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For baby number three, I decided to purchase a pushchair that will, hopefully, be suitable from birth right up until toddler days as there will definitely be no younger siblings to pass this down to! Having bought a Maclaren Techno XT pushchair, it was clear that we needed to pay extra for some form of padding to make it suitable and comfortable enough for a newborn baby.
Maclaren have produced a separate footmuff which is designed specifically for the Techno XT and comes in the matching black and grey design. Sadly, this footmuff is not included in the price of the XT and costs a pricey £45 to purchase separately (from Mothercare amongst other stockists.) There are much cheaper generic footmuffs available and I'm sure that some of these would fit but I wanted the footmuff to co-ordinate completely with the pushchair and would rather pay the extra to know that the product would be a perfect fit. I'd also managed to get around £50 off the RRP of the pushchair itself so I didn't resent paying the extra for the footmuff.
As a toddler buggy, the XT is perfectly fine as it comes. My three year old has been 'road testing' our new pushchair for the past few months and had no need for the footmuff. For a newborn baby, however, I'd say the footmuff (or certainly a cheaper version) is an essential purchase for this pushchair as there is no additional lining or padding on the seat of the pushchair itself, just a headhugger.
As the footmuff is made specifically for this model, it fits very well and is straightforward to attach, as the pushchair straps fit through the holes. It has three sets of holes, to allow for adjustments to be made to the height of the straps as baby grows. The footmuff acts as both a form of protective padding for baby as well as a warm cover. The front cover zips into position and can be removed totally during warmer weather. Despite having my baby in Mid-August, I've needed to use the footmuff in its entirety for every trip, thanks to our miserable English weather!
The footmuff is made entirely from polyester although the inner lining resembles suede. The 'faux' suede lining is extremely soft to the touch and provides a lovely soft comfortable base for my little one to lay on. He always falls fast asleep within minutes of being placed in his pushchair. The cover is very thick and is made of the same material as the pushchair surround so it looks very smart and more like a newborn pram than a toddler buggy.
The muff itself is very thick and keeps my little one toasty and warm. He always feels comfortably warm when we remove him from his pushchair, never sweaty or clammy as the fabric seems to keep him at a comfortable temperature.
The footmuff is suitable for washing at 40 degrees. Ours has been through the wash and showed no sign of colour fading or fraying. The fabric seems to be very good quality with the slits being reinforced with strong seams, so this should withstand long-term use without looking tatty.
At £45, this is an expensive additional item but, in the long term, is a worthwhile investment as it means we can continue to use a relatively slimline pushchair from birth, rather than paying a premium for a heavily padded pushchair and then replacing it with a lightweight pushchair as baby gets bigger.
The footmuff looks attractive, seems well made and keeps my newborn son warm and comfortable whilst we are out and about. I'd certainly recommend this for any parents planning to use a Techno XT for a very young baby - especially in this country!