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help - are travel systems pointless?

(24 Posts)
wispyredridinghood Mon 08-Apr-13 15:11:09

am overthinking/overwhelmed by the pushchair options for first baby due in the summer.

in a local pram shop i liked the icandy peach, MB swift, bugaboo cameleon and jane trider but have no idea how to compare or make a decision.

How much use do bassinets get? will a car seat work for short periods? i'm tall and will be in/out of a medium size car. not on public transport. any off road walks i guess i'll use a sling so basically i'm looking for something pretty straightforward to use that won't have been a total waste of approx £700!

any thoughts on those options or other suggestions MUCH appreciated

Gorjuss Mon 08-Apr-13 15:28:09

Travel systems are great if you are going to be driving about a lot, just check how easy they fold down and the size when they are folded. X

mummysmellsofsick Mon 08-Apr-13 18:53:25

I'd say it really depends on your lifestyle. We didn't have one and there were 2 occasions I can remember when I could have done with wheels for the carseat but I never needed a bassinet because we live in an upstairs flat and slings are so much easier. I rarely used any kind of buggy for the first year. But if you walk & drive a lot and can store it on the ground floor I'd imagine it's v useful indeed

scarlet5tyger Tue 09-Apr-13 10:23:50

I used the carrycot loads with my last baby as he was a sleepy jaundiced baby so spent a lot of time asleep in it next to the window. He was also quite late to sit up so it lasted him several months. Other babies have been out much quicker as they weren't happy to lie flat.

If you're in and out of your car I'd definitely go for something you can attach the car seat too - babies almost always fall asleep in the car and almost always wake up when you take them out of their car seat!

melliebobs Tue 09-Apr-13 10:24:00

We had one. Car seat is fine for clipping in te frame for short journeys. But think babies are only supposed to be in them for a few hours at a time. We do loooooong dog walks so this wasn't appropriate for us so carrycot was invaluable. Plus we had the Moses basket for dd when she was asleep upstairs n to save lugging about we used the carrycot for her to sleep in downstairs

wispyredridinghood Tue 09-Apr-13 12:18:02

thanks all, much appreciated - really helpful advice. i'll go for a travel system but perhaps opt for 2nd hand or ex display so as not to be so stressed about spending so much!

Tiggywunkle Tue 09-Apr-13 12:21:08

I think if you have a car, you will at some point appreciate having a travel system option. However can I redefine the word "travel system" because you dont have to buy everything matching. Choose your pushchair to suit you - and then look at what else it has ie what car seats it will take, whether it will take a carrycot or what newborn options there are.
A newborn baby should spend no more than something like 30 mins in a car seat, or longer term, no more than 2 hours longer term.
You dont need a carrycot, but it does depend on your lifestyle. We barely used ours but if you are out and walking you need a lie flat option - whatever that may be.

The pushchairs you mention above are all pretty good. I would read the reviews on them, try them all out and choose the one you like / think will work best for you. Think about where your shopping / changing bag / coats etc will all go, how well the pushchair fits in your car boot (with space for shopping) etc.

wispyredridinghood Tue 09-Apr-13 14:29:54

i suppose the offputting thing about Jane Trider is that they don't take the ubiquitous maxicosi carseats! but i like the parent-face option beyond carrycot. it's a shame Mountain Buggy can't do this.
would any mums say that this was actually that important by that stage anyway?

MaebyF Tue 09-Apr-13 14:39:54

I had a travel system for the first few months, and hated it. It seemed so bulky and heavy. And if you won't be taking the baby in the car every day, you don't always need something you can clip the carseat on to anyway. At 3 months we changed to a a Maclaren Techno XLR, which I've absolutely adored (light, easy, has a lie-flat option). At 15m we are already thinking about putting that in the loft and getting a £50 stroller.

One thing I have noticed with the other mums I know, quite a few of them bought something like the iCandy (which I do love) but within a year a lot of them have already changed to a lighter, fabric pushchair.

I'd say it depends what you can afford as I genuinely think you'll be changing prams/pushchairs a few times over the years. If you bought, say, a £400 travel system and knew that meant you would have to use it for years because that was your budget at an absolute stretch, I'd recommend against it and say by a £250 pram, so you can change style later if you want to. But if you could afford £400 and only use it for a year or so, go for it.

As for parent-facing, that's entirely your choice. DD was forward facing at 3mo but she used to try and turn around if she was facing me, and loves watching the world go by.

Ihateparties Tue 09-Apr-13 14:40:59

That's quite a personal thing and also depends on your child, it's not necessary but nice to have. I like to use a parent facing option when I have it but I also like small pushchairs so once child is over a year I am more likely to give that up in exchange for other features that I like, provided the child stays comfortable and happy.

If you like the 3 wheeler option maybe a peach jogger?

kernewek79 Tue 09-Apr-13 18:54:44

Like others have said, its a really personal thing. Of the pushchairs you have said - Jane Trider for me, but then I live in the countryside and need an all terrain, for someone in the city, there are better options. Go and try them out, look at reviews (although take some of them with a pinch of salt and remember that what is right for one person wouldn't be right for someone else.) When I say try them out, I mean it. Put it in your car, fold it, check how it feels weighted with a child - some pushchairs feel great with no weight and are transformed when you add weight. A decent independent retailer will let you do this.
With regard to travel systems, I always hate it when I see young babies transported for hours on end in an infant carrier. Aside from anything else it really quite dangerous. Babies should be able to lie flat.

TwitchyTail Wed 10-Apr-13 21:58:08

I am a weakling and find it far too much effort to drag the car seat out, lift it, and manhandle it onto the pushchair frame. Much easier IMO to whip the baby out and put him in the pushchair in carrycot mode. So despite using a car all the time, I haven't felt the need for a travel system at all.

What we have done (after much back and forth) is buy a second-hand supportive, sturdy unwieldy pram for the newborn phase (£50 Silver Cross ebay job), and then a nice lightweight easily-foldable Baby Jogger City Mini for 6 months plus (brand new as I expect to use it for several years). The newborn-phase prams/travel systems get minimal use and wear so there are lots of nearly-new ones readily available, and then you won't feel guilty for ditching it after 6 months or a year. Just a thought smile

elQuintoConyo Wed 10-Apr-13 22:14:25

We have a cheap-and-cheerful Jane travel system and have used all parts: carseat for the car, bassinet-bit for walking around shops etc, and now the pushchair bit (DD is 16mo).
The whole lot was 200quid-ish (230euros).
I don't understand people buying two or three prams/pushchairs. We had to buy what is in our budget. If Ikea did pushchairs, we'd have bought one!

Runningblue Wed 10-Apr-13 22:22:10

Ive been very pleased with my britax vigour 3 - you can pick them up second hand for good price on ebay. I'm tall and find it v comfortable tp ush. I've enjoyed it using the carrycot, the car seat is very handy on the wheels for quick trips eg shop dash and the pushchair is front or rear facing. I used it all the time to 3 years with my first dc, and is now in good enough nick for me to use with my new baby.
Vigour is now discontinued, think the new model is b-smart....

BB01 Fri 12-Apr-13 09:15:19

We had so much conflicting advice on travel systems and pushchairs and decided it really does come down to personal preference and your lifestyle. In the end we decided that the heavier travel systems and big wheeled off-road ones just wouldn't suit us and opted for the iCandy Cherry, which is one of the most lightweight traditional travel systems. It's more sturdy than lightweight umbrella folds and better for slightly rougher terrain but is not as unwieldy as some of the bigger systems we tried. For us it seems to be a happy medium as we do drive quite a lot but I also like getting trains and buses. The shops and cafes near us are all quite miniscule and so didn't want anything too big and difficult to maneuver. Also loved the Bugaboo Bee but the Cherry seemed to suit us slightly better. Also I would consider if you're going to be using a sling or carrier. We like to go for walks but will hopefully be carrying the baby so we crossed off-road capability off our list which meant we could look at the more lightweight models.

christilass Wed 17-Apr-13 00:15:05

I have a Jane Trider with ...Lie flat transporter carry cot, Strata car seat and seat unit , i love it well worth the money , we live on a farm so needed a rugged well built off road pram , i also love the lie flat transporter as i feel a baby realy does need to lie flat for as long as possible .

Tiggywunkle Thu 18-Apr-13 21:52:09

My first thought is, if you are tall, dont get a Swift - the handle is too short for me and I am medium height.
The rest would all be on my list. The Peach Jogger is gorgeous if you want a three wheeler and like the Peach.
The best way to choose is to have a good play, push them all around the shop, put them into your car, and trust your instincts. I do think you need to watch the handle height though because if its low, it will irritate you. The iCandy Apple and Uppababy Vista have tall handles.

WeOnlyPlannedTheFirst Thu 18-Apr-13 22:18:21

I had a travel system for my first but after about 3/4 months could lift but not carry the car seat with my son in. I then slipped a disc, had surgery and never tried again! Bought a lightweight buggy when my son was 7 months as my travel system buggy was quite heavy. Those infant carriers are the least ergonomic things to carry as well as not being good for baby for any length of time as said previously. I especially don't like the systems where the car seat goes on the chassis with the seat unit removed or fabric off etc as it actively encourages people to use the car seat option for longer periods for convenience. Rant over.
For my twins I just got the buggy I wanted for the longer term which is also roomy enough for my toddler. It's not compatible with car seats nor are there matching carrycots but I bought cheap Hauck soft ones which have done the job for 3 months. Still needn't have even bothered with those as babies lay flat in seats happily enough.
I did spend my money on 0-4 years rear facing car seats (Klippan Kiss2) which have isofix/seatbelt base and removeable infant seats with extendable trolley handle and little wheels. Perfect for popping into a shop/baby clinic etc but not convenient enough to use in lieu of a buggy! These are working better for me than the travel system did.

KatAndKit Fri 19-Apr-13 11:07:49

A travel system has been brilliant for me. My DS is often hard to settle for naps so I take him for a drive. At 12 months he is still fitting in his graco infant car seat so when he is asleep I can at least take him out of the car using the buggy wheels and into the nearest coffee shop. The carrycot option got used a fair bit - I used it inside the house for daytime naps and sometimes at night when we were desperate! I'd walk him around the block a few times and then when he was asleep I'd park him in the hallway and hopefully get long enough to drink a cuppa.

The disadvantage is the size but there are more compact options. The carrycot is ultimately something you can do without if you buy an option where the seat unit is suitable from birth. The car seat attaching option has been the most useful thing for me.

KatAndKit Fri 19-Apr-13 11:13:46

I do agree with the point above though about people who just use the car seat on the chassis for the whole of the first six months instead of buying a carrycot or buying a lie flat pushchair. Car seats should only be used in that way for short trips such as popping round a shop, not for going for an afternoon out.
Most of the brands you mentioned are quite high end. There are cheaper ones available than iCandy and Bugaboo. Have you looked at the Oyster? A friend of mine has that one, it has seat unit, carrycot and takes a Maxi Cosi car seat. I have the Graco Symbio but they have changed it now to a 2-in-1 pramette which some people may prefer but I wanted a carrycot specifically. Look on the Kiddicare website for ideas if you are not able to afford the pricey labels. More expensive does not always mean better.

adagio Fri 19-Apr-13 11:36:20

I originally ordered an iCandy Strawberry, but I got to 38 weeks and it still hadn't come into stock (I ordered it when I was 25 weeks) so I cancelled the order and picked up an ex-display mamas and papas sola, then also got the carry cot and car seat adaptors (Maxicosi). I am glad I did - feels like less money to 'lose' if it breaks, gets nicked, covered in mud etc.

I have used the carrycot a lot, but I have been walking one hell of a lot (trying to lose baby weight, and seems to encourage baby sleeping) -
in hindsight wish I had thought to look for second hand (seems all M&P carrycots fit almost all their wheels so I suspect there are plenty out there). Carrycot is cool as no need to strap in, appears comfier, and looks much more protected. I did pop the baby in the pushchair at about 1 week old but she looked way too tiny and unprotected in it, so I put that back under the bed for a few months. Carrycot can be stuffed with a million blankets (it has been darned cold) but easy to shift them once you park baby inside again without disturbing the nap. Also can be used as downstairs bed as many here have said.

We have used the car seat on wheels option a few times, for £30 for the price of adaptors it is nice to have the choice, but I prefer a sling for supermarkets and 'proper' pram for high street shopping. I have two slings, fabric Mai Tai one was/is better for indoors housework etc and for the baby but Baby Bjorn is easier for out an about as you can keep the back bit on and just clip the front up to pop baby in and down again to drive off.

wispyredridinghood Thu 25-Apr-13 20:58:14

we went with the baby jogger city mini GT in the end. I like how easily it folds, the size, it's not bad for town or off road and it was much cheaper than icandy/ bugaboo cameleon. (I was also given some John Lewis vouchers which made deciding simpler).

Just happily wheeling it around the house at the mo but really pleased and grateful for all the suggestions.

Tiggywunkle Fri 26-Apr-13 21:54:40

Glad you are all sorted out!

stargirl1701 Fri 26-Apr-13 22:00:47

I think that our Stokke Xplory was our best purchase. We have used it every single day of DD's life. We used the carrycot as a downstairs bed till 6 months. DD only slept when moving till about 28 weeks so I needed for at least 3 walks a day.

She's now in the pushchair bit and it is perfect for the bus, which we use daily, and the car, which we use occasionally.

I love it!

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