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Please explain to me the practicalities of tandems.

(5 Posts)
TheTeaLady Sat 17-Sep-11 21:28:53

Knowing bog all about prams for 2, I think I prefer a side by side buggy. That is so the children can see out and have more leg-room. And it looks easier to get them in and out.
BUT I often get the bus on a busy route and am easily flustered and uncoordinated trying to get around shops/through doorways/past stationary objects, etc so I am trying to open my mind to a tandem.
DC2 is due at the start of winter and DC1 will be about 1.5 by then. I am used to a Bugaboo Bee so many other buggies seem enormous and heavy to me.

I saw a couple of P&T's demonstrated today. The sales assistant was really enthusiastic about them but I think it may well be possible she has never wheeled one outside the shop with two actual children in it.

So, what I want to know is how they stack up against a side by side?
Can the child on the bottom see much?
Can you see them?
Do they get lonely down there?
Do they inhale more car fumes?
Are both children protected from the elements?
Just how do you get a toddler into that bottom seat?
When you have the underneath bit flat for the newborn, how the heck to you get it in and out? (I guess you have to have the new born carrybag thing - but that doesn't clip in so how does it not fall out when you're tilting the thing to get on the train???)

And anything else you can think of!
Thanks.

pramsgalore Sat 17-Sep-11 21:48:05

to start off with i have had a phil and teds e3, sport, vibe and now the verve, i think the verve is the best one, better all round and less tippy
when in toddler/toddler mode yes the lower one can see, but out of the side all my dc's have been in the back at some point and they all like it.
car fumes no more than in say a bugaboo
both protected from the elements as raincover covers both seats and both can have footmuffs [snugglebuggy's work well]
the verve is the easiest to get a young child in and out of the back seat as you can tilt the back seat back to give you more room, the recline on the back seat [doubles seat] is fab on the verve the whole seat tilts not just the fabric.
i always used the cacoon for my baby, they do clip in but i never did, i just slotted the cacoon in with baby in it already, it won't fall out if second seat is on the front [which it will be for your 1.5 year old} and baby will be zipped up inside
you will need the panniers for shopping etc

pramsgalore Sat 17-Sep-11 21:53:10

and yes you can see baby in seat if you place in feet first which is best, this is the way i always placed them.
and when in toddler/toddler mode you can see the rear rider better than the front one, i have used a phil and teds for about 6 years on and off, getting around is much easier than a side by side, beleive me people do not make room for you and shops don't make room for a side by side, you also would struggle to get a side by side on the bus, i take my p&t on our local bus and the park and ride on holiday

Tiggywunkle Sat 17-Sep-11 22:01:50

First of all look beyond Phil&Teds because there's a huge range of tandems out there. All have pros and cons but it depends on your use / lifestyle re which is best for you. There are tandems like the Baby Jogger City Select, the Britax B-Dual, the new iCandy Peach Blossom, the O'Baby Zoom, the Bebecar One&Two, and loads more to look at. Have a look at www.bestbuggy.co.uk for ideas.
Remember your baby is very likely to sleep for much of any outing you do for the first year. I have been out with my 14 month old today and he slept almost the entire outing. With most tandems, even if the children are underneath the main seat they can look up and see you anyway.
There are hoods, raincovers etc and any child in a low down seat is only a matter of cms below their sibling / the front seat re inhaling more fumes! They are also behind their sibling who gets first inhalation anyway!!!! Lol
I much prefer a tandem, but there's a whole heap of great side by sides too. I do find tandems better for siblings especially when you get to the age where one wants to walk, but also my eldest likes to provoke / lift the hood / kick her sibling (not maliciously but just checking if he's awake, wanting him to play etc) and most of the time I have to remove her shoes in a side by side unless there is enough space for feet.
Have a good look around though at what is available. Think through things like where do you go, do you need shopping space, as you say how do you get onto public transport etc. But there's more to doubles than the ubiquitous Phil&Teds ;)

jennifersofia Sat 17-Sep-11 22:18:23

The two in a row kind (one in front of the other) are very heavy to push up and over curbs (particularly if you are short, you have to exert a lot of pressure on the handle to lift the front end up, which is a strain on the wrists).
I have never used a side by side, but I did have a double decker style, which was a old style pram, with a toddler seat on top, which worked well when my 2nd was a baby and 1st was a toddler, baby could sleep and older could look around and chat. Emmaljunga and Silver Cross might do this sort of thing, though I expect the P&T is the modern version thereof. The thing I also liked about it was that children were facing me, rather than away.

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