Baby Prams and Strollers – Buying Help
Congratulations! You’re pregnant. Now for the hard part, deciding what baby pram or stroller is best for you. With so many brands (Bugaboo, Baby Jogger, Joolz or Mountain Buggy!?)the process of buying a baby pram can be mind boggling!
Not to fear, we have you covered with not only the latest and greatest baby prams, strollers and pram accessories from leading brands around Australia, but also the best baby pram and stroller advice!
But first, we have distilled things down to the essentials in the hope this will help your decision making.
The Baby Pram Budget
As you will soon discover, the variety of baby pram prices is jaw dropping! Whilst it is possible to find an entry-level pram for under $100, best-of-breed models with all the latest options and gadgets often sell for many thousands of dollars. (I’ve actually spent less money on a used car!)
When selecting a pram that’s right for you, budget is of course a major consideration and, in actual fact, is probably a good starting point. From there, you can select the features you need that are available in this price range.
How Will You Be Using Your Baby Pram?
· Exercising – If purposeful exercise versus incidental exercise is high on your list, then look at brands that specialise in jogger prams, which come with their own specific set of safety and comfort considerations. Just bear in mind that running with a pram is not recommended for newborns.
· Adventure – Are you planning to head ‘off-road’? Do you enjoy taking your child on adventures along rugged paths rather than on concrete footpaths? Then perhaps look at a pram with larger inflatable tyres, suspension and sturdy construction.
If just getting to your house is an adventure (e.g. cobblestone paths) then, again, larger pram wheels will be the better option. See the Baby Jogger Summit XC which boasts excellent maneuverability on any terrain.
On the go – If you’re on the go all the time and need a pram that can zip along and keep up, then a three wheeler could well be your pram of choice. Just bear in mind that these can be longer, wider and heavier than four wheelers. If you’re going to be spending a fair amount of time in shopping centres, then look for pram wheels with hard tyres, as they will make for smoother pushing.
Public Transport and / or Limited Storage Space
Are you going to be using public transport a lot? Is the pram light enough (once your child is in it) to lift on and off a tram, train or bus? Something lightweight will be essential. Do you have limited storage space when the pram is not in use? Then a 4-wheeler could be right for you in both these instances.
Baby Prams And The Car
Will your pram actually fit in the boot of your vehicle? Is it easy enough to fold down/ dismantle and be placed into the car? Make sure the pram you’re considering is not too heavy for you to literally pick up, move about and set down again.
Picking The Right Pram For Your Newborn Baby
Is your baby a newborn? In that case they must be able to lie flat in a bassinet style bed. Consider a travel system that is designed to take the baby from the pram to the car (and vice versa) by removing a ‘capsule’. This means the transition is more seamless (especially good for a sleeping baby) and it also minimises the fuss!
If you don’t want to consider a detachable bassinet then just ensure that the pram is able to recline to a full lay-back position so your child can sleep lying straight.
Twin And Triple Baby Prams
You may require a new pram to cope with a second or third addition to the family. An older sibling alongside a new baby produces challenges, whilst twins (or triplets!) make things very interesting. Prams that cater for multiple children are thankfully not hard to find.
There are prams that carry each infant side-by-side and there are prams that situate one child in the front and the other in the rear. Some prams simplify things by providing an uncomplicated skateboard/ toddler seat for the resting older sibling.
Will Others Be Using Your Baby Pram?
Your partner?, very likely. Your child’s grandparents? Possibly. A nanny? Perhaps. If this is the case and you will not be the only person pushing the pram, then consider options that will work for as many of you as possible.
What are some of the features you’re after?
If you thought a pram simply pushed your child from A to B – have a rethink. The pram industry has become highly modernised in the last few years and boasts plenty of creative fixes and solutions to problems that previous generations of parents soldiered on with.
The smart thinking and product innovation from pram brands around the world, has given parents a plethora of pram features from which to select from. Some features to look out for:
· An adjustable backrest – this is especially important for babies six months or less, so that they are able to lie flat and sleep as well as sit up and watch the world go by
· A reversible option – either the seat or the pram handle – that allows your child to sit either forward or rear facing
· Speaking of pram handles, a pram with an adjustable height handle looks after you, allowing you to tailor the pram to your height and the height of your partner (rather than the other way around!)
· Storage capacity – either under the pram or in pockets around it so that you can more easily carry around everything for your child’s needs as well as additional extras such as grocery shopping, your handbag, etc
· An umbrella or canopy of some sort – helps protect your child from damaging and dangerous UV rays and sun in their eyes
· A detachable bar in front of the pram seat – this functions not only as a handrest for your child, but also a barrier so they’re unlikely to fall forward and out (though remember unless they have their belt on, then they could slip under this bar)
· A footrest – this is handy in that it not only allows your child to rest their feet as they’re in the pram, but also helps prevent them from dragging feet on the ground and/or getting them caught in the wheels, both of which scenarios could be dangerous
Baby Pram Accessories
Welcome to a new world of choice! it is a veritable smorgasbord of accessories out there! The number and types of pram add-ons has just exploded over the last five years.
When it comes to pram accessories, it almost seems like your options are limitless, so make life as easy as possible by focusing on what would be important for your lifestyle before selecting any model of pram. Bear in mind that some prams have a wider selection of accessories than others.
Some pram accessories you can expect to come across include:
· Car seat Capsule adapter (ensuring of course that the capsule is compatible to your pram)
Never forget that a pram’s first (and really only true) function is to transport your most precious of cargo safely from A to B. Everything else pales into insignificance.
Mandatory standards for prams and strollers in Australia and New Zealand came into effect from July 1 2008. These mandatory standards are world leading and incorporate product performance, design, construction and testing and include the safety warnings and information labels found on strollers and prams (AS/NZS 2088:2000).
Important safety standards to which any pram or stroller must legally adhere to include (but are not limited to) the following:
· All strollers must feature a permanently attached harness assembly, that includes waist and crotch straps for every occupant
· All baby prams must feature wrist tether straps. These must come with a warning label instructing the parent or carer to utilise the tether so as to minimise the likelihood of the pram rolling away
· Prams and strollers must also feature red brake pedals/levers to make them more easily seen and therefore more likely to be used
Consumer Advocacy – Choice Reviews
Choice provides a combination of consumer advocacy and advice to empower consumers to make the most informed purchasing decisions they can. For some 40 years, Choice has been conducting regular reviews on prams available in Australia.
Choice regularly reviews of hundreds of prams from the base models up to the all-singing-and-dancing, top-of-the-line models. For the December 2020 edition, the prams ranged in price from $169 to $1,799.
Choice reviews have a primary focus on safety, durability and ease of use. Choice placed each pram on a roller grid and subjected them to literally hundreds of kilometres of simulated ‘strolling’, during which the prams’ safety, durability and features were put to the test.
The following 10 prams or strollers received the coveted Choice ‘Recommended’ stamp of approval:
Maclaren Quest Arc – 91%
Steelcraft Agile Elite – 91%
Bugaboo Cameleon 3 – 90%
Bugaboo Fox – 90%
Maxi-Cosi Zelia 017815 – 90%
Mother’s Choice Grace – 90%
Steelcraft Agile 4 – 90%
Steelcraft Savvi 30172 – 90%
Bugaboo Lynx – 89%
Baby Jogger City Tour 2 – 76%
Joolz Hub 840100 – 76%
Stokke Beat – 76%
Britax Flexx – 75%
Mountain Buggy Swift 3.1 – 75%