What to consider when purchasing a pram.
Where will you be going? This point is vital, looking at your lifestyle will steer the way for the type of pram that will be your ideal choice. Do you jog, run, go off-road, live on a farm, live in a rural area, live in the suburbs, frequent cafes, travel, shop? Every one will be different, so looking at your lifestyle is the key to getting it right the first time. The best pram for your neighbour, mum-bestie, midwife, aunty, etc. will not always be the right fit for you. Looking at the places you will be going most with your baby is the first point of call. Once you have that decided, you can narrow it down to one of the below categories
The jogging/running pram
Built for speed and aerodynamically engineered, running prams are a unique kind. They will have three wheels, almost always air filled to cushion bumps. All three wheels will be the same size with the front wheel able to lock in place, to provide stability as you build up speed. Their chassis' are lower to the ground, longer, and the seat that your baby will sit in will be at a slight recline. Making them fabulous for aerodynamics, but not so convenient for the mum or dad that hasn’t run a lap since high school P.E. class. More weight and bulk are also needed, to provide stability while running. This will quickly become a burden for the mum who drives a Yaris hatch and likes to go shopping ;)
The future-proof pram
Commonly known as a double or tandem pram, these beauties start off as a single pram and are able to have a second seat added in the future. Great idea I hear you say, why would I not want that?! There are several factors that you need to consider before deciding if this is the option for you.
- Weight - the chassis of these prams do need to be a little (or a lot) heavier to accommodate the weight of a second child. If having a heavier pram doesn’t bother you, then this may be a great option. If you don’t want to be lifting excess weight, then take a close look at weights.
- Size and length - also an area you need to pay close attention to. The second seat needs to fit in somewhere, and the chassis may be longer to accommodate it. If you drive a small car this may not be worth the hassle for a baby that is yet to come into the world.
- How the second seat works - Does it have conditions? Many do! Some are fixed in one position, making it not as great an option as you first thought. Some have requirements on who can sit where eg. The heavier child must sit at the bottom, no bassinet, set configurations, second seat takes up your basket space, etc.
If you want a pram that’s compact, lightweight and has a small footprint (i.e. can fit between small café tables or navigate packed shopping centre isles) then this may not be the option for you. Prams come and go and you can always sell your single model if a new babe is on the way and buy a double pram if it's needed. Toddler ride on boards are also a very popular choice, for those families who have a toddler aged 2+ when their next baby arrives.
The travel pram
Folds up to pocket size, comes with a travel bag, is tiny. 3 traits of a typical pram that’s made for travel. A great choice for those who have clocked up more frequent flyer miles than the rest of us will see in a lifetime. For the rest of us, they’re not always needed. If this is the type of pram, you choose to buy, a few key things to look at are;
- Canopy size - often the canopies can be small and not provide the shade you're after
- Storage - small pram = small basket, check out the storage it has available and decide if it will be enough for you
- Seat size - may be on the narrow side, so it’s another specification to note
Haven’t traveled for a while and don’t have plans to? Maybe give this one a miss.
The all-terrain pram
If you live in a rural area, at the beach, or like to take walks on bumpy bush tracks, this may be an option for you. Pay close attention to the wheels, these will need to be sturdy, air filled, and also have heavy duty suspension to tackle rough terrain. This type of pram can be heavier and a little bulkier. Like running prams the weight adds stability and structural integrity. Some everyday prams will be fine with a little bit of rough treatment on gravel or unpaved footpaths. In an ideal situation, an all-terrain pram is what you will be after if you need to use your pram in these conditions on a daily basis.
The everyday pram
Most including 4 wheels with swivel wheels at the front, to navigate narrow spaces and achieve a small turning circle. The everyday pram is the one most parents choose, unless they fit into a category above. Available in all types of colours and sizes, you will again need to look at your own personal preferences before deciding. Do you want as many one handed features as you can get (like on the Babybee Rover) so you can keep a firm grip on your double-shot latte that’s keeping you awake. Or are you okay with two handed functions (like the Comet plus) Do you love shopping up a storm and need the biggest shopping basket available? Or are you more of a minimalist and don’t plan to carry that much? There are options out there to suit everybody. Take the time to write a list of what your lifestyle is like first, before delving into how to choose the right pram for you.