If you’re looking to buy a pushchair for your little one, we’ve got all the pushchair advice you need. With our quick and simple pushchair guide, you’ll find the answers to the most frequently asked questions, including how to find the right pushchair for your family.
What is a pushchair?
Sounds like a simple question, right? Not always. The word pushchair is often used in different ways and to mean different types of buggy and pram. At its simplest, a pushchair is a chair on wheels. Pushchairs can usually fold up too into a compact shape for transporting and storing. But the word pushchair is often used to mean a whole range of travel systems for babies, toddlers and children.
To make it clear what we’re talking about here, it helps to briefly cover the types of travel system available:
§ Prams are designed for younger babies, usually newborns and those up to six months of age. Prams have a bassinette that allows your little one to lie down flat.
§ Pushchairs are used for older babies – six months and up – and toddlers. They usually have three or four wheels and a fixed seat that faces forwards. Pushchairs tend to be sturdy and some can be surprisingly large.
§ Strollers, also called buggies,are similar to pushchairs. They have three or four wheels, and your little one sits upright in them. Strollers tend to be lighter, less bulky and fold into smaller shapes than pushchairs. They are generally more suitable for toddlers and older children.
§ Travel systems are adaptable pushchairs that come with a range of seats that can be swapped in and out. 2-in-1 travel systems can fit a bassinette and a pushchair seat, making them suitable from birth well into the toddler years. 3-in-1 travel systems can fit car seats too (usually with a separate attachment), making them the most versatile options.
When can a baby go in a pushchair?
This depends on the pushchair. Standard fixed seat pushchairs are usually suitable for babies six months and up, as long as they can sit upright and hold their heads up unaided. Travel systems that combine a pram and a pushchair can often be used from birth. With your little one lying in the bassinette at first, then sitting in the pushchair seat when they’re able to.
Every model of pushchair should clearly state what age and even what size and weight babies and toddlers it’s suitable for. Never use a pushchair that isn’t designed for your child.
What kind of pushchair is right for me?
There’s an enormous range of pushchairs out there. You can find pushchairs in a huge variety of sizes and styles, with so many different features. But which pushchair is right for you?
We can help you narrow that choice down with these simple questions:
How old is your little one?
If you’re looking for a pushchair for a newborn baby, a travel system is the best option. Most travel systems can be used from birth and can last for years. When you want a chair for an older baby or a toddler, a pushchair is likely the better choice as they tend to be cheaper than comparative travel systems.
If your little one is well into their toddler years, a stroller might be the most suitable. Strollers are designed for older children and tend to be the most cost-effective option.
How much storage space do you have?
If you have lots of room in your home and/or car to carry a chair, then larger options like pushchairs and travel systems may be the best choice.
If you have less room and if you regularly use public transport, a smaller pushchair or a stroller may be best for you as these tend to fold into smaller shapes.
What’s your price range?
Pushchairs are made to suit a range of budgets. Travel systems tend to be the most expensive, followed by pushchairs and then strollers. But you can still find great value travel systems as well as premium strollers.
Set a budget range before you begin your search, to quickly help to narrow down your options. Remember that although pushchairs can seem very expensive, you may find you use it on a near daily basis over the course of years, particularly if it’s handed down to younger children. It will likely make an excellent and long-lasting investment for your family.
How comfortable do you feel with the pushchair?
It’s a good idea to test drive the pushchairs you’re interested in before you buy one. Many large department stores have wide selections of pushchairs and have areas where you can try them out. And you can always try chairs in the shop and then look for better deals online.
For each model you’re interested in, walk the chair around, find out how it folds, test how heavy it is, feel how sturdy the chair is and take a good look at all the features on offer. Make sure you’re confident in the pushchair you pick, that it feels right and that you can fold it quickly and easily.
What other features should I look for in a pushchair?
As well as type, price and size, there are plenty of other options to consider when it comes to pushchairs. They include:
§ One seat or two: You can also buy dual and twin pushchairs that can sit two babies or toddlers, in case you have two young children or twins.
§ A seat that turns around: Some pushchairs have fixed seats, but others can be turned around to face either away or towards you. Chairs that can be turned around can offer more options. Younger toddlers often prefer to face you as you push, but many older toddlers prefer to look out at the world.
§ Rain covers and sun hoods: Make sure the pushchairs you’re considering have extendable sun hoods and can fit added rain covers. These extras can help ensure journeys stay calm and comfortable in different weather conditions.
§ Added storage: Some pushchairs offer a considerable amount of storage space beneath the chair. This can be ideal for trips to the shops or just for carrying toys, nappies and spare clothes.
§ A jogging pushchair: If you’re a runner, you can buy light but sturdy pushchairs that you can run behind. These are a fantastic way to combine a workout with a fun trip outdoors for your little one.
§ An off-road pushchair: As well as running pushchairs, you can also buy chairs designed for being taken off-road and over rougher terrain. These are ideal if you plan on regular trips to parks and the countryside.
How to wash a pushchair?
Pushchairs tend to be robust and relatively simple to clean. You don’t need expensive or specialist products. You can wipe down most surfaces with warm, soapy water and a towel. More stubborn stains can be removed with a stiff brush or an old toothbrush.
At regular intervals – every three months or so – it’s a good idea to give your pushchair a more deliberate check. Give it a thorough clean and make sure there are no damaged sections. Also add a dash of oil to moving parts. If you take care of a good pushchair, it can last for years of constant service.
Find your ideal pushchair with Online4Baby
To get you started on your search for the ideal pushchair for your little one, take a look at our range of pushchairs, prams, strollers and travel systems available with Online4Baby.