Prams cost the same as a small car and the engineering is almost as complex. So, you might as well take the time to make sure you’ve got the best one …
When we first started thinking about baby kit, we had no idea what anything was or what we needed. A pram was, by a mile, our first purchase. It was the big ticket item and the one we were most confident we’d need.
Men find prams interesting. Or at least, my husband did. The majority of items we’ve bought since – particularly the likes of blankets, towels and all the little baby outfits – he does his best to feign interest in. But I can tell he’s not as excited by the towel with inbuilt neck poppers as I am. The pram, however – and also baby monitors – are both gadgety enough to get him reaching for the latest reviews on Which?
The first attempt at pram shopping was completely bewildering. We visited Dutch baby shop Prenatal and were faced with hundreds of somewhat similar looking contraptions that we had no clue what to do with. Eventually, against my husbands wishes, I cornered someone for help (why are men so resistant to asking for help?). The sales person assisted us in the tricky, krypton factor-esque job of taking each pram apart and putting it back together again.
We concluded these were the most important points in pram choice:
- Easy for a 6foot man and 5foot4 woman to push
- Easy to take the main basket part off the frame / put on again and easy to fold the frame
- Looks good
- Plenty of space for shopping
The Dutch are master pram builders. Surprising? – not really. Their engineering expertise has allowed them to steal back large expanses of land from the sea (technically, most of the country lies below sea level). Compared to this godlike control of the ocean prams are, literally, childsplay. Two of the biggest pram brands – Bugaboo and Joolz – are Dutch. If you ask for recommendations (at least in this country) the chance is it’ll be one of these.
We love our Bugaboo Chameleon. Our little one is just six weeks, but since week two it’s had almost daily use.
Here’s the pros and cons:
→ I can easily steer it with one hand. Essential for walks in the park trying to wield both buggy and dog.
→ The big back tyre makes it ‘off-roady’: it goes smoothly over lumps and bumps. It’s fairly light too (there are lighter ones), so manoeuvres in and out of public transport aren’t too horrendous.
→ The main basket does come off easily and frame folds easily. Although these two points are less critical for us than we thought they’d be.
→ There’s a big shopping storage space underneath (also see Cons). It’s also easy, with separately purchased buggy hooks, to hang our large baby bag off the handle
→ It does look good (I think). There’s lots of different colours and designs to choose from.
→ It’s an all-in-one system. So, it comes with basket which last to six months, then upright seat which lasts to two years. You can also get adaptors to put a car seat on the frame.
→ Maybe this would be the case with any pram, but our little one is very happy in it and usually sleeps within minutes of being pushed around. She’ll stay sleeping in it at cafes etc. too, allowing me the luxury of a relaxed, two-handed lunch.
→ It’s not the slimmest in width. I still bash her into things, mis-judging my vehicle size. She doesn’t seem to mind though.
→ The shopping storage isn’t easy to access with the basket on. You can tilt it up and stuff some things in but this process is slow and awkward in a supermarket. I think it will be easier when we switch to the upright seat at around six months.
→ It’s not cheap. But, it’s going to last for two years. Longer should we have another. Which is much more than can be said for her baby clothes.
Anyone have other pram recommendations / ones you wouldn’t advise? Always interested to hear.