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Which pushchair from birth for London (and no car!)

(39 Posts)
marushka82 Mon 04-Mar-13 14:55:18

Hi everyone,
I'm currently 19wks pregnant with our DC1 and although it's still quite early I started doing some research on pushchairs. And guess what? I'm totally confused (so much choice!) and I need your advice!

I'd like to buy a pushchair which would be suitable from birth, rear and forward facing and easy to steer.
We don't have a car (and don't plan on getting one just yet) so I think we don't need an integrated travel system (unless there's a great deal and pushchair and car seat can be bought in a bundle), we'll get a cheap car seat separately (I'm sure we'd only use it once or twice, once being when we leave the hospital).

I plan to do a lot of walking (no off roading, just London pavements!) and occasionally jump on the bus (and even more occasionally use the tube, although if that happens I will have DH on hand to help!). We'll probably be living in a terraced house flat, or 1st floor flat (more likely ground floor though!).

The budget is around £350 and we definitely cannot afford a buggaboo bee. I'd also prefer to buy the pushchair new, rather than on e-bay if possible.

I had my eyes set on M&P Sola but I read so many bad reviews about wheels falling off that I just don't want to risk it!
Now I seem to have narrowed it down to three candidates:

1) Maxi Cosi Elea - I read great reviews and it seems to have all we need. I know there are shops that have good offers on it, but the problem seems to be with viewing it irl! Does anyone know which London stores have them on display?
2) Britax B-smart 4 - again, good reviews for this one and the price is right (I also saw a bundle offer which included a car seat and carrycot, but again, where can I actually see it? I wouldn't want to buy it without testing it in the shop first)
3) Graco Evo - saw it in the shop and it looks fine, good reviews etc, the only thing that worries me are the plastic wheels - are they going to be an issue?

Phew, I realise this is a long post so congratulate yourselves if you got this far!
I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have!!!

Another quick question: has anyone had any experience buying from Babyvalue on ebay? They've got a Maxi Cosi Elea for a reasonable price (auction) apparently brand new: what's the catch? It normally costs £400, £320 with offers.

scaevola Wed 06-Mar-13 22:08:12

McLarens are great for regular users, especially if you need to fold when it's crowded. Gracos are also narrow and fit on easily.

Wider ones are a PITA to get down bus aisles.

ilovemountains Wed 06-Mar-13 22:10:28

I had a maclaren techno xt for mine from birth, it was great. I do loads of city walking, going on buses etc. I definitely would not get a travel system, anything big or anything heavy.

Iwillorderthefood Wed 06-Mar-13 22:25:18

Maclaren, I so wish that we had just gone for the top of the range maclaren, and not wasted a load of money on the bugaboo. Used bugaboo for the first year for each child, then switched to maclaren, as they are so much more practical on public transport. I saw someone with a carrycot type option attached to a maclaren the other day, so baby lay flat too. They are not as whizzy and pretty as some of the others on the market, but ask yourself why the pram you see over and over again in London is maclaren.

marushka82 Thu 07-Mar-13 00:29:41

Right. I managed to completely confuse myself while looking for light strollers.
I'm going to hit the shops on Sunday and check out:

-MacLaren Techno XLR
-Cosatto Giggle 3 in 1 (love the fact that it's light, cute, has a carrycot included in price and forward and rear facing)
-Graco Evo again (Mothercare have an awesome offer on it now which includes a car seat!)
-Baby Jogger City Mini (I love the look of it and how it folds, plus the reviews I read here on MN were awesome)
Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions! Looks like choosing a pushchair is no easy feat!

gameday Thu 07-Mar-13 00:58:53

I loved our MacLaren. We used ours from birth and all children survived. And it made me feel all smug when parents strugged onto the bus with their oversized SUV buggies and we whizzed up and down the aisles like a hot knife through butter! Agree that most of the 'faffing' about pushchairs is about the first 3 or 6 months, at most, and then you'll be glad of having spent less on a light, easily foldable pushchair that is welcome in crowded cafes and that you can use until they can walk onto the bus themselves.

rootypig Sun 10-Mar-13 09:57:21

I agree the Bee isn't the sturdiest, but you say no off roading. I walk 40+ miles a week with my (second hand one) and have no issues. DD gets jostled a bit but it doesn't bother her remotely (quite the opposite, smooth ground seems to wake her up) I don't think it's worth £600, but I went through all the agonies that you describe and did, quite literally, eight months of on off research, and eventually plumped for the Bee (after my due date!) but second hand. DD is 4.5 months and no way in 6 weeks will she be ready to face outward imo, you are right to prioritise parent facing, particularly in a busy, chaotic place like London. Also don't be too hasty to dismiss weight. This is a city full of steps...... everyone has the Bee for a reason. Until someone makes a version that is more robust, with bigger wheels, it's pretty much the only thing that fits the bill you describe.

There are always good like new offers on gumtree in your price bracket eg www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/bugaboo-bee/1011851477 then £50 left over for a shiny new cocoon.

And this way if you hate it, after a month you can sell it on at no loss

That last bit was what swayed me...... HTH

rootypig Sun 10-Mar-13 09:59:08

last thing - get a Bee and you won't need a MacLaren at 6 months.

Nanny01 Sun 10-Mar-13 10:51:52

I have a cossato giggle. It is much lighter than many mentioned. It comes as a complete package to with a carrycot, bag, footmuff, raincover and a chasie that can take a seat that faces both ways. A 4 year guarantee and really good customer service which sorted out my break for me with in a week returning buggy in working order. I would stay away from heavy buggies unless you can leave them up. I can truly say if this had been available from the start I would not have bought the other one as I use the car loads. I know you said you won't be using the car but often in the past I had to fit the pushchair into a small space on the bus. If I was really unfortunate I had to fold it. So a pushchair with a small footprint is good. You can get a car seat for it reasonable price and I would still get one because it is safer to have one for the few journeys you might do. Also it is useful as you can click it on and off the seat unit at friends houses to so have some where to feed lo in. Light weight is key if you have to carry it any where is a must. The giggle to me has a good value for money option.

VinegarDrinker Sun 10-Mar-13 11:01:21

We are in the same situation (London, no car) but my research is 2 years old. That njoy bubble one looks fab. We went to Kiddicare in Peterborough and played with loads. We ended up with a Chicco Trio Living travel system for £200 all in. It is hardly bigger than a Maclaren, definitely not trendy or shiny but absolutely does the job and is in regular usage still (DS is 2y). We used it rear facing to well over 1.

Btw have you looked at slings? One reason we didn't want to spend loads on a buggy was we expected to use slings more, and we absolutely do. That's our day to day transport option, a million times easier than even the smallest buggy for getting on public transport.

kerrywoo Thu 14-Mar-13 19:45:33

I really liked the look of the Cosatto Giggle and bought one for our first born with some money my gran had left me.
It seemed to be ok at first but on only the 4th use it has broken. I haven't been using it much as advised to rest from the cesarean.

We haven't been anywhere but on pavement with it.
The front wheel collapsed as I was pushing it over a tarmac'd car park. The pram above collapsed with the frame and toppled to the ground. It was an extremely frightening experience for me and my two week old baby.

This is a serious design flaw and Cosatto need to fix it. The wheel is clearly not strong enough and there is no safety feature if it fails.

Images:
i47.tinypic.com/29cnw8w.jpg
i47.tinypic.com/2e2oww8.jpg
i50.tinypic.com/2096pzm.jpg

Video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=93uJSP_NxM0

Mutley77 Thu 14-Mar-13 23:49:45

I think the babystyle oyster maybe a good choice. Have you looked at it?

I have two dc, 8 and 4, and never had a rear facing pram beyond the carrycot stage. Buying new for dc3 and am going for mountain buggy so will be f facing when he/she is out of carry cot. The rear facing thing is quite new and all my friends managed without except those who had bugaboos and none of them used thier bugaboos rear facing after baby was 6 mths.

Sheshelob Fri 15-Mar-13 00:00:14

Maclaren all the way. We started out with a pram but big baby meant he had grown out of it by 5 months. So we opted for Maclaren XT because it lies back flat. It is also nice and narrow, which meant we no longer took up the entire buggy space on buses (which can be downright dangerous in London), and light enough to heft about up and down escalators on the tube. Also has a extra big hood, which is great in the summer/for naps.

Bearwantsmore Fri 15-Mar-13 00:00:14

Bee bee bee! Honestly, there's no contest. Of all the mums I've come across in London, the ones who are happiest with their pushchair (and who don't end up replacing it with a Maclaren after a few months!) are those with a Bee. Mine is still going strong 4.5 yrs and 2 DC later.

Also you won't necessarily need a car seat. You can take the pram in a black cab - just wheel it straight in. There are are threads on here about this if you search.

marushka82 Fri 15-Mar-13 11:10:25

Hi everyone,

thanks for all the suggestions! I have read a lot of Giggle reviews and no one ever mentioned any design flaws... Kerrywoo this must have been a scary experience! Have you contacted Cosatto afterwards?
I have to say I read a lot of Babystyle Oyster reviews and they weren't as good as the ones for giggle; I saw Oyster in the shop and it seemed heavy as well (plus we'd need to get a separate carrycot for it which would hike the price up!). What I like about Giggle so far (I'm hoping to actually see it irl today or tomorrow) is that you get everything included in the price (all accessories like footmuff, bag, rain cover, etc) AND a carrycot. I love the design as well!

I'm definitely going to try and use a sling - I've got a close friend who swore by hers and promised to give me her sling to have a go (she'll also teach me how to tie it when I go and see her in April, yay!)

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