How to choose the right buggy

Arguably one of the most important and most used baby products is the buggy, also known as pram or stroller. With that comes the huge and often overwhelming variety of buggies on the market today, so which one should you choose? Here are a few of the things to take into consideration when deciding on which buggy to purchase.

Budget

It’s important to establish how much you are willing to spend on a buggy because the huge variety in buggy shapes, sizes and uses is accompanied by a huge range in price – anything from a couple of hundred of dollars to a couple of thousand! As this will most likely be one of the baby products you will use the most, it is worth investing in the best one you can afford as a good buggy will give you years of service.

Three wheels or four?

Three-wheeler buggies are the most popular in New Zealand because of our outdoor lifestyles where we spend much of our time at the beach and parks. Three-wheeler buggies are generally very easy to handle. They navigate outdoor terrain easily as they have larger wheels and better suspension. On the other hand, four-wheeler buggies are usually more compact, great to take to the shops or cafes and easier to fit into smaller cars or on public transport.

Attachments

Many buggies include a lie flat, Moses-basket-looking attachment known as a bassinet or carry cot attachment. In my opinion this attachment is worth the extra investment as you can easily sleep your baby in it while you are out and about for a walk, grabbing a coffee or shopping or if you pop over to a friends’ place. It means that when you get home you don’t have to disturb a sleeping baby by getting it out and putting it in its cot as it’s safe to sleep your baby in the carry cot for long periods because it lies flat like a bed.

On the other hand it is recommended that babies spend as little time as possible in their car seat capsule as research has shown that it is linked to decreased oxygen levels. Therefore I never recommend the capsule attachment to a buggy. A baby should only ever be in the capsule when driving in the car and even that time should be kept to an absolute minimum.

If your buggy has a sun cover option I would highly recommend purchasing it. As we all know, we have very harsh sun in New Zealand so it is important to protect our little ones from getting sunburned. The rain cover is also a good idea especially if you plan to still get out in the winter months, even if just to protect your baby from the wind chill.

Buying advice

Before purchasing a buggy make sure it complies with Australian and New Zealand Safety standards especially if you choose to get a second hand buggy. When considering a second hand buggy make sure that it comes from a non-smoking home, has been stored in a cool dry place and that it doesn’t have any mould on it. Check that it has all its components, that no bolts or screws are missing and that its brakes and safety harness work perfectly.

Other things to consider before purchasing a buggy are: will it fit in your car, can you fold and unfold it easily, do friends or people you trust recommend it? Is the height of the handle adjustable and is it the right height for you? Is it comfortable to push? Are there other attachments that come with the buggy and are these an additional expense? Will you be taking long walks over rough terrain or just going to the shops? There’s a lot more to it than just what colour to choose so take your time and do your research!

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About Author

Grace Nixon

Grace Nixon, BHSc (Midwifery), otherwise known as The Baby Lady, is an Auckland-based newborn specialist. Using her skills and experience gained both as a midwife and nanny over the past 10 years, she helps new parents prepare and adjust to life with their new arrival. She also runs Practical Parenting Antenatal classes that focus on both birth and life at home with a baby. See more at thebabylady.co.nz or practicalparentingantenatal.com.

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