Choosing the Right Pushchair
There are now so many excellent pushchairs available that choosing the right one for you and your child can be a bit of a minefield. Should you opt for a lightweight stroller, a travel system, a two in one or an all-terrain model? It is all too easy to make a costly mistake by being seduced into an impulse purchase by good looks and the allure of the latest trends. Is the pushchair you have fallen in love with the most practical choice for you? Here is a comprehensive guide to the factors you should consider.
Set a price limit that you can afford and try to stick to it. A brilliant pushchair is not so great if you never use it because you can't afford to leave the house! Having said that, take a good look at what is included in the price of the models you are considering. Some come as standard with a lot more of the accessories you need than others and so the cheapest basic price is not necessarily the best deal. Also consider how long you want the pushchair. If your baby is under 6 months old you will need a model which reclines fully and not all of these will be suitable when they are older, leaving you having to buy another one later on. If you don't want to be faced with a second purchase, check out models which can accommodate babies and toddlers; these may initially be more expensive but will save you money in the long run.
How much room is there in your home? Make sure you select a model that fits through your door and, when folded down, fits into the space where you wish to store it. If you have a narrow hallway ensure that your chair is small enough to manoeuvre around it. If you regularly have to negotiate a lot of steps to get out and about, it would be wise to choose a lightweight model that you can easily lift.
The Great Outdoors
Those who spend a lot of time walking should look at models which are good on a variety surfaces and have good suspension and large wheels like the iCandy Peach or Silver Cross Surf. All terrain buggies like the Out 'N' About Nipper have three wheels, offer great suspension and manoeuvrability and are particularly suitable for those with an outdoor lifestyle or for dealing with areas of poor paving. These models are often large and so not a good idea if you are limited on space or have to use public transport.
If you frequently use buses and trains to travel, a lightweight option which folds down easily like the Britax B-Agile is certainly your best choice. It is hard enough getting on and off the bus with your baby. Running a constant battle with your buggy will not help matters!
Regular drivers may be attracted to a travel system, like the Babystyle Oyster, which include a removable car seat. These can be pricey but they will save you a lot of effort moving your child about and minimise the amount of times you have to wake them up to get them in and out of the car. Be careful to buy an appropriate model for the age of your child. Young babies must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
If you like to shop 'til you drop then ensure you choose a pushchair with plenty of storage for your purchases. Hanging bags on the handles is never a good idea as the chair can tip over so find a model with a good sized and accessible under-basket.
Comfort for You
Test out the models you are considering as it is important that the handles are the correct height for you or that they are adjustable. This is particularly an issue if more than one person will regularly push the chair. A bad choice here can lead to back problems!
Which Way to Face?
Do you want your child to face you so you can interact more easily or would you prefer them to see more of the world around them? Some models can be positioned either way but many do not give you the option so make sure you choose the one that suits your needs.
Set the Criteria
To avoid falling prey to a foolish impulse purchase make a list of your requirements and check them off against the options available within your budget. Stick to a pushchair that ticks all of your boxes and you will avoid having to go through the whole process again.