Q: I am now six months' pregnant and I think it's time to start thinking about pushchairs. But there are so many to choose from and I can't make sense of it all! How do I go about choosing one?
A: Selecting a pushchair should be fun but there is a mind boggling variety! Just to confuse things even more, you also need to choose between three and four wheels!
One option open to you is a 'travel system', which is a good choice for drivers. A travel system basically means that an infant car seat can be attached to the pushchair's frame when you are not using the seat unit/carry cot. The real beauty of this is that you can transfer your baby from car to pushchair and vice versa with the minimum fuss – and you will find this a lifesaver if your baby is asleep!
However, travel systems can be fairly heavy and bulky, so make sure your car has enough room. The manufacturer will be able to provide you with folded dimensions and weights to help you with this.If you are a city dweller and/or will be using public transport as your main method of getting around, then an 'umbrella fold' is probably more suitable. Umbrella fold means that the whole pushchair – seat included – folds down compactly. These are the lightest pushchairs on the market, making them particularly good for use on public transport.
Additionally, if you are a driver but have a smaller car, an umbrella fold will take up much less room in the boot - and some of these buggies can now accommodate an infant car seat too. However, not all umbrella folds are suitable for newborns, so do check with the manufacturer before you buy.
The debate between three and four wheels rumbles on, but at the end of the day this really is a personal choice. Some parents say that four wheels provide better stability and feel sturdier, but fans of three wheelers will say that they are easier to manoeuvre and are better on rougher ground.
Make sure you try a few out for size, style and fit - but try to resist the urge to buy there and then. Instead, check out the web as online retailers can offer some good discounts.
Which puschair did you go for? Would you recommend it? Leave a comment below...