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10 of the best buggy covers, sun shades and parasols

These buggy covers, canopies and parasols provide shade and could help your baby to sleep better while out and about, while avoiding the safety risks of covering your pushchair with a regular blanket

buggy-covers

Many babies love having a snooze while being pushed along in the buggy. The movement can help them to settle and keep them asleep for longer, but they can sometimes get distracted by the sights and light around them.

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A buggy cover could be the answer, as it provides darkness and shade from the sunlight, using materials that are breathable and thin enough to allow air into the pram. Designed to fit most pushchairs, these covers are usually made from light mesh and come with zip pockets or panels so you can take a peek at your sleeping baby without disturbing them.

If you prefer not to cover your baby completely, parasols and sun canopies also offer protection from the sun and provide some extra shade – perfect if your pushchair hood doesn’t block out as much light as you like. Again, many of these are now universal, designed to fit a number of different brands and styles of pushchair.

What to look for when buying a buggy cover?

When shopping for the perfect sun cover, you’ll need to bear a few things in mind:

Will it fit? – Most universal covers and canopies are designed to fit a wide range of standard prams or pushchairs and will stretch to fit with adjustable ties, poppers or velcro straps. You may need a different cover for your carrycot vs the seat unit of the pushchair, although some are designed to work for both. Parasols clip onto the handle or side of the frame, so check the size of the clip compared to the chassis of your buggy.

Will I need to adjust it? – Once it’s fastened on, most canopies and covers don’t need to be adjusted in any way, although you may wish to unzip certain panels at different times. Parasols, on the other hand, may need to be readjusted more frequently, if you change directions or as the sun moves across the sky during the day.

What’s it made from? – Look for fabrics with ventilation, air holes, or mesh panels. Most sunshades will have layers of mesh to let the air flow through, and canopies sometimes have lighter panels on the side. Parasols are more likely to be made from a non-breathable fabric, but as they don’t cover the entire area, air can still get to your baby easily.

Can I see my baby? – Some buggy covers come with zip panels or windows so you can check on your child. Others (particularly the more budget options) may need to be removed for this. Canopies may have a peekaboo window in the top. If you’re planning to use a cover for naps, one with a window is preferable as you can make quick safety checks without disturbing your little one.

Does it have UV protection? – Check the product description (and our product guide below) to see if the cover provides UV protection, and how much. UV protection is particularly important when covering carrycots, as newborns can’t wear sunscreen. Older babies (6+ months) should still wear high factor sun protection in sunny weather, even if you’re planning to use a buggy cover or canopy.

Is a buggy cover safe?

Although the Lullaby Trust (which advises on safer sleeping for babies) advises that no cover at all is best, it agrees that if your baby needs protection from the sun, a clip on sunshade or parasol is the better option. It’s important not to use a regular blanket or muslin cloth, as these could cause the temperature to rise so much in your pram it could put your baby’s life at risk. Good ventilation is key, as are regular checks on your little one. Thankfully, all the products featured here make both of those easy.

1. SnoozeShade Original Deluxe, £24.99

Best all-rounder

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: 97.5% | Features: zip front | Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2018 Pushchair Accessory – Silver

Invented by a mum after the birth of her first child, the SnoozeShade launched in 2010 and is now sold worldwide. Perfect for use from birth, the SnoozeShade Original Deluxe blocks 97.5% of the sun’s UV rays, is made from an air permeable mesh, and has a zip front so you can take a peek as your little one sleeps.

The SnoozeShade Original Deluxe can be suspended over a carrycot / pram, or pulled down over a pushchair, simply by fastening the straps onto the chassis in different ways. SnoozeShade claims it’ll fit all types of pram and pushchair, with handy demo videos to show you how to adapt it to different ones.

There’s also versions for car seats (from £24.99) and for travel cots (£54.99), as well as a range designed specifically for older babies over 6 months.

Pros: Covers the entire buggy, good sun protection
Cons: Has to be unzipped to see baby

Available from: SnoozeShade, Amazon, Uber Kids, and Kidly.

2. Koo-di Pack-It Sun and Sleep stroller cover, £14.99

Best budget buy

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: 93% | Features: Pocket on hood

This good value buggy cover doesn’t have as many features as some of the others, but it is a cheaper alternative if you aren’t after something with too many bells and whistles.

It’s made from a ventilated mesh, and its Velcro fastenings allow it to be used on a 4-wheeler or 3-wheeler pushchair.

Washable at 40C, it packs neatly into the integrated pocket in the hood, and can be attached to your buggy.

Pros: Good value, has a storage pocket
Cons:  No zip to check on your baby

Available from: Amazon and Argos.

3. Dreambaby Strollerbuddy Extenda-Shade, £19.99

Best canopy

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: UPF50+ | Features: Mesh sides, folds for storage

Ideal for parents who want shade rather than a full cover, the Dreambaby Strollerbuddy Extenda-Shade has an extra long canopy to protect your little one from the sun’s glare. It comes packaged as a small circle in its own bag, and pops open to become a flexible shade that’ll fit over most makes of pushchair.

Made from a fabric with UPF50+ sun protection, it also has mesh sides, and velcros securely to the top and sides of your pushchair. Plus it comes in either black, or a funky Australian animal print, which we love!

Pros: Provides good shade, comes in cute prints
Cons: Not so good for sleep, very large

Available from: Amazon

4. Outlook Sleep Pod, £22.50

Best for sun and sleep

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: 70% | Features: Viewing panel

Offering both sun and light protection, the Outlook Sleep Pod can be used open – with a mesh window at the front that allows your child to see out while still blocking UV rays – or closed, which keeps out the light for uninterrupted naps on the go.

It should fit most carrycots, pushchairs, and car seats, with elasticated hooks that make fitting it really easy. This is a product that grows with your baby, and the sun protection window is great if you have a baby who refuses to wear a hat or sunglasses.

Pros: Works for sleep and sunshine, easy to fit
Cons: Some babies may not like being covered while awake

Available from: Jojo Maman Bebe, Cheeky Rascals, and Amazon.

5. Summer Infant RayShade, £14.99

Best for umbrella pushchairs

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: 99% – UPF50+ | Features: Drinks pockets

Another option that won’t completely cover your pushchair, the Summer Infant RayShade is designed to provide maximum UV protection for your baby, whatever angle the sun is at. It works particularly well on umbrella-style pushchairs and those with a long, narrow shape.

The UV protective pushchair cover extends the stroller canopy coverage from head to toe, attaching quickly and easily to most canopied pushchairs. It doesn’t create complete darkness for naps but pulled right down it should restrict light enough for an older baby to sleep.

The water-repellent fabric also keeps off the rain, and it has a hidden pocket to hold drinks, plus it folds into itself for compact storage.

Pros: Great shade coverage and sun protection, good for older kids
Cons: Design isn’t as well-suited to carrycots

Available from: Amazon

6. Prince Lionheart Pop ‘N’ Play Pushchair Sunshade, £14.99

Best for sun protection

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: 98% – UPF50+ | Features: Viewing window at top, pop-up design

This unusual buggy cover has a pop-up design that can be used on most pushchairs with a hood. It’s more generous than some of the other buggy covers, making it a good choice for active babies who like to kick, poke and wriggle about.

Its mesh construction protects from the sun and insects, with UV protection of 98%. However, while it provides shade, it doesn’t provide a dark environment for naps, so if you’re looking for something that does both, the SnoozeShade or Sleep Pod may be better options.

Pros: Folds up small, provides more room for wriggly babies
Cons: Takes up a lot of space when open, not good for naps

Available from: Amazon.

7. Clair de Lune Universal Pushchair Parasol, £9.99

Best universal parasol

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: N/A| Features: Multiple colours, fits most pushchairs

If you don’t fancy a cover that has to be fastened on, a parasol offers shade that can easily be adjusted throughout the day.

This universal style has a strong F-clamp that clicks onto most pushchair chassis’, and the central section of the handle bends to allow you to move it with the sun.

The classic black should suit most buggies, you prefer something that’s pretty as well as practical, there’s also a white broderie anglaise version.

Pros: Simple to use, easy to store
Cons: May need to be adjusted a lot, blocks baby’s view

Available from: Amazon

8. Outlook Shade-a-Babe Double buggy cover, £25

Best for twins

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: 73-93% | Features: Split design for each seat; adjustable length

Fitting over most major brands of side-by-side twin buggies, the Shade-a-Babe cover can be used to protect from the sun, or as an insect net or even for light showers.

It reduces UV by 73% to 93% while the fold back Shade-a-Babe UPF50+ Sun Visor reduces UV by 99%. It’s designed for sun rather than sleep, but will probably shade your twins enough to help them during nap time.

Pros: Great option for twins
Cons: Sun protection is lowered without visor

Available from: Amazon.

9. Dooky Design Universal Sunshade, £17

Best for travel systems

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: Upf 40+ UV | Features: Split rings for fitting

The closest you’ll get to draping a muslin over the pram – but with guaranteed ventilation – the  simple design of the Dooky Design Sunshade features split rings on one end and tie strings, with velcro to roll it up and down. It’s available in different colours and patterns, too.

The unique shape makes it a good option if you have a travel system and click your car seat into your pushchair frame, as it can be rolled up to create extra shade for those short walks, but also works on most carrycots and pushchairs. It’s machine washable.

Pros: Easy to use, fits on car seat, pram or pushchair
Cons: No viewing window, baby may undo ties

Available from: Kidly and Amazon

10. RioGoo Pushchair Parasol and Umbrella

Best for British weather

Age suitability: From newborn | UV protection: Upf 50+ UV | Features: Converts to an umbrella

Ever wondered if a pushchair parasol could be used as an umbrella in a pinch? Well, this one’s designed for just that. This generously-sized universal parasol clips onto your pushchair to keep your baby protected from the elements, but it also comes with an extra handle to convert it into an umbrella.

It might be more of a gimmick than anything, but the great British weather can surprise you at any moment, and if you pack a rain cover as well as this parasol, you can do a quick swap and protect both baby and parent from unexpected rain.

The parasol comes in black or grey to suit most pushchairs, and has a flexible spring to bend and adjust.

Pros: Can be converted to an umbrella, large size for lots of shade
Cons: Will need to be adjusted, may not fit in basket for storage

Available from: Amazon

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