How To Choose a Pushchair
Choosing your first pushchair probably feels like a daunting task as the variety of models available in the UK is quite bewildering.
There are features that you can look for that will help narrow down your choice and enable you to get the best pushchair for you.
1) Is it easy to fold and compact when folded? Most pushchairs claim to be this but of course some are a lot easier than others. We're biased but baby jogger pushchairs have the best folding mechanism at the moment.
2) Will it fit in the boot of my car and through my front door? If you have to drive a lot then a pushchair that is difficult to get into your car will become a daily nuisance. If in doubt keep it small and light. Practicality is everything.
3) Is it suitable from birth/ Does it require a carrycot? Some pushchairs are, some are not. If they are, you don't necessarily need to buy a carrycot which could save you a lot of money. Some carrycots only get used for a few months.
4) Can it take a car seat? BeSafe, Phil and Teds, Joie, Recaro? It used to be that you had to have a Maxi Cosi Cabriofix with your pushchair but now BeSafe, Phil and Teds and others make car seats that will fit on the same adaptors.
5) Can the pushchair seat face backwards? All pushchairs have a forward facing seat unit but some also have the option of a rear facing seat unit? It's a nice option to be able to see your baby facing you but this feature does generally add weight, size and cost to your pushchair.
6) Do I need big off road wheels? They are fun and provide a nice bouncy ride but make the pushchair heavier and bulkier when folded. If you are mostly trekking around town then smaller wheels are lighter and more manoeuverable.
7) 3 Wheels or 4 Wheels?. There's no right or wrong answer here. 3 wheels are arguably better off road but it is the wheel diameter that makes the real difference.
8) I'm buying a double pushchair should I get side by side or one in front of the other?. Side by side pushchairs are pretty compact these days, generally cheaper and easy to manoeuvre and will fit through most doorways. Tandem pushchairs are narrower and can often take car seats as well as carrycots. Some will give you the option of having your children face each other and combinations of car seat with the pushchair seat unit.
9) Why do I need a travel system? The advantage of a travel system is that if your baby happens to fall asleep in the car seat you don't have to wake him up to transport him into the house or into the pushchair or back into the car. Anything that makes life a little easier is a bonus.
10) When your child is around year old you may just need a small lightweight pushchair. Travel systems don't have to be large and bulky - if you make the right choice in the first instance you will already have one.