The Word on...Prams and Strollers

Which Pram is Right for Me?

When it comes to choosing a pram, there is an overwhelming choice available; three or four wheels, for one or two children, one, two or three part fold, the list goes on! There is also a constant stream of new and innovative prams coming on to the market and what was a star two years ago will undoubtedly have been improved upon. 

In order to help you narrow down the plethora of choice, we have compiled a list of practical points for you to consider when choosing the right pram for you.

And most importantly, come in to BabyO and have a test drive; you wouldn't buy a car off the internet without test driving it first and the same goes for your pram! 

Consider the following when choosing a pram...

What kind of lifestyle do you lead?

What you like to do, where you like to go and how you get there, can influence which pram best suits your needs

  1. Do you walk or drive everywhere? Some three wheels prams are great for lots of walking and rougher terrain, however they can be larger and heavier than other prams. If you tend to drive to most places they can be a hassle getting in and out of the car and getting them round narrow shopping isles
  2.  Do you use public transport often? Look at smaller, light weight prams that are easy to get on and off public transport
  3.  Do you jog? If you want to jog with baby (and we're talking jogging here not a brisk walk!) then you will need a proper jogging pram; just because it has three wheels does not make it a jogging pram. Keep in mind these types of prams can be large and one jog a week with Dad does not warrant the hassle and boot space it will take up for Mum for the other 6 days! Most parents with a jogging pram will have a secondary, smaller everyday pram
  4. Do you do lots of shopping and lunching? There's no need to endure stares and huffs as you ask every second person to move to pass your pram through the local cafe! There are smaller pram options that will make lunching with the girls and shopping at your favourite boutique a breeze!
  5. Head to the beach often? Think about the wear and tear, sand and salt will have on your fittings and consider what the pram is made (steel/chrome/aluminum/magnesium alloy)  in order to keep your pram looking and working at its best.

How long do you want the pram to last you?

 Many prams are designed to take you from birth to around 4 years (if you can keep them in a pram that long!)

  1. If you are purchasing for a newborn, bear in mind that it whilst it doesn't need to recline flat, it does needs to recline 130 degrees from the horizontal to be suitable. 
  2. Looking further ahead, are you planning on having another baby close in age? If so, you may want a pram that can take a second seat such as a convertible pram or tandem pram. If you are thinking you will have a large gap between your babies then you could just attach a skateboard to your single pram ( A skateboard is a board on wheels that clips onto the back axle of the pram. An older child can stand on this, holding the back of the pram, whilst you push the whole ensemble from behind) 
What's your budget?
Can you afford the pram you want without having to mortgage the house? Or will a cheaper model with all the same features do the trick? Also remember to factor in all the additional accessories you may need. Some prams come with everything you need, others come with very little and you need to purchase everything separately.
Does the pram suit both parents?
Remember, it has to suit both parent's needs and physiques. You may need to consider things such as:
  1. The weight of the pram when lifting and fitting it into the back of the car or when having to carry it into the house or upstairs; it might be fine for Dad but super heavy for Mum! 
  2. Does it have an adjustable handle to suit both your heights? 
  3. Do you need a physics degree to fold/collapse the pram? Or can it be easily and calmly achieved when you are pregnant, have a screaming toddler on the hip and your ice-cream melting in the car? 
Other General things to consider…
  1. Does the pram fit into your car when folded, or will you need to buy a new car to fit it in (along with the groceries, the nappy bag, the toddlers' trike, the dog, etc)? Yes you may be able to take the wheels off to make it fit but are you going to do this in the pouring rain and your baby needs a feed!
  2. Is the pram easy to manoeuvre in general? Remember, the size and weight of the pram will be different to control when you have an 10 kg toddler in there in a year or so? Can you push and turn it one handed whilst holding hands with your pre-schooler?
  3. Are the wheel locks sturdy and not easily disengaged? On the flip side is the brake easy to use or do you need steel cap boots to engage and disengage them?
  4. Does the basket under the pram allow you the space you need - quick trip to the supermarket, out all day at the zoo - and is the access to the basket easy - extra zippers and wide openings so that you don't have to pull everything out to get to something at one end? 
  5. Do you want a reverse seat? Great for babies who want to constantly see mum but its certainly not essential. If this is important to you, it will help narrow down your choice. 
  6. Ensure your pram has a 5-point safety harness that is adjustable to accommodate your growing child. 
  7. Does the hood offer a reasonable area of shade, and does it have a view window so that you can check on baby whilst you are pushing the pram from behind. 
  8. Does the pram have a removable bumper? Great as an added safety feature for shallow seats and for hanging toys off but do you have to take the whole bumper off or does it swivel so you only need to take one side off? 

The pram you choose should comply with the Australian Standard AS/NZ S 2088. If it doesn't carry this information on a label or brochure, check with us beforehand. 

Pram Maintenance

Remember Prams and strollers aren't indestructible, they need servicing just like a car.  Wheels and brakes need regular maintenance, they are not designed for doing laps on the beach, pushed through creeks, or carrying the baby, with the 3yr toddler, the 5yr old and 14 bags of shopping! They have their limits!

The most common complaint is "its faulty, I can't steer the thing" , we usually find the wheels have never been serviced and a quick clean and lubrication can fix the problem.

Lubricating your wheels: Don't use olive oil or dad's grease gun on the wheels, you'll be sorry and you'll void the warranty! Use a silicone spray and spray directly on to the axle; do this every 3 months or so and it will be smooth running!