With so many names for different types of baby transporters, it can often be confusing. Here at MadeForMums we use the name 'buggy' simply to refer to all pushchairs – whether they have one seat or two – as well as prams and pramettes, 3-wheelers and lightweights. The ‘buggy’ term can also include travel systems, which have a rear-facing car seat and possibly a carrycot.Almost every parent-to-be buys a buggy - it gets you and your baby from A to B. The trick to finding the best one for you from the enormous selection on the market is to carefully look at your lifestyle and your needs before you take the plunge.
There are broadly three different age ranges for buggies. Those suitable for use from birth generally have more padding and allow the buggy seat to recline to a lie flat position, to aid sleep, good posture and respiration. Some that don't lie flat can come with an optional carrycot so you can use the buggy with a newborn and to offer your baby extra protection from the elements. The carrycot can sometimes double as a bassinet - but make sure you have the room in your home for another piece of baby equipment, especially as you baby will only really need it for the first six months. Some buggies are suitable from 3 months, as they don't fully recline. If you plan to carry your baby in a sling or baby carrier for the first three months, you won't need a buggy that’s suitable from birth.Lastly, there are a large number of buggies that are suitable from 6 months, when your baby can sit up unaided. Many lightweight options fall into this age range. By this age, many parents want something lighter and more compact for everyday use.
There’s huge range of buggies to choose from and your choice will be determined by your daily routine:
A buggy seat can either be positioned to face you (known as parent facing or rear facing) or look out at the big wide world (known as forward facing). Some buggies offer both modes because they have a reversible seat unit or handle. There’s plenty of theories on the pros and cons of the direction you baby faces – we’ve got more info the rear facing vs forward facing buggy debate.
If you plan on taking your newborn baby on plenty of car trips, but still want full use of a buggy when you reach your destination, then the best model for you is a travel system. A travel system includes a buggy and either a matching or compatible car seat that attaches to the buggy. If this interests you, check out our buyer’s guide to travel systems for in-depth, easy-to-follow advice.
Although it may seem obvious, make a list of all the times you think you’ll need to use your buggy before you spend any money. Things to consider include:
We’ve got a guide on choosing a buggy to suit your lifestyle to help you pinpoint what features you’ll need.
Buying a buggy that doesn't leave you hot and bothered when trying to fold it is essential, whatever your circumstances. But before you choose a model, have a think about where you’re going to store it and how much space you have available. Will it be left permanently folded in your car boot or is your living space large enough that you can just wheel it in and out of your home? Size when folded varies enormously, so have a look at its folded dimensions. Also see whether it’s easy to carry when folded - some have an ingenious carry handle, while others will stand on their own once folded, which is great for storing.Finally, some have various attachments that need to be removed before folding, such as a carrycot or even the seat, both of which take up extra room in the boot/home, and you may find those big wheels you covet need to be removed for a compact fold.
We've got more advice on the different buggy folding mechanisms you'll come across.
Before you begin your buggy hunt, have a look at our in-depth reviews, so you can make a stress-free and informed purchase:
If you need further inspiration, check out our round-ups of the top 10 buggies in a whole host of categories:
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