My third pregnancy with Pippin is just approaching the mid-way point, and I remember that it was around this time when I was pregnant with the Wee Man that we started thinking about one of the big baby purchases that most parents make – the pushchair.
Or, in fact, the stroller, buggy, pram, travel system or pushchair – because it turns out that there is actually a HUGE range of different makes, models and types to choose from; something I had no idea about before becoming pregnant and not much more idea about when I started looking into which one we should get!
So how DO you decide which pushchair is best for you and your family?
Well, first of all, think about who will be using the pushchair. This of course includes parents, possibly grandparents, aunties, uncles, friends…but most importantly of all, the baby!
So, it needs to be comfortable – with space, recline, padding, footmuffs, hoods and raincovers that mean your baby will be happy wherever they’re being wheeled about and whatever the weather. It’s a good idea to think about your baby getting bigger too – the needs of a tiny baby compared to a massive toddler who’s gone into ‘plank’ mode (that’s the ‘unbending in the middle, I don’t want to sit and I don’t want to be strapped in’ stance that happens fairly frequently) or is jumping around in glee because they’ve just seen a ‘woof’ are vastly different. So a pushchair that will adapt and grow along with your baby is a must if you want to get your money’s worth. Oh, and don’t forget washability for all those explosive nappy incidents, inevitable leaky cups and potty training emergencies…
And then after that, there’s the comfort of the adults to consider.
Think about where you’ll be using the pushchair – does it need to fit on buses, be lightweight enough to lift up and down underground steps or to hoist into the car? Do you need it to fold up small to fit it in your house or your boot? Will it need to have a massive shopping basket to cart around all the baby paraphernalia and a weeks groceries in one go? Will you be going for woodland walks, trips around town or just up and down the shiny smooth floors of the local shopping centre?
On top of all that, one of the main factors is likely to be cost. Pushchairs range from under £100 to well over £1000, but in reality there is no need to spend massive amounts of cash to get a great quality pushchair that encompasses all the features you are after. It’s also worth thinking about whether you want it to last for more than one child – potentially it’s worth spending a bit more if it’s going to be used for years!
To help with making the best choice for your needs, BRITAX have come up with a list of useful points to consider before buying your perfect pushchair, and here they are:
• If you have a newborn baby, your pushchair should have a full lie-back seat unit. Not only is this the most comfortable position for your new arrival, it is also much safer and will help protect the soft bones in their neck whilst you’re on the move. Some models, such as the BRITAX affinity also come with fully reversible seat units so your baby can face you
• Those families with twins or small children close in age will need to find a pushchair to suit the needs of both siblings. Double side-by-side pushchairs such as the B-AGILE Double, or tandem options like the B-DUAL offer fantastic features that will suit any family looking after two young children
• Inner city mums are likely to be looking for something lightweight, with good portability that’s easily collapsible (preferably with a one-handed pull fold mechanism), particularly if you’ll be using their pushchair on public transport or have steps leading to your house. For those looking for a great all rounder which works well in the park or at the shops, the B-MOTION family caters for children from birth up to approximately four years of age
• Alternatively, those living in the countryside might like to make the most of their surroundings with an all-terrain stroller such as the BOB Sport Utility Stroller – its textured tyres and superior suspension will ensure a smooth ride for your child on even the bumpiest terrains
• All of the BRITAX pushchairs can convert to what is known as a travel system – using very simple CLICK & GO adaptors, you can attach a host of carriers, sleepers and carrycots
And of course, the best thing to do is to go and have a good old poke around what’s on offer and try before you buy – check out how the pushchair steers, folds, and feels before you part with your cash, and what accessories you can get included along with it. I was amazed at the variation between very similar looking pushchairs in terms of ease of use, and of course the Other Half needed to have his requirements met as well as mine too so it was important to find a pushchair that worked for both of us (he needed a tall handle and I needed a short one, since there is over a foot between us in height!). Remember the difference the weight of a baby in the pushchair will make as well – we took a heavy bag with us and dumped it in the pushchair to see how it affected the handling.
And don’t forget the kerb pop!
(That’s how easily you can get the pushchair to lift up a kerb when you’re crossing busy roads for example – I got a pushchair once that I had to practically jump on to make the wheels lift up…I won’t be making that mistake again).
It might sound like a lot of effort, but it’s worth it when you’re strolling down the street with a happy baby and a pushchair that’s right for you 🙂
I am a BRITAX Mumbassador and was sent some tips on choosing the right pushchair, which have formed the basis of this post. Words in red come directly from BRITAX, the rest are my own 🙂