Once the euphoria of seeing a positive pregnancy test for the second time has passed, your mind quickly turns to the practical as you rush to remember all that’s involved in caring for a newborn. Tiny diapers, tummy-time mats, and of course, safely transporting a delicate little person to and fro.

If you already have a little one running around, buying a double stroller seems like an obvious solution. But maneuvering one—much like caring for two children—can be twice as difficult. Here are three questions to consider before you buy a double stroller.  

How Old Are Your Children?

The families best served by side-by-side double strollers are those with twins. That’s because double strollers often pull to one side when the weight distribution is uneven. Solid performers like the Bugaboo Donkey Duo, $1,400, are easy to maneuver, particularly when kids are of similar sizes.

If your children are different ages and sizes, a tandem stroller may be a better bet. But think of the seating like what you'll find in an airplane. The front seat is roomy, like first class, and the rear is more akin to coach, and the backseat passenger may feel the crunch as she grows. And while some tandem models, like the Chicco Cortina Together, $300, accept a compatible car seat, you’ll often need to secure it in the front seat, leaving a larger child with less room. The best models offer the ability to change seating arrangements, allowing both children to face each other or the older kid to stand while the younger child reclines. 

Does a Double Stroller Fit Your Life?

All double strollers require trade-offs in terms of space. Side-by-side models—in which children are seated next to each other—are generally twice as wide, which can make it difficult to get through narrow doorways or hallways and tricky to get onto elevators, all of which you’re likely to encounter in urban areas.

Tandem models, in which one child sits in front of the other, can go just about anywhere a single stroller can go, but they’re more difficult to maneuver over curbs and thresholds. And while most double models are heavier and harder to fold into a car trunk, that's a trait you'll really notice in tandem models because of their length. 

How Often Do You Use Your Current Stroller?

If you use your current stroller daily, you may not love the feel of driving a double stroller. For a first-time user, the experience can resemble the sensation of driving a giant SUV if you’re used to a subcompact. And our stroller tests reveal that double models often sacrifice maneuverability and ease of use for the convenience of toting two kids in a single stroller—though some recommended models are surprisingly nimble.

In addition, certain double models are more prone to tipovers. We currently recommend just three models that received a score of Very Good or Excellent in our safety tests—the Joovy Scooter X2, $280, the Graco FastAction Fold Duo Click Connect, $280, and the Bugaboo Donkey Duo, $1,400. Ten single models meet that criteria. To avoid sacrificing safety for convenience, choose a double model with safety features like a five-point harness, and look for the logo from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). Those models have been tested to comply with ASTM safety standards for pinch points, braking, harnesses, and other important safety features.

If two parents are usually around to each tote a child, consider buying the best stroller for each, and maybe buying an inexpensive double stroller for the occasions when mom or dad is flying solo.  

In the end, the strongest case for a double stroller is that it's the only device designed to transport two or more kids at once. And if that's what you need, check out our stroller buying guide and go for it. If you live in a city or small town, start by browsing tandem models. If you live in the suburbs or country, side-by-side models are easier to maneuver and stash in the trunk of your car, plus you're less likely to encounter obstacles like narrow store aisles or elevators.

If one of the children you'll be transporting is under 6 months, look for a double stroller that accepts an infant car seat. And last, if you're on the fence about the purchase, consider how long both kids will need the stroller. If they're more than two years apart, you may be better off buying a wearable infant carrier for the baby until your toddler is old enough to walk on his own and can give up his stroller.

Need a stroller? See our full stroller ratings and recommendations of all types of single and double strollers.