A stroller is one of those handy must-haves for every parent. But regardless of how convenient they are for toting your precious child around, they lack convenience in one key area: folding. While some strollers are significantly more straightforward to fold than others, each stroller model comes with its realm of challenges.
Well, parents, I think we have enough on our hands as it is. From sleep schedules to proper nutrition, potty training to baths, and playtime, our schedules are booked. Who has time to learn how to fold a stroller?
If you’re struggling in the stroller folding department, don’t panic. New and novice parents alike have dealt with a lack of stroller folding knowledge at one time or another, and I’m here to help.
Below, you will find the essential steps to fold a stroller. (Yes, every stroller brand is different and requires different techniques and tricks for folding – don’t worry, you can find that on this handy guide, too!)
How to Fold a Stroller: Six Tips for Success
Folding a stroller is essential, whether you’re trying to pack it in the trunk for a long trip or want to save space when storing a bulky stroller. Regardless of the reasons and stroller model you own, here are five tips that can work with any stroller type.
1. Check Your User Manual
Double-check with the user manual before you even think about folding your stroller. The user manual will have all of the “deets” when it comes to folding. For example, your Graco Stroller might have a simple one-click folding mechanism, while your Baby Trend stroller requires a few extra steps.
You won’t know unless you read the manual and the last thing you want to accidentally ruin your stroller when you’re trying to fold it away.
2. Prepare the Area
No, we’re not preparing for surgery – although folding a stroller can sometimes feel like it!
To prepare your stroller for folding, do these four critical things:
- Make sure your child is a safe distance away from the stroller, especially an older child that may be curious and end up with pinched fingers.
- Ensure the stroller is dry. A damp stroller can lead to mold or mildew development.
- Remove any kinks or warped areas with solid pliers.
- Lubricate the stroller frame, if necessary
3. Brakes and Locks
Trying to fold a stroller that doesn’t have the brakes or locks engaged can be challenging, if not impossible. This is due to safety purposes. So, although it might be an extra nuisance before folding your stroller, it’s essential for success.
Check your stroller. Does Doe sit come with brakes that can be locked using a lever? The locking mechanism is located on the rear wheels most of the time. Double-check and lock them down.
Some stroller models also come with swivel front wheels that must be locked before folding. Typically, the locking mechanism is found on the handlebar frame rather than on the wheel itself.
4. Retract the Canopy
It doesn’t really matter what kind of folding your stroller has; almost every stroller will be unable to break down with the canopy engaged. That said, you will want to retract the stroller’s canopy. To do this, you will simply pull the front of the canopy to the back, where the handlebars are located.
5. Remove Accessories
Most strollers come with a slew of accessories to make your job easier. That’s great and everything, and we appreciate that – right, parents? However, these handy-dandy accessories will need to say sayonara come folding time.
Accessories will need to be removed before attempting to fold your stroller. Why? Basically, they get in the way. Remove the food trays, parent cup holders, and anything else readily removed.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to remove any loose items in the basket underneath. I can’t tell you how often I accidentally broke (or almost broke!) something by leaving it in the basket while folding. Remember – even a lightweight frame is pretty hefty, so it can easily crush valuable goods hiding underneath.
6. Click and Fold
Every stroller comes with locking mechanisms that allow the user to fold. The mechanism could be in the form of a handle or lever, and more recently, a push-button. Sometimes, the frame’s locking mechanism is a combination of a push-button and a lever in another location on the stroller. Other times, there’s a handy one-fold stroller release mechanism.
Yes, strollers are quite complex – that’s why you need to double-check with the user manual before attempting to fold.
Regardless of which locking mechanism style your stroller has, it’s pretty simple to fold at this point. Engage the lock and push the handlebars forward into the seat. The stroller should collapse readily, whether you have an extra-large double jogging stroller or something with a smaller stroller frame.
If the stroller has a latch, use it to keep the stroller locked in a folded position.
Folding Different Kinds of Stroller Models
Graco strollers are some of my favorite strollers. They’re almost always budget-friendly, whether you buy the lightweight Graco Nimblelite Stroller for cruising around downtown or the Graco Modes Pramette Stroller to accommodate your newborn baby.
To fold these baby trollers, simply do the following:
- As above, start by locking the brakes and swivel front wheel(s), and reclining the canopy.
- Recline the toddler seat. If using as a baby stroller, remove the Graco car seat first.
- Fold using the handle. There may or may not be a push-button.
- Push forward to fold the stroller.
Other Graco strollers (especially newer Graco stroller models) are designed with a handy one-hand fold system. To fold the stroller, use the easy one-hand fold technique by pulling on the release handle found in the seat.
Below are instructions for folding the Graco Fastaction Stroller:
Below are instructions for folding the Graco Pack ‘n Play:
Below are instructions for folding the Graco Modes™ Pramette Stroller:
Below are instructions for folding the Graco FastAction Fold 2.0 Travel System:
Below are instructions for folding the Graco FastAction Fold Duo LX Stroller:
I love the Baby Trend brand because their baby strollers are designed with the active parent in mind. With that in mind, Baby Trend continuously creates innovative products that are easy to use. Just look at the Baby Trend Sit N Stand stroller, for example. This Baby Trend stroller is great for multiple kids yet is still so easy and convenient – unlike most other double strollers. Love it! The Baby Trend Expedition is another option for those with newborns. It comes with a car seat, so you don’t have to endlessly hunt for top-of-the-line car seats to tote your baby around in.
- Lock brakes. (Remove car seats if you’re using baby strollers like the Baby Trend Expedition or Sit N Stand Stroller)
- Pull the levers/Squeez the release buttons
- Fold the stroller and store your convenient Baby Trend stroller almost anywhere
No, really, it’s that easy. Don’t believe me? I implore you to go out and buy Baby Trend strollers. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did. Just remember: some Baby Trend strollers come with two levers that are likely placed at either side of the Baby Trend stroller handle. If the Baby Trend stroller has release buttons instead, they will be locked in the middle of the Baby Trend stroller handlebar.
Here is how to fold the Baby Trend Expedition:
Instruction for folding a Baby Trend Quick-Fold 2-in-1 Rocking Bassinet:
Instruction for folding a Baby Trend Tango Travel System:
Instruction for folding a Baby Trend TriFold Mini Demo:
Instruction for folding a Baby Trend Gravity Fold Stroller:
Some parents might be intimidated when trying to fold a BOB stroller. These double jogging strollers are no joke! But don’t worry – although they’re heavy-duty and ready to climb mountains, they’re still not too difficult to fold. (However, it’s not the same folding mechanism found on other strollers, such as the simple Graco FastAction System on some Graco Stroller models. The BOB stroller folding mechanisms are a bit more challenging).
- Release and push the handlebar using the button located on each side of the handlebar.
- Lock the brakes.
- Squeeze the levers located on the base of the handlebar.
- Grab the red handle and pull.
- Connect the two red straps sticking out.
- Store your folded stroller until you’re ready for the next adventure.
The video below shows how to fold a BOB stroller:
If you’re in a rush to get out the door or packing up after a long adventure, it can be very frustrating to discover your “foldable stroller” just won’t fold. What’s the deal? If you can’t fold it, there could be an issue with the baby stroller itself, the fold button, or something random entirely.
If you’re ready to pack up your baby gear and get moving, but your stroller isn’t cooperating, consider trying one of these troubleshooting techniques.
Check for obstructions.
One of the quickest solutions is to remove any obstructions. You may have a few items hanging around in the bottom of your double stroller, or perhaps you forgot to remove the child tray from your toddler stroller. Look over your stroller generously to see if anything needs to be removed.
Check for bends and warps.
A warped frame will not be folded properly, if at all. Use a pair of pliers to fix the frame and get moving.
Strollers that have not been used in several weeks or months can stiffen up and be impossible to reach the folded position, especially if kept in a garage. The best option is to use a little bit of lubricant throughout the frame.
Check the instruction manual.
Some strollers are simply more complicated than others. For example, the Graco Fastaction strollers fold easily, but a massive double stroller might pose a more significant challenge. Instead of ruining your strollers by trying to force them into folding action, it’s best to double-check with the instruction manual. This is especially true for older models that may not have the same convenience as most other baby strollers of this day and age.
Folding a stroller isn’t exactly fun, but brands are becoming more ingenious and making it easier on us parents (just look at the Baby Trend and Graco Stroller options, for example). Regardless of the brand you own, the best thing to do is to check the proper way to fold with the manual. Most of the time, you will need to engage the brakes, retract the canopy, and remove accessories, including the car seat, in order to fold.
I hope this guide has helped you, and I’ve put your folding worries to rest. Happy parenting!