Prams, buggies and travel systems- a beginners guide!!

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Hi, I'm an independant nursery retailer in wales, the business stemmed from my addiction to baby gear of all descriptions but especially prams etc!

I have two children a two and a half year old and my baby has just turned one. BUT to date i have owned 17 sets of wheels. I put this down to changes in lifestyle, my husband however has a very different view and is threatening to take away my credit card!

I have made some silly choices through the years and would like this guide help to make the decision for other mums or mums to be easier! Here is a list of considerations:

  • Think about your lifestyle

  • Transport

  • Age of baby

  • Age of siblings

  • Practicalities- shopping nappies etc

  • Storage space

  • How long will you concievably use the pram?

There are many different types of baby wheels from trendy to cheap and cheerful! here are the main categories that they fall into:

Prams:

Prams are usually 2in1 or 3in1, the choice depends on whether you want a carrycot, i used a carrycot with my second he used it for sleeping in for 3 months and we found it very useful if he fell asleep when we were out walking as i could leave him when we got home without worrying about him being uncomfortable. Prams come with a myriad of chassis from traditional sprung to trendy 3-wheelers. There are very modern takes on the traditional pram for example the bugaboo or xplory and if you have the space and do a lot of walking they are great! However do bear in mind that a lot of mums swap their newborn baby wheels for a lightweight stroller sometime in the first year and continue to use that until baby no longer needs transport. Also prams especially those with carrycots are notoriously difficult to fit into cars- i can however recommend the chicco ct0.1 trio- it fit including carrycot into my daewoo matiz- quite a feat!

Travel systems

Travel systems comprise of a pushchair with a car seat that fits onto the chassis. Travel systems are starting to come with carrycots- some soft and some even are car-cots. I personally try not to reccomend travel systems unless the parents do a lot of driving, i find girls who buy them for the trendy aspect somewhat annoying! Travel systems and a practical and usually budget friendly method of buying a set of wheel. However, there are dangers involved with babies in car seats. The foundation for studies into sudden infant death have confirmed in recent years that car seats increase a babies risk of suffering SIDS. This is usually because babies are in the seats for too long- it is reccomended not to leave a newborn baby in a car seat for longer that 30 mins up to 6 weeks of age, and then no longer that 2 hours. Hence this means that the avaerage shopping trip with a travel system could put your baby at risk.

If a travel system is the practical answer for you i would suggest that bearing this information in mind you look for a carrycot option so that baby can lay flat for as long as possible. Some good exaples of travel systems that cater for these concerns are the Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe and Jane's Matrix car seat which actually converts between car seat and carrycot!

Pushchairs

Pushchairs are what i class as sturdy, cosy and suitable from birth. A pushchair is a good option if you know that you won't use a pram or travel system for long enough to make it worthwhile. Some pushchairs have reversible seat units so that it can be more of a pram but with the knowledge that it will last a lot longer! I think the best pushchairs around at the moment are the Cosatto Diablo and M&P Pramette (which can also be a travel system)

Buggies/strollers

A buggy or stroller is a lightweight, compact and portable set of wheels usually suitable from 3 or 6 months. Many parent swap to one of these when the baby days are over and a pram or travel system is no longer required. There are many different types in a variety of prices and colours but a good basic is the atlas,also the graco mosaic and if you want a small buggy think about a quinny zapp (but beware that a toddler may be able to tip it over!)

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