Mother & Baby Testing: A little bit about testing pushchairs this summer (by Anna Champion)

Last year I was very privileged to have been a Mother & Baby tester for disposable nappies and wipes, very handy may I add, not having to buy those items for about 8 weeks was fabulous, and saved me a small fortune. So when Jessica sent out the email this year to apply I thought I had to give it another shot, I enjoyed myself so much last year I couldn’t resist, so off went my email in a vain hope I might be lucky. The day I got the confirmation mail back I nearly wet myself with excitement; I get to test PUSHCHAIRS eeeeeeeek, a dream come true.

Now this required a lot more planning than last, I had to select my team of people and then tell them the exciting news but then they couldn’t pass this info onto anyone, not an easy thing to do, you know how us ladies like to gossip!!! But we have managed it so far, a few late night texts etc have been rather funny.

It was like Christmas come early, each buggy arrived and after unpacking very large boxes and carting them down to the shed. I had to put them altogether, some instructions better than others may I add. Nevertheless they all got done and off they went to the first tester.

My first 2 weeks went without any problems at all, everyone was really enjoying themselves, children too, although one of my friend’s little boy sat in the first and said he didn’t like this one as he said “not comfy! My bum don’t fit in it”!!! From then we had to get his opinion on all the others he tested.

After a couple of weeks things started to go wrong, I had one of my testers pull out…. Oh my god, I panicked, what was I going to do, I was a tester down and 2 weeks into the testing which meant I had to find someone quick and they wouldn’t get a week on each pushchair, more like 5 days….. my fabbie friend from across the road had just got back from her hols and jumped at the chance, phew.  Then the following week my daughter went and broke her wrist so numerous amount of trips to A+E and fracture clinics now had to be planned on top of everything else. In fact it got late one evening I was sat in front of the TV and my phone goes, one of my testers asking if I had forgotten her as we were going to do the switchover earlier that day, a lot of apologising and a promise I would see her the next day with a bar of choccie as a sorry and everything is back on track.

To say I have enjoyed this year’s testing would be an understatement; words cannot describe how much fun I have had. Even my son has been very patient with me. Many looks of “really mum, another pushchair” have come my way, and my 6 year old wanting to get in them too, and help me push, she’s a real mummy’s girl. I can’t believe it is nearly over and that’s it for another year.

Out of the 4 pushchairs I cannot pick a favourite in all honesty, they were all so different in what they had to offer, all have had good and bad points and has been very interesting in the different views of mine to my other testers, some I have loved they haven’t rated as high…. But isn’t this what it is all about, real mum’s giving real advice.

Thank you so much Jessica for giving me this fabulous opportunity….. I have popped a couple of pics. The first was Ben was giving the thumbs up to the Zezu pramette, his favourite. My boy, Ben,  in the Quinny. My mum with my 6 year old having to have a try of the Obaby Zezu pramette right before she broke her arm in the play area. Lastly, of my friend’s little one enjoying his snooze in the Stokke Xplory.

22 thoughts on “Mother & Baby Testing: A little bit about testing pushchairs this summer (by Anna Champion)

  1. Many thanks to Anna for her contribution.

    I’d love to here what other people have to say about their pushchairs – both the ones they may be testing and the ones they already own.

    Your favourites? Buying advice etc. Please share your tips.

  2. Hiya all, just a little message here to say how great it has been testing. Me and my testers have had lots of fun testing each travel system out. We have had days out together to get the full benefits of the travel systems. I would love to do it all over again.
    Overall i have loved the graco symbio the best as it has many features and is just brill overall. I had a lovely pram myself but gave that away due to recieving a new one.


  3. Last year I was very lucky to be picked to test travel systems. My little man became the youngest tester ever (according to one of the companies), he was only born on the day the pushchairs were delivered to my home lol. I still use one of the systems for him now 15 months later. This year I was lucky again and picked to test reusable nappies, as im expecting my 4th this has again been a godsend, no need to buy any for the new baby now (altho considering my fluff addiction that may not be the case lol). Lennox and I have such fun testing, this time around he picks which nappy he wants to wear each time and is already showing a preference to a particular brand.

  4. It sounds like you’ve had a hard time Anna. I’ve been testing bottles/sterilisers etc which has been great with an 10 week old 🙂
    Just a note to add. I struggled to find a buggy to fit in the boot of my car – I have a Hyundai Getz. After lots of conversations, I finally found that the M&P Pliko P3 fitted nicely (which I ended up purchasing from EBay, in immaculate condition for a ridiculous price!). I have to take out the parcel shelf, however I can get the buggy into the boot and some shopping besides. My son Max loves the mypod (the detachable carry cot) and I love the ease of the base that goes in the car and the car seat just clips in. I would recommend this to any Mum with a small car. I’m also only small (5′ 1″) and found a lot of the buggies really heavy to lift (after having a caesarean) and this wasn’t too heavy and easy to fold away and lift into the boot.
    I’m pleased you had fun testing the pushchairs, I’ve been very happy with the products I’ve received and get to keep 🙂 x

  5. Hi Everyone!
    I have been testing Lightweight strollers! It has been lots of fun and I agree that all the products are fab in many ways and each has a drawback-mainly the size of them when putting them in a small boot!
    I had a very snazzy but heavy Loola Bebe Confort before i got to test these so has been nice to swap up for a much lighter one!
    i tested skincare products last year which was easier but this has been a much more fun and challenging experience!

  6. I’ve been lucky enough to have been chosen to test pushchairs. I feel very honured as its been such fun, my problem was choosing my testers, I’m lucky to have a wide circle of good friends and family all with babies and toddlers – as you can imagine everyone wanted be in my testing team!

    Doing the testing has made me realise how fussy I am about shopping basket size. Something when I had my first born I didn’t even consider, but now its up there with my top 3 must haves! My other friend is meticulous about fabrics and how padded and wipeable they are and my cousin tests her pushchair standards by hanging shoopping on the handles and if they tip she rules them out! My husband is 6ft 4″, so for him they have to have a good handle height but my other friend thats testing is just under 5ft, so its been interesting seeing how they both cope.
    Its made me realise how different we all are and what some of us require as essential in a pushchair others don’t even give a second thought to it.

    I haven’t been able to pick an overall favorite as I really enjoyed road running all 4 of my pushchairs, and i’ve certainly given them a through testing from babies to toddlers, even my lazy 4 year old has had a couple of spins round the block in them. I think the Graco Symbio with its reverisble handle is brillaint for babies.

    The only downside to being a mother and baby tester is that I’ve ended up wanting a new pushchair now, as do all my testers, after us having the luxury of shiny new prams to flash about and show off on the school run we are soon going to have to resort back to our ‘old bangers’. Lets hope my husband loved them as much and agrees its time we got some ‘new wheels’ for the kids!

    Thank you Jessica for choosing me this year, I have absolutely loved and enjoyed every second of testing and enjoyed writing up by reviews.

  7. Well…im now a pro on travel systems..its been a fab experience…i think i found myself jumping around when i found out i was doing it…although the family weren’t so impressed with the 3 buggies, carseats and all the bits- along side my own selection of strollers and prams clogging up the hallway…the day i delivered to testers was a joy…but it came with its problems…i struggled to fit each of them in my small boot(a little polo is not really a family car is it!) one being so large it had to go on the backseat along side my son in his carseat and ANOTHER car seat that went with the travel system plus the seat unit- i even had a few comments from passers by- ‘wow, loads of babies’ was one reaction- NO, just lots of ‘stuff’…
    I still however would never turn down this experience…my son, although a little confused about all the new hoods to look at(as thats his view) has definatly picked a favourite of his own…we cant wait to see the full results!!!!!

  8. I haven’t been lucky enough to test these but am happy with my own pram, a mamas & papas pliko pramette. I chose it as it was one of the lightest travel systems and have been using it for 10 and a half months and I love it and would totally recommend it. It fits in my car, a focus and both of us love the pram. The only downside to mine is that the hood sometimes has a mind of it’s own and comes off but everything has to have at least one downside!

  9. Hi everyone, I have enjoyed reading all your stories. This is my first year and i have been testing nursery products and skincare. I have already left some feedback about these products. After reading about some people having problems trying to find a lightweight pushchair and problems with a small car boot I thought i’d let you know that the Petite Star Zia is excellent. I have had mine for over 2 years now, its folds down really small and weight just over 6kg…by far the best pushchair i’ve found. Hope this helps!

  10. Hi all!!!

    I do not know where to start, I could not believe my luck when I got chosen to test travel systems! it was a dream come true, I would change my pushchair every month if I could, but I don’t think Hubby would approve, or should I say our bank accounts, lol, this has really been a challenge, making sure everyone got a chance to review the systems properly, I reckon neighbour’s must have thought we were smuggling pushchairs the amount of times we were in and out of each others houses, all my friends that have tested have been so great and patience as I could not always get to them on time, with two boys under two it was a challenge at times, but we have had so much fun and we hope we get a chance to test again one day, I absolutely loved this experience and I am sure my baby did also as it meant lots of walkies and days out, thank you Jessica! I do have my favourite and it has to be the Cosatto Cabi, beautiful system…… till next year (fingers croseed)…

    Jai and Karnel, 20 weeks.

  11. I have been testing lightweight buggies this year, count myself very lucky as last year I tested double buggies and still use the winner of that category now (the Baby Jogger City Mini Twin – FAB FAB FAB).

    It has been loads of fun especially when they first arrive. My 2 love playing in the boxes!! My youngest (14 months) has loved the testing, she is nearly as obsessed with finding the perfect pushchair as me!!!
    The Phil and Teds ‘Smart’ has been the best I think, especially for younger babies. I like the way it folds and the sunshade. The other 3 umbrella fold buggies have been very different – I originally thought all umbrella fold buggies were the same – certainly not!!!
    One of my testers has a mini and has actually been able to fit 2 of them inside her boot. She is looking to get a new buggy so has been a good experience for her.
    Can’t wait to do it all again next year!!!!!
    Overall have loved the experience.

  12. I was really excited to be testing pushchairs as I am obsessed with them…and i have not been dissappointed, we’ve had day trips and holidays with a different pushchair on each one. I definately do have a favourite and will be looking at investing with accessories to turn this pushchair into a travel system. By far my fav has been the city jogger, the folding is soooooo fantabulous that it is incomparable.
    Thanks Jesssica for this opportunity,.x

  13. I have loved testing pushchairs this year and feel very privalaged to be doing so
    my husband groaned as 4 enormous boxes appeared in our garage 4 weeks ago but was soon excited about the contents, as were all my friends
    as most of the pushchairs have some off road facility I made a small off road course for the testers to do before we swapped them all round so i could be sure we’d tested them all together in their setting! we had a bumpy track,which the babies found hilarious! some speed bumps lots of gates and stiles and mud! then in and out of mycar boot!
    then they were all swapped over and taken to everyones homes for further testing! the swap overs were a little complicated as some people needed to go away for a few days some pushchairs went to Wales for a week another to France for 1 week! swap over points varied from greenhouses, garages and playhouses! but luckily all my friends thoroughly enjoyed the experience as did i
    I loved all the pushchairs some more than others they were all so different having others test them really opened my eyes to the different needs of each individual family with respect to pushchairs depending on where they live and what they do, in the course of the testing my own pushchair broke and if I were to choose a replacement it would have to be the out n about nipper which is the most fabulous thing ever! so light and so capable of off road use and even folds down to a sensible size
    I am just sorry it has all ended and hope one day to be able to do more testing as it is so interesting and fun

  14. I have been testing bottle feeding and best baby food products and my daughter and I have loved it!
    I have a Mamas and Papas Mylo which I love! I used the carrycot until my daughter was 5 1/2 months old and I used it as a moses basket in the house and for when we had nights away.
    It is very spacious and the fabric inside was so soft and she seemed to lull herself to sleep better than anywhere else during the day.
    I have a vauxhall corsa and two children and I could fit the carrycot and chassis in the car (along with me and my hubby) very well.
    The frame is heavy but this adds to the stability.
    It steers like a dream and I often go out for walks and my toddler can hold my hand while one handed push it along.
    We now use the pushchair seat which looks so comfy and padded with memory foam style pad.
    I have owned many pushchairs and I am pleased to say I have found this one ticks all my boxes.
    I love it so much and I am so enthusiatic about it my bestfriend has bought one for when her baby is born in October as her hubby wanted a pram that didn’t feel too girly for him to push around.

  15. Hi All,

    This is my first year of testing and I am testing breastfeeding products (pillows, bottles and pumps!) It is been great. I think its great that everybody is enjoying their testing.

    I would just like to mention a little about travel systems from person experience and I can see that some of you already agree with me. Travel systems all come in different shapes and sizes and sometimes the main problem is the size of the folded system when you want to get it into your car!

    I have a M&P Pliko P3, its doing a great job for me, has all the features I want and the size when folded is reasonal so can’t complain.

    I haven’t used the Mothercare ‘spin’ or Graco ‘symbio’ but have heard lots of good things about both of them. And they definetely look very stylish. Well done on those that got chose to test out these, I have my fingers cross for next year!

  16. Anna, your testing experience sounds similar to mine (though mine has, thankfully, not involved an injury so far). co-ordinating switch overs has been manic and then the realisation thatpeople’s summer holidys would interfere with the rota…. AAARGH. But, we’ve made it and all the reviews have been submitted and it was really great fun to be part of a testing team.

  17. I also wanted to give some feedback on the two buggies that I own. I have a Mothercare mychoice (4 wheeler) which is great. It is very sturdy and was fab during the first few months when I could just clip my maxi cosi infant carrier onto it. It is surprisingly good at tight manouvres. The problem is that it is bulky and not great for travelling as it takes up most of my boot; I also have had a puncture which was hard to repair. When I’m going to family or travelling abroad I always take my Maclaren Triumph which is incredible value for money, astonishingly easy to collapse and has served me well.

  18. Well another year of Mother and Baby testing is drawing to a close for me. Last year I was very lucky to test disposable nappies and wipes which saved me some money as well as the chance to try different brands.

    This year I was ecstatic to chosen to test lightweight strollers. I am a bit of a buggyholic and no matter how much I tried to convince my partner of my “need” for a babyjogger city mini he wouldnt have it.My son would soon be walking everyone and we couldnt justify the cost….so the news I would be buggy testing this year certainly helped ease the pain!

    I was chosen to test Bugaboo Bee, Chicco Multiway and Mamas and Papas Voyage.

    The Bee was certainly eye catching with vibrant colours and stylish design. The other testers were very keen to get their hands on that one………..It was different in many ways to the other umbrella lightweight strollers not just because of the fold and handle bar.
    The Voyage was very similar to my current Mamas and Papas beat buggy that has now gone into retirement since its arrival….however the voyage had a brillant hood that unzips and expands into a brillant sun canopy. It was easy to fold and recline and took up the least boot space of all 3 testers.
    The Chicco multiway looked sturdy and comfy but I did have problems with its size when trying to get it in my 02 plate Renault scenic. The wheels do come off but this isnt ideal in the cornish summer weather (ie wet!).

    I have enjoyed my experience so much. I hope I can test again next year- I would particulary love to test Group 2/3 Car seats as its my next obsession. Car safety is so important and so many children travel in badly fitted car seats- I would also love to see rear facing carseats for group1+ (which are much safer but hardly available in the UK ) featured in the Mother and baby awards in the future- Maybe these seats will experience the same rise in popularity as isofix seats have? Keep up the fantastic work Jessica!

  19. I too was one of the very lucky ones to get to Test Travel systems, We had the Britax B smart 4, my fav The Mothercare Spin, and my daughter’s favourite which was the Mamas and Papas luna Mix. At first finding tester’s was a easy but no sooner had the products arrived and it dawned on me that it’s the 6wks holiday’s and I knew a few had hols booked etc one of which was away for the whole 6wks ….Great !! lucky for me I have a large network of friends and Family who have all been popping out a baby or two over previous months so they were happy to stand in, I must say my girls of which I have three, have loved it I don’t think we have ever had such a packed social calander over the 6wks. My eldest who’s 10yrs old, loved helping unpacking all the travel systems with me and she even given her little reviews to me by taking my little Layla for a little stroll round the close,one of the neighbours commented to her ‘Not another New buggy’ to which she then when in to great detail as to what I was doing…lol.
    I’m pleased to say we have now finshed and completed all our reviews and for me it has to be the Mothercare spin Brill design !!! Layla on the otherhand loved the freedom of the Luna mix free Harness so much so she now cry’s if I put her in her own pram which is the Oyster by Baby style, which I love but doesnt have any suspension for our bumpy bridal path trek that we do to school every morning.
    Overall we have loved being a tester and hope the opportunity comes our way again !!!! Thank you Jessica xx

  20. I too was very lucky to be chosen to test Travel Systems this year. I organised my rota and luckily bar one problem everything went to plan, phew! What stood out for me was the importance of trying a pram for a week. When the prams first arrived I tried each one once before they went to the other testers and thought I knew which my favourite was. How surprised was I then after testing them all for a week that the pram I thought I didn’t like became my firm favourite, so much so that I am considering buying one.
    We decided to go on a day trip out with each pram just to put them through the paces and to see if the pram could handle a day trip with my six children and all the paraphernalia that comes with them. I have really enjoyed testing this year and so have my children, I think the prams have also been tested with every doll in the house 🙂

  21. Hi ladies

    So glad you have enjoyed reading my little blog 😀 I have just got back from my stay away (great dorset steam fair if any of you know it) and I agonised over which buggy to take as was deffo going for the off road terrain. I took the Obaby Zezu with me as had the biggest wheels etc, and it did the job, now I have to clean it though, very dusty lol.

    So fab to hear of your own experiences 😀 I’m very sad it has come to an end this year, but I have been very lucky in being able to keep a few of my buggies so now I get to choose which one I use on my school runs to show off hehehehe, I may do a different one each week lol

    Thanks again Jessica for letting me have my dreams come true, I hope to help you out again next year

  22. I have had a bit of a thing about pushchairs and with having 4 children have been through a few but still got so overly excited when i found out me and my group would be getting lightweight strollers to play with, I mean very professionly test! We got a good range from the Tesco Value stroller (which wasn’t all that bad for £20) up to the rolls royce of lightweights the Bugaboo Bee plus.
    It amazes me how people’s likes/dislikes on each one were different but think we all fell in love with the Bugaboo Bee and we all found the Maclaren Quest harness buckle an absolute nightmare, one mom who’s young baby was screaming his head off and she couldn’t undo it to pick him up actually ended up loosening the strap adjusters and pulling him out! Also the height of the Mamas & Papas Voyage was a problem for a couple of the shorter moms, myself included(I actually couldn’t see round the hood when it was up), although on the other hand my sister and her other half are both tall and found it perfect so it’s really recommended for tall parents.
    Through all the pushchairs I’ve had over the years my favourite will always be my Maclaren Superdreamer, it had everything I wanted but sadly Maclaren have concentrated on the stroller market since then and the new Grand Tour is so heavy who’d want one! Now I have to say my favourite has to be the Baby Jogger city mini, you haven’t lived till you’ve tried one of these, they are amazing, to be able to fit a full size comfy stroller in a car with 6 passengers and a weeks worth of luggage is a miracle and it definitly earnt it’s M&B award believe me.

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