And is a ‘baby-buggy’ or ‘lightweight stroller’ something separate?
Oh, the variety of choice! How to make the distinction has always bemused me.
‘Three-wheelers’ or the ‘all-terrain-4×4 types? ‘Twins’? ‘Tandems’? Or, when in doubt, throw it all in and buy the ubiquitous ‘travel system’? Can’t they all fall into the “Best Pushchair” category or should the distinction be just ‘chairs only with wheels to push’?
Through the Mother & Baby Awards, I often get e-mails with appeals and confessionals.
‘Addicted mum’ says:
“I have a bit of a ‘buggy’ fettish. I love all different pushchairs – please help me. Pick me to test for you – it might get my husband off my case for a little while!!”
‘Shoes and handbag mum’:
“I’ve owned 15 and still haven’t found one I like”.
Or ‘pushchair-geek mum’:
“I have a real passion for pushchairs I like to know all the functions of how they work and how well they push – like men and cars. I’ll eye-ball one I like the look of in the street and ask the poor person on the end of it for a run down on all of its features!”
Should I be offering a counselling service for the self-confessed ‘buggy addict?’ There’s no doubt that these mums make brilliant product testers only I’m not sure if I can help ease the symptoms of a serious habit or only drive a self-confessed ‘buggyaholic’ further down the road to pushchair hell.
Of course, my hand on experience with pushchairs is so last century. My mother pushed us round in a big black pram. I think it was mostly used for parking us down the bottom of the garden for ‘a bit of fresh air’ and to ‘exercise our lungs’. I know she did this because a picture records my little baby face, in knitted bonnet, peeping out of a cavernous hood while I watched little snowflakes falling on the canopy.
With my first baby – nearly 14 years ago, my cousin passed on her old pushchair to me. It was probably from Mothercare but it was hideous. I remember my tiny newborn looking squashed and slumped on a white – with bunny motifs – plastic seat. It had a white frilly sunshade – actually I may be making this up, perhaps it was the seat cushions that were white and frilly? Anyhow, it was so badly frilly that I couldn’t bear to be seen in public with this thing, that’s why the detail eludes me.
Therefore, I naively assumed that all pushchairs must be as ghastly as this one was and made a bold decision to do without. No bloke is going to proudly push his offspring round the park in a confection that resembles Edwardian bloomers on a small set of plastic wheels, is he? And while I had refused to make any public outings it was made instantly redundant. It might not have been so easy had my baby not been tiny. I wore him in a sling until, at six months, I could put him in a cheap umbrella fold stroller that cost me £30 or I (or husband) would carry him around in a back carrier where he could enjoy an elevated view on his surroundings.
It worked fine until number two came along. By then, I knew exactly what I needed. A ‘go anywhere’ double buggy with a gigantic shopping/storage basket for coats and other gubbins that could fold down in one easy hand movement and collapse small enough to fit inside the boot of the tiny car! Not too much to ask?
I’d love to know what you think is the perfect ‘pushchair’ solution and if you have found yours?
Is it the complete Travel System with car seat, carrycot, pushchair and all the accessories?
Or can you make do with a simple lightweight stroller and what’s the minimum that you really need.
What works best for you and why and what can you recommend? Post it here!
For 2009 Awards Winners click the titles: