Required: A pushchair, buggy or travel system and a raincover where not included
Highly Recommended: Carrycot for pushchair use from birth, footmuff and a set of car seat adaptors for use with a car seat as a travel system, parent organisers where available.
Optional: travel bag, coordinating changing bag, seat liner, sun parasol
Choosing your pushchair is one of the most important decisions you will make – you will use your buggy every day for the next 2-3 years. Your pushchair will also be one of your costliest purchases so treat this is an investment – you do not want to end up buying 2 or 3 buggies because you did not choose correctly or invest at the start (this happens all too frequently). There is a bewildering array of choice, and the distinctions between pushchairs, buggies, prams and travel systems is often unclear to new parents. At Crux Baby, we have handpicked only the best pushchairs, prams & travel systems for you to help you in your decision – those that receive the highest ratings, those that have won awards, and, most importantly, those that have been tried, tested and loved by parents before you.
Key Questions to Ask
- Where will I use my pushchair most frequently – city sidewalks, parks, etc?
- What is the maximum I can spend?
- Where will I store my pushchair?
- How long will I use it for? Will I have another child in that period?
- Will I be getting into and out of the car or on and off public transport frequently?
- Seats with multiple recline positions
- Forward and rear facing seat – babies can face you to increase bonding as a newborn and be switched away from you for increased environmental stimulation at an older age
- Wheels, chassis and suspension system that give baby a comfortable ride while also being easy to push
- Adjustable height handlebar
- Easy one handed fold into small unit that is easy to store – particularly if you need to get the pushchair into a car boot frequently or live in a flat
- Large storage basket on the bottom for storage
In our shop, accessories are grouped alongside the pushchair model making it much easier for you to remember everything you need for your baby buggy. You will find the widest range of high end pushchairs at John Lewis while Mothercare, Kiddicare and Baby and Toddler World carry a wider selection of both high end and cheaper buggies.
What are the Differences Between Pushchairs, Prams and Travel Systems?
Put simply, a pram is a Moses basket on wheels which can only be used for a short period. Your better option is to choose a pushchair that is suitable newborns with the use of a carrycot – they offer significantly more flexibility than a pram and can be used for 2-3 years. Where available with the brand and model you choose, a 3-in-1 travel system is an excellent choice as it provides you with a coordinating pushchair, carrycot and car seat and simplifies the buying process significantly.
A 3-in-1 travel system is a practical and cost efficient way to buy a pushchair, car seat and carrycot all in one go with the added benefit of knowing everything will work together smoothly. They are excellent for people who use their car frequently and want to be able to transfer baby between car, pushchair and home without disturbing them. They can also be great for people who live in cities as you can quickly snap on the car seat instead of the carrycot when you are just running around town for a short while. For travel systems, you should always check whether an Isofix base is included with your car seat in the package.
Twin or tandem pushchairs are required if you are expecting twins or if you have an older child who still regularly uses a pushchair. A twin pushchair in essence is two pushchairs squashed together, whilst a tandem pushchair is a combination of two seats, one in front of the other. Twin pushchairs are a more stable solution than tandems whilst allowing your babies to sit together, but they are often too big to use in town and hard to get in and out of the car so many mothers still prefer tandem buggies. Twin or tandem pushchairs rank lower in product reviews as they are often difficult to manoeuvre, but there are still several good options available on the market. For twin and tandem pushchairs, additional things to consider include the weight and manoeuvring – is the buggy narrow enough to fit through your home’s doorway, shop doorways and supermarket aisles for instance? Additional beneficial features for a twin or tandem pushchair include seat units with multiple recline positions that are independent for each seat unit, and the ability to attach car seats and carrycots to both seat units (particularly important for twins).
All-terrain or 3-wheel pushchairs are the 4×4 of the pushchair world. Three large, treaded wheels allow for traction on some difficult surfaces including mud, grass and sand and are great for those who live in the countryside, those who walk or jog frequently and those who live in areas where the pavement is poor. These pushchairs also feature deep, padded seats giving baby a comfy ride. Despite being relatively bulky, most models can be folded up. Fixed front wheels are useful if you want to jog with your baby, but swivel wheels are easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces. Air-filled tyres make the 3-Wheeler easier to push over rough ground, but they are easy to puncture and you have to have tyre repair kits on hand. Finally, all terrain buggies may not be suitable for parents with toddlers as you can’t attach a buggy board to them although you can often buy a separate doubles kit to convert them into full duo pushchairs. 3-Wheelers are often not useful for city dwellers as they are large and difficult to use easily on public transport or in crowded places. You will also need a large car to transport them and a large space to store them at home. Specific questions and beneficial features pertaining to all-terrain pushchairs include:
- Is the front wheel is fixed or swivel and does it have a quick release facility?
- Are the tyres air-filled?
- Do I need to use a buggy board?
- A swivel front wheel that can be locked
- Bigger wheels that make for smoother rides
Required: 2-3 pushchair and car seat toys specifically designed to attach to the handlebar or sun shade
Highly Recommended: Universal buggy board for use with a toddler, pram clips or stroller hooks to attach your changing bag to pushchair, small pushchair organiser
Recommended: Universal footmuff and cup holder if your pushchair brand does not offer them
This is the place to check for all those pushchair accessories you may need, but often forget. You will definitely want a couple of toys to attach to your pushchair and car seat to keep baby entertained while you move around – and will need more sophisticated options for your car seat as baby gets older if you travel by car frequently. We would also highly recommend some pram clips or stroller hooks so you can attach your changing bag to your pushchair – it simply makes it much easier to manage everything you take with you on an outing. For similar reasons, we also love small stroller organisers such as Diono’s Buggy Buddy.