Choosing the perfect used pushchair for you and your baby

Filed in Blog by on September 4, 2016 0 Comments
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As parents to a new baby, the pushchair is one of the most important buys you’ll make. So it’s important you make sure you choose the right one. Problem is, where do you start? gives you the lowdown on choosing the best set of wheels for your baby…

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Do you use your car a lot?
If you’re always in and out of the car, a travel system could be the perfect choice. “‘Travel system’ typically means a pushchair with a Group 0+ car seat that clips on securely and can be used to 13kg or about one year old,” explains Linda. “A lot of pushchairs will see your baby from birth until three years old, and some come with a carrycot that can even replace the need for a Moses basket.”

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Don’t forget to make sure the pushchair fits in the boot too: “Compact cars and huge systems are not a good match!” warns Linda. “Bear in mind anything else you might need to fit in – like your shopping or a travel cot.”

Are you a bus hopper?
Lightweight and easy to fold are your key words if you’re going to be getting on and off public transport regularly. If it’s a struggle to carry your pushchair up a short flight of stairs, or you can’t fold it up with a baby tucked under your arm, think again.

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“The good news is that lightweight pushchairs have really come a long way these days, with lots of features and added extras for comfort,” says Linda. Remember that babies need to lie flat for the first four to six months, so choose a model with full seat recline if you’re buying for a newborn.

How long do you want and wish the pushchair to last?
Is this pushchair just for the newborn months, or well into toddler years ? If you’re looking for a pram to last,  a modern pram that converts into a pushchair means that one purchase is good for all your baby’s stages. Many of these have reversible seats too, so that your child can face you for  eye contact and reassurance at the beginning. Then, as your little one gets more intersteed in the outside world, you can turn the seat around.

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Remember that some things, like infant car seats, won’t last beyond your baby’s first birthday. If your child is already a toddler, a basic pushchair or stroller will give you the best value for money.

Who else will use your pushchair?
Pushchairs aren’t just for mums and dads, of course – grandparents and childminders are all likely to take your baby for a walk. “If your pushchair is likely to have more than one ‘driver’, adjustable handles make pushing more comfortable for everyone,” says Linda. It’s worth taking style into account too – will you turn heads with a hot-pink pushchair or keep it neutral with classic black or taupe?

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What’s your budget?
There’s a huge choice of wheels out there – along with a huge range in price tags! Ultimately it comes down to the features you’re looking for. “You can spend under £100 on a basic pushchair, but if you’ve got your heart set on a higher-spec set of wheels, say with a reversible lie-flat seat unit and/or carrycot, it’ll cost more,” says Linda. Also, basic pushchairs tend not to be travel-system compatible. So if you’re looking for the flexibility of moving your sleeping baby from car to pushchair, don’t forget to factor it into your budget.

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And remember that as your baby grows, so too will your requirements. A larger pram-style model is perfect for the early days and those leisurely strolls in the park, but once baby’s old enough to sit up on their own, you may find that a lighter stroller is more convenient.

How many passengers?
If you’re expecting twins or your children are very close in age, you’ll need a tandem or double. “Tandem pushchairs [seats one in front of the other] are perfect for siblings with a small age gap,” says Linda. “Double or side-by-side pushchairs are usually suitable from birth and are good for older kids or toddling twins who can sit next to each other, with no arguments about whose turn it is to go at the front!

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Toddlers’ legs get tired, so a buggy board – like a skateboard that attaches to the chassis – is the perfect solution. However, not all boards fit all buggies, so make sure you check first. You’ll find lots of handy information at buggyboard.info.

What about accessories?
“Lots of pushchairs come with a raincover, and some come with other accessories too, so check what’s included before you buy,” advises Linda. You can have fun finding extras like a matching changing bag, while a handy cup holder will keep your water within easy reach. “Remember to consider the unpredictability of the great British weather,” says Linda. “If a raincover isn’t included, it’s really worth getting one. So is a parasol – for when the shine does decide to shine!”

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Town or country?
If you’ll only be using your pushchair for short, urban journeys, smaller wheels are fine. But if you’re very active or you live in the country where the ground is uneven, a bigger pushchair with puncture-resist tyres is a worthwhile investment. These all-terrain pushchairs quite often have three wheels. “Their superior suspension gives baby (and you) a much smoother ride,” says Linda. “Bear in mind they can be the weightier option, however.”

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How do you live?
“If you live in a flat or have a narrow hallway, a compact, folding pushchair will be more space-saving than a sturdy pram,” advises Linda. “If you’re lucky enough that space isn’t an issue, a pushchair with a carrycot means you can wheel a sleeping baby into the house without waking them.” Bliss!

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