When choosing which pushchair or pram to buy, there are more than a few considerations to keep in mind, but the key three are your baby, you and your lifestyle. This guide offers some ideas and guidelines on choosing the best wheels for your new family.
We know that deciding exactly where to start in your quest to buy a pram, pushchair, buggy, stroller, three-wheeler, travel system, or combination is tricky. So, let’s start at the beginning. To keep things simple, we’ll call it a pushchair because the baby sits in it, and you push it.
How you travel will dictate what size and weight your pushchair will be. If you own a car, weight isn’t as important, but it will need to fit in the boot. Do you park on the street? If you do, it may mean getting the baby in the pushchair at home, transferring to the car and stowing the pushchair. It’s an additional step every time you go anywhere, so an easy fold away is crucial. And in a bus, you might need to fold away fast if a wheelchair user needs the space. A one-handed fold is useful whether you have a car or use public transport.
Three-wheelers are super manoeuvrable for shopping and café lunches in town and the joggers among us but can be difficult to steer one-handed. Added suspension and fatter tires are great if you live in the countryside but add to the overall weight of the buggy.
Most decisions will come down to size and weight. Bigger is better because the baby has more room to grow, has more options for lying flat and sitting, and gives you large shopping basket space, cup holders and other accessories. But these extras make the pushchair heavier and bulkier. If you live upstairs, you’ll either carry it or store it, probably in a communal area.
Grandparents, or anyone else who babysits, will have to be able to use your pushchair, too, so make sure you think about them before purchasing. Twin and tandem pushchairs are very useful if you have children quite close in age. And for later additions to the family, think about a pushchair suitable for a junior rider attachment.
If you want to buy a traditional pram, you will need plenty of storage space and a big car – a pram isn’t suitable for public transport! It’s great for newborns, who need to lie flat, but most pushchairs are suitable for newborns as the seat fully reclines. Three in one combinations allow versatility with the carrycot, pram and pushchair, and the travel systems give the added benefit of the car seat as part of the combo. However, more versatility in your pushchair usually means more cost and weight!
Check what accessories come with your pushchair – does it have adjustable handles if you and your partner are very different heights, does it have reversible seats so you can have your newborn facing you but your inquisitive toddler facing the world; is there a parasol, rain cover, footmuff, cosytoes duvet, or a matching changing bag?
Our advice is don’t go for the cheapest or most expensive option; buy the one right for you and your circumstances. Take it for a spin, and try folding it away to see how intuitive it is to use. And whatever your final choice, you may also want to buy a sling (and later a basic stroller) for quick trips!
Important: All prams and pushchairs (new and old) must meet the European Standard EN 1888:2012. Wheeled conveyances should carry a permanent label to show that they conform to this standard. Before you buy, make sure that the label is on display.