As you get ready for your baby's arrival, choosing a good pushchair is a must. You'll be using it every day until your baby is three or four years old, so we've put together this guide to make sure the one you choose is just right.
When you're shopping for a pushchair, make sure you keep your needs and the needs of your baby in mind. Whatever you choose will need to be sturdy, comfortable, waterproof and well insulated for cold weather. Other key features to look for are swivel wheels for manoeuvrability and rubber wheels, which give a smoother ride than plastic.
The kind of place you live, the trips you'll be making and how you'd like your baby to be positioned will all determine what kind of pushchair you end up with. Here are just a few things to consider:
The age of your baby will determine the kind of pushchair you go for. Because newborn babies need to lie flat, you should choose a pushchair with a fully reclining seat while your baby is young. From three months, you can try a partly reclining stroller, then from six months it's ok for your child to sit upright. These days, a lot of pushchairs are designed to grow with your child, featuring multiple recline positions.
Many pushchairs now have a reversible seat, so you can choose whether your baby faces forward or faces you. Seats that turn around to face you are a great option if you'd like to be able to pull faces at your baby, check whether they're asleep, or just see what they're up to!
Finally, take a look at the added extras and accessories available. An easy-to-use folding mechanism is a must, and adjustable handle heights and shopping baskets can really help to make life easier. Detachable seat pads, a footrest, raincovers, sun parasols and footmuffs are also available - helping you ensure your baby stays comfy all year round.
When you're choosing a pushchair, it's really important to take your lifestyle into account. How are you going to use the pushchair? Do you make a lot of journeys on foot, on the bus, or will you be taking your pushchair with you in the car? Manoeuvrability, sturdy wheels and suspension are all important if you're going to be doing a lot of walking, while a lightweight, easy-to-fold frame is key to getting the pushchair in and out of the car. Look for pushchairs that offer one-handed folding mechanisms for extra convenience, and if you've ever had back problems, it's worth looking for a lightweight model.
Before you choose, measure the size of your car boot and have a think about where in your home you'll store the pushchair when you're not using it. If your home is quite small, then compact folding will be important. Also think about getting in and out of the house - some pushchairs are more practical than others if there are a lot of steps involved!
Together with the length of time you'll be using the pushchair for. If you'd like to pass it on to your next child, you might want to invest a bit more. But if you're thinking of switching to a stroller after a few months then you might not spend as much. Also make sure you know what accessories are included. A great value option is a travel system - it has all the parts and accessories you need for the car and when you're out and about, plus you only need to buy one thing.