Most of us simply dive into buggy shopping as it can be quite overwhelming. If you consider the Top 5 Tips below when buying a pushchair, it can help you to shape your search, narrow down your list of candidates and move you in the right direction!
5. Think Long Term
It is so tempting to live in the moment, and think about what your life will be like with a newborn. When you’re choosing a buggy, you may only be thinking of the pram stage, and what you will be doing with your newborn – but they’re only that small for a very short time! And you should consider what your life will be like with a baby or toddler, what kinds of activities you will do together, where you will go. Try to think beyond just the first 3 months, that way you won’t feel like you’ve wasted money on a pram that only suits you for a few months, and then you have to buy another one! Pushchairs and buggies are so advanced now – you can find one that either suits you for the long term, or can change and adapt as your baby grows.
4. Consider your lifestyle
You should think about what your life will be like with baby, and try to get a pushchair that suits that lifestyle. Will you be driving a lot? Then you may want to consider a travel system, a pushchair that converts into a travel system, or a buggy that can fold up compactly and easily enough to fit in your boot. Will you be taking the bus or tube a lot? Then you’ll want a pram that is easily maoueverable, can fit down bus aisles, lightweight and possibly easy to fold in a pinch. Do you like walking over rough terrain? Consider a pushchair with large air-filled wheels with all round suspension. Does your budget dictate that you need one buggy to last you as long as possible? Consider pushchairs with seats that convert from pram to pushchair, all in one. Are you planning to grow your family? There are many single buggies these days that are fantastic single buggies, and can easily be converted to double buggies if and when the time comes. Will you be navigating tight spaces or crowds with city walking? Consider highly manoeuvrable, lightweight narrow buggies with small turning radiuses.
3. Pram, Pushchair, Buggy or Travel System?
The definitions vary slightly from person to person, but generally speaking: Prams are lay-flat carry cots on a wheel base, that is used for newborns (typically up to 9kg), until baby wants to sit up and see the world. Pushchairs are for children that no longer want to lie down flat all the time, and many usually recline flat so can also be used from birth. Buggies are a lot like pushchairs, but are usually lighter and have fewer frills – they are great for when you’re out and about need something lighter and more manageable than a fully fledged pushchair. Travel Systems were a unique category a few years ago, but these days many pushchairs can accommodate an infant car seat with adapters, so many pushchairs and buggies can also be considered Travel Systems. There are lots of overlaps, with optional carry cots, car seat adaptors, and convertible seats, but generally speaking, these are the main categories. You should consider which type of pram/pushchair/buggy category you are looking for so you can narrow down your search.
2. Parent facing or Forward facing?
Many experts agree that while your child is still developing their speech, it is a fantastic option to have baby face the parent in the buggy, so mum or dad can speak with baby, having conversations and helping to develop speaking skills. However, not all pushchairs have this option, some babies prefer to face the world as they are so curious, and many older toddlers prefer to be forward facing. So you have to think about what’s right for you.
1. Bells and Whistles
Buggy designs and functions have developed dramatically over the past 5 years! Things that used to be unique selling points are now common place – such as seats that convert into prams, seats that can be either parent facing or forward facing, quick and easy compact folds, front wheels swivel and lock, adjustable handles. You should think about if you want any special features that are important to you – or if you’d rather have something simple and easy and cost effective. Here are just a few ideas if you are looking for some bells and whistles – seats that swivel 360 degrees, single buggies that easily convert to double in many combinations, cup holders, carrycots, footmuffs, automatic folding, super extending sun or insect canopies, ultra light, ultra small – the list goes on!