Choosing which pram to buy for your little one can be a bit of a mind field with so many options out there. You can buy a whole travel system, which includes a carry cot to use from birth, a car seat, the pram itself and other accessories depending on which pram you go for. This option will see your baby through from birth until they are around 3-4 years old, or for as long as they are willing to go in their pram. You can just buy a pram which lays flat, these can generally be used from birth so long as they lay completely flat. It is important that your newborn baby can lay flat in their pram if they are going to be in there for more than an hour to an hour and a half as it allows the development of their lungs. Again so long as your pram lays flat this option will also see you through from birth to when your baby is 3-4 years old. You may choose to bypass the pram option all together and decide to carry your baby around in a sling or baby carrier and buy a pram when your baby is a bit older. The options are endless and the choice is a very personal one.
When deciding which pram to buy there were a certain number of things we considered when deciding where to invest our money:
- Where we live
- Our life style
- Our budget
Where we live
This impacted on our choice hugely as we live in a one bed flat which is up two flights of stairs. This meant we were looking for something fairly light weight and compact as top priority. Like us you may not have a lot of space and storage to keep your pram when you are not using it. I think what we will do is keep the frame in the car whilst the baby is still small and being transported in their car seat or carry cot, and we will carry them up to the flat in their car seat or carry cot which ever they are in at the time. When they are big enough to transfer to the pram, we will keep the whole thing in the car.
This will impact massively on your decision, as there are prams to accommodate every lifestyle, whether you live in a bustling city or the peaceful countryside. Living in Bristol we wanted a pram that would go up and down curbs easily, that we can manoeuvre through busy streets, shops and cafes easily and also had the ability to provide a comfy ride for Baby G whether on a pavement or a more uneven grass surface. We don’t use public transport in Bristol but if you do where you live you will also be looking for a pram that can collapse and go up using just one hand. If you live somewhere more rural there are options out there where the wheels are a lot chunkier which allows for a smoother ride for your baby over rougher and uneven surfaces.
You and your partner may want to incorporate your baby into your daily workout routine. There are prams that are lightweight and streamlined, which are designed as the ideal running partner to accommodate your baby whilst your out jogging, allowing you to keep up your fitness routine whilst your baby gets some fresh air or takes a nap.
Obviously the size of budget you have is very personal to each individual. I think what I would advise is be realistic about your requirements and be clear about how much you are prepared to spend as it is very easy to be wooed by some of the more expensive prams out there. Take the time to consider whether you really need everything the more expensive pram has to offer, or is there a cheaper option out there that can meet all your needs. We found ourselves being wooed by a higher end brand and were very close to spending more than we felt was a realistic price to spend. We spent about an hour in Mamas and Papas comparing the Sola2, the pram we bought and the Armadillo Flip XT. In the end we felt the Sola2 met all our requirements just as closely as the Armadillo Flip XT, which is why we weren’t prepared to spend the extra money on the Armadillo Flip XT.
One thing I definitely recommend is doing some research before heading out to the shops. Maybe there are prams that have caught your eye when you are out and about or maybe friends and family have recommended a pram to you. There is loads of information out there that will help you discover more about this unknown world of buying a pram and what is important to take into consideration. We used Netmums which provides reviews from real parents who have used the pram you are interested in. YouTube is also very useful as you can see demonstrations which show you everything you would want to see such as how easy they are to manoeuvre, how smoothly they go up and down, how compact they are and any other special features the pram has to offer. However nothing compares to you going out there and trying the prams out for yourself.
I hope these tips help, and if you feel there were other aspects that you felt were important in making your decision when buying your pram, please let me know by leaving a comment below, I would love to hear about your experiences.