In the market for a buggy? Watch the MadeForMums Pushchair Buying Guide and Q&A
Join MadeForMums Editors and an expert from Joie as they demystify the world of buggies, prams, pushchairs and travel systems, and find the right pushchair for your family
Pushchairs, prams buggies, strollers, travel systems... if all of these terms mean nothing to you, you've come to the right place!
In our pushchair buying guide video, MadeForMums editors Christy McGhee and Gemma Cartwright are joined by Damon Marriot, Head of Product Management at Joie Baby UK, to take a closer look at all the features and elements you need to consider when buying a pushchair. The demonstration is followed by a 30-minute live Q&A, filmed in June 2022, featuring questions submitted by our readers and followers.
A pushchair is one of the biggest and most important purchases you’ll make when you’re welcoming a baby into your family, but it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice and confused by all the options. In our independent Pushchair Buying Guide, in association with Joie, we answer many key questions, including:
- What’s the difference between a pushchair and a pram?
- What exactly is a travel system?
- Do you always need a carrycot?
- What’s the difference between a pushchair and a stroller?
- Which double is right for you - a tandem or a side-by-side pushchair?
- What type of wheels do you need?
- What type of fold should you look for?
- Which key pushchair features are most important?
Throughout the talk, we demonstrate of all the pushchair types we discuss, courtesy of Joie. It offers an opportunity to get a closer look at the key features and functionality that make all the difference when you’re out and about with your new arrival: we’re talking lie-flat seats, simple folds and smart design details. Plus we take a closer look at a new product from Joie that might save you money and space when you're travelling with a newborn.
Discover all the products we demonstrated
Joie Signature Finiti (£400) – A 3-in-1 pushchair and MFM Gold Award winner for Best Newborn Pushchair 2022, with larger back wheels and small front wheels, suitable from birth with the option to add the Joie Ramble carrycot (£120), or use it as a travel system by adding a car seat. It offers a one-piece fold with the seat facing either direction. For further information, you can read the full MFM Joie Signature Finiti Review.
Joie Signature Tourist (£200) – A compact-folding pushchair and another MFM Gold Award winner for Best Stroller 2022, with smaller wheels and a featherweight frame (6.6kg). It's suitable from birth with the option to add a carrycot, plus you can also attach a car seat. It folds with one hand and has a built in handle. Read the MFM Joie Signature Tourist review for a more detailed look at the features.
Joie Evalite Duo (£200) – A tandem double pushchair with a lightweight frame and a one-handed fold. The rear seat is suitable from birth, and the front seat is suitable from 6 months. The pushchair is compatible with Joie Gemm and i-Gemm car seats, with no need for adapters. See our Joie Evalite Duo review to take a closer look.
Joie i-Level car seat (£270) – An infant car seat that's suitable from birth, with a lie-flat recline for more flexibility. The seat is compatible with the Joie Signature Finiti pushchair and the Joie Signature Tourist pushchair.
Joie i-Gemm car seat (£150) – An infant car seat suitable from birth, compatible with both the Signature Finiti and Signature Tourist pushchairs, and with the Evalite Duo double buggy. Take a look at our Joie i-Gemm car seat review for more details.
Joie Calmi carrycot car seat – We preview this exciting new product from Joie, which offers the functionality of both a carrycot and car seat in one product. The Calmi can be used with an isofix base to safely transport your newborn in the car while lying in a fully flat position. The seat then clicks onto a pushchair frame (such as the Joie Signature Finiti) to be used as a carrycot. It will be available in the UK in Summer 2022, and is suitable for use from birth to around 6 months.
Frequently asked questions from the Q&A
During our Q&A, which was filmed live, we were asked a number of questions by our viewers. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, some of which you can see answered in the video above too.
Is there a safer way for a child to face in a pushchair?
There is not necessarily a safer way for a child to face, it is more important that they are in a lie-flat position until the muscles in their neck are better developed (around the 6 month mark). However, many parents prefer to have their newborn baby facing them in the pram/pushchair, and this is the direction that most carrycots and car seats will fasten into the frame. This gives you a good eye-line straight to your child. Many seat units (some of which can be used from birth, others from 6 months) have the ability to be parent-facing or world-facing: the Joie Signature Finiti is an example of this.
Are all pushchairs compatible with all car seats?
Sadly not. Car seat compatibility depends on the brand and the adapters that are available, so not all car seats will fit all pushchairs. The instruction manual or website for each pushchair should list the exact car seats that will fit onto each buggy, although you may still need to buy adapters. If a brand makes both car seats and pushchairs (as is the case with Joie) you’ll find they’re often designed to work together, but do check compatibility as this may vary according to the model.
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What is the maximum weight you can use a buggy up to?
Different models have different weight limits, but in general most will take a child up to either 15kg, 22kg or 25kg. Buggies with the lower weight limit of 15kg tend to be those with very lightweight frames, or double buggies that need to be capable of holding twice the weight overall. In age terms, 15kg is often referred to as "around 4 years of age" but it could also be a 2.5 year old boy in the 90th+ percentile for weight. If larger babies run in your family, look for a buggy with a higher weight limit for longevity.
What age range do the car seats go up to?
Infant car seats have a weight/height limit rather than an age limit, but in general most last up to around 15 months of age. The Joie i-Level, for example, can be used until your child is 85cm tall or 13kg in weight; whichever comes first. The Calmi carrycot car seat is suitable up to 9kg, or around 6 months.
Can my baby sleep in the pram carrycot?
When it comes to daytime sleep, yes. Your newborn will likely doze off while they're in their carrycot on many occasions and that's fine. A carrycot keeps them in a safe, flat position on their backs, and you will be able to supervise the nap and keep an eye on your baby. You can also use your pram carrycot as a safe spot for a nap at home, as it's a great way to keep them in the same room as you without having to move a crib.
As for overnight sleep, it depends on the model. Many carrycots are not recommended for overnight sleep, and that includes the Joie models we demonstrate here. Some carrycots from other brands are certified "suitable for occasional overnight sleep" which means you could use them for travel or trips away, but not as a permanent sleeping space. There are a few models that are suitable for permanent overnight sleep, and this should be clearly indicated in the user manual.
Is the magnetic clip on the harness escape-proof and 100% safe so the toddler won't manage to open it by themselves?
All harnesses and restraints sold in the UK must meet the required safety standards and they are tested rigorously for exactly this. The buttons are designed to require the strength of an adult to unclip. But the reality is that no harness – be it on a pushchair, car seat or high chair – is completely child-proof. A particularly clever and persistent toddler can find a way to get out of most things, so as parents we must take some responsibility and ensure we supervise, talk to our toddlers about the importance of safety, and continually clip them back in if they do manage to open it.
Can you explain swivel vs fixed front wheels?
Swivel wheels allow for maximum manoeuvrability and give the buggy a smaller turning circle. They are preferable for most day-to-day activities. Almost all pushchairs, even the lightweight ones with smaller wheels, have swivel front wheels.
A fixed front wheel is designed to offer more stability at speed, and is generally a feature of running buggies. You may find that most standard pushchairs – particularly those marketed as 'all-terrain' – also have the option to fix the front wheels by engaging a button or switch. This can be helpful in some situations (going over bumpy ground, gravel of down a steep hill for example) and just offers more flexibility.
Find more information on the range of pushchairs and car seats from Joie
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