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5 questions to ask before you buy a pram or pushchair

5 questions to ask before you buy a pram or pushchair

Whether you'll be lugging your buggy on and off the bus, or heading out into the countryside each weekend; working out how you might use your buggy can be helpful before you buy it. Of course before your baby actually arrives it's hard to know how often you'll use it, but ask yourself these five questions to help narrow down your choice from the huge array of buggies available.

1. how old is my baby and will I be pushing one or more?

Until three months, newborns need a lie-flat option to support and protect their backs. Choose from our range of 2 in 1 pram & pushchairs. A forward-facing pushchair is only suitable if it can be laid flat.

2. what will I use the pram or pushchair for?

If you're having twins or will be pushing a toddler as well as a newborn, adouble or tandem is the answer. A side-by-side or double pushchair is great for twins; a tandem pushchair is best for a toddler and a baby (the baby goes in the lie-flat seat at the back).

When your baby is between three and six months, you can choose a lightweight stroller, which is easier to fold, is lightweight and can be easily bunged into the boot of the car. Depending on your budget, some parents prefer to buy a lightweight stroller to use when they are travelling and keep the bulkier pushchair for strolls closer to home.

A complete travel system would be ideal if you plan to do lots of travelling by car, because you can easily transport a sleeping baby from the car to the pushchair. A complete travel system can be pricier than other pushchairs but you may actually save money because the infant car seat comes as part of the package.

If you do a lot of shopping on foot, you'll need a large shopping basket underneath, such as those on a complete travel system or forward-facing pushchair. Strollers give you little room for purchases, but most still have a small shopping basket underneath.

Pushability, manoeuvrability and a smooth ride are essential for country walks and can be a plus for uneven city pavements. If this is your lifestyle, choose a 3 wheeler pushchair.

If you often use public transport or hop on and off planes for holidays, a lightweight, easy-folding, compact buggy or stroller will probably suit you best.

3. where will I keep my pushchair?

Some prams and pushchairs can really take up some of your living space, so consider the size of your home. You need to make sure you can get your pushchair through the front door, down narrow hallways and up or down any stairs.

You'll also need space to store it; consider whether you will be folding the buggy up after use to store it, or do you have somewhere big enough to keep it unfolded. If you'll be folding it, you need to choose a pushchair which is lightweight and easy to fold. Check your car-boot size - it sounds obvious, but if you can only just squeeze the pram in there, where's all you're shopping going to go? Check the fit before you buy.

If size and weight are an issue, move on to a stroller as soon as your baby is old enough.

4. how long will I use my pushchair?

If you plan to pass it on to your next baby, invest a little more for durability. A 3 wheeler or a complete travel system may be your best bet. If you want to move to a stroller at three months, don't spend quite so much. You can also buy attachments for some pushchairs so that they start off being suitable for one child, but can be converted easily into a tandem buggy for two. These pushchairs are great if you are planning to have more then one child in the future.

5. how much can I spend?

The more you spend, the more features you'll get, and if you go for top-of-the-range, both looks and functionality will be maximised. Luckily, with so much choice available, there is always going to be a buggy that suits your budget, whether it's large or small.