Choosing a Pram / Pushchair / Buggy

One of the biggest and most expensive baby buys that you are going to make is your pram (or pushchair/buggy/travel system).  So it is important to get the right product for your needs. There is a huge variety of transport for your baby in today’s market, so let us try and guide you through buying a pram.

Read our reviews of prams, pushchairs and buggies.

Have you tried out or got one of these? Tell us about your experiences.

Points to consider

Types of pram / pushchair

Your Pram / Pushchair Budget

When buying a pram you will need to work out what you can afford. Take into consideration if the pram’s price includes items you will require; such as a rain cover, sunshade or foot muff for example. Sometimes the main price shown will just be for the prams chassis. Find out what the price covers exactly, as what can look like a good deal will not be so appealing when you see how many essentials you will need to pay extra for.

You will also need to consider how long the pram will last you for. If you are planning to have more children close together, would it be worth buying a pram that you can get a doubles kit for to turn into a tandem.

You can get some very reasonably priced prams from new. Another (greener) option would be to look on eBay for a second hand pram. Try to get one that has a manual with it if possible to make life easier. Or you could scour car boot sales for a bargain. Make sure the seller shows you how to put it up and fold it down again, to see it’s in full working order and so you know how to do it.

Where Will You Use the Pram / Pushchair?

Will you be pushing the pram through country lanes or off road? Or will you be strolling around town in and out of shops? This should influence your pram choice. Pushing through muddy, bumpy terrain will require a sturdier pram with good suspension.

A fixable front wheel is better for off roading. A pram for walks in town may need to be slimmer for easy access in shops, storage for shopping and wheel s that can swivel to make it easier to manoeuvre.

Will I be Mainly Walking (or Jogging)?

If you will be walking for the whole journey instead of using a car and public transport too or walking long distances you will need something that is comfortable for both you and your baby. It will need good suspension and a reclining seat.  The handles will need to be at the right height for you.

If you intend to use it for jogging, then a 3 wheeler with pneumatic wheels is your best bet. Large wheels make a smoother ride and a lightweight frame will be an advantage.

Will I be Transporting the Pram in the Car?

If you need to take the pram in the car, then it will need to be able to fit in your boot safely. Consider if the pram is easy to fold, will it fold flat enough to fit into the car and will you be able to lift it into the car?

A travel system would have the advantage of being able to lift the car seat from car to chassis and back again, without disturbing the baby.

Will I be Taking the Pram Onto Public Transport?

Ask yourself if the pram would be easy to get on and off a bus or train? Can you lift it? Will it obstruct the aisles? Could it be folded to store if required?

The Weight of the Pram

As we have already mentioned, if you will have to lift your pram at all you will need  it to be light enough for you to do this, without risking injury.

Try lifting it in the shop. Also if you are doing a lot of walking or jogging a lightweight frame will make this more comfortable.

What is the size of the pram folded?

When it comes to fitting the pram into the car or storing it at home, this can be a crucial factor.

Other points to consider:

  • Do you want the pram just for the newborn stage and then change to a lighter pushchair or stroller? Or will you use it from birth and through toddler years?
  • Can you use it with a buggy board, not all prams are compatible.
  • Do you want your baby to face forward or towards you?
  • If you are buying a double pram; is it for 2 newborns, a newborn and toddler or 2 toddlers? You will need to check which models are suitable.

The 2 in 1 Pram

This is a pram chassis with a carrycot that can be attached. The carrycot can be used for a newborn baby. The chassis can be used as the baby gets older as a pushchair. Some models are front facing only but others can be used as either front or rear facing.

Pros

  • The flat position of the carrycot is ideal for a newborn.
  • The carrycot can also be used instead of a moses basket.
  • Can last from birth and through the toddler years.

Cons

  • Heavier and bulkier than a simple pushchair.
  • You may find when your baby is older you may want to change it for a more compact pushchair or buggy.

Travel Systems or 3 in 1 Prams

Consist of a chassis that can be converted from a pram to holding a car seat.  They come with a range of extras such as carrycots.

Pros

  • The carrycot provides transport for the baby and can double as a moses basket.
  • You can lift baby from car to pram without disturbing her when she is in the car seat.
  • If you are travelling with your baby in the car you will need to purchase a car seat anyway.

Cons

  • It is not recommended that a baby is left in the car seat for long periods of time.
  • The car seats are for babies up to 9 months only.
  • Can be bulky when folded and some are heavy.

The Buggy

This is a basic, lightweight stroller with few extras.

Pros

  • Inexpensive.
  • Folds flat so easy to store.
  • Lighter than other pushchairs.

Cons

  • Will not recline flat enough for a newborn.
  • Not as comfortable for long journeys.
  • Harder to push on bumpy or uneven ground.

Pushchairs

A superior type of buggy. They have lots more features and are sturdier with better suspension. They are a wide range of makes and models out there to choose from.

Pros

  • More comfortable than a lightweight buggy, both for parent and child.
  • Copes better than a buggy with rough surfaces.

Cons

  • Heavier and bulkier than a buggy.
  • Not as versatile as the 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 prams.

3 Wheeler Pushchairs

3 wheeler pushchairs (also classed as all terrain or off road pushchairs) have large pneumatic tyres. The swivel wheels make steering easier on flat roads but the front wheel is lockable to cope with bumpy or loose surfaces. They are ideal for use on gravel, bumpy roads and uneven surfaces.

Pros

  • Can be pushed easily on practically all terrains.
  • Comfortable ride for your baby.
  • Some 3 wheelers are suitable for jogging (if you are feeling energetic!).

Cons

  • Be aware that when going down curbs they can tip, so you will need to hold tight to steady the pushchair.
  • They don’t fold particularly flat.
  • The tyres can be prone to punctures. But this can be helped by taking your tyres to Halfords to have the inner tubes filled with a substance called “slime”. Though this adds extra cost.

Twins and Tandems

These are designed for twins or a baby and toddler. A twin buggy is the side by side version, whereas the tandem is one child (usually the older one) in front of the other.

The Twin Buggy

Pros

  • Good for twins as they can interact with one another.
  • You avoid the argument of who sits at the front.
  • Both youngsters have a good view.
  • Generally easier to push than the tandem buggy.

Cons

  • Can be restrictive in the shops and tricky on narrow pavements.
  • You may struggle to get it through your front door (always measure before buying!!!).
  • Seats can be narrow for older toddlers.

The Tandem Buggy

Pros

  • Better access in shops and easier on narrow pavements.
  • Wider seats.
  • Babies are not disturbed by toddlers.

Cons

  • Heavy, going up curbs can be difficult.
  • Can be tricky to fold and bulky rather than flat.
  • Can tip if child gets out of the front seat leaving other child in the rear.

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