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Prams and pushchairs

When you have a baby, well-meaning friends and family will often give you items you don't need or are sometimes impractical. However, you definitely will need something with which to transport your precious bundle. Prams and pushchairs can cost hundreds of pounds, so you don't want to get it wrong.

It's almost impossible to buy a pushchair that will suit all eventualities, as babies' needs change as they grow, but hopefully this guide will help.

Fashion faux pas

It may be the pram celebrities are seen pushing, it may be fashionable and make a statement but is it right for you?

There are so many different types of prams and pushchairs that before buying it's worth taking a good hard look at what's available and what will suit you best and it's always wise to ask other parents what they've found useful.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Whether the pram/pushchair will fit through your front door, down narrow hallways or be easy to manoeuvre up and down any stairs.
  • How much space it takes up in your home
  • If it will fit in the boot of your car
  • Is it easy to dismantle? Do try this in the shop, the assistant may make it look easy but you and your partner may think you need an engineering degree to do it yourself!
  • How much does it weigh? Consider the pushchair's weight - especially important if you have steps to your home or use public transport in which case a lightweight and compact folding pram or pushchair would be best.
  • Do you want your baby to face you?
  • Where will you be pushing most - in town or along a towpath, country walks or pavements?
  • Do you want wheels that swivel for easy movement or did you always see yourself pushing a large wheeled pram which offers a smoother ride for your baby but may be more difficult to manoeuvre. If you walk a lot, choose a sturdy model with lockable wheels. Swivel wheels make a pushchair easy to manoeuvre, while fixed wheels make handling easier over rough surfaces. Some pushchairs offer both a fixed and swivel wheel option.
  • Do you want your pram/pushchair to come with a shopping basket or tray?

Practicalities

Before buying a pushchair or a pram, check that:

  • The brakes are in good working order.
  • The handles are at the right height for pushing for you and your partner - some models have adjustable handle heights.
  • The handle grips are comfortable. Look for pushchairs with softer rubber or foam grips and handles with soft, rounded edges that are angled to support a natural wrist position.
  • The frame is strong enough.
  • Your stride is uninterrupted and you're able to walk normally and don't scrape your shin on a rear axle, brake bar or shopping basket.
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