Choice is a wonderful thing until there is TOO much choice and your mind feels like exploding. When choosing a pram, pushchair or stroller we can sometimes be left feeling overwhelmed. We are bombarded with all sorts of information to consider including safety, durability and sometimes most importantly style. Friends, family and co-workers all pitch in with their strong opinions on what pram you should choose!
In an attempt to make your job a little easier we have broken this down into some important questions to consider:
Who will be the main user of the product?
We should make the main user the focus of the decision. If it's mum, dad, granny, or the child minder they may all have different requirements and specifications.
Is the carrycot at a suitable height for the user?
This is really important as you will lift your baby in and out of the carrycot multiple times every day (maybe up to 15 times). If the carrycot is low it can place a lot of strain on your back as you have to bend down this is especially true as your baby starts to get heavier.
Will you be doing a lot of walking and if so where?
If you plan on doing lots of outdoor walking in parks or on paths you should consider something with bigger wheels and better suspension. This will make it easier to push and absorb more of the impact on uneven surfaces. If you have no suspension your baby will feel every bump through their head, back and neck and will be very unlikely to sleep if you are on uneven surfaces. If you are a city slicker and your main walking is going to be in a shopping centre then a small wheeled pram that is more compact and easier to fold with a big shopping basket may be the choice for you. See below the Bugaboo Bee, a very popular city pram with small wheels and a compact fold. Beside is the Nuna Demi Grow which is a larger wheel base meaning better suspension and a bulkier fold.
Does the pram fit into your car:
The last thing anyone wants to have to do is buy a new car to fit your pram! If you will be putting your pram into a car you will need to be able to lift the pram and fit it into your car. So, before you invest in your new pram, take it out of the shop and check that you can lift and fit it easily into your boot. For example, the egg 2 has one of the most compact folds and fits into most boots wheras with the Uppababy Vista you may need to pop a wheel off to fit it in a smaller boot.
Future planning – have you considered a second child?
Some parents have everything mapped out and are looking for a pram that will modify to take two children. Other parents might like a bigger family but haven’t considered the potential age gap. So, when choosing ask if the pram will convert to allow two children or which ones will allow you to attach a buggy board. Buggy boards are great if there is an age gap of approx. 2 – 3 years between the two children. Or if you already have a small child and are expecting another you may want to choose a double buggy. Lots of choices!
Parent facing and forward-facing options:
When your baby is moved from the carrycot into the seat unit it is really helpful to know if the seat unit can be both parent and forward facing? We will be happy to have the baby facing us until the baby reaches about 12 months and then your baby will want to explore the environment and be forward facing.
Is your baby safe?
Regardless of what colour, shape or style of pram you decide on safety comes first. All prams should be subject to strict safety standards but here are a few considerations: a five point harness strap that is easy for you to secure and unbuckle, but not for a child, and also check that the brakes are reliable and easy to engage. Examine the frame to make sure that it is sturdy enough for your requirements and that there are no sharp edges or places small fingers and toes can get stuck in.
Does your carseat fit on your pram?
For the first six months your baby will hopefully fall asleep most times you are in the car. For this reason it is handy to have a carseat that fits directly onto your pram. A quick run into the shop with your sleeping baby in a carseat is a lot more pleasant than with your screaming baby who you have woken up by moving them. Due to the carseat not being entirely flat, there is a 60 minute limit for the first 4 months and 90 minutes from then on.
We wouldn’t consider buying a car without test driving it so do the same with your pram – bring it for a spin around the store. Please don’t be afraid to lift the buggy up, fit your handbag in and out of the carrycot multiple times to see if you have to bend down, put your bag in the pram and push it around the store, fold it and then reassemble it, put it in your car boot and see how much space it takes up. These are all simple things but you will be surprised at what you discover.
Best of luck with your adventures.