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Tandem or side-by-side for 21 month old and new born?(4 Posts)
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I'm due in a few weeks. My DS will be 21 months old by then, so I will need a double buggy of some sort. Quite a while ago, I decided that while a tandem would be better for me, a side-by-side would be better for the babies. I bought a second hand Mothercare Urban Detour 3-wheeler, (I have the Mothercare My3 and it's been great) and the Mothercare one was cheaper than an Outandabout Nipper 360. It's relatively light, great pneumatic tires, extremely easy to push/navigate and fits into the boot of the car (a Golf). However, the down side is that I have to take wheels off to get it through the front door, (they?re quick release and pop straight back on, but it's a bit of a faff ? and I?ve not even done it with a toddler and a baby in it yet!!!). I'm now wondering if I should go for a tandem instead just to make things a bit easier for myself. I?m going to have a look at a friends Phil & Ted Sport tomorrow and may buy it. There are pro's and con's to both of course, which I see as the following ?.
Slim line for getting through doorways and going along pavements
Baby gets shunted to the back and can't see anything
Might be too long for car boot when collapsed?
I've heard they can tip if there is no child in the front seat?
Limited shelf life? My DS would NOT have been happy to sit in the back/under the front seat from around 13 weeks as he just wanted to see what was going on the whole time.
Much nicer journey for both children
Fits in car boot ok
Robust and comfy for longer, more rigorous walks
Total faff to get in and out the house
(too?) wide for pavements
Bulky to store
The main thing I want the buggy for is taking my DS on the 35 minute walk to nursery each morning, but there will also be longer walks (a wee bit of rough, muddy terrain) and the occasional trip with it in the car.
Lots of folk wax lyrical about how great Phil & Ted's are, and I've read heaps of reviews, but has anyone gone from tandem to side-by-side or vice versa and/or have any suggestions as to which you think might be best? I'd love to hear your experiences.
Sorry, this has probably been discussed in other threads ad infinitum, but I had a quick look and couldn?t see on that covered all of the above!
Thanks for reading and for any suggestions!
What is the width of your doorway before you go any further!!
..........because unless my memory is going (quite possible after 2 children), the Urban Detour is a huge monster of a pushchair width wise!! I am sure its well over 80cms which makes it a monstrosity of a side by side pushchair!
So first of all dont measure all side by sides by this one!!
a) assume your children will be more comfy in a side by side. First of all side by side seats are often more "hammock" like and a framed tandem seat may well offer a better and more comfortable seating position. A lot of side by sides because of this have more recumbant seating positions which older toddlers may not like. But they also offer a more like flat seat rather than a bucket seat which some people prefer for their children. But all side by sides are not the same
b) assume your children would prefer a side by side because my eldest MUCH prefers the fun of being in lower seat. I think she sees it as a house and she likes to play games in there. Equally I know some children hate it, but dont assume it! Its also not always the baby underneath!
c) forget a side by side offers more opportunity for the eldest to poke / tease and generally annoy the baby!!
d) forget children grow and change. What your DS liked at 13 weeks will not be the same as he will like at 2. My children at various times liked or needed things in regards to pushchairs, but they soon changed or adapted.
If you buy the right pushchair, it should suit your needs. So...fundamentally what do YOU need in a pushchair?
What is your budget?
What is your car?
How wide is your door?
Is the muddy terrain what you call "off road" or would something with normal pushchair wheels work? Do you NEED to do this route?
What will you do once your DC is at nursery and you have an empty seat?
Wow, thanks Tiggywunkle. You make some good points.
With regards to the door, its 81cms with the Mothercare doubler being 84cms with wheels attached. Ive found it difficult to always find the width measurements of most buggies when trying to compare online, (this is such an oversight from a manufacturers or retailers point of view we need to know exactly how wide/long these things are!). From reading reviews, my side-by-side of choice would be the Outabndabout Nipper 360. When Ive measured the Outabndabout in shops theyre almost as wide as the Mothercare with wheels attached 82cms is what I come up with. In fact, all the side-by-sides were over 80cms, which is why I just thought to hell with it and went for the Mothercare one. I know that theres now the Nipper Narrow which has the streamlined wheels and measure 72cms, but I dont really want to fork out for a new one and, as its so new, I havent found any second hand ones going in my area.
Budget wise, I think its all relative. However, my DH is particularly frugal and is already appalled that we bought a travel system for the best part of £700 2 years ago and that we now need to get something else. Hed thought that if we had another it would get reused. It would, when Im out with just one of the DCs, but on a practical level, I need to go out with both of them every day.
I find pneumatic wheels SO much more comfy to push, even if its just on normal pavements, so this would have to be a prerequisite.
Like I said in my OP, some tandems have been too long when folded to fit in the boot of our Golf, so Ill need to check the Phil & Ted Sport later today to see if its even viable.
Good point about poking each others faces! One thing that concerns me about the phil & ted or any tandem that has a low rear seat is that it looks like whoevers in the back seat could easily stick their fingers in the spokes of the back wheel. I guess they wont do it again if they do it, but Id rather they didnt do it at all. Is this something that could be easily done? Also, what about the 'tipping' I've read about that can happen on tandem when you take one child out of the front seat? Does this actually happen? You'd think they'd be designed/weighted to make sure that they're stable.
Thanks very much for your comments.
The old Nipper should be 77cms which is a fair bit less than the Mothercare one. Not many are this wide though. The new Narrow Nipper is fabulous and worth splashing out for. I have seen a few around second hand. My worry with the Nipper is that the V2 harness is HUGE and I wouldn't be wanting to put a newborn in without addressing it.
I would look also at an Air Buggy Mimi - just as light to push as a Nipper but narrower and cheaper. Look also at a Baby Jogger Classic.
I have had a whole series of tandem pushchairs, and with only one have I had an issue with children and the rear wheels. Most have good wheel guards plus you have a good view down of the rear child. I dont really see it as an issue TBH but there's always one...!!
Tipping can happen but it depends on the pushchair plus which child goes where. I find P&Ts worst for tipping because the eldest child - the one most likely to hop in and out, generally goes on top and so much of the P&Ts weight / overhang is at the back, not the front. With say the B-Dual, the seats are stacked upwards more with less weight behind the handlebar. I think Best Buggy could be useful for you, not least for comparing measurements - try the "Compare Pushchairs" button at the top.
You really need to treat a pushchair as a rental. Buy wisely, look after a pushchair, and you will recoup your money upon resale. Especially with a double - often what you need whilst your LO's are small isn't the same a year later.