We were incredibly lucky in that some good friends of ours were just about to finish using their travel system (car seat, pram and pushchair) when we were on the lookout for one so we were able to snap theirs up for a more than generous price (don’t ever buy a second-hand car seat from someone you don’t know in case it’s been involved in a crash, as even a small bump can affect the internal workings of the seat). However, I’ve now been a pram user (“I’m Harriet and I use a pram nearly every day…”) for nearly five months so I wanted to share some thoughts on what to look out for in the hope of helping any wannabe pram owners!
The handles: seems like an odd place to start, but it’s the first thing I thought of when out and about yesterday thinking about the content of this post. Essentially you’re either going to end up with a pram with two handles (which is what we have on our Hauck Condor Mickey Mouse set-up) or one with a bar across the front to push it with. Ours is fab as you can pretty much balance all your shopping on the handles, something you wouldn’t be able to do with the other type. However, I do find manoeuvring is really tricky with just one hand whereas others seem fairly easy to push with one. And you can always buy a bag hook, although I doubt it would hold as many bags as two handles.
Rear/parent facing: at the moment Alexandra uses the flat pram attachment which faces into whoever’s pushing the pram. I really like this as she falls asleep very easily in it but when she’s awake it’s easy to keep an eye on her and she will generally be fine in there because she can see me or her dad. When she moves into the stroller type base (when she can sit up unaided) she’ll be facing out into the big wide world. I think she’ll really like this because she’s nosey but those who’d like their baby facing them for a little while longer might want to consider that when looking at pram options.
Colours: our pram is mainly black with some cream on it and has a very subtle Mickey Mouse design (as in a couple of sets of Mickey ears on it rather than a ‘print’ as such). Some of the prams I’ve seen SCREAM IN YOUR FACE BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL THE BRIGHT COLOURS IN SOME CRAZY PATTERN. That’s not for me necessarily, although for some people they may love it; personally I don’t want to feel like I’m at a disco every time I take my child for a walk. It sounds obvious but it may also be worth considering a neutral colour if you’re planning another child (and would keep the same pram) or if you want to try and sell it on after use.
Ease of use: how does it go up and down? Can you get the thing on and off public transport if you’re likely to be using that? Will it be easy to explain to friends and family how to use it if they babysit or offer to help while you soothe a crying baby? Things which may have seemed simple before get infinitely more complicated when accompanied by the sound of screaming or when you’re running late because the baby’s dropped one seconds before you were due to leave.
There’s obviously loads more to think about like: how much does it cost? (Some of them are more expensive than a small car!) Does it fit in my boot? Is the car seat easy to get in and out the car? But those are just a few of my thoughts!
Harriet and Alexandra x