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Tips, advice and answers for travelling safely with baby on foot or by car. For more detailed information, visit Baby Steps on your PC or laptop.
Out for a walk
what's the difference between a pram, pushchair, stroler and buggy?
Travelling with baby can require a lot of planning, not to mention a lot of equipment to have on-hand. There are loads of ways to get around with your little one on a day to day basis, too, from buggies, pushchairs, prams and more, all of which are explained below.
Confusingly these names can be used interchangeably. But there are important differences between them:
- Prams are designed for newborns and younger babies who need to lie flat. A pramette is a pram which allows you to move baby into a seated position when they get older.
- Pushchairs are for when your child can sit up. Most pushchairs will also recline, allowing newborns to lie flat until they're ready to sit up.
- Strollers and pushchairs are often confused. Strollers tend to be lighter and can be folded up, which makes them easier for taking on public transport. They're recommended for toddlers and younger children.
- Buggies can mean either a pushchair or a stroller. A bit like Hoover and Biro, it's a case where the name of a certain brand has become used for all similar products.
What's a baby travel system?
Travel systems combine a pushchair and a car seat, and sometimes a carrycot or pram, all in one. This means you only have to buy one piece of kit for their daily travels, and it also makes it easier for you to move your baby from one place to another without waking or disturbing them.
Try a baby carrier or sling
Baby carriers and slings bring your child close to you, cuddling them to your body while leaving your hands free. This allows you to do your shopping and all kinds of jobs while bonding with baby. It can also help soothe them if they're a little fussy or colicky.
A sling is better for the first 6 months, as it offers a lot of support for their head and keeps them closer to you. After that, you can carry them front facing, or rear facing as they start to get more curious about the world around them.
Once your baby reaches 15 - 20 pounds, they may start to get a bit heavy. You can still use a carrier, but opt for one that can support the extra weight.
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Taking a drive
Choose the right size baby car seat
Safety is so important when choosing the right car seat for your baby. You have to have one – it's the law. You must never travel while carrying them in your arms or laid across a seat – they must be in a car seat.
Baby car seats need to have been carefully tested for safety. You should always look out for the European safety numbers R44.03, R44.04 or i-size R129 on a car seat before you buy.
The right child car seat is one that is suitable for their weight and size. Car seats are grouped into certain categories to help you find the right one for your child's age and weight.
What are i-Size seats?
i-Size is a new European car seat standard that is beginning to be phased in. It's designed to ensure all car seats fit in all cars. The size of i-Size seating is determined by a child's height rather than weight, making it easier to find the right fit. They also allow car seats to be rear-facing for longer.
What is Isofix?
Isofix is a universal car seat system which comes installed in newer cars and can be fitted to older cars with an adaptor. Using pre-installed buckles (they should be easy to find), you can securely fit a car seat more easily and safely without having to secure using seatbelts. All i-Size seats should be Isofix compatible.