Advice on prams needed urgently!(12 Posts)
Am trying to buy travel system for bump and ignorance is definitely not bliss! Have found a Graco Voyager Air 6 Travel System down from 200 to 130 pounds. Anyone got one? Anyone know whether this is a good deal? It has 3 positions (says oneis lie back - is this ok for newborns?) or does anyone know where we can get our hands on a better deal?
Would like not to spend more than £200.
I had a Graco travel system about 4 years ago and loved it. I found that it lay back far enough for the newborn, and it was really easy to transfer the car seat onto the pram as well as back into the car. £130 seems a good deal. Check the magazines for the best buys, Graco always seems to do OK and that is a good price. I paid over £200 for mine and it did two kids very well.
Sam29 - There are so many things to consider when buying a travel system that it's hard to give a short answer. I don't have a graco system - so can't comment there - and my only comment on price would be that it seems a bargain but it's always worth checking kiddicare.com as they have some good deals.
Have you done a search on Mumsnet on travel systems - there has been quite a lot of discussion in the past as to pros and cons - and the conclusion really is that there is NO perfect system - they all have pros and cons and you neeed to really assess YOUR lifestyle and priorities to decide which one is best for you.
I made the completely the wrong decision when buying one - but only used it for 9 months anyhow as pretty much everyone seems to gravitate to the lightest buggy as soon as possible - so I think you're very sensible not to want to spend too much.
Agree with Crunchie, £130 seems a v good deal, but as Bayleaf says consider your own lifestyle. My inlaws insisted on buying us a pram, which I think I used for less than two months, realistically. We found a Baby Bjorn sling most practical up until about 5 months (when I started getting a bad back), by which time it was early summer and ds was big enough for a lightweight buggy.
If you're planning on using a buggy or travel-system for a newborn, you'll need it to have a lie-back position also make sure it has a good bit of padding and you might find a cosy-toes useful, too. The Graco one certainly seems to be very popular.
Thanks for those points. There just seems to be so much choice out there - v. baffling! I think there is a market out there for personal shoppers for parents to be as me and dh have no clue about anything!
Perhaps this is a career option for all us mums who might not want to go back to "normal" work!
Sam29 just to let you know we managed very well with a car seat and sling and at 7 weeks graduated to a MacLaren Techno, which doesn't recline that much but dd2 was just dandy in it (well padded with a buggysnuggle and a head hugger) - all 3 things will last for months and months. I always think travel systems are very confusing and you really only use them for the first 6 months if that - the buggy part is always much bigger than you would like by that stage.
IMO you need to look at your lifestyle.
If you use public transport (i.e. jump on and off buses/tubes a lot) you will probably find it easier to have some kind of baby carrier. From my friends' experience, the kindest to your back and shoulders is the Hug-a-bub - available from NCTMS . This wasn't available when I had my daughter and I used a Baby Bjorn and a Huggababy sling very successfully. Another popular option is the Wilkinet. However, each of these costs around 30-40 quid and you will rarely see them discounted.
If your life revolves around the car you may find a travel system easier. If your baby falls asleep in the car seat, you won't have to disturb him/her when transferring to the pushchair or pram. Ditto if he/she is asleep when you get back to the car and want to put them back in for the journey. With a pram/pushchair you have the advantage of somewhere to stash your purchases too.
Even more than looking round the sales, it is worth checking in the back of your local paper or your local NCT newsletter for people selling secondhand. As some on here have already mentioned, the equipment is often only used for six months. Often it is only the wheels of pushchairs that get grubby. Secondhand can often be picked up for less than half price. I have seen baby carriers going for around a quarter of their brand new price. Sometimes available on ebay.co.uk too.
IIRC, November is the big launch time for the new ranges of colours and fabrics in pushchairs and prams which is why there are often great bargains to be had. Your 130 travel system will prob be in colours that have been discontinued for next year. Unlikely to be a problem unless you are either very fashion conscious or wanted to buy something to add to it next year.
SAM29 - regarding personal shoppers - if you live near a John Lewis, they have nursery advisors that can take you through the range of equipment you may need - I found this invaluable when pg with ds(I too found the range of pushchairs baffeling), and she wasn't at all pushy about kit we didn't want (the service is free).
We sat down with her and gave her the criteria we had for a pushchair, she pulled out 2 that fitted it, then (when requested) explained the other travel systems - we decided they weren't for us as we rarely would use a pram if we used the car. We also asked her advice/opinion on cots, bedding and all sorts of other stuff. We ended up buying a pram & car seat from John Lewis, cloth nappies & baby sling online, cot & bedding from elsewhere and no spurios gizmos.
sam29 - as Enid says, do check out the second hand ads - they are always FULL of travel systems for sale, saying 'hardly used', so whether or not people find them useful I don't know? We borrowed a 'travel system' & it was the most complicated thing I've ever seen, never used it. In the end we went for a three wheeler (I do a lot of off road walkng), a sling & a buggy (used the car seat bit only from the 'travel system'.
I had the Mothercare "Colorado" version of the Graco travel system - I believe they're pretty much identical. I loved it and am still using the pushchair part nearly 4 years on (DS2 is 20 months).
The seat was flat enough for a newborn, the carseat was easy to move from car to pushchai, the carseat rocked enough using one foot to keep a small baby dozing happily, the shopping basket is strong enough to carry a nearly-4-year-old (not that the instructions say this of course but DS1 has curled himself up in it on a number of occasions ) and DS1 can stand on the frame of the basket and poke his head through the handles, dispensing with the need for a buggyboard. Again, the instructions don't tell you to do this! My Mothercare one has lasted longer than a friends identical Graco one. I also have a very cheap mothercare stroller.
The carseat IS heavy when there's a baby in it but I think most are. My seat has a little gauge at the side so you could tell if it was fitted at the right angle.
The Graco/Mothercare travel systems are the simplest around I think as you simply remove the seat from the car and plonk it on top of the pushchair, no fiddly fitting or anything. The pushchair is (I believe!) comfortable and practical. One thing that I forgot the first time I took DS2 out in it is that you need to have the front tray fitted in order to lock the carseat into position!
I know some people who've not been happy with their travel systems but I found mine superb. I have taken the pushchair on a bus but it was a complete pain - a umbrella fold buggy is best for this.
Someone has already mentioned kiddicare, who would be my first port of call for new items, but if you don't mind "not-quite-new" it's also worth checking out the pushchairs/prams on ebay.co.uk , and on ukparents .
We actually bought a three-wheeler, with a carry-cot that could be used from birth for total lie-flat, but only used the carry-cot part for about 6 weeks, before DS made it quite clear that he prefered to see more of the world than just the sky, so next time around if we were buying new (which we won't) I probably wouldn't bother with it. Having said that DS is 15 months and we do still use the 3-wheeler for off-road walks and in unusual conditions (I wouldn't have fancied the Maclaren buggy we bought later for in town use in 6 inches of fresh snow!) - which is more than I can say of anyone I know who bought a travel system.
Everyone I know has a maclaren techno and is v happy with it. Personally, I'd have bought a cheapo secondhand lightweight pram as I would have like ds facing me not the traffic for the first few months plus a sling and then got a new Maclaren because it's light, folds small, is well padded and looks rather chic and urban. If you like in the country and go across fields all the time this may not be the right choice for you. I think travel systems look v heavy and impractical plus they grow out of the first stage car seat quite quickly.
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