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How to choose a pram, pushchair or buggy

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14 Reviews

What is important to you when choosing a new vehicle for your child? Which brands have performed the best for you? Help other parents make the right decision.

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    14 Reviews
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      25.08.2009 15:20
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      Every child needs a pram

      Choosing a pram for your baby is one of the toughest decisions you will probably ever have to make! There are that many different types available and different brands that your head will be swimming and you just won't know which one to choose.

      Cost is the first thing you'll need to consider, prices vary massively and some prams are (in my opinion) way over priced, but some people like to pay for a trendy name; and some are priced very reasonably. People don't seem interested in buying second hand when it comes to prams but there are a lot available on Ebay (mine included - I have a bright red Bebecar flat bed pram which converts into a pushchair and also has the carseat with it, as well as various accessories and it hasn't had a sniff!)

      When you have yourself a price margin, then you will be able to narrow down what's available straight away and will then be looking at a smaller choice.

      The next thing you need to consider is what the pram is going to be used for (obviously to transport your baby). Are you going to be putting the pram in and out of the car all the time, in which case you should consider how small and easy you want your pram to fold up, or consider a travel system (one where the carseat can be placed on the chassis so the baby doesn't have to be disturbed when transferring from pram to car and back from car to pram again). Or will you be like me and mainly be on foot when using the pram, in which case you may want to go for a more traditional, larger pram which allows the baby to lie flat and have a more comfortable ride. Another thing to consider in this category is what ground is the pram going to be travelling on - pavements or cross country - here you will need to consider the wheels. Our pram has chunky wheels and is fine on both pavements and all terrain...but I know some prams are not cut out for the countryside.

      Colour is another thing. I know colour doesn't matter to some people, but it did to me and I wanted a brightly coloured pram, I didn't want black, or brown or navy blue; I wanted bright. But because we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl we had to go for a colour that would suit both, so we opted for a bright red one. You will probably find that most prams come in a variety of colours so you should be able to get the colour you want. But please think before diving straight for that bright pink flowery one (one I so much wanted to buy even though I didn't know I was having a girl) because if you then go on to having another child and it turns out to be a boy...well you'll have to start all over again on the pram hunt.

      The main thing I was considering when buying our pram (apart from the colour) was how comfortable it was going to be for my baby. I was aware that babies should be laid flat from birth until about six months (depending on their strength) so I wanted a nice large flat based pram for my baby to lie in, and surprisingly enough there doesn't seem to be that many available in this modern market.

      The one we finally went for was an end of line item; Bebecar weren't making anymore of this particular design. The base of the pram is slightly longer than most so I was pleased with this because my husband and I are both tall and we expected to have a long baby who would probably outgrow the other smaller prams before I was ready to convert to buggy status.

      It seems that Travel Systems are the main thing on the market at the moment and I don't know what anyone else thinks but when I have looked at them I always wonder where you actually put your baby and how you actually find them when they are in there, there's that many hoods and canopies that I just cannot seen how a baby could be comfortable in there all scrunched up and surround by a whole manner of flaps and plastic.

      But I do know that many of my friends have opted for this style of pram, mainly because they use the car to get about a lot more than they do on foot, so a travel system is a good choice for these types of people because they fold up and will fit in most boots and as I said earlier it is easier to move the baby in and out of the car. So if you are someone who uses the car to get about a lot, then a travel system may be something for you to consider.

      Something else which I took into consideration was how long the pram was actually going to last my child before I had to buy the next stage (buggy). If you just buy a flat bed pram that doesn't convert into anything else then you will get a maximum of 6 months use out of it, but if you buy a pram that converts into a pushchair or a pramette or a pram that also has a pushchair attachment, then it's going to last you a lot longer. When your baby reaches that stage where they aren't always asleep when you go out and they want to see what's going on you are either going to have to buy a pushchair, or convert the pram you bought originally into pushchair status.

      I converted ours in to the pushchair when my daughter was about 6 or 7 months and I think I used it for about a month before I persuaded my husband that we needed a lightweight buggy because I was just so fed up of trying to manoeuvre the massive wheels around tiny shops, so then this is when it became redundant...until second baby girl came along.

      So you also need to consider the actual size of the pram and what tight spots you are going to try and squeeze through with it, not many places cater for full size prams. There are actually many lightweight buggies on the market which are suitable from birth (I have a couple in my possession) because the backrests recline into a horizontal position. Now I personally wouldn't buy one of these for a newborn, but for someone who is on a tight budget and who perhaps doesn't take their child out in the pram very often, then one of these would be ideal. I bought one for £45 a while back (see my Meribel review) and it's great for both my girls but like I said I wouldn't have used it for them when they were newborns.

      One last thing I will say is that it is more than likely that whatever pram you opt for in the beginning, you will probably end up buying a couple more different versions as your children grow. I now have Bebecar 2 in 1 pram with carseat (completely redundant and my youngest is only 9 months), a Mamas and Papas Pulse pushchair (still using on my 9 month old) and a pink Meribal pushchair (for my 2 ½ year old when we go out for the day with her Dad).

      When we bought the Bebecar, I convinced myself that this was all I would need until my child was toddling, but as I said earlier on, we replaced it with a smaller buggy before we'd even had it a year.

      It's really hard to predict what will suit your requirements before you even know how your life with your child will pan out, and as circumstances change and children grow, and more children come along, needs change and different types of transport are required!

      Good luck and thanks for reading, I probably haven't given any useful advice, just caused more confusion!

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        18.03.2009 15:32
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        A few bits of info on the scary world of baby travel contrivances.

        'Does this pram go off-road? And how many cup-holders does it have?'

        Buying things for your new arrival can be a source of great stress and fiscal hardship - you've already seen the complete lack of space in your friend's house after they had a child, with a whole bedroom taken over by the newborn and all their clothes, toys, nappies and so on. Sometimes you wonder if you did the right thing, and whether you should have waited a few more years until you both had a bit more money saved up.

        Fallacy number 1 - there will never be a right time to have a baby, in terms of money, unless you happen to have scooped the Lotto. They cost more than you can imagine and will still be coming home with dirty washing and asking for £20 long into their University years. You will be poor forever - poorer even than when you bought your first car and wondered how it consumed all that oil, petrol and servicing costs. Deal with it.

        You are going to be spending an inordinate amount of money on a new baby. If you imagine the cost of hosting the Olympics, and then trying to fit it all into Monaco - you get the idea of scale regarding the items required, their overall cost, and the comparable size of the recipient.

        With this in mind - you might as well enjoy at least some of the spending decisions. Cot bedding and scratch mittens may not set your world alight with creative joy, but choosing a pram/buggy/pushchair is one area where the manufacturers know exactly how to appeal to your desires. You will inevitably need a pram virtualyl everytime you venture out, and they'll be useful right the way up to toddler years for when your pre-schooler is tired after traipsing around the shops with you and needs half an hour off their feet to recover.

        Firstly - you should consider your needs. Do you want a simple pushchair? These are relatively cheap (£30-£100) and simple machines. If you want a pram you will find your choice more limited. The old fashioned perambulator has given way to a multi purpose gadget that was clearly designed by a bunch of blokes with too much time on their hands. Obviously - in this strange world where bin men are recycling operatives, and nutritionists are 5 a day co-ordinators, it isn't a pram, or a pushchair, but a Travel System.

        Travel Systems come in 2 guises. Mine is currently a pram, but will convert into a pushchair by means of some levers, manual swopping of covers and inserts, and some hypergeometry.
        A more flash version comes with a car seat that attaches directly to the pushchair mode, allowing you to keep your baby asleep when you need to go on your shopping trips. This sounds ideal but I will point out that you shouldn't really keep a baby in a car seat for more than 2hrs at a time as it can hamper spinal development. Ok...H&S hat off. Prices range from £100 for the basic models up to £200+. Colour and fabric options abound - these are clearly designed to sway the mother towards the pricier models.

        These multi purpose thingies generally come armed with the same abilities and differ merely in design, brand and cost. Independent wheels, a raincover, padded pram liner, side carry handle, foot operated brake locks and storage net under the carriage are generally standard. Extras that depend on how much you're willing to fork out for the next model on offer include Cup holders, hand warmers for the parent and a swivel joint on the car seat connector that allows you to have the baby facing towards or away from you. (I'm not making the cup holder bit up by the way...). As an example of clever design - my pram currently secures the baby with Velcro straps and covers her body with a padded cover. When she is big enough to require the pushchair mode - the pram liner with the straps is hidden in the loft, and the padded cover becomes the foot muff for cold weather travelling, and doubles as a handy storage area for the items your beloved child swipes off the supermarket shelves and wants you to take home without the fuss of paying for.

        The flashest versions of all are strangely minimalist - consisting of a brushed metal chassis to which the car seat attaches. Why you'd fork out £300 for this is beyond me - but I would imagine that brand cache and general insanity are contributing factors.

        Two things I would stress most importantly. One: If you get a Travel System that incorporates your car seat - does it fit? Often they will only take a car seat of the same brand. Secondly - fold the pram up and put it in your car boot. Ask to try this out at a shop - they shouldn't mind. It may only be a few inches difference, but unless you already have a MPV or a Van, you may find your hatchback or saloon boot precisely 2 inches too small to take the pram. Even if you get it in, after some heavy swearing, consider the practicality. When you go shopping you will need to put the pram in first and pack the shopping around it - this will require your partner to put the baby in the car and start the engine to warm the car up whilst you stand over the exhaust pipe gesticulating at the bag of baguettes that just don't fit in the gap between the end of the pram and the intrusive wheel arch... and you thought prams were simple?!

        So - a fairly short guide, and not at all comprehensive. I urge you to go to the retailers and poke about. Inspect them like you would a new car, checking all the levers and gadgets, deciding what options you actually need rather than how pretty the flowers on the hood are, and then, budgetary considerations notwithstanding, make your hefty purchase.

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          25.01.2009 14:25
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          Prams pushchairs and buggys - which is the best

          Choosing a pram, pushchair, or a buggy is a hard process to go through if it is your first time at doing it. I have a 14 month old boy, and when I first found out that I was expecting him I set about finding a pram for him. I was stunned by the amount of choice available and felt quite lost with it all. As it was we ended up buying a second hand pram which was the Urban detour one you can find in mothercare. It was a good pram, but I found that it was quite big and difficult to fit into the boot of the car sometimes. So as time went on we bought a Maclaren buggy which is much more light weight and easy to get around, I would definately recommend getting one of these for the boot of the car to use out and about. I am currently expecting twins and so I'm going through the whole slog of researching the best type of pram again. I would recommend doing your research online - it has helped for me.

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            03.12.2008 13:56
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            There always the right pushchair out there, for the right person

            When choosing a pushchair, there are so many different issues to consider. This to some people can get a little confusing. We all want to go out and buy the latest designer pushchair, but in reality these days a lot of them are not what they cracked up to be.

            When I first was pregnant three years ago I was so overwhelmed at the amount of different types/ makes there appeared to be on the market. After doing a lot of research from books, the internet, and asking other people i narrowed my choice down and the most obvious and practical option seemed to be travel system.
            Travel systems are 3-in 1 pushchair, which are very versatile, because they can be set into various position's to adapt with your growing baby. They lie flat, slanted, and you can attach a car seat onto it. People at first normally use the car seat attachment, when their baby is very small, as your baby is facing you.

            After having decided on a travel system the next decision was what make and model should I chose. At the time I wanted the biggest and best model, but being on a budget meant that wasn't possible.

            Again after doing a little research I went for the 'Graco' range as there pushchairs seemed so sturdy and good value for money. I really like the 'tour de luxe' range and chose it in colours of black and gold. I found it on the Graco website and instantly fell in love with it; however the price was slightly too high for my budget so always being the bargain hunter I had a look on eBay, to see if I could get it any cheaper.

            To my delight I found a complete system, with matching cosy toes, carry cot, rain-cover and some other bits I went for it and got it for £120.00. The car seat had never been used and was still in its box and wrapper, the pushchair was in pristine condition. So I really got a great bargain. It folded flat so would fit into my car, and was easy to put down. It had a large shopping basket underneath and on the front it had a cup holder and a clock.

            Whilst looking for my perfect pushchair i picked up so many hints and tips along the way, she here are my top ten tips-

            First of set yourself a budget, and think how much can you really afford to spend, while these top of the range can seem tempting, in the long run they aren't very economical and after 6 months or so your baby can grow out of them.

            Find a pushchair that grows with your baby, travel systems are great because they have lots of different position and can last for quite some time.

            If buying second-hand, make sure before you buy that the pram is in sound condition, and if you get a car seat to make sure it is brand new, as you can never tell if it has been in an accident previous to you buying it.

            Also if buying second-hand, be sure to clean/wash the material if possible.

            Check the heights of handles, if you are tall and your partner/husband is short or vice versa, make sure the handles are a suitable height, or even better try and find a pram that has adjustable ones.

            Are the wheels easy to manovue? So whilst pushing it's easy to get the pram corners, up and off curbs etc. Swivel wheels are best because they move with you.

            Will the pram, fold down flat and fit into your car boot? It's best to measure your boot first- height, length and width, and then go from there. There's no point in falling in love with a pram only to find that once you've brought it, it doesn't fit.

            Do you live in a flat or a house? Having to lug a heavy pram upstairs isn't easy, so try and find a lightweight base.
            Do you want a heavy, yet strong and sturdy pushchair that will last longer? Or a lightweight designer pram with no shopping baskets. Think what is best for you.

            Make sure that before you put your baby into the pram, that you get familiarised with how it works, how the rain cover fits, how the cosy toes is fitted, how the car-seat clicks on etc. Trying to figure this out when you have a baby in one arm proves to be a little tricky.

            ==Verdict==

            There are literally hundreds of different makes and models out there, and finding the right one can be hard. Try to think practically and chose one that suits you and your baby. There's no point in paying £500 for a pram, then 6 months down the line, you prefer that you want a small stroller. I know many people that have done this, and I think what a waste of money. If buying from a shop make sure you keep the receipt and check that it has a guarantee in case anything was to go wrong. I have had my pram for about three years, and after having looked after it, it has stayed in tip-top condition.

            Ok so I used it for about a year constantly, then when my other daughter was born I brought a double, and the single only gets used occasionally. But about 2 weeks ago, I dug it out of the spare room and washed the covers down ready for the new addition.

            In about three years i have purchased three pushchairs, each one them being very good value for money. I have always stuck with graco, because they are such a good make.

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              02.12.2008 11:22
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              make sure you get what you need

              When the time comes when you need to choose a pushchair or pram, there are quite a few factors that you should take into consideration but rarely do. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but not when you've spent a fortune on a pram for your baby.

              I'm going to focus this review on two scenarios, one that is my experience of buying and the other is my best friend's recent purchase.

              Scenario one - My purchase

              When I was pregnant with my first daughter many years ago, I could never afford a pram so it was left to my parents to buy me what was necessary. I had a brand new system but if wasn't what I chose and whilst it did the job all those years ago, this time round with dd2 I wanted to be in control of the pushchair buying process and I wanted what I never could afford.
              Fortunately for us this time around we were in a position to buy what we wanted, well actually let's face it, it was going to be what I wanted not what my partner wanted and he knew it!

              We went to a few shops and tried out the pushchairs, wheeling them up and down the aisles until we found one that we liked the look and feel of.
              Whilst we had money the price tag was still a factor for us as I didn't want to spend nessecary money on something I would only have for a year or so.
              I had already decided on a travel system that was going to have car seat, pushchair and cosy toes etc all in together. It was also going to be a three wheeler as I had always wanted one of these and was determined to make sure I got one.
              We chose a nice neutral design that looked sleek and felt nice when we pushed it around. The car seat was easy enough to get in and out of the base unit, and we worked out how to fold it up before buying it.

              So what was right about the way we chose a pushchair?

              - We tested the move ability.
              - We made sure we could close it and open it, along with making sure we could operate the car seat unit.
              - We bought a design we liked.
              - We got a complete system for one price.
              What was wrong with our decision?

              - We didn't make sure it came with a rain cover.
              - We didn't test whether it would fit in our boot of the car.


              Scenario two - my best friend

              I happened to be with my friend when she chose her pushchair by some weird accident. She had researched a lot on the internet and asked around friends who had recently had babies as to what they had and if their systems were any good.
              She settled on a travel system which had a carry cot but no car seat with the package. A car seat could be bought separately but cost a lot extra so she didn't bother and bought a cheaper version to ensure she got a base unit that would also fit in her car.
              I remember her testing out all the same things we did, like how it moved, opening and closing it, but she also made sure it would fit in her boot first.

              What she did well

              - Making sure it all fit, and she could open and close it.
              - Having a carry cot as she wanted the pushchair for walking.
              What she should have done

              - Bought a system that had a car seat with it as she has since bought the car seat to fit the system as her baby doesn't like to be moved from chair to carrycot.

              The above situations should point out to you that when making a purchase as important as a pushchair you must first think about what YOU want and need from a pushchair. If you don't drive you may not need a travel system with a car seat, but prefer the carry cot.
              If your baby is born in winter you will definitely need a rain cover but it may not be as important straight away if the baby is born in summer.

              If you are shorter than your partner make sure you can both push it comfortable or if the handles are adjustable.
              Don't waste your money on full suspension and brakes if you won't be using the pushchair very much.

              Overall whatever decision you make, take into account all the factors that control your life and remember that your baby will probably only live in this pushchair for the first eight months before you buy a stroller for those short journeys and space saving in the car.
              I truly thought I would keep my travel system until my daughter was toddling, but it wasn't long before I was changing mine for a stroller as it was easier both on weight and space.

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                14.11.2008 21:34
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                A dozen things to consider before you splash your cash.

                I have five children so have been through a fair few prams (and currently have four!). Umbrella folding buggies, travel systems, 3-in-1 combinations, 2-in-1 combinations, tandem and side-by side doubles, I've tried the lot.

                For my first baby I had a Bebe Confort 3-in-1 combination. This consisted of a multi-position pushchair with a detachable seat which could be replaced by a carrycot to make it more like a traditional pram. When my second child was born we bought a side-by-side twin pram (sorry, it was 14 years ago now and I can't remember the make!) from which we were able to remove a seat unit to replace it with a carrycot, so the pram had a seat for our toddler on one side and a carrycot for the baby to lay in on the other.

                For my third child I bought another 3-in-1 combination, Silvercross this time. This differed from the first pushchair as it had fixed rather than swivel wheels. When number four came along shortly afterwards we bought a Graco tandem pushchair.

                Littlest HonestBob has two umbrella folding strollers (a Hauk and a Chicco), a travel system (Bebeconfort) and a 3-wheeler jogging pushchair (imported from America!). He's got different transport for different activities and terrain and this is why it is so important to consider the following when choosing a pram, pushchair or buggy.

                Below is a list of factors to consider when choosing a single pram, other factors come in to play when selecting a double:

                1. Will you do a lot of walking and if so what kind of terrain will you cover?
                Fixed wheels are best for bumpy pathways and country walks, whilst swivel are more suitable for smooth pathways or in shops with tight corners.
                If you do a mixture of both then be aware that swivel wheels are often lockable but will be damaged if forced over rough terrain too frequently.


                2. Are you and your partner similar heights?
                If one is considerably taller than the other then you should consider getting a pram with adjustable handle heights, this will prevent backache when pushing.

                3. Where will you store the pushchair?
                Some pushchairs, particularly umbrella folding strollers, do not stand upright unless propped against something (think dirty wheels and cream walls here), others are fairly large even when folded. Some combinations do not fold down in one piece and will require storage of a frame and seat unit which do not fold into each other. And don't forget, if you get a carrycot, that will only be used for a few months and then will require safe, clean and dry storage somewhere in your home.

                4. When is your baby due?
                A carrycot is a good idea for a winter baby but not such a requirement in the summer months.

                5. Are you likely to take you pushchair on a plane?
                Baggage handlers won't love it like you do, so if you purchase an expensive travel system it's best to purchase a cheaper umbrella folding stroller for holidays.

                6. Will you use the pushchair in wet weather?
                If so, you need to consider the raincover, where it can be stored on the pushchair and how sturdy it is.

                7. Will you use the pushchair when you go shopping?
                In this case you'll need to consider the size and position of the shopping basket on your pushchair, some are too small to be of any use, some are wire baskets with large gaps through which small items can drop, some are at awkward angles and make extracting your shopping a gymnastic art.

                8. Will you need to put the pushchair in your car?
                If possible try fitting it in your car boot while at the shop. Our 3-in-1 will not fit in Mr HonestBob's Astra.

                9. Will you need to move baby from car to pushchair and visa versa?
                If so, consider a travel system, but check the recommended time limits for keeping very young babies squashed up in car seats. This position can damage developing backs. There are some travel systems on the market (e.g. Jane) which have infant car seats that fully recline so baby always lies flat.

                10. How much can you afford to pay?
                I've bought brand new and second hand. The wheels get muddy whatever. Be aware of the history of a travel system as you should not use a car seat that has been used in an accident. Check that the brakes work and look for damage to safety straps and buckles. Most prams clean up nicely with a little dilute detergent and some furniture polish on the framework.

                11. How strong are you?
                Some pushchairs can be very heavy, add the weight of a toddler and the height of some kerbs and they're a back problem waiting to happen.

                12. Will you have more children?
                If so, what will the age gap be, will you need to buy a twin pushchair or would a buggy board be adequate? Consider whether the pushchair is adjustable for a growing family. Phil n Ted produce a single pushchair to which a pod can be added for a new baby (I don't like the positioning for a newborn myself, but others love them). Some pushchairs have handlebars that are too low for a toddler to use a buggy board without hitting their head.

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                  13.11.2008 12:45
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                  A few points to help people buying prams and buggies

                  Right I would love to know who makes prams ?! Being a mum to twins it is a nightmare to find a decent buggy, trendy as I say as I want to be "in" (might have something to do with me being only 21) and one which actually fits through doors!

                  I don't know much about single buggys, apart from when I push one I feel HUGE as I'm so used to feeling small behind a twin buggy, its the only thing which makes me look like I have a small load on my behind. Brilliant! But that literally is the only good thing.

                  I was so excited when pregnant to buy my first buggy for my twin boys, I spotted a 'trendy' bright red double buggy in Mothercare for £240, ridiculous price but hey when you want something you've got to pay it. It was a beautiful pram, but unfortauntely mothercare discontinued it in that colour, luckily a friend of mine was selling hers secondhand. Now I didn't think of anything at all when buying the buggy, I didn't think of the size, the width, the weight, how the boys would lie or sit, would it last? Now I know I should of!

                  So I bought the buggy secondhand, beautiful to look at, but it was like pushing a GIANT wheelbarrow, it was huge! But the boys did look adorable innit. It lasted all of 3weeks! Firstly I couldn't get through my front door, so had to fold it, easy to fold - was one of them one hand folding systems. The weight of it though when folded was horendous, it was so so heavy it took at least 2 of us to carry it in through the front door. Even folded though it was a fair size so nowhere really I could store it. Good job really I didn't drive because there was no way it would be able to fit in a car, or should I say a car I would of chose I would of had a mini knowing me.

                  Next annoying thing was, I couldn't fit through doors in any shops! Automatic ones I could! But not just normal, standard doorways, couldn't even fit through my doctors doors and they are wider than standard doorways. Nightmare! The worst part about it was I couldn't even fit in Mothercare's lift which sickened me as it was a Mothercare pram ?!

                  The best part about the pram was it was so easy to push, very lightweight, It would of been a perfect pram to go for long walks with the boys, I was devastated to have to get a new 1 as it was a lovely pram, just not practical for everyday things, such as shopping.

                  Now I know a double buggy is always going to be a nightmare getting into shops etc but surely there are prams which are easier than that one. So i went shopping again, still didn't look at everything I needed to really but I did notice with the pram I have now it boldly stated "fits through standard doorways", I HAD to get it! Its a Cosatto You And Me, Me And You Double Stoller.

                  PERFECT! It fits through shop doorways, some with a little struggle but it fits through most. It fits through my front door, with a bit of a nudge and a firm push here and there but it gets through. BUT it's a nightmare to push especially as my boys are big boys, they are so heavy and my god can't I feel it when pushing. The shopping baskets underneath are tiny and I can only get to them when the boys are sitting upright, if they are sleeping the seats come right back onto the baskets so I have no access. I'm due a new pram soon but now I think I sort of know what I have to look for, and I think and hope this list will be helpful to anybody looking for a double pram or single!

                  So next time I'm searching for a pram I NEED to make sure I know the width when upright, so I know it can fit through standard doorways (mine at the moment is 74cm wide when unfolded) any smaller than that though and the boys won't be able to move they are already tight for space.

                  I need to look for shopping baskets, which are easily accessible whether seats are lay down or upright.

                  The wheels, do they need a pump as they are the air filled ones ?! As my first one did and I didn't realise until one day out shopping and the prams lopsided because it has a flat tyre.

                  Is it lightweight, especially for as the children grow, its good to have a pram which lasts a while especially as your child puts on weight and grows.

                  Is it easy to push, do the front wheels swivel or lock? Sometimes its easier to push a pram when the front wheels swivel, although this is a nightmare when trying to go through tight spaces and the swivels a totally different direction to where you want to go.

                  Will you little one be comfy? Does it have footmuffs for the cold, head covers, a hood over the top for shade, raincover to keep them dry?

                  THE PRICE! Sometimes you have to pay a hefty price for a decent pram, but I have seen some for £500 which I think is disgusting.

                  Is it easy to store when folded? Will it fit in a cupboard, or behind something out of the way, and if you drive will it fit easily into the boot of your car?

                  Does it have carseats with it, for the people who drive, sometimes this saves money rather than buying a pram and carseats seperate.

                  Whether the seats lay flat, sit upright, you need to know your child will be comfortable whether sleeping, sitting up gazing or playing.

                  I'm sure theres many more points to take into consideration when buying a pram, and when I think of more I will update this review.

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                    22.10.2008 22:55
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                    Have fun choosing!

                    This is a collection of things to consider when choosing a pram.

                    Travel system or not
                    =================
                    When the baby is under 5 months or so, leaving them in their carseat is occasionally useful. After that, they can sit up, they like to look forward, and they are too flipping heavy when in their carseat.
                    You're not supposed to leave a small (<2 months) baby in one for too long (> hour or so) because they can get "oxygen desaturation" (squished lungs). Older babies also need to lie flat a lot of the time (spine development and not getting a flat head). So you probably don't want to use a car-seat+chassis as your only pram.
                    In theory, a travel system is nice as you can move baby from house to car to pram without waking them. BUT there are 2 types of baby - those that sleep well, and those that don't. If you get a good sleeper, they probably won't wake when you get them out of the car, and you won't care if they do because you'll know they'll go off to sleep again when they're ready. If you get a bad sleeper, they'll probably wake even if you get the car-seat out of the car with them in it (and you won't care because you'll be too knackered).

                    How it steers
                    =============
                    3 wheels are easier to manoeuvre (as long as the front one is a 360 swivel one - goes all the way round). 4 wheels are more stable.

                    One handle is easier to push (you can do it one-handed as well). Two handles are better for hanging your shopping from.

                    If you want to go for a walk along a country footpath or a gravel path, you need biggish wheels. But they get in the way when you are in the shops and take up more room in the boot of your car.

                    Seat recline
                    =============
                    You need fully-flat (or nearly so) until they are about 5 months. After that, a seat that reclines is useful for when you want the baby to sleep in the pram; e.g. if you go out for a whole day.
                    Watch out for seats where the whole unit just tilts back, leaving the child in the sitting position but staring at the sky. You'd need the carrycot for a little baby.

                    Forward, back, carrycot ...
                    =======================
                    Rear-facing is nice when they are small. From about 5 months on they want to face forwards. A carrycot top is good for little babies. You can wrap them up in a blanket and put them in the pram and put the straps over the blanket. Its just easier to keep them warm and cosy. Plus you can then walk along gazing adoringly down at your baby - I think its worth spending money to have this! It does mean you have to take the carrycot off the pram chassis to fold it, and you have two bits to put in the car.
                    A "2-in-1" is a pram with a hood and a bit that goes over their legs so you zip it all together and you have a sort of carrycot (except it doesn't come off).

                    Folding it
                    =========
                    Does it fold in one piece? Can you do it easily? Maybe with one hand? Does it stand up when folded (this may be useful for storage in your house).
                    Is it going to live in the boot of your car, or in your house? Are you going to be folding it a lot, or not?
                    What does it weigh? Can you lift it into your boot?

                    Siblings
                    ======
                    Think about the next baby. If you're planning a gap of less than about 2.5 years, you'll probably need a double buggy so it doesn't matter what you get now (although there is the Phil and Ted). If you want a bigger gap, you might need to use this pram with a buggyboard on, so check if the buggyboard will fit.

                    Sooner or later...
                    ==============
                    You are probably going to buy a cheap, tiny, lightweight basic pushchair. Because you need to take it on an aeroplane or a bus, or you're going on holiday and your boot is full, or you're fed up with manoeuvring your pram around the shops, or you need to push the buggy with one hand and have room on the pavement next to you for your toddler to walk (half the way). Lots of people end up using the cheap basic pushchair for much longer than they used the big expensive pram.

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                    11.10.2008 22:20
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                    Somebody invent some more twin psuhchairs theres a huge variety of single ones out there!

                    Well ill tell you from the start been honest i think i have a secret pashion for pushchairs. Im always looking at them trying to find the one i can buy next however i have twins and the range out there for twins is minimal!! I originally wanted a pushchair which could be a travel system for both of them from newborn however when i looked could only find one overseas which wouldnt ship so i settled with a mamas and papas pulse side by side pushchair it was a great pushchair suitable from birth and meant they could both lay flat whilst snuggled in their footmuffs, however i soon got bored of this and felt it became harder to push so i bought the silvercross pop, very similar just feels lighter to push. I was then gutted to find that mamas and papas have fetched their duette to the UK now which is a travel system (2 car seats) and also has the feature my partner wanted both children can face each other to play etc. However im not willing now their nearly 1 to lay out £500 but if it was twins again it would be my first choice!

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                      12.08.2008 23:39

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                      AVAILABLE FROM WWW.EBABYBUYS.COM - SECOND HAND BARGAINS

                      I HAD MOST BUGGIES GOING AND MADE SOME REALLY POOR FINANICAL MISTAKES, I FINALLY LOVED MY MAMAS AND PAPAS MPX TRAVEL SYSTEM SO VERSATILE AND EASY TO USE WITH CAR SEAT WAS PRICY AT £650 BUT I HAVE NOTICED THAT THERE IS A SITE CALLED www.ebabybuys.com who are supporting parents with the credit crunch and allowing them to list second hand goods, I had a look earlier and there were some really great bargains to be had, I feel that second hand is better than new because you can pay less than half price, use it and get the majority of your cash back when you are finshed with it, I took the depreciation, I wont do it again. I also like the Silvercross traditional kensignton but pricey, again second hand would be a great investment for generations to come, they can go and go forever with little tread loss.

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                      10.07.2008 15:15
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                      What I would look for in a pram or buggy

                      You can probably count on one hand the pieces of baby equipment that I consider essential (rather than just desireable) but, along with the cot and car seat, a pushchair, pram or buggy is one such piece. Prams and pushchairs are far from cheap (in general) and will get a lot of hard use so, what should you look for? Does the wish list that I had before my son was born still stand? What would I do differently if purchasing again?

                      Thankfully, in brief, there's little I'd change but having gone through the pram stage and almost come out the other side of the pushchair stage and, having had the benefit of road-testing 6 buggies for a consumer site, I think I can probably offer some good advice in this category!


                      * QUESTIONS TO ANSWER WHEN CHOSING A BUGGY OR PRAM *

                      The choices that you should make will depend on your particular needs and personal preferences and so nothing I say can actually tell you which buggy or pram would be right for you. What works for one will not necessarily work for another and you will have to make assumptions on the way, particularly if this is your first child. However, the advice and suggestions of others can often, if they are candid, point you in the right direction.

                      The only thing that is seemingly writ in stone is the fact that babies under 6 months should be able to lie completely flat if in a pram or buggy and so certain models are not suitable from birth due to a lack of recline. Otherwise it's up to you....

                      SIZE:

                      Buggies and prams vary enormously in size both when open and in use and when folded. Consider where you will store the contraption and how easy it will be to get in and out of the space you select. It's all well and good saying that the buggy will fit under the stairs, for example, but, in practice, if you can't get it out easily (and often one handed) then you won't use it as much and/or you'll end up leaving it elsewhere.

                      Also, if you are a car driver, will the buggy or pram fit in your boot? Will there still be space for any necessary shopping? I drove a Clio when I chose my pram and many models were discarded as they just wouldn't fit in the boot. Always take the car(s) that you will be using when you go to purchase a buggy or pram because even if on paper it sounds like they will fit in practice things are often different due to irregular shaping.

                      Another facet of size is the height of the handles. Make sure that they're as ideal as possible for both you and your partner. You'll get back ache if they're too low and find it awkward to move if too high. It's a real case of trial and error or luck if you manage to find one with adjustable handles that fits your bill (Mamas & Papas are quite good for this).

                      Along with size is a question of weight. Prams in particular can be very heavy and you'll be less likely to be happy using one that is too heavy for you to manage. Stick a heavy rucksack in the seat if you don't have a child to hand and push the pram around the shop. Can you do it one handed? Can you navigate that tight corner? Can you lift the buggy/pram with one hand when folded to whatever height you'll need to lift it to put it into your car? You'll be amazed at how many you can't (particularly before you've built up those baby carrying muscles that all mums seem to develop).

                      EASE OF USE

                      One thing that you'll quickly learn is that you need a buggy or pram to be easy to open and shut, and, when shut, for it to stay shut! If you use a car or public transport this is particularly the case. Most models boast one-handed operation but, in practice, this is often not the case. Do try out the mechanisms in the shops and don't be fooled by an assistant telling you that it becomes easier with practice. If you can't do it in the shop then think, how likely is it that you can do it in the rain with a screaming baby?!

                      DO YOU NEED A CARRY COT?

                      If you are looking for a "from-birth" buggy/pram can you make do with a lay-flat chair or do you want a carry cot that will, in many cases, double as a moses basket or indoor rocker? Personally I loved the carry cot that my pram came with and my son slept in it for the first few weeks before he went into a cot. It saved the expense of a moses basket and meant that, when we were out and about, I knew that he was laying completely flat and in comfort. It did, however, mean, that I had to buy extra carry cot/pram bedding and had extra washing.

                      DO YOU NEED A TRAVEL SYSTEM?

                      Travel systems incorporate a car seat into the pram to allow you to carry baby from car to pram without moving them. This sounds like a good idea but it does have its limitations. You are advised not to have a baby in a car seat for more than 2 hours. If you consider your average trip to the shop - 20 minutes to get there in the car and park, and hour round the shops and 20 minutes back again then you'll note that you've not got much time for error. Babies spines are too valuable to risk messing them up for want of transferring a baby from a car seat to a pram!

                      FORWARD or REAR FACING?

                      I effectively limited my choice of prams/buggies in that I wanted a pram with a pushchair feature that could be reversed so that it could face forwards or backwards. The idea was that it would be better for my son to face me on occasions (eg if ill) and that a rear facing buggy would improve interaction. In practice, as soon as my son was in the pushchair bit of the pram he always faced forward. I think I'd still opt for the option but if something ticked every other box I wouldn't worry too much.

                      WHAT WHEELS?

                      Well, round of course, but they do vary. Think about the kind of terrain that you'll be going on with a buggy and this will give you a clue as to whether you want solid or pneumatic tyres and whether you'll need the option of fixed or swivel wheels.

                      Personally I've never liked the pneumatic tyres as they tend to be bigger and I worry about punctures when out. I would, however, always opt for the option to fix swivel wheels. Swivel wheels are far easier to manoeuvre than fixed wheels but on rough terrain or soft ground fixed wheels make life easier. As an idea, for navigating round clothes aisles in a shopping center I'd go for small solid swivel wheels. If you think you're off for long walks in the country then large fixed wheels might well be better (just remember your puncture repair kit!).

                      There's also a choice between 4 (or more) wheels and 3. I've tried both and have no strong preference, however the seating and features are likely to be quite different between the two and so wheel number alone is unlikely to be the deciding factor.

                      HOW DO I STOP?!

                      I never much thought about the brakes on a pram until I tested one with the most appalling braking system imaginable. Do try applying the brakes in the shop. Can you do it easily with one foot and do both brakes apply easily and evenly. You'll find that a brake that is hard to apply makes the pushchair very hard to use and you'd be amazed at how often it's necessary to apply the brake, especially when you're trying to get a wriggly, argumentative toddler into a pram! Personally I like "bar" brakes that apply both brakes when you kick a bar. The Maclaren brakes that apply by pushing a lever sideways are very hard to use as, if the wheels are not in the right place you'll just not get the brake on. The brakes also tend to slip!


                      ADDED EXTRAS

                      Buggies and prams come with all manner of added extras some of which are good and others, whilst they might seem desirable, will just never come into use! If you are paying extra for something ask whether it's a necessity... if you're answer is not an immediate "yes" then I'd suggest holding off buying the extra until you've worked out whether you actually need it... there are plenty of other things to spend your money on!

                      So, what would I buy or look for?

                      - Rain cover. If you don't have one of these you won't be going out! Think about how easy (and therefore quick) this will be to fit and whether it offers enough space for the child. Mamas & Papas do a buggy that has fabric on the outside bottom of the rain cover so that it looks good - baby does stay dry but the cover takes an age to dry off and is heavy. A good case of looks over functionality.

                      - Foot muff/cosy toes. This is a vital thing if for the winter if you have a young baby as blankets, whilst performing the same job, are prone to falling off. Once you are at toddler stage I think it less important. Again, these vary in terms of fitting them and the amount of space they give (and take up) so try in the shop.

                      - Decent sized shopping basket. You'll be amazed at the amount of "rubbish" that you'll cart around just in case and slinging it all in a bag from the handles of the pram is rarely a good idea, not least because you disturb the balance of the pram.

                      What wouldn't I worry so much about?

                      -Sun parasol/canopy for the summer, especially with a smaller child. These are sold as "must haves" but, in practice, they rarely perform as well as you think they will. We're not Romans and not reknowned for straight roads and so the sun moves and baby is again exposed! If you know that you're going to be out in the sun a lot then look for a buggy with a bigger hood - for the slightly older child Cossatto do a great buggy called "Hula" which has an extra large hood which really does work!

                      - Changing bag. Unless you MUST coordinate then this is something that is just not necessary to buy with the pram. If you're in the UK join the Boots Parenting Club and pick one up for free or find a good bag with lots of pockets. Baby stuff is overpriced and changing bags are rarely value for money.


                      WHAT WOULD I BUY?

                      As I stated at the outset what I would buy is not necessarily what will suit you. Personally I'd opt for a pram with a carry cot for use from birth (with a separate car seat) and then purchase a lightweight stroller when the child was older if necessary.

                      I was very happy with my Mamas & Papas Ultima 3-in-1 which combined a carry cot and reversible pram section. I could have acquired a car seat that would have fitted onto the MPX chassis but chose not to. As my son grew I was lucky enough to road-test light weight buggies and as a result selected a Maclaren Quest as my lightweight of choice (despite the appalling brakes!) although I also rated the Silver Cross Pop and the Cosatto Hula.

                      Much comes down to how much you want to spend, and believe me, you really can spend as much as you want! Prams and buggies are built to last though and so don't dismiss the idea of buying second hand from e-Bay or similar sites (just make sure that the description is detailed) or buying from second-hand sales such as those run by the NCT. Freecycle is also often a source of a spare pram or buggy! Remember though, it's your baby's comfort that you should be considering first and foremost and then your own whilst pushing the pram. After that think about looks but personally I couldn't have the latest state-of-the-art designer buggy if baby was not comfortable (I'm thinking of the Micralite here as one I've used and some of the stranger looking contraptions seen around Chelsea!).

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                        18.05.2008 02:12
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                        Important and expensive decision

                        How to choose a pram buggy or pushchair

                        The above are one of the most expensive and important purchases for your children so it good if you can get it right first time. Here is a list of things I think are important when choosing-

                        Firstly what kind of transport do you normally use?
                        If you drive then what size is your car? Do you have room for a large pram/pushchair or do you need a compact travel system?

                        Next- although children are not always planned do try and think ahead. If you plan to have more children then do you want your pram/pushchair to last? If so think about the style of the prem. Is a high fashion pram practical if you are planning another child in four years tome, by which it will be dated. Also if you wish to use it for more than one child be careful with the colour. There are so many colours available now; it can be best to stick to neutrals.

                        Next- The weight of your chosen pram/pushchair is also very important depending on where you live. If you live in a top floor flat and have to bump your pram/pushchair up several flights of stairs then you will not be looking for a heavy pram.

                        Next- research different brands of prams and the fabrics they are made of. Children/babies are very messy and it is important that you can keep the pram/pushchair clean.

                        Next- Think about what you want from the pram/pushchair. Do you want a travel system that includes a car seat etc. or are you simply looking for a single use object.

                        Next- When you have decided on a product shop around. The price of prams/pushchairs can vary greatly and are often available a t a discount on-line

                        Next- When you have decided on a product check what is included in the price, what is not and what other accessories are available. You will often find that the price given is just for the pram or pushchair and you have to purchase the mattress, cossy toes, parasol, prambag, raincover etc separately. Pram/Pushchair accessories can be very expensive.

                        Finally- Do your homework. Read some review, speak to friends and get opinions on other people purchases.

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                          28.02.2008 14:33
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                          had 7 pushchairs through making mistakes when buying

                          Your pram, pushchair or buggy will be one of if not the most expensive item of baby things you will buy.

                          I realy dont see the point unless you just want to waste money of buying a carry cot type pushchair if it doesnt convert into a buggy after as you will hardly get any use out of it.

                          I wouldnt recomend buying a pushchair out of a catalogue either, go to a shop like mothercare where you can wander up and down the shop pushing the pram to make sure it is right for you, also see how easy it is going to be for you to collapse the pushchair.

                          Finally dont make the mistake i did, if you are going to be putting your pushchair in the boot of your car measure your boot and the pushchair to make sure it is going to fit, i brought me a britax travel system that wouldnt fit in my car so was useless to me.

                          Make sure the pushchair you buy is the right one for you and dont just buy the first one you see as you have got to push it around for a long time.

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                            12.10.2006 10:21
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                            A guide to baby transport by a mother of two.

                            A pushchair, buggy or pram are going to be one of the most important baby purchases you will make, unless you are one of these rare people that manage just with a sling. It's also likely to be one of the most expensive items you buy, so choosing a right one is important.

                            This review attempts to give some general information on types of baby transport available, features and my personal opinion on what's good and what's bad (and what's pointless). Throughout I will use 'buggy' as a general term for a baby carriage. The text is divided into 'Things To Consider' and 'Main Types Available' and is largely based on my personal experience though I did consult a few online buying guides (they often try to sell you something though!) to make sure I didn't miss anything. Feel free to comment, especially when you disgaree or think that I missed something.


                            ***THINGS TO CONSIDER***

                            What you need depends on your particular needs and personal preferences. What works for your best friend will not necessarily work for you! It's often actually rather difficult to work out your baby lifestyle prior to the birth, especially with the first baby. You might imagine yourself going for long walks and find that you go everywhere by car, or you might imagine yourself spending lot's of time going round shops while in fact you discover new passion for trekking through fields and beaches. Waiting till the baby is born is actually not such a bad idea in my opinion - for the first few weeks most babies travel happily in a soft sling and are light enough to not to be a big burden. But regardless of when you make the purchase, you have to think about what you will actually use the buggy for and take into account your living circumstances. One thing to remember is that newborns and up to about 6 month babies need a buggy in which they can lie completely flat, either all the time or between times when they sit.

                            *Space*

                            In your house/flat; in the boot of a car if you are going to carry the buggy; on public transport vehicles if you are going to use these.

                            Are you going to use the buggy in the house (for sleeping, for rocking, as an extra seat)? Where?

                            Where is it going to be stored while inside (in the hall, kitchen, bedroom, porch, balcony)?

                            Will it fit in the boot? Will it leave any room for other stuff?

                            How well will it fit in the space provided on the bus you are going to use?

                            *Folding*

                            Will you need to fold it and unfold frequently and/or fast, possibly with one hand? This is the case if you are going to use traditional British style buses with a door wide enough for a buggy but unfortunately way inexplicably blocked by a rail . I can't imagine travelling in this way on one's own with a baby who cannot stand unaided, but with a toddler it becomes possible. If you use public transport and, like me, are lucky enough to have on your line these European style buses that allow for buggies on board without the barbaric need to fold and take the baby out the problem doesn't exist.

                            In most other cases the speed of unfolding is not of such essence, as the baby can stay safely in the car seat while you fumble with the buggy, though it's handy when getting out of the car in the rain.

                            Will it need to be folded while inside? If yes, sometimes or pretty much every time?

                            The more often you need to fold and unfold it, the more important it is to have an easy, simple and robust folding mechanism.

                            *Chassis type*

                            This relates to the folding issue. There are broadly two types of chassis.

                            The first one is an older fashioned pram type or cross-chassis; often called 'classic' - this can be seen here if you look for example at mamas-papas-ultima-3-in-1-combination-with-sportline-chassis here on dooyoo.

                            This type simply collapses flat down on pressing abutton/removal of the fixtures. It's actually possible to collapse such a pram with the top in place (though it would take more space and probably won't fit in most boots so usually you will need to take the top off).

                            The biggest advantage and the reason I am a huge fan of these is the fact that buggies with a cross chassis are rockable as the links that connect the chassis to the axels act as springs. This is a fantastic bonus especially in the early days when the baby often needs just few rocks in the pram to go from the state of maximum screamy fussiness to sleep. I strongly recommend you get yourself something with a well-sprung, bouncy cross chassis, even if just for the house/garden. I picked up an old Mamas and Papas 3-in-1 from Freecycle and I use it just for that: it stays permanently on the premises and the baby sleeps in it and gets rocked in it a lot!

                            The second one is 'linear' type chassis as in mamas-papas-ultima-3-in-1-with-mpx-chassis.

                            This folds to smaller space than the cross chassis and most of the smaller buggies, pushchairs and three-wheelers (apart from those with their own specific folding actions) have one like that. It is related to the umbrella-folding action of a stroller but not necessarily easier to perform than with a cross-chassis. This type of chassis allows for swivel wheels while a cross-chassis doesn't; so if you are set on swivel wheels, this is your only option.

                            *Top*

                            Assuming you are looking for a buggy suitable from birth, you can have a carrycot top or an adjustable backrest seat .

                            I definitely prefer a carrycot, as it easily and without any problems doubles as a Moses basket/crib (and made more portable by the chassis). Unless you have no room for an unfolded pram in your dwelling, I would definitely recommend solution with a carrycot, regardless of the chassis type.


                            *Wheels*

                            Two issues here:

                            - Material. Wheels can be made from plastic, solid rubber or have pneumatic tyres. My personal preference is always for the bounciest type which means large ones with pneumatic tyres, but I have never suffered from a puncture so might be biased! Generally, the more likely you are to go off smooth tarmac/shopping centre floor marble/good paving, the more I would recommend going for larger, bouncier wheels (solid rubber or pneumatic), and mudguards.

                            -Swivel versus fixed wheels. Swivel wheels are easier to manoeuvre in small spaces but more likely to veer off track. Fixed wheels are easier to keep on track, especially when steering one handed, but require you to raise the front of the buggy at any sharpish turn, and your turning circle is likely to be much bigger! I personally hate swivel wheels, as I veer off track all the time anyway, and end up locking them at all times. But many people swear by swivel wheels. The more likely you are to need to manoeuvre in small spaces (inside shops smaller than large supermarkets for example) the more likely you are to appreciate swivel wheels. The stronger you are, the less of a strain would be to manoeuvre a buggy without swivel wheels (but you would still need more room). However, for three-wheelers used off-road on rough terrain, fixed wheels are definitely better option, and they perform better than locked swivel wheels. Also, benefits of a rocking cross-chassis (these have fixed wheels) outweigh the swivel wheel advantage in my personal opinion. But then I don't go to shops much, and even less into smaller ones.

                            *Weight*

                            Do you live in a house? A ground floor flat? Or on a third floor without a lift? Will you use train or tube stations without lifts/escalators? (yes, a lot of buggies go on escalators without any problems and although it looks precarious it is reasonably safe unless you have a tendency to faint or loose grip suddenly). In other words, will you need to carry the contraption on a regular basis, with or without the baby inside? If yes, make all other considerations secondary and make buying the lightest possible buggy your priority.

                            *Fixtures, Accessories and Add-Ons*

                            Some buggies come with some or all of necessary accessories included, for some you will need to buy them separately - and they can add a lot to the total cost!

                            In order of necessity the most common accessories are:

                            - Rain cover. Definite necessity in British climate. They can be soft, supported by the pushchair construction and hood; or have their own frame for strollers and hoodless pushchairs. I think the second type is bit over the top, carrying such a massive contraption with you is completely unnecessary as a soft rain cover will do perfectly well. Avoid covers that just clip to the edge of the hood as even if the hood is plastic-lined you don't really want the outer cover soaked. A window in the front of the cover is a good thing that allows access without letting much rain in, important especially for small-baby prams and three-wheelers.

                            -Sun parasol/canopy for the summer, especially with a smaller child. A useful thing, as the hood will often not provide enough coverage, though not a substitute for a sun hat.

                            - Foot muff/cosy toes. Covers the lower body in a pushchair in cold weather and much neater than blankets (if it's really cold blankets can be stuffed inside anyway). If zipped onto the liner rather than just connecting with poppers or Velcro can be used to store stuff when the baby is small and its legs are nowhere near the bottom of the foot muff.

                            -Liner/sleeping bag. An extended muff covering more of the baby, good for bigger babies and small toddlers in the coldest winters.

                            - Changing bag . No need to buy a matching one unless the coordinated look is important to you, but a useful thing to have. Go for large, securely fastening one with several pockets. I normally put my wallet and keys in there too, but I was never fond of handbags, so for me the changing bag just replaces the usual backpack.

                            - Head hugger for newborns to stop the head lolling about. Only useful if your buggy is not completely flat (and it should be for a newborn).

                            Fixtures to consider include:

                            - Shopping tray/basket. I like wire trays as they allow for piling up a lot of stuff under the pram body, usually much, much more than the recommended tonnage ;-), without risking the buggy tipping over.

                            -Adjustable handle. Important if you are tall, very short or a man.

                            -Carry bag. Useful if you are to fly with your buggy, though many airlines have special heavy duty plastic sacks.

                            -Brakes: do you have to brake each wheel sperately or is it one bar to push down to break and to push up to release? How secure are the brakes?

                            -Ability to face you or outwards - I think with a small baby it's nice and handy to have the baby facing you. Prams with carrycot normally face you or allow for both directions, pushchair tops in 3 or 2-in-1 allow for both directions; standard pushchairs and most three-wheelers face outwards. The change might mean taking the top off or just tilting the handle over.

                            ***MAIN TYPES AVAILABLE***

                            *Three-in-one Two-in-One pram and pushchair combinations*

                            3-in-1 means a carrycot and a pushchair seat which can either face you or face outwards, 2-in-1 is the same but without separate solid carrycot. These are suitable for transporting newborn babies to toddlers and of course the carrycot replaces a crib or Moses basket.

                            Choose one with a chassis and wheels that will suit you most and go for a carrycot if you can afford it!

                            A new 2-in-1 from a reputable brand (SilverCross, Mamas and Papas) is likely to cost in a region £400-450, if you add separate carrycot that can go as high as £600. Cheaper brands will probably be available for around £250 for 3-in-1 and less than £200 for a 2-in-1. However, it's probably reasonably easy to buy the whole caboodle from the more expensive brands for less than £150 second hand. And sometimes possible to get one free (I did from freecycle!).

                            *Pushchairs*

                            The most common and the biggest category of four-wheeled buggies, normally suitable for newborn babies to toddlers and an oft-chosen budget option. I am personally not a great fan, as I am of strong belief that a product that does 5 things cannot possibly do all of them as well as 5 products designed separately.

                            These normally have a reclining seat, plastic swivel wheels, shopping basket and a front bar/foot rest for bigger babies/toddlers.

                            A pushchair like that WILL do you for the whole period of transporting the child, but it will not be as comfortable or nice as a pram/carrycot/2-in-1 for a small baby, and it will be much heavier (IMO unnecessarily) than a light stroller for a toddler.

                            The price range here varies enormously, from around £100 to £200+; or even more. Second hand they are very common and can be had for around £50-100 easily.

                            *Three-wheelers*

                            I cannot imagine a reason to use a three wheeler in normal urban environment, to be honest, even though a lot of them are designed for that (swivel front wheels are a clue to an urban three-wheeler). They are long, longer than any other buggy, heavy and wide, and just don't make sense.

                            However, if you go off road then a three wheeler comes to its fore. In fact, even on gravel/dirt tracks a three wheeler (an all terrain one, not a city one) performs immensely better than any other buggy - I know as I live in the sticks and acquired one after few weeks of using just a normal cross-chassis solid-rubber wheeled pram (which we still have and use all the time indoors as well as for an occasional bus trip to town).

                            With a good all-terrain three wheeler you will not perhaps be able to climb mountains (though the track parallel to the railway line up Snowdon might be just about possible&#8230;) but dirt tracks, grassy paths, bumpy meadows and beaches become much more negotiable. They are also great if you are one of these fitness-mad people who want to actually run with the baby (but then running would need to be done on smooth surface, I think - I can't imagine running with a three-wheeler on grass for example, unless of bowling-green quality).

                            Look for robust pneumatic large wheels (you don't want to spend your life mending punctures), adjustable handle, reliable brakes (including possibly 'slow down' front wheel hand brake if you live in a hilly area) and hood with decent coverage and good rain cover. Attempt to have a try before you buy (unless you can find agood review you trust) as a good 'feel' is very important for an all-terrain buggy if it's to be used as intended.

                            A new truly all-terrain three-wheeler will set you off well in excess of £300, and can go over £500 if you need to buy accessories separately. It's very worth looking for second hand product. These seem to retain their value better than other types - I have seen Mountain Buggies (very good New Zealand brand) on ebay going for £120+ plus postage. I have bought an excellent Cosatto Cygnet Pacer (sadly discontinued for some reason) for £55 plus postage but that took some searching.


                            *Travel systems*

                            These are combinations of a pushchair and a car seat, or a chassis only and a car seat. Some all-terrain three wheelers have an attachment that will allow for clipping the car seat on. The idea is that instead of transferring the baby from the car seat into the buggy you transfer the whole car seat onto the wheels. To be honest I am very prejudiced against these things: I don't think being confined in a car seat (unless it's one that can be made completely flat) is very good for small babies and larger ones would certainly want some freedom to move about. Plus, most babies can be fairly easily transferred even when asleep without being waken up so what's the point?

                            However, buying a travel system can mean that you can get a good car seat for less money as it usually works out cheaper than buying the pushchair separately. If you are considering getting a from-birth pushchair, you might as well buy a travel system as it will probably save you money.

                            The cost depends heavily on the brand here, and for a pushchair and a car seat combination (without a carrycot) can vary from about £120-150 for cheaper brands like Graco or Britax to well over £300 for Mamas and Papas.


                            *Next stage: Strollers*

                            Regardless of what buggy you get for your newborn, you will probably find yourself looking for a lightweight, simple umbrella-folding stroller some time after they start sitting well (8 months old and above) and almost certainly when they start walking (normally 1 year old plus). This will last till the child stops using a buggy altogether, which will be some time after they are 2-2.5 years old. I have seen children that looked well over 3 years old in strollers but I think unless you need to walk very far and very quickly children of nursery age should walk as much as possible and a stroller shouldn't be used as means of confining them (that's just personal opinion though and of course what you need depends on personal circumstances).

                            Theoretically you can use a pushchair part of a 3-in-1, or a travel system, or a from-birth pushchair up to the nursery age, but as the child starts to spend less time in the buggy and, crucially, sleeps less in the day, the advantages of a light stroller start to outweigh any pluses other buggies might have.

                            This is unless you are walking off road, then if you want a buggy you will still need your all terrain three-wheeler: though I think a child backpack carrier is a much better option for toddler transportation when walking outside cities (be it off road or along the road in the countryside).

                            All in all, and bit paradoxically, you are likely to use a stroller for as long (or longer!) as you used your 'main' buggy and thus it's important to choose a reliable, robust one. I feel that strollers age less well (and get grubby more with their covers being harder to clean) than prams, three-wheelers or bigger from-birth pushchairs and buying a new one might be a better option here than looking for a second hand one of good enough quality, but it's always worth a try.

                            There is massive variety of light strollers available, with prices starting s low as £20, and plenty of mid-range decent ones available around £50 mark.

                            On top of robust build, look out for as low weight as possible, smooth running wheels (some of the cheaper ones are vary hard to push) hood/canopy against the sun, reliable rain cover (not just one that clips on front of the hood unless the hood is waterproof or you never go out in the rain) and a decent shopping basket as a stroller has much smaller capacity for sticking your stuff around the baby and hanging it on the handles.

                            ***CONCLUSION***

                            I cannot tell you what to buy as it all depends on a combination of too many circumstances. Depending on the kind of baby-travelling you will do and the amount of space and general set-up at home you will find different options will suit you best.

                            As far as buying goes, I have a very firmly led belief that, unless you have a lot of money to spend, it's MUCH better to buy a super quality product second hand than a poorer quality new one. Instead of spending £500, you can spend £100-150 and have pretty much the same product - buggies are made to be solid and generally age extremely well - in my opinion much better than spending £150 on a new product of lower quality. Of course, if you have these £500 to spend freely, go on - and don't forget to resell or freecycle when you don't need it anymore!

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