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Buying guide to buggies

 
Who would’ve thought there’s so much to think about when buying a buggy (pushchair, pram or stroller)! As well as sticking to your budget, there are so many different types, different brands and different features you’ll need to consider when buying the best buggy to suit you and your little one. Check out these useful tips.
Who would’ve thought there’s so much to think about when buying a buggy (pushchair, pram or stroller)!

As well as sticking to your budget, there are so many different types, different brands and different features you’ll need to consider when buying the best buggy to suit you and your little one.

Babies and toddlers spend a relatively short time in their buggies, but it’s important to get it right. 

Check out these tips to help find a buggy that will meet your needs.
 

Go for a test drive!

  • Buggies look great on the shelf and wheel around the shop very easily without anything in them, but to get a true sense of how they’ll manoeuvre, add in some weight and go for a test drive in the shop.
 
  • Ask if you can use some items around the shop if need be to fill the buggy. You’ll then get an idea of how they’ll be when loaded up with a baby or toddler, nappy bags, shopping and other items.
 

Try folding, opening & lifting the buggy - with one hand!

  • With an impatient baby or toddler on your hips, you’ll want to be able to fold and open a buggy as quickly as possible, and with one hand!
 
  • Test the models in the shop to see what works best for you.
 
  • Also consider the weight of the buggy. You won’t want to be lifting a heavy buggy in and out of the car single-handed.
 

Think about your lifestyle

  • Buy a buggy that will work for your lifestyle.
 
  • Do you live in town or in the country?
 
  • Will you use the buggy for gentle strolls, running or off-road through the bush? There’s not much point in buying an all-terrain buggy if you’re only going to use it on the pavement to the nearest café!
 
  • Will you be doing a lot of travelling with the buggy, particularly on planes?
 
  • Will you need the buggy to be hardwearing and last for more than one child?
 
  • How long are you planning on using the buggy? You may not want to ditch the buggy for a couple of years, but perhaps bear in mind the long-term physical and social effects buggies can have on your child as they get older.
 

Safety

  • Does the buggy comply with a safety standard? For example, the joint Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 2088 is the most common. Other standards are the British BS 7409, European EN 1888 and US ASTM F833 standard.
 
  • Have you checked out the manufacturer’s safety record to ensure the model you want hasn’t been recalled?
 
  • Does the buggy have a 5-point harness to strap your little one in safely?
 
  • Does the buggy have a handbrake? Some buggies have separate brakes on each wheel, but brakes activated by a single linking bar are more useful.
 
  • A safety leash on the handle bar that straps to your wrist can stop the buggy from running away, especially if you’re on a slope.
 

Seating

  • Does it come with comfy, padded seating for your little one?
 
  • Is the seat reversible so that your baby can face you when they’re small or face the way you’re going when they’re bigger?
 
  • Can you lay the seat flat or at a slight angle so that your baby can sleep comfortably?
 

Wheels

  • Three-wheel buggies are usually wider and longer than four-wheel buggies and often heavier. They are more manoeuvrable on uneven terrain but can be less stable. Four-wheel buggies are usually more compact.
 
  • Buggies with large wheels tend to be better on kerbs and stairs, inflatable tyres help to absorb bumps and swivel wheels help to make steering easier.
 
  • Check what the wheels are made out of? Solid plastic ones don’t make for a very comfortable ride!
 
  • If the buggy has pneumatic tyres, find out if the tyre pump is included or an additional cost.           
 

Hoods and covers

  • Does the buggy come with a full or partial hood, a sunshade and/or a rain cover, or are these items an additional cost?
 
  • A viewing window in the hood lets you keep an eye on your little one whilst you’re out and about.
 

Other features to consider:

  • Does the buggy have a basket underneath or at the back for all those extras you need to take with you when you’re out and about?
 
  • Does the buggy have a front bar or tray? Make sure it’s removable and easy to lift your little one out.
 
  • Footrests reduce the likelihood of your little one hurting their feet on the ground or front wheel. They also make for a more comfortable ride.
 
  • Do you need a cup holder for your drink bottle or coffee cup?
 
  • Can you attach a toddler seat or scooter to the buggy frame for an older sibling?
 

First-hand experience

  • Talk to other parents and ask for their advice and perhaps test-drive their buggy to get a feel of it and whether it’s something you want to buy too.
 
  • Ask them which accessories or buggy features they found useful and which were perhaps a waste of money or you could do without.
 

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