Having a baby comes with all sorts of decisions even months before he/she is born. Babies need a lot of stuff and equipment and perhaps the biggest buy for expecting parents is the pram or pushchair.
The fact that today’s pushchairs come in all shapes and sizes can be a little daunting for new parents, I mean how do you know which one will suit yours and your baby’s needs the best?
As a mum to three I’ve been through this decision 3 times over and surprisingly, although my situation didn’t change much, each of my children had a very different thing for getting them around.
Below I will list a few options which may help you choose that perfect travel essential for your baby.
1) The Pram – A traditional pram is essentially a carrycot on wheels. More modern versions come with additional features allowing the carrycot to be converted to a chassis for when your baby is a little older and able to sit up.
Prams often look very classy and pretty. The suspension makes them easy to push and often with a light bounce which can feel like rocking to a baby. However the downside of prams is that they are usually big and bulky and therefore awkward and heavy to take down. Prams are probably more suited to those who do a lot of walking. Taking down a pram to get it into a car boot everyday is not easy feat.
2) Travel System – A travel system combines a buggy with a car seat and sometimes a carry cot. The car seat will clip onto the frame with the buggy seat tipping into position to accommodate it.
Many parents favour this option due to cost and the fact that you get everything in one package including the car seat. They usually cost less than traditional prams and adapt to a baby’s growing needs. They can usually be used from birth right up to 3/4 years. The downsides being – weight, again they can be bulky, although much easier to fold up and place in a car, they are not so easy to fold up and carry onto a bus by yourself. Also parents should be aware that car seats are not designed for baby’s to sleep in any longer than they are in a car and should be taken out of the car seat ASAP once inside.
3) Jogger buggy – Baby Jogger strollers are great for parents who like to exercise and in particular run or jog.
They usually have just 3 wheels, with one big wheel at the front, however joggers are also made with 4 wheels. They have a really good suspension in the frame to absorb any bumps or shocks to baby. Downside – they are often very long so not great for taking shopping, many of them don’t fold down easily or at all and they aren’t designed for newborns, most being suitable for 6 months and over.
4) Lightweight buggy/stroller – Lightweight children’s strollers appeal more to those who travel often, be it by car, bus or even plane.
The obvious benefit is that these are very light, usually under 6kg. They also fold down very fast and very easily. Folding one of these can often be done with one arm allowing a parent to hold baby in the other arm whilst folding. They are incredibly cheap too with some models costing £20 or less. They take up little storage too compared to other buggy’s and prams. Downsides are – you will probably have to invest in extra accessories such as a raincover, buggy cover and parasol as cheap strollers rarely include these. There are some models which lie flat for young babies but the majority are only suitable for 6 months and over. Also they will not come with additional features such as a fully rotating seat or changeable wheels.
I hope this helps a little when choosing your travel system. Buggies and prams can be purchased from many places including Argos, Kid’s Land, Mothercare and many more places.