Choosing Your Pushchair

Choosing the right pushchair should be one the simpler decisions to make when becoming a parent right? Truth is, it is one of the most daunting ones if you don’t know where to start. They're all pretty and have wheels and fit a baby inside which doesn’t narrow things down in the grand scheme of things.

If you break your decisions down, you can find a pushchair that is suitable for your needs, lifestyle and budget.

Your Lifestyle

Will you be using your pushchair on public transport? Best to be looking for something light weight and compact. How about those country walks as a family? You should definitely consider suspension and manoeuvrability for those difficult walking grounds. All of these aspects that may not even cross your mind need to be considered. As a parent, the last thing you need on top of everything else you juggle is a huge pushchair that takes a crane to lift and 3 strangers in the town centre to fold down.

Whilst thinking about which features you would benefit from due to where you live and where you will be using the product, it is important to think about where you will be storing the pushchair. It would be great if we all had endless room to leave your beautiful classic pushchair stood on show when it is not in use but the truth is, when a child arrives space gets tighter anyway so the more things you can move out of the way when they are not in use, the better.

Have you considered:

  • If part of your daily routine is travelling by bus or train you should consider the size and weight of your pushchair as highly important factors. Travelling this way without a child can be a squeeze at the best of times so when you are trying to carry a baby in one hand and your pushchair in another you need to ensure you can manage it comfortably. Something that folds compact is another element that will make your journeys more manageable just in case there isn’t enough room to keep your pushchair erect whilst using public transport.

  • If you and your family enjoy the great outdoors you should consider the surfaces you will be covering when you are out walking and how smooth the ride will be for your baby. Generally walking over cobbles, fields and other areas of the country requires all terrain tyres. The tyres on an all- terrain pushchair are generally pneumatic and bigger to handle the rougher ground, this means that they are not great for public transport or crowded places and they require a large boot for storage.

  • A family living in the city compared to a family living in the countryside will require two very different pushchairs. Considering where you live and where you spend your time as a family will be a very important factor of choosing your pushchair. Something for the city could be lightweight, compact and small when erect compared to something for the country that requires a suspension, large tyres and a big frame.

  • Depending on the car you drive, you will have different pushchairs that are a possibility for you to purchase. If you use a small car that doesn’t have a very big boot you would need to consider an upgrade or going for a pushchair that you can separate all of the parts from so the chassis can be folded right down. If you have a family car and the boot is empty apart from when you will be storing your travel system you can pick a bigger chassis and take the carry cot and car seat out with you as well if you require it. It is very important to test the pushchair in your boot before you make a purchase, not doing so can cause problems when trying to take your baby out.

  • Storing things in your family home can be a difficult task. Too many things to fit in so little space. Whether you will be storing it in a cupboard, behind a door, or leaving it up, it is something to consider before buying. The last thing you need amongst the endless toys, nappies and other baby related products that will take over your house is a pushchair blocking your landing. Consider where you will be putting it when you are at home with your family and measure the space. Finding a chassis or travel system that can be stored out of the way when it is not in use will be a perfect way to keep well needed space free.

  • A pushchair that is easy to manoeuvre and doesn’t weigh a lot is best for zipping between shops and through narrow doorways. Swivel wheels will also help to weave in and out of difficult or crowded areas with ease. If you like to shop till you drop, consider your shopping basket on your pushchair. Trying to carry numerous bags whilst pushing your pram is not an easy task, having somewhere to store them all will make days out a breeze.

Your Child's Needs

If you are buying for a new born baby, the pushchair you choose will either need a lie-back seat unit or be compatible with a carrycot. New born babies need to lie down whilst in the pushchair and having a carrycot that can easily be removed from the chassis reduces the risk of waking your baby when moving from outside to indoors etc.

There are options of which way your baby faces when you are pushing the pram as well. Most travel systems have a parent facing option for bonding and to keep a close eye on them when they are small. If you want to turn them to see the world when they are older, many travel systems have the option to turn the seat either way as and when you choose.

As your child gets older and is able to hold the weight of their own head, you can start looking at a light weight buggy if the travel system seems a bit much. Buggies have a selection of features now depending on your preference and visiting shops to have them demonstrated before you decide will help in the decision making.

Ideal For:

  • A pushchair for a newborn baby needs to have a seat unit that lies completely flat or a chassis that is compatible with a carrycot so your baby can lay down. This is ideal for allowing them to sleep whilst you are out and about with minimal disturbance and is better for their spine as they start to develop. A newborn baby should only be in a car seat for 2 hours at a time approximately so the lie flat option is highly important for your travel system or pushchair. You should also consider whether you would like your baby to facing you as you push them around. Most travel systems offer this but it is something to be checked first.

  • When your baby has reached the 6 months mark and no longer needs to lie flat when you are out with your pushchair you can either keep with your travel system and no longer use the carrycot or you can upgrade. If you have a travel system, keeping it will be the best option as you can still use your infant carrier and move your child in and out of the car easily. Most seats on strollers and pushchairs are suitable from 6 months if they do not lie completely flat so your child is perfectly safe to use one if you would prefer to go for something lighter that is easier to fold.

  • By this point, you will find your hands are full trying to keep track of a toddler on the move. The last thing you need is a heavy travel system that needs lugging around too. The most convenient option at this point it a stroller or buggy. Generally they have lightweight aluminium chassis’ and compact umbrella folds to ensure that taking them out is not a difficult task. They take less space to store and fit into most boots as well.

Comfort

A pushchair that is comfortable for both you and your baby is equally as important. If your baby is not comfortable, going places can quickly turn into a crying disaster.

The seat positions, padding and weather protection are things to consider for your baby. If the seat is cushioned and can be adapted to suit their mood you will immediately notice an easier trip out and might even be lucky enough to have a sleeping baby whilst out on the move.

Factors to consider for yourself are the handle height and grip as well as where the brake is positioned and how easy it is to manoeuvre. If the pushchair is too low and feels like you are pushing it through mud it can cause back ache and other pains, making going out an unenjoyable and sometimes even painful experience. The weight of the pushchair will also play a part in this section of selecting a pushchair. If you are unable to lift it, or simply get it up pavements and other obstacles, the pushchair is not for you.

For Your Child:

  • If you have a newborn baby you will need to select a pushchair that has a lie flat seat if you will not be using a carrycot, but for children over 6 months old it is still important to consider a seat that has different reclining positions. If your child falls asleep whilst you are out with the pushchair, it is convenient to be able to adjust them to a comfortable position to allow them to sleep. When your child is awake they can be sat in an upright position to allow them to engage with the outside world as they are being pushed along.

  • Seat liners & footmuffs are perfect for keeping your child warm, secure and comfortable. A seat liner will offer more padding for little bottoms on long walks or shopping trips, whilst a footmuff will offer a ‘sleeping bag’ kind of comfort with extra padding from the weather and safety harness. Some seats are already padded when you buy the pushchair, others have liners available for extra comfort and to make keeping the seat clean easy

  • The most important cover to consider for your pushchair is a rain cover, this will keep your baby completely dry in wet weather. There are also UV covers available to protect your baby from sun rays and bright light, ideal for summer days or holidays.

For You:

  • If your pushchair will be used by more than just yourself, you should consider one with an adjustable handle height to suit people of different sizes. Pushing a pram that is too low can cause back ache and other pains because you are uncomfortable. Foam handles will be more comfortable to grip when you are pushing the pram around, especially for a long period of time.

  • Although all pushchairs have brakes, they tend to be located in different places. Some are located on one of the wheels, others have a bar across the back and nowadays it is not uncommon for there to be a button on the handle of the pushchair for even easier access. Everyone has their own preference with this so take your time and test the pushchairs and ask where the brakes are located.

  • If you need to weave in and out of the city, shops or small places you should consider swivel wheels. Many pushchairs have the option to lock and unlock the swivel on the front wheels depending on the surface you are walking on. Having a pram that is easy to walk with and direct will make your trips a lot easier to manage so testing first on different surfaces is a great idea.

What's The Difference?

Pushchairs

Is essentially a ‘seat on wheels’ for your child and is the most convenient thing to use when your child can sit up without assistance, although now many of them do offer a lie flat facility to suit a new born baby as well. Pushchairs are generally quite lightweight, easy to fold and face away from the parent, to engage your child with the outside world. Pushchairs are very similar to prams with the advantages of them being easier to fold, carry and store, making them ideal for trips out to the city or for taking on the bus. The invention of the umbrella fold by Owen Maclaren in 1965 has forever changed the world of the pushchair. After this, Strollers began to replace Prams due to the features they had to offer a parent on the move.

Prams

Are used for new born babies as they allow the infant to lie down and face the parent or pusher. Many prams are now compatible with an infant carrier as well, allowing parents to go out without having to disturb a sleeping baby. Prams can be quite heavy and difficult to manoeuvre due to the frame and large wheels used to make it sturdy and safe for your baby, it is due to this that most families tend to convert to a pushchair or buggy when their child can sit up by themselves. Prams are the most traditional form of pushchair

Travel Systems

A travel system is a package containing everything you need for a new born baby. The pushchair in the travel system is compatible with a car seat and usually a carrycot with the click of a button. It allows your new born baby to lie flat when they are first born and be moved in and out of the car without disturbing any sleep. The infant carriers included in travel systems have compatible bases that can be left in the car to allow easier installation. Travel systems are suitable from birth.

Twin and Tandems

Are available as side-by-side seats or tandem seats (one in front or slightly on top of the other) Double pushchairs can be suitable for twin babies, or one baby and a toddler. It is important to check what age the seats are suitable for as they all vary. Tandems can be easier to use as they are narrower so more suitable for doorways and other tight squeezes, the side-by-sides are great for children’s interaction, especially if you have two children of the same age. Double pushchairs help parents handle two children when out and about comfortably and with ease.

Additional Extras

Parasols

Keep your little one protected from the harmful rays of the sun with a parasol, the perfect pushchair accessory for a summer stroll. Simply click it onto the chassis when needed and relax knowing your baby has a summer shield.

Rain Covers

Every pushchair needs a rain cover in our typical English weather to protect your little one from the elements. Throw it over, secure it into place and don’t let the rain stop you from your adventures.

Cup Holders

Store your drink in style when you simply don’t have enough hands to manage everything that being a parent throws at you. Clip the holder onto your chassis and away you go.

Footmuffs

An accessory designed to compliment your pushchair whilst offering a snug place for your baby to sleep. Ideal for winter ones and easy to attach to the pushchair, a foot muff is an essential part of your pushchair package.

Car Seat Adaptors

Many infant carriers require a set of adaptors to make it compatible with a pushchair. For some car seats there are numerous fixtures available so you can pair it with a number of different pushchairs but for most it is just one. Make sure you don’t buy the two main parts without the correct clips or adaptors to complete your travel system

Liners

Can be used to keep your baby cool in the summer heat as well as keeping your pushchair looking new. When it’s dirty simple wash it or replace it, ideal for catching food and sticky fingers. Choose a bold colour or a simple design, both will add comfort and security to any journey.

Carry Cots

A carrycot is the perfect accessory to allow your pushchair to be used from birth. Suitable from birth to approximately 6 months, the carrycot is a lay flat option for your chassis, which will then be replaced by the standard pushchair seat once your child can sit up.

Change Bags

Allow your baby to lie flat when they are new born by attaching a carrycot to your pushchair frame with the click of a button. There is no need to disturb your baby when you use one as you can simply unclip it from the chassis and take it straight into your house.

Try Before You Buy - Instore

Our retail stores in Barnsley (South Yorkshire) feature a buggy test track with different surfaces so you really can try before you buy. Wherever you live or like to go for a walk you can get a feel for how the pushchair will work on the chosen surface.

Grass

If you like an off-roading adventure, you will need a pushchair that is designed to glide over a rough surface. An all-terrain set of wheels will be perfect for this sort of surface, there are many pushchairs specifically designed for this type of lifestyle.

Tarmac

A perfect smooth surface for fixed or swivel wheels, a lightweight buggy would be compatible for this type of surface, ensuring an easy ride.

Cobbles

A difficult surface to tackle with a sleeping baby, you would need to consider a pushchair with a great suspension and some all-terrain wheels.

Car Boot

Whether you have a people carrier or a mini, there is a pushchair to suit every vehicle. You need to consider where you will store the pushchair when you are out as a family so it is important to test fold the ones you like to see which will be the most convenient.