Pushchairs: How to choose one
The world of pushchairs can be a baffling one to the first-time parent. Get some help with the Which? guide.
Types of pushchair
There are four main types of pushchair:
Pushchairs. The forward-facing type is ideal for newborns and toddlers. They are also available as two and three-in-one pushchairs.
All-terrain pushchairs. Typically three-wheelers fitted under a light, strong frame. Good for transporting your baby over all kinds of terrain.
Travel systems. Large pushchairs that can be used with a car seat and/or carrycot, so your babycan be moved from car to pushchair with minimal disturbance.
Key considerations before you buy
Decide where you would like to store the pushchair. Think about its unfolded size.
Will you be using public transport regularly? If so, a lightweight, easy-folding pushchair or buggy that can be used from birth is what you need. Buy one with a folding mechanism that you can operate with one hand or foot.
If your car boot is small, you'll need to check that the folded pushchair will fit into it. Look at lighter, buggy-style options.
A 'travel system' pushchair will incur less risk of waking up your baby, because you can attach the car seat, complete with sleeping baby, straight on to the pushchair chassis.
How long you will be using the pushchair for. It's only worth paying for a two- or three-in-one if you will be using it over a couple of years. If you are planning to have more children, then use a lightweight buggy for the toddler and a sling for the baby, or a double buggy for both.
A sleeping vehicle. Consider a two or three-in-one that comes with acarrycot and mattress as sleeping children should be placed on a firm horizontal base.You can use a sheet and blankets with the carrycot, while in a lie-back pushchair or a two-in-one, your baby is likely to be lying directly on the pushchair fabric. A traditional pram is also good for daytime naps although it is much less versatile.
Shopping-basket capacity. If you are using the pushchair to help you carry more than a pint of milk, look at the size of the shopping basket attached.
Buying more than one pushchair. You could have a two- or three-in-one for daily use but also a cheaper buggy for taking on holiday.
Comfort for both you and your baby.
You need to be comfortable too. Handle height is critical: you don't want to be stooping. Handles with soft, rounded edges are kindest on the hands. Check that you don't scrape your shins on the rear axle as you walk and that the brake is easy to operate.
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