With thousands of options out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve created a guide to help you choose the right product which fits your lifestyle, is practical and stylish but most importantly is the right option for you and your little one!
A few things to consider first…
- What’s the difference between prams, pushchairs and buggies?
- Prams are designed for new-borns or younger babies up to around 6 months old and are usually parent-facing.
- Pushchairs are more likely to be geared towards older babies and toddlers, tend to be forward-facing and may also be referred to as a ‘stroller’.
- ‘Buggies’ tend to refer to lightweight collapsible frames, also forward-facing.
- What’s your budget? By setting a budget you can refine what you’re looking for and give you a good starting point.
- Do you have a car? This might seem obvious, but you will need a push chair/buggy that folds in order to fit into your boot. Some products fold completely with the seat unit but others will require the removal of the seat and wheels.
- Are you and your partner planning on having more kids? If this is your first baby, having another one might seem a million years away, however studies show that most couples will have a second baby within 24 months of their first, which will require a double pram/buggy!
A pram is essentially a carrycot on wheels. New-born babies should lie flat in a pram as this protects their backs, assists with breathing and is considered much healthier for their overall development. For example, if your baby is lying in a scrunched-up position, his or her breathing can be compromised.
A pushchair is a type of baby-transport cart in which the baby is seated upright, such that the baby faces forward (in respect to the direction it is being pushed).
Different brands offer different models of pushchairs. Some are better suited to urban as opposed to country living and vice versa so it’s a good idea to consider where you will be doing most of the pushing and how big the boot of your car is.
A buggy is basically a folding stroller. Like the pushchair the child faces forward and is seated upright. Some buggies come with a detachable carrycot, or carrycots that convert into a buggy seat, so they can be used first as a pram, then a buggy as the child gets older.
There are a few different types of buggies:
- Standard buggy: 4-wheeler buggies are suitable for babies over 6months of age.
- Lightweight buggy: or a ‘stroller’. This type of buggy is perfect if you travel a lot, use public transport or go on holiday with your baby. They are also a godsend if you need to nip around town. These can weigh less than 6kg and usually fold down into a compact package.
- Jogger buggy: these are suitable for exercising with. It’s easy to spot a jogger buggy as it’ll most likely have large BMX-size wheels (around 10-12 inches). They have good suspension to absorb the shocks and bounces that come with pushing a buggy over uneven terrain, at speed.
- Rear/forward facing buggy: these can have a reversible seat unit, so you can have your baby face forwards or rearwards. Some research suggests that babies are more likely to sleep, laugh or interact with their parents if they are facing them in their buggy, however these tend to be more expensive.
- Twin buggy: this type of buggy transports two children, not necessarily of the same age, side by side. A twin buggy may have a reclining mechanism in each seat so you can independently operate each seat. A major benefit of a twin buggy is that both children get to look out and around, and they’re a good choice for twins or babies born fairly close together.
- Tandem buggy: these types of buggies have one seat in front of the other, or one seat stacked below the other. A tandem can usually carry two toddlers or a toddler and a new-born (one seat usually reclines fully so that a new-born can lie flat). However, a tandem can be very long (around 130cm) making it hard to steer. Weight can also be an issue and it can require a large storage space – some are bulky even when folded. And if your children are a similar age, using a tandem might provoke jealousy when it comes to who sits up front!
- 3-wheeler buggy: this type of buggy has one wheel at the front and two at the back of the chassis (frame). The front wheel is free to swivel or can be locked, so that the buggy goes in a straight line. These buggies provide superior maneuverability at the cost of comfort over rougher ground making them best suited for urban use.
Lastly, thinking about accessories?
We can sometimes be so focused on trying to choose the perfect pushchair that we overlook some very useful accessories. The right accessories can make daily life with your new arrival so much easier! Here are some must have haves…
- Changing bag. Whether you choose one that matches your pushchair or one from a different brand, be sure to check out the design of the bag and make sure it ticks all your boxes. Does it have a changing mat included? Insulated bottle pockets? Easy access?
- A parasol or sunshade. These will keep your little ones cool and protected from sunshine and any harmful rays.
- A cup holder. This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about essentials but if you value your morning coffee, holding a cup and pushing your pram isn’t the easiest of tasks!