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Travel system recs? (For country-dwelling, Clio-driving, medium-height parents!)(13 Posts)
Hi all, we are new to the child transport game and hoping for recommendations from seasoned parents as to what might work for us.
We drive a Clio, which I'll be using a lot once the baby is born as we live a fair way from anything useful, but will also be wanting something we can use on country walks, ideally. I'd also like something that gives the option of front and backwards facing.
Budget will be mid-range. I'm not really concerned about looks, and we have a big enough storage space at home that we don't need something teeny tiny (although of course it needs to fit in the boot of the car).
I've read countless articles and all the which.com BestBuy reviews, which have been helpful to an extent, but any recommendations or advice at all would be very much appreciated!
Thanks a lot in advance.
I'd get a lightweight pushchair for the car - a Quinny Zapp Xtra or a Bugaboo Bee do rear-facing from birth - and a really good sling for country walks as TBH any pushchair is a pain doing those. Have a look at the Caboo for 0-3 months and then a soft structured carrier like Rose & Rebellion, Ergo, Manduca, Beco, Connecta.
Thanks SSP - that's a good point, I'd sort of just assumed it was essential to have a buggy for walking near us, but realistically I'll pretty much always be walking with my husband, who's a big strapping type - he'll probably be very happy to carry the baby (at least for the first few months!)
In my naive little head, I'd also sort of thought that you just got a buggy, and then that lasted you til your kid was about 4 or 5 or so, and there was no need to upgrade/swap at any point...from reading a gazillion reviews and articles I now see that's probably not the case!....
Meant to say that one of your suggestions, the Bugaboo Bee, is coming out near the top of my vague mental list of ones to properly consider - it seems to be one of the ones that no-one really had anything bad to say about.
If you buy the right pushchair to suit you, your family and your lifestyle then you should never need another pushchair.
I wouldn't be choosing a Bee for country walks. I would be sending you off to look at something like a Peach Jogger or a Baby Jogger Versa or the new Easywalker MINI Stroller or a Bugaboo Cameleon. Your car boot will be your limiting factor, and I strongly suggest you try pushchairs in your car boot. You absolutely do not want something which fills your boot up because this will be one factor in swapping to a smaller pushchair later - so be sensible now You WILL need room for a changing bag, shopping etc as well in there!
Are you sure you need a travel system? I used mine with the carseat on for a few months but it quickly got too heavy to lift the seat with baby in and then I was left with a pretty heavy bulky pushchair and ended up buying a lighter stroller. Admittedly I didn't go on country walks or anything but I wish I'd researched more.
What I've learned since is that I don't need to stick car seats on a pram chassis (even with new twins) & besides it's really not recommended babies sit in car seats longer than two hours anyway for their development.
I've now got 0-4 years rear facing car seats with a trolley handle and wheels so if I need to I can wheel babies to pop into post office etc but mostly seats stay in car and I transfer babies to pushchair where they look lots comfier.
A carrier/wrap is a great idea for walks and it needn't be just for your husband. I'm 5'3" & love carrying one baby while pushing my other two and I have a bad back too!
Definately rethink the travel system, it's great for school runs, quick nip to the shops etc but other than that a lie flat pushchair or one with a carrycot is much better for your baby. I had a travel system for my first, and I confess I used it a lot in the first few months but I didn't have a carrycot or a rear facing pushchair. Second time I had a double and since
Dd didn't like the car seat at all and screamed every time she was put in it, I didn't use the car seat on the pushchair at all.
This time I had the carrycot option and have used the car seat on the pushchair about 10 times in 3 months. She's now getting to the point of being bloody heavy in the carrier so mostly it stays in the car now and I just strap her in and out.
@WeOnlyPlannedTheFirst - I'm not sure of anything when it comes to the mystical world of babies - educate me please!
Thanks very much for all your advice everyone - it is much appreciated. Several votes in now against travel systems, so I will definitely rethink this.
This might be a daft question, but do shops let you take their display models out to try in your boot?
Depends on the shop I suppose - if parking is right outside then I can't see why not.
We have a Baby Jogger Citi Mini (which granted only faces forward as a pushchair, but is parent facing with a carrycot which we used until 6 months) which fits in the boot of our Clio. If it is a snug fit it is super easy to pop one of the back wheels off to give you an inch or two more space (you just push a button and it pops off).
You can also get adapters to put a car seat on (at least for maxi cosi car seats) which has been helpful when I end up having to park 2 streets away from my house - DS is far too heavy to carry any distance in his car seat now!
As SSP says, definitely worth using a sling for walks - have a google for your nearest sling library/sling meet, then you can see what is available/get some advice and maybe even hire a sling for a bit to see if it suits you.
I have a Clio. I also have 4 prams! I find my cheap as chips Mia Moda travel system (that they probably don't even make anymore) the easiest to fit in there because you can split it - the frame goes in the boot and the car seat or seat unit goes in the car if I need space for shopping. You'll probably have to take one of the wheels off whatever pram you buy because even though Clio boots are actually quite big for small cars they're not deep enough to have both wheels on. I can fit a phil and teds navigator in there with both seats on if I do remove a wheel though.
My biggest disappointment has been my Mclaren Techno. I love the buggy but its a fraction too long for the boot so has been bent a bit out of shape by me squashing it in! Lesson learnt - MUST try prams in boot of car before buying.
Bugaboo cameleon with added snow wheels will fit, and allow you to take off road. ( the bugaboo cameleon 3 carrycot collaspes flat when folded)
I have the Jane Trider its fab , i live on a farm so needed a pram that was good offroad
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