adjustable handlebars! My favorite pick, the Peg Perego (see link above) can go as low as 34″ all the way up to over 40″ or so, making it a good fit for most parents.