Can’t decide whether to splash out on a travel system? Unsure what to get for a newborn? My Buggy My Car explains the confusing world of buying a buggy, travel system, pram or stroller.
There’s a pushchair to suit every lifestyle; we know the choice can be a little mind-boggling! Choosing the right one will make your life as a parent much easier, so it’s worth spending a bit of time finding the best pushchair, travel system or stroller for your family before buying a buggy.
With so many available to choose from, before you spend any money, you should consider the needs of your little one and your lifestyle before you take the plunge.
What type of pushchair do I need?
There are generally two different age ranges for buggies:
- from birth
- from 6 months.
A pram is designed for newborns (up to around six months old). A pram typically includes a main chassis (the wheels and frame) and a carrycot for your baby to lie in. The carrycot will usually be parent-facing (so you don’t miss a moment of those early days and months).
A Travel System can offer the greatest flexibility and longevity. Typically a travel system is a pushchair or stroller that can be adapted to mount a car seat or carrycot. As your little one grows you can evolve how you use the travel system without needing to buy a new pushchair or stroller.
*Top tip – look for ‘bundle’ offers from retailers where you can buy the pushchair, car seat and/or carrycot at the same time – you can make significant savings!
A pushchair or stroller is suited to older babies and toddlers (from 6 months up to age 3 or 4) and tend to be forward-facing (so your little one can see and enjoy the world around them). Investment in the right pushchair could stay with you all the way through to when your little one is able to comfortably walk some distance or enjoy a day out without needing a rest. Pushchairs and strollers exist to suit all types of lifestyles; lightweight, easy fold, 3 wheelers, 4 wheelers, all-terrain or even to allow you to exercise with.
If you have babies close in age, or twins, you may wish to go for a double buggy option. This means you don’t need to invest, store or consider buying a buggy per child. A twin buggy has 2 seats side by side and a tandem buggy has one seat behind the other. Travel Systems for double buggy options exist too.
Does my baby’s age make a difference?
It is generally recommended that you use a carrycot with a newborn (from birth). It will take several months before a newborn can hold its own head-weight or sit up by herself. Without the right support when sitting, a baby can become ‘scrunched up’ which may compromise his or her ability to breath properly.
There are a large number of buggies that are suitable for when your baby can sit up unaided – typically marketed as “from 6 months”. As your little one becomes more independent they will want to walk or run. However the amount of ‘baby equipment’ you take out with you (change bags, nappies, toys, change of clothes, food, bottles, comforters etc.) won’t really reduce significantly until your child is potty trained. As such, many parents will want to find a lighter or more compact buggy for everyday use.
What features should I look out for when buying a buggy?
Think about your lifestyle, how often you will use your buggy and where will you be pushing it?
If you live in close proximity to “the great outdoors” and enjoy the “off-road” experience (countryside walks, fields and all the things nature has to offer) then you may want to consider buying a buggy model that has “all-terrain” features. These features might include bigger wheels or wheels that can be inflated. Some buggy’s include suspension too that claim to make an outing a smoother ride for your little one.
If you’re a regular public transport user you may be less worried about how the pushchair copes on rougher ground and perhaps more concerned with how easily a buggy will fold down in rush-hour, or how heavy it is as you lift it on and off the bus or train.
If you enjoy some exercise and think that you might enjoy combining pram-pushing with your usual exercise routine you may wish to opt for a stroller suited to running.
Just as with a car, it’s a good idea to take a pushchair for a test drive. A quick wheel around the shop will tell you how easy it is to steer, simple it is to fold and how heavy it is.
Do I need my buggy to have a reversible seat?
Many parents like to be able to see their new baby facing them to maintain eye contact, however as they grow a reversible seat could be a useful feature as it means you have the choice to keep them parent-facing while young, then world-facing when they’re older.
Do I need my buggy to have a compact fold?
Buying a buggy that doesn’t leave you hot and bothered when trying to fold it is essential, whatever your circumstances. Before you choose a model, have a think about where you’re going to store it and how much space you have available.
Will it be left permanently folded in your car boot or do you plan to bring it into your living space? The size when folded varies enormously, so have a look at it’s folded dimensions. Our online tool will help you decide if your favourite buggy when folded will fit in your car boot , or in a space at home.
How much should I spend on a buggy?
Ah – the all-important question! The answer really depends on how much you can afford, how much you want to spend and how long you plan to use the buggy for. The saying goes “you get what you pay for” which in many cases is true, but some 4-5 star rated basic strollers are available for less than £40 at one end of the spectrum, through to over £2500 for premium brand Prams. With such a diverse price range, there should be something to suit all budgets.
Naturally, a premium brand name with custom fabrics will increase the price, but our recommendation would be to choose substance-over-style. Our recommendation is to choose a practical pushchair that suits your lifestyle, that’s easy to use and will last a few years. With that in mind, a “travel system” that could last from birth until 3-4 years, might be a good solution.
You can compare the latest prices of your favourite buggy using our Price Comparison Tool.