12 things you need to know before you buy a pram

12 things you need to know before you buy a pram

Please share

Shopping for a baby carriage may appear to be a walk in the park at a glance but don’t be fooled, it could very well be an extremely confusing venture unless you know exactly what you want beforehand.

I mentioned  in my earlier post,the newborn baby essential checklist on a budget, the big things, that the  big things, basically refer to those baby essentials that take up space, that are  expensive and  are   one-time expenses.

Not a walk in a park

On the surface, a pram, a pushchair, a buggy, or a stroller is simply a four-wheel moble e device with a handle used to push babies around. Although in reality, they vary in feature, style, size, weight, and price, people sometimes refer to them co-terminously. As a result, they can be a little confusing to a first-time buyer.

Without a prior knowledge of the differences between them, you could be headed for a very frustrating shopping experience. As important as knowing the differences, is to know which is most suitable for you and your baby.

In a more general sense, not every new mum would need to use a pram or stroller to move baby around, typically because of her environment and cultural preferences.

A mum walking down the road with her baby

But if you live in a society where   pushchairs are a staple, then it’s important to be guided on how to go about getting them as they are not only a necessity but can be pricey too.

Before we talk about the 12 things you need to know before you buy any of them, let me tell you about my personal experience. And please note that I will be using the terms pram, buggy, pushchair and stroller interchangeably.

My Stroller Story…

I used to take my nephew, George, for a walk occasionally in a stroller when I was a teenager. In my part of the globe, there is no real necessity for strollers save for some expatriates and a few others who used to strut around the Government Reservation Area (GRA) pushing their babies in strollers or prams in the evenings, years and years ago. Otherwise, it isn’t really a common practice due to our town planning peculiarities.

Mum and baby

I had no need for a pram or stroller for my first two children except when I went away on holidays. Even then, I was always offered one to use. I never really bothered to ask questions, because it served its purpose and was such a relief.  After my visits, I would return to my town planning challenged city.

As expected, I was largely uneducated in matters of pushchairs affairs until I had my third baby. It was only then that; I was introduced into the mazy world of shopping for a stroller.

A Stroller Novice

Being a stroller novice, meant that I didn’t buy one until after my baby was born. Mainly because I was unaware of the differences in features and styles. I also had the erroneous belief that I could just pick up a baby moving device from a shop and be as happy as Larry.

But I remembered that the stroller had no extra accessories. It had no rain cover or a foot muff, nonetheless I was happy because it was light and easy to maneuver and could fold with ease. And I was consoled by the fact that mine was a walk in the park compared to my friend’s one.

The Red and Black Pushchair(TRBP)

My friend had a bulky red and black pushchair (TRBP) I wouldn’t forget in a hurry! It was big and heavy, and the wheels had a mind of their own. They would never go in the direction you wanted them to.

While mine was easy to use and was suitable for bus and train travel, the reverse was the case for TRBP.

It was a nightmare. It would hardly ever go through narrow doorways. It was bulky, difficult to maneuver and always on the way whenever she came over fo a  visit.

The Red and Black Pushchair (TRBP)

Her pushchair was a battle for anyone else to use. Her husband had a tough time dealing with it. We all heaved a sigh of relief when she finally got rid of it. With this experience, you would think, I had learned my lesson but like they say, old habits never die!!!

Old habits never die!!!

10 years after that in 2010, I had my fourth and last baby. You would think I had learned my lesson, right? No!

This time, I was worse. Like the last time, I didn’t buy my stroller early. Thankfully, a good friend of mine, came to my rescue.

She got me a buggy. She got it from a friend, who got it from another friend. To be exact, we didn’t know how it came about. Anyway, I was desperate at that point and was willing to make do with anything. I was practically immobile, I needed something to move around, especially to attend my postnatal appointments.

As expected with this buggy, it was the same old story, an embarrassment, more or less.

The Buggy called Embarrassment

I named the buggy, Embarrassment. It was a bad buggy! It had the two terrible traits; difficult to use and a very cranky personality. One day, I would figure it out. The next day, we would act like strangers. We soon entered into a predictable pattern that continued for a while until one winter day.

One Winter Day

I went out to do some pre-Christmas shopping when Embarrassment decided to throw its usual tantrums. I had been patient and tolerant for a long time but on this particular occasion, something inside of me snapped. I had had enough.

Thankfully, I was in a shopping mall, so I walked into a shop and without a plan, budget, product knowledge or lifestyle considerations, I got myself a new stroller within a price range I could afford.

I wasn’t sure of the features or the extra accessories it had. I didn’t know what to ask for, neither did I have any particular preference. At that stage, anything but Embarrassment would do, I was desperate.

After I made the purchase,I politely asked the shop assistant, to kindly dispose of Embarrassment while I rolled out with my spanking new stroller in a victorious swag, my baby fast asleep in it.

Yeah Right!!!

I faced a fresh set of challenges with my new stroller. Despite that the price seemed right, I made the mistake of not checking to see what I was paying for.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t suitable for my six weeks old baby as the seat didn’t recline as far back as I had expected.

Not only that, it didn’t come with any additional accessories like a rain cover or a foot muff. As a result, I had to spend extra money for a rain cover and lost quite a few blankets along the way because my baby always kicked them off.

Another thing was that, although it was easy to maneuver, fold and move around in the city, the wheels started acting up. The brakes soon followed. They would be stiff one day, okay the next. The tires also began to eat away.

Lost and forgotten

To cut a long story short, I forgot the stroller in a busy airport one day. Although it served me for a while, I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would…

12 things to know before you buy… 

Before you buy
Start early and don’t leave things till last minute

The first thing you must do as a new mum is to start early; have a plan, a budget and be strategic. Starting early gives you ample time to research, compare and try out brands in the shops.

Besides, it will be very inconvenient for you to shop around when you bump begins to protrude. This is why starting early is wise.

Make sure your preferred choice is easy to use by you and others

A difficult to use pram will be hard for both you and others especially if you have to take baby to a creche or a minder as it can be very frustrating.

Like buying a new car, test drive your choice before you buy

It is important that you feel comfortable with the brand you are looking to buy. Although pushchairs vary in price, you wouldn’t want to spend money on something you would regret later. So try it, before you buy it.

Consider your space

Avoid buying a pushchair that will take up a lot of space in you home or you car boot.

Check what you’re paying for

Before you pay, be sure of what you are buying. Ask to know if the pushchair comes with additional accessories, or if the basket at the bottom is large enough for you shopping. Checking will help you make an informed choice. This way, you won’t be disappointed or spend more on the long run.

Make sure it’s not very heavy

Heavy pushchairs are very inconveniencing and difficult to manage.

Hand me down or preowned

Based on my experience, be sure of the source of the pushchair. Make sure it’s in perfect condition and be clearly labeled to show they comply with the latest  British Safety Standard BS EN 1888: 2018 or BS EN 1888: 2019 or the European Standard ECE R44/04 or R129 i-size.

You can request for them as a gift from your loved ones and friends

This is a very good way of managing the limited resources you have available and that’s what new mum, Roisin did.

She said: ‘’I just like it and I heard good things about the infababy buggies, so I got it as a gift actually but I told my mum that, that was the one I wanted and she got it for me.’’

Know the pushchair that’s most suitable for your baby

This is very important so that you would avoid buying something meant for a toddler for you newborn.

Baby
Go for bargains, get older models

Going for bargains is a good way to make you money go far for you. You could also opt for end of season sales were you can get older models  or make use of discount deals from online shopping platforms like eBay and Amazon.

Make sure your  preferred choice is easy to clean

You might want to pick a pushchair that is manageable and easy to clean. This is because pushchairs could be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Life style consideration
Put your lifestyle into consideration

As new mums, our shopping decisions are always made in the best interest of our babies. When shopping for a pushchair, however, you needs and that of you baby should be equally considered.

According to Mamas and Papas: ‘’To find one that’s ideal, it’s recommended that you choose a pushchair that not only suits you baby’s needs but also you lifestyle, whether that’s bus-hopping on public transport, taking baby hiking or long car journeys with you brood.’’

In choosing a pushchair to match your lifestyle, they suggest that you choice has to be compatible with you unique needs.

For example, do you travel a lot by car, bus or train or do you do more walking? Are you more of a stay at home or an outdoorsy mum? Do you have to take the baby to a childminder or a creche? Your lifestyle parametres are very important, when choosing a pushchair for baby.

So, mums, you have read about my stroller story and hopefully learned 12 things you need to know before you shop for a pushchair.

In my next post, I shall tell you more about the differences between pushchairs, buggies, prams, strollers, and more. What to know before deciding on which one to buy.

Thank you and please leave you comment below.

 

Ibi

Ibi

23 thoughts on “12 things you need to know before you buy a pram

  1. C.N.

    Thank you so much for this highly informative article, Ibi! I completely agree with you that strollers should not be an impulse buy, and one should do his or her research and be very careful when selecting a stroller. Two of my cousins have filed complaints against stroller manufacturers for defects in their products-wheels falling off, the seat collapsing, non-sturdy handles, etc. Although I do not have children, I realize that we want to keep our little ones safe at all costs, and having the right stroller definitely plays a huge part in that. I am going to share this post with my friends and family. God bless you!

    1. Ibi

      Dear C.N

      Thank you very for your contribution to this post as always.

      Strollers are a very tricky thing to buy.
      I will be talking more about them in another post.

      Thank you.
      Ibi

    2. Faith

      This is so great. I have actually been following on your Instagram. So enlightening for mums to be. 👍👌

      1. Ibi

        Thank you Faith for following us on Instagram. I am glad that you find our posts enlightening. Thank you.

  2. Iquo Dawodu
    Iquo Dawodu says:

    Many thanks Ibi for this wonderful piece. I could hardly stop reading.
    Very interesting, relevant and educative.
    I admire your narrative skills and keen sence of humour. It is a must read to all expectant parents. Thumps up!

    1. Ibi

      Hi Iquo,
      Thank you so much for your compliment.
      Thank you very much for your compliment and your support.
      I appreciate it.
      Please continue to support us by reading and leaving input on this platform.

      Thank you
      Ibi

  3. Julian

    Hmmm Ib,
    Well written article. This just brings back my experience when I thought I needed a stroller for my twin babies which I eventually got (twin stroller). The question is, did I really need the stroller? How many times did I even use the stroller? (Hahahaa). In the part of the world where I live, I really did not need a stroller, the roads are not good, hardly good walkways or parks. In fact, the few times I used the stroller was when I went shopping in the mall and this was not more than four times in all and boom, my twins can no longer fit in! So, please don’t just get a stroller just because you’re a happy mum that wants all the good stuff for her children, get the stroller because you really need it. For mums in the western world without a car, or just needs to have a stroll to the park, do some grocery shopping etc can make a choice for a convenient pram or stroller. Happy shopping and please be guided by Ib’s advice. Well done Ib*

    1. Ibi

      Dear Julian,
      Thank you very much for this eye opening contribution.

      It points to the fact that we have to bear our individual circumstances in mind before we come to the conclusion as to whether we need a pushchair or not.

      In your particular situation, there was an infrastructural challenge, ie bad roads, meant that buying a pushchair was unnecessary.

      Thank you very much.

  4. Sammi Kaur

    Very useful information! I have a pushchair for my dog after she had surgery and all the same advice applies really. A pushchair most suitable for your baby is definitely key!

    1. Ibi

      Dear Sammi,
      Thanks for your contribution, I’m glad to hear that this post resonates with you.

  5. Tom

    Hey,
    This is a great article. I have two friends who have two very small children and I believe they will benefit from your article and your site.
    I have forwarded this article on to them and have encouraged them to comment. If they have any questions then they will get in touch.

    All the best,
    Tom

    1. Ibi

      Dear Tom,
      Thank you for your input on this topic.

      And thank you for recommending this website to your friends.

      It is very important that as parents, we know what to look out for, when planning to buy a pushchair.

    2. Ibi

      Dear Tom,
      Thank you for your input on this topic.

      And thank you for recommending this website to your friends.

      It is very important that as parents, we know what to look out for, when planning to buy a push.

  6. Ruth

    Very well outlined and well done for this ..Highly commendable for young mothers

    1. Ibi

      Dear Ruth
      I’m delighted to hear that you find this article informative. Please do recommend it to young mothers.

  7. Bassey

    Thanks sis Ib it’s was nice to read such an educative piece which gives insight to the use of prams and strollers even before we buy them. I work with very young children and it is important for us to understand the intricacies of this product before buying them and for ease of use. I will surely recommend to others.

    1. Ibi

      Thank you so Bassey.

      I’m glad to hear that you find this article informative. You are very right to say that people who work with very young children, should very be aware of the intricacies of a pushchair. Please do recommend this site to others.
      Thank you

  8. Wisdom Odofin
    Wisdom Odofin says:

    This is interesting and very informative.

    1. Ibi

      Dear Grace,
      Thank you so much, I’m glad to hear that you find this informative.
      Thank you

  9. Clara Ohwonigho
    Clara Ohwonigho says:

    Wow, I learnt a lot from this
    Things I never knew before
    This is so detailed and comprehensive.
    I’ve had all my babies but I’d try to gift a stroller to someone.This is wonderful
    Keep it up!

    1. Ibi

      Hi Clara
      Thank you. Yes Clara, w learn every day.

      We will be happy to hear about your experiences too

      Thank you

  10. igonibi brisibe
    igonibi brisibe says:

    So informative , Though I’m no longer making babies, at least this information will be handed down.

    Thanks Ib.

    1. Ibi

      Dear Igonibi
      Thank you very much for your input.
      Please feel free to share this post with friends.
      Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *