Your first buggy is a big deal. Not only will it be your baby’s first mode of transport, it’s likely to be your most expensive baby purchase and your own mummy style statement. As well as transporting your baby safely, it’ll also hold all your baby’s gear and your shopping, too, so getting the right one for your requirements is essential. Whether you end up with a travel system or a lightweight, here’s what our mums suggest you think about before you buy.
Do you need a travel system?
“If you drive a lot, you’ll find a travel system useful, so you can take your car seat out and fix it straight onto the buggy without disturbing your baby. We went for the Maclaren Techno XLR with all the trimmings.”
Helen Smith, 31, from Essex, mum to Hayley, 1
What does it include?
“Make sure you know what comes with the buggy before you buy it. Reversible seats are great as your child grows, as are added extras, such as a raincover and footmuff. Check out what other features it has to help you plan your budget.”
Sarah Turner, 27, from Maidenhead, mum to Sally-Anne, 3, and Bobby, 8 months
Pay attention to detail
“Get the shop assistant to demonstrate folding it, how to change from car seat to pushchair, and ask them to show you every knob, button and pocket. They should know what they’re selling and seeing how quickly they do it will help you decide which one suits you best. Don’t be scared to haggle either. My mum got a carrycot mattress and a few other things thrown in for free.”
Lorna Duke, 30, from Falkirk, mum to Ella, 2
Try it out properly
“Make sure you’ll be comfortable pushing the buggy if you have to go far. It’s one thing testing it for a minute in a shop, but there’s nothing worse than buggy backache. Ones with adjustable handles, like the Graco Symbio, are awesome, especially if there’s a height difference between mum and dad. Consider the weight, too, and then add a baby, change bag and shopping.”
Symone Darvell, 28, from Hull, mum to Mia, 2 and Ava, 1
- Buyer’s guide to buggies
- Buyer’s guide to car seat travel systems
- The buggies and travel systems you’ll be buying in 2012
Easy to control?
“You want to feel confident that your baby’s secure in the buggy and you can handle it. If you’re using it on public transport, make sure you’re able to fold and lift it without needing help. I’m quite small, so, after a lot of trial and error, I now have the Bugaboo Bee Plus and I love it – it’s so light and easy to push.”
Suzanne Wickes, 34, from Leeds, mum to Jamie, 9 months
Looks come second
“With such a vast range of buggies to choose from, there’s a lot of snobbery about how they look and which one’s the coolest one to be seen with. However, you can get good-looking budget ones. We went for the Mamas & Papas Luna, which was a bargain, but still stylish and practical, which is the key selling point really.”
Amy Clarke, 25, from Derby, mum to Jacob, 8 months
Get expert opinion
“Read as many reviews as you can. There’s nothing better than real mums’ experiences, and review sites put buggies through their paces more than you should need to. They also give you the model’s dimensions and weight, plus the pros and cons. It’s also good to try buggies out in the shop, even if
you’re going to buy online.”
Amy Wallis, 26, from Nottingham, mum to Jonathan, 1