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Do I really need a pushchair/pram/buggy
for a newborn?
Frankly, we don't have tons of money, and I'm really starting to wonder if I need to be shelling out for a pushchair from birth.
It will be nearly September when the baby comes, and it will be grim and rainy a lot of the time--I don't foresee a lot of walks through the park TBH. I drive, so obviously will have a carseat/baby carrier thing. I was thinking I/DH could use a sling if taking the baby somewhere/out walking.
I do my food shopping online, and frankly hate other types of shopping. If I went somewhere with the baby, I'd most likely be driving.
Geez, I sound like a complete recluse, but am imagining my life will pretty much consist of being stuck on the sofa breastfeeding for a few months!
I do think we'll get a pushchair later on, but what I want to know is, how long can I get away with not having one? Is it realistic to wait? How much did you actually use your pram/pushchair during the first few months?
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I used my pushchair absolutely loads in the first few months and dd was born in Oct so similar time of year. But I don't drive so there were lots of shopping trips plus dh and I love walking so did plenty of long walks when weather was sunny.
I found that taking the baby out for a walk saved my sanity - got cabin fever stuck on the sofa feeding.
DS was born in the October and I used his pram a lot. I used to try and get out every day because whilst sitting on the sofa breastfeeding sounds lovely, the reality of being at home with a newborn can be quite different. Getting out into the fresh air did wonders for my mental health.
The pram had many uses, too. We used the carry cot part as a moses basket. We used to wheel him around in the pram to get him off to sleep when nothing else worked, and we also used to meet up with other sleep-deprived and shell-shocked mothers in the park. In fact, looking back, I think I'd have struggled without the pram because we'd walk to my friend's house, push our prams around, get the babies off to sleep then have a nice coffee and a cake. I think a sling or a car seat would have really limited my cake eating opportunities. I don't know whether you know, but the amount of time a baby should spend in a car seat is pretty short, maybe one a half hours? You need to check that.
For me, the pram was invaluable. It was one of those ones that came with a separate seat so it turned into a buggy later, and the car seat fitted onto the chassis too.
I'm pregnant again and intend to use a sling more with this pregnancy when out with both children, but will use the pram for the same purpose when with just the baby.
I'm sure other people will have other views, and ultimately it is your decision, but that is my experience.
Personally I used mine alot. Admittedly I don't drive but was often out with dh in his car or friend who drove and still used it alot.
The carseat quickly felt heavy and awkward to carry when baby started to put weight on. If you are relying on a sling do your research carefully too. I was given a babybjorn one and really didn't get on with it - it really hurt my back.
I found I wanted to be out a lot the time as I found it depressing to be stuck at home but maybe that was just me. I'm also a great believer that a baby doesn't have to stop you doing things as there is nothing they need which you can't pack into a bag for the day.
I would however agree that if you are not wanting to waste money don't get too hung up on that first baby stage as they are soon in something lightweight. Do you know anyone you could borrow a pram or pushchair from? Or maybe secondhand?
I'm expecting my second in August and I intend to use a sling. I don't want to have to go down the double buggy route and my dd is at the stage where she could almost go on a buggy board. When my new lo gets to about 3-4 months then I will use her buggy for him/her. You can get strollers for hardly anything that you can use from 3 months on.
I did have a big buggy with a carry cot bit for my dd and it was nice but really expensive for a short period of time.
Do you have any friends that could loan you a buggy for a few months or you could get a second hand one. My local charity shops always have some outside and even though they're not fantastic they'd do the job until lo is old enough to go in a stroller.
Scour the charity shops for a £15 lie-down pram that will see you through the first few weeks?
I'm not a sling fan myself but lots of amazonian people swear by them. Not much good if you have a cs though.
Or you could invest in something like a (possibly second hand) Maclaren Techno that's suitable from birth but is pretty versatile and will do you up to 3 years as long as you don't need it to go through the woods or anything.
I used mine a lot as baby was heavy, I had a section and I really wanted to get out.
Car seats are bloody heavy and akward to carry.
Proper prams are great for day time sleeps, or sleeping in when visiting.
baby slings are great but you can get hot wearing it all the time, I know some people prefer this and caryy babies all the time and think prams are wrong, but my two liked to stretch out.
I bought my gorgeous silvercross proper pram from a charity shop for £5, check out independent charity shops and car boot sales for fabulous prams, ok some are crappy but lots of great second hand ones on the go, some woman change prams like some change shoes .
DD was born late August and it was September before we took her out and weather wasn't great. We didn't get a buggy until dd was 8/9 months and I loved carrying her around. We also have a small flat so was reluctant to buy buggy before we had to.
Oops cross post there.
Also should say that you should be prepared as you might end up having a section, in which case you won't be using a sling or lugging a heavy car seat around.
If you are short on cash then join your local Freecycle groups and keep an eye out for a pram. Make sure you put the settings to daily digest or you will be over whelmed by emails.
I picked up a nearly new pushchair from Freecycle when I had my baby and when he outgrew it, I put it back on, It went to a young single mum, who when her DC grew out of it, put it back on Freecycle for the next person.
Or get a cheap one off Ebay.
I was so lucky that a friend lent me her M&P travel system - where the car seat clips into the pushchair so you can transfer baby from car to pushchair without having to disturb him. Invaluable, even in first few weeks. And my DS was born in December.
If you can get one of those systems, they are fab imo - even though the buggy part is quite heavy to use later, it can be used as an ordinary pushchair as well once the child has outgrown the carseat part, so if you have no issues with the weight of the thing, you won't need to buy another buggy later.
However, to buy a system like that from new is v. expensive.
or get a maxi cosi car seat and a second hand quinny zap for 50 quid.
it clips into frame while they are little enough to fit in car seat and converts to stroller thereafter. also folds up into a tiny thing of less than 7 kg for transporting.
I'd suggest Freecycle - tried two different prams for free with ds1. This time I bought a new Maclaren Techno for ds2 - because I have used it from birth and will be able to use it until it falls apart. But I'm another non-driver and user of public transport. I also had an emergency caesarian, and you can't predict the likelihood of that happening. And with a CS remember you're not meant to drive as well as not lifting for a few weeks.
My daughter was an October baby and having a 'from birth' pushchair was pointless for us. She suffered with reflux and refused to sleep anywhere but in arms/sling so it just didn't get used. By the time she would go in it I had to prop the seat up so it was never used as a lay flat (it was a pushchair and not a travel system). Had I owned a car I probably wouldn't have bothered with a pushchair until much later.
As mentioned above, you need to make sure that you get a comfortable sling. I really would suggest buying a proper sling and not a baby carrier (Baby Bjorn and the like).
Additionally, you have to consider the possibility of how you would get on with a sling if you were to have a C-section.
Just something else to consider: I had an emergency Caesarian with my first son, and could not use a sling for the first few weeks.
In any case, I would get a buggy, as others have said.
Sorry, just noticing *HonkingAntelope has mentioned Caesarians, but it's worth re-iterating
I have had my mclaron Techno XT since 2003 and it has been used pretty much everyday since then for two children. It gets treated very badly but it will see me through another 6-12 mnths until ds doesn't need it anymore.. so at least 7 years worth!! not bad for £150. I have never bought or used anything else.. although I never had two needing a buggy at same time. One was just out before the next arrived.
On the bright side, assuming you don't need a section, neither of my babies have gone in a pram until MIL comes to visit (because she is obsessed with pushing babies) and I haven't used it for either one of them until they were 6 months.
The buggies I have had have all been secondhand and less than 20 quid.
XT lies flat so ok for newborn but not as snug as the proper prams.. but if you buy a sling too at least you have the option and it will last you for toddlerhood plus child number two very probably
If I were you, I would get a carseat and a wrap sling.
My dd2 was born in September and I have a from birth pushchair (a Babydan which is like a Mclaren XT but better).
DD2 had a broken leg and she is the only one who has sat in the Babydan)
DD1 is now 6 months old and has never been in the pushchair. I kid you not.
You can get a wrapsling quite cheaply second hand on UKbabywearingSwap (yahoo group to join) or even a MNer may have one that is suitable for you.
In addition, you can go even cheaper and can make your own. go to www.mamatoto.org and look at Making your own sling. It has a good description of the best types of cotton fabric to use.
OOPs, DD1 had the broken leg...
DD2 has never been in a pushchair.
I could not carry a car seat for the first few weeks either. (or drive for that matter). I am not being gloomy, a Caesarian is not the end of the world!
You can certainly see how you get on . Do you have a SlingMeet group near you where you can hire a quality sling and get instruction. A good sling is not cheap BTW. We have lots of C/S mums who prefer a sling to pushing a pram and certainly lifting and/or unfolding the pram.
The designs of most of the Maclarens have been changed recently, so bargains can be had from the pram obsessives
a good sling is not cheap but a make your own can still be all you need for a newborn.
if you get 4.5m - 5m of medium weight jersey cotton and simply cut it in half lengthwise you have 2 no sew wrap slings. perfect for post c/s.
I understand that if you live near good fabric shops in Birmingham or Nottingham jersey fabric is cheap. But you ahve to ask for it as they are not normally out on display as not very many people buy it.
I once bought 5m of 50/50 cotton linen for £2 a metre in the market in Birmingham. again the right weight for wrapping a baby and both that I have described will take a baby to about 15-18 lbs before it starts to hurt.
We have 3 DC's and still don't own a buggy.
My favourite sling is an Ergo, but it's such an individual thing - you really need to try a few to decide what suits you best.
Well my buggy was a bit of a waste of money because my baby preferred slings and after a while so did I.
I think if you drive most places you will find that a sling is perfectly manageable (though it depends on how you recover from the birth - my sister used a sling from day 1 after her CS but others don't). In fact I walked most places and used the sling exclusively, but that's slightly less easy just because of carrying all the stuff.
Not a good idea to carry baby round in a carseat - you will knacker your back for sure and certain. But it is perfectly possible to put the baby in a sling and carry the empty carseat into a cafe/restaurant say so that you can put the baby down for a bit if you want (personally I never bothered and DS was unputdownabale anyway)
There are loads of good suggestions for a cheap buggy - at least if you got or borrowed a pram too you'd have your options open.
One other thing you can save money on is a changing bag (particularly as most are designed to be hung on the buggy and are less comfortable for sling wearers). You can pack a folding changing mat etc. into an ordinary rucksack.