Are you struggling to figure out how to fold your shiny new stroller?
Don’t feel bad. There are so many brands and models of strollers available, and they don’t all have the same folding mechanism. It feels like a conspiracy to make us parents feel stupid when we can’t figure out simple baby gear.
That’s why we’ve spent time learning the intricate process of stroller collapsing. We’ve written this article to help guide you through the various steps involved in folding different types of strollers so you can store yours safely and avoid any mishaps. We’ll also discuss some pitfalls you may encounter along the way.
- Engage brakes and lock swivel wheels before folding the stroller.
- Retract the canopy and remove all accessories before folding.
- Locate and use the locking mechanism to release the frame for folding.
- Fold the stroller, typically by pushing the handles toward the front, and secure it with a latch.
How to Fold a Stroller
Despite folding mechanisms not being the same across all strollers, there are some uniform steps to take:
1. Use the Brakes
Before folding, engage the brakes if your model has them, and lock any swivel wheels in position.
The brake locking mechanisms are usually located on the rear wheels.
Swivel wheels tend to be at the front of the stroller and usually have a lever that locks them in position. However, some may have a push button on the side of the stroller or are operated via the handlebar.
2. Retract the Canopy
Take hold of the front of the canopy and pull it back toward the rear of the stroller, in the direction of the handlebar.
3. Remove Accessories
Before folding the stroller, remove any accessories, such as sunshades, food trays, or cup holders. If a piece isn’t crucial for the stroller, consider it an accessory, and remove it before folding.
4. Locking Mechanism
There should be some sort of catch, lever, push button, or handle that releases the frame’s locking mechanism. It could also be a combination of a push button in the handle and a lever on the side.
If you’re unsure, refer to the user manual. Attempting to force any mechanism can result in damage to the working parts. If you don’t have the manual for your stroller, you should be able to locate it online. Check your stroller brand’s website; most will have PDF copies of any manuals.
5. The Folding Action
Most strollers fold by pushing the handle(s) toward the front of the stroller, collapsing it in the middle. The result is the handles sitting over the front wheels.
They should have a latch that then locks the stroller closed.
Top Stroller Folding Tips
Here are some key things you need to be aware of when folding a stroller:
- Safety: Ensure your child is safely away from the stroller when you begin the process so their fingers don’t get pinched. Watch out for your fingers as well (1).
- Ensure it’s dry: Folding and storing a wet or damp stroller can lead to mold or mildew. Wipe it down with a towel or let it air dry outside first.
- Avoid obstructions: If any fabric or straps are sticking out or you’ve left something in the basket underneath, the stroller may not collapse. Remove these obstructions and try again.
- Warped frame: Bent metal catches or a kink in the frame could stop your stroller from folding. Grab some pliers to straighten out metal catches, or straighten the frame while the stroller is unfolded.
- Lubrication: Joints and catches can sometimes seize on a stroller, especially if it’s stored outside in a garage or porch. Use a lubricant to get them moving again. Consult the user manual for a recommended product, or try WD-40.
- Don’t force it: There may be times when your stroller won’t fold properly. Don’t force it; take it back to the store. Forcing it to close could cause serious damage to you and the product.
Addressing the Folding of Different Brands
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if all strollers folded the same way?
We can’t make an exhaustive list of how every stroller model folds. But we’ve got you covered with some folding steps for the most common brands:
Older Graco Models
- Set the brakes: A lever or switch near the rear wheels will activate them.
- Lock the swivel wheels: If your model has them, lock them in place.
- Test the brakes: Give the stroller a push.
- Collapse the canopy: Simply fold it back.
- Recline the seat: Make sure to recline it as far as possible. Some models might have a catch to release the recline action.
- Check for a handle: Look near the base of the seat for a handle. Some will fold by pulling on this handle. Others might also require you to push down a button in the center of the stroller handle.
- Fold: The stroller should now fold by pushing the handles toward the base.
Newer Graco Models
Many newer Graco models have a one-hand release to fold them. Complete steps 1–5 as above and then:
- Locate the release handle: This is in the stroller’s seat, usually located below where your child sits.
- Pull the handle: The stroller should fold in on itself, with the handles moving toward the wheels.
If you are still unsure how your Graco stroller should fold, check your manual or visit the manufacturer’s website, where they have instructions.
BOB makes a variety of jogging strollers, which are popular with fitness buffs. They have an easy-to-close fold mechanism.
Here’s how to fold a BOB stroller:
- Release the handlebar: Push in the two buttons located on both sides of the handlebar.
- Push the handlebar: Push it forward until it clicks.
- Engage the brake: Use your foot by pushing down on the lever. It’s located at the rear left side of the stroller.
- Squeeze up the levers: These are located at the base on either side of the handlebar frame.
- Push the handlebar: Press it forward over the seat.
- Tug on the red handle: It should now be on top of the folded seat. Tug it to collapse the stroller.
- Connect the buckles: Close the stroller by connecting the two red buckles situated between the wheels.
Britax has several easy-fold strollers. To collapse and store them, take these steps:
- Brakes: Engage them.
- Storage basket: Fold in the basket underneath the stroller.
- Release the levers: They are located on either side of the handlebar.
- Handlebar: Fold the handlebar forward while stepping back.
- Lock: Ensure the stroller hinges lock together to hold the stroller closed.
Baby Trend Strollers
Baby Trend has many strollers designed for active moms. These often have a one-hand fold design.
Here’s how to fold them:
- Brakes: Engage the brakes. The locking mechanism is usually a foot lever behind the rear wheels or a hand lever located on the right-hand side of the stroller frame.
- Levers or release buttons: Either pull up the two trigger-style levers at each side of the handle or squeeze together the release buttons in the center of the handle.
- Fold: Fold the handle over toward the front wheel.
Some models, such as the City Select, have handles on either side of the seat that you pull up on to collapse the stroller.
Another popular brand is Chicco. It also uses a one-hand release fold system. Follow these steps to fold:
- Brakes: Engage them.
- Lift the black release handle: Located at the top of the stroller, just behind the handlebar.
- Storage tray: Place one foot on the lip of the storage tray.
- Fold: Push down with your foot and lift the black release handle at the same time.
- Canopy: Reach forward with one hand, and grasp the edge of the canopy while holding on to the handlebar with your other hand. Pull the canopy toward the handlebar.
- Secure the handlebar: Push the two buttons on either side of the handlebar to fold it down.