Two-in-one pram and pushchair, convertible pram, twin pram/pushchair, 3-wheeler, 4-wheeler, fixed wheels or swivel wheels... a pram or pushchair should meet your specific needs and be safe and practical. Buying a pram is a bit like buying a car: your choice should be based on your individual needs and requirements as well as hard facts.
Further reading: Tips and advice about changing tables
It is important that the pram is turned so that the baby can see your face, at least for the first six to eight months and ideally for longer. It is reassuring for the baby to see its parents from the pram. In a forward-facing pram, the baby will see a lot of unfamiliar things without knowing for certain that you are there. This can make the baby very stressed and insecure.
Start hunting for your ideal pram by finding out hard facts
• Search the web and find out everything you can about prams. It's good to get as much information as possible before making an important investment.
• Ask for advice from friends and acquaintances with children.
• Visit consumer websites to find facts, reviews and ratings.
• Do you have a car? How big is the boot? This can determine the size of pram you choose and the way it folds up.
• Some people choose a pram with separate seat and horizontal units, while others choose one with a soft removable mattress that can be installed inside the flattened seat unit. What do you prefer?
• Is there enough room for a baby cocoon in the winter? Sturdy wheels make a pram or pushchair much easier to push in the winter. The disadvantage is that it won't be as easy to manoeuvre.
• Bear in mind that many shops have long delivery times, so plan ahead when buying your pram.
• Will the pram be stored outside? In the stairwell of your apartment building? Or in the garage? Choose the pram's size, colour and material accordingly.
• A more compact pram or pushchair is useful if you live in a city and need to take it on public transport. Swivel wheel prams or pushchairs and 3-wheelers are easy to manoeuvre.
• If you live in a rural area with rough road surfaces, a pram with larger, sturdier wheels may be more practical.
• It is useful to have a sturdy basket underneath the pram or pushchair. This is perfect for carrying all sorts of things.
• Bear in mind that your baby must be able to lie down comfortably in the pram for the first few months. These days many pushchairs can be converted so the baby can lie down horizontally in them, which saves you buying both a pram and a pushchair. Sometimes it is enough to buy a carry cot insert for the pushchair.
• Search online for attractive offers and find out exactly what parts included and what needs to be bought separately.
• If you are buying a second-hand pram or pushchair, check whether it is under guarantee, whether the guarantee is valid for second-hand purchases and how long before it expires. Also make sure it is good quality and in good condition.
Practical tips when buying a pram or pushchair
• Try pushing the pram or pushchair around. Just like a new car, it might look good in the pictures but you can't know if it's right for you until you've tried it out.
• If you're buying from a store, try taking the pram or pushchair up the stairs and into the lift.
• Try different models and compare how they feel.
• See what it feels like to fold and lift the pram or pushchair. You'll be doing that a lot.
• Ask the salesperson for all the information you need.
• Take home brochures to read at your leisure.
List of pram and pushchair models
Whichever model you choose, make sure the pram or pushchair meets current safety rules. Check that it has the necessary certification marks and ask to have it certified by the seller.
• A two-in-one pram and pushchair has a seat unit and a horizontal unit. The newborn baby lies on the horizontal unit. When the baby is about 6 months, you fix the seat unit to the chassis.
• A convertible pram can be used as both a pram and a pushchair. It has a removable hard of soft removable mattress that can easily be lifted out of the structure.
• Many pushchairs can also be reclined to a horizontal position. There are many different types, and you can start using a pushchair when your baby is about 6 months old.
• A twin pram or pushchair is a pram/pushchair for two children. In many models, one child can lie down while the other one sits up. There are models where one child sits slightly higher than the other. This type is most suitable for different aged siblings. On other models, the seats may either be side by side or one in front of the other.
• 3-wheelers are increasingly popular. They are easy to push and manoeuvre, but do not usually have much space underneath.
• When the child is about 2 years old, the convertible pram can be replaced with a lighter pushchair such as a buggy or stroller, where the seat faces forward. Buggies are light but slightly larger than strollers, and are ideal for taking kids to preschool.
• Strollers are easy to fold up, light and extremely compact. They have small wheels so are most suitable for summer use.
Pram/pushchair coverings and fabrics
• It is important to choose a pram/pushchair with a washable covering.
• The fabric should ideally be divided into several pieces that are easy to remove and wash.
• The fabric should be wind-resistant and easy to wipe dry and clean. Many pram/pushchair coverings are made of nylon or imitation leather.
• There are many available colours, patterns and models. Choose something that suits you and the baby.
• What is the weather like where you live? This is an important factor in choosing what type of covering your pram or pushchair should have. And it is always useful to have a rain barrier for your pram or pushchair.
• A pram or pushchair should be stable and easy to push.
• It should have a practical folding design, since you will be folding and unfolding it a lot.
• It must have a lock to prevent it from collapsing. Make sure there at least two locks keeping it attached, to prevent it coming loose by accident. It should also lock automatically to the chassis when you attach it.
• It should be easy to put the brake on, but less easy to release the brake so that it doesn't disengage by accident.
• The wheels should be attached securely so that they cannot come loose by themselves.
• If people of different heights will be pushing the pram, it is practical if the handle bar is adjustable and lockable.
• Other things to bear in mind: Having your baby facing you makes the baby feel secure and encourages interaction and bonding, so look for a pram with a reversible handle or seat/horizontal unit.
Caring for your pram/pushchair
If you take good care your pram or pushchair, it will last for many years and can be used for other babies if needed.
• Apply anti-rust agent to exposed parts and grease moving parts at regular intervals.
• Air and clean the seat unit and horizontal unit now and then to prevent mould.
• Bear in mind that varnished chassis are more delicate than chassis made of chrome-plated steel or aluminium.
• Make sure you choose a pram that is easy to clean.