How to you choose the right pram for you and your baby, there are many different styles of prams and pushchairs on the market, so it’s not surprising that many people find the choice overwhelming. This can be especially true for those expecting their first baby.
Besides appearance, what else should you consider when choosing the right pram for you and your baby?
First of all, think about your current lifestyle.
Do you live in a rural area or a city?
Do you have other children or dogs, who regularly like a trip to the beach, the park or the woods?
Do you and your partner like long country walks?
Or are you strictly a city girl?
This will all impact on the right pram for you. Suspension may not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking about your new pram, but it is vital. Some prams and pushchairs are designed for city use on smooth pavement and so may have very little suspension. Whilst other prams and pushchairs are designed specifically for rougher terrains, with more and/or adjustable suspension.
All terrain prams generally have larger wheels, that make light work of little bumps along the way.
What Wheel Type?
The wheel type is not just about the image of the pram. An EVA tyre is maintenance free and puncture resistant – an attractive feature for busy parents. An air tyre however, does require maintenance and you may need to also invest in a bicycle pump, possibly a puncture repair kit.
On the other hand, the benefit can be a more comfortable ride for baby, a smoother push and easier to manoeuvre for parents, and they wear visibly better than an EVA wheel over time. A new technology recently to hit the market are foam filled tyres. This type of tyre provide the benefit of air tyres, with a maintenance free added bonus, however, they are heavier so add to the overall weight of the pram.
More traditional styles of prams, usually have 4 larger wheels in a fixed position. Most contemporary prams and pushchairs have swivel front wheels making it easier to manoeuvre. Swivel wheels tend to be easier to manoeuvre, especially when the baby gets a bit heavier. However, some people prefer fixed wheels.
Many prams and pushchairs offer the option of either type.
If you are in and out of the car every day, consider the weight of the pram or pushchair. You should also think about the size of the pram when folded – will it fit into your car boot? How easy is it to fold the chassis?
If possible, testing out the pram and practising folding before you buy is always recommended.
The 3-in-1 travel system typically consists of a complete package including a pushchair, carrycot and car seat. These travel systems tend to be more expensive, but they do offer the convenience of being able to use the same base for all three components. However, the majority of pushchairs on the market are capable of using a car seat on the chassis, even if it is not the same brand.
For example, Bugaboo do not make car seats, but their Bugaboo Buffalo comes complete with a pushchair and carrycot, and with the use of quality car seat adapters, a variety of car seats can be used on the chassis.
This is particularly beneficial as if the baby falls asleep in the car seat, then the car seat can be attached to the pushchair chassis rather than having to wake the baby by putting them into the pushchair seat or carrycot. A lot of parents find this a very convenient feature
2-in-1 travel systems are similar but they tend to be more compact. They usually consist of a seat unit that converts into a lie-flat, pram-style unit until baby is ready for the raised seat, and a car seat that can be fixed either straight onto the chassis base or onto the seat unit itself.
It’s a good idea to physically try out the pram, pushchair or travel system before buying to prevent issues prevailing themselves after purchase.
- Height: If you or your partner are taller or shorter than average, you might wish to look for a pram with handles that are height-adjustable.
- Forward or rear facing: Not all prams offer the option of having your baby face you. Research suggests that rear-facing is beneficial for both you and baby, providing a great opportunity for bonding and aiding your baby’s development.
- Shopping Basket: Will you need a large space to store shopping, or can you manage with less? Check if the shopping basket is going to be sufficient.
- British Safety Standards: All new prams bought from the UK will comply with the relevant standards. However, if you are considering purchasing a second-hand item, it is important to check that it meets current regulations. Bear in mind that buying a second-hand pram will negate any remaining manufacturer’s warranty.
- Included accessories: When making your purchase, check what is included in the package price. Footmuffs, raincovers and changing bags can be a big additional expense if you are required to buy them separately.
For more advice, why not check out our ‘Buying for your baby’ section?