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Can't get head around pushchairs at all...

(13 Posts)
FlightofFancy Mon 12-Oct-09 14:34:24

Sorry guys, probably being a real idiot, but can't get my head around where to even start looking for pushchairs (first baby, can you tell...)

I know roughly my criteria, but nothing seems to fit them - am I looking at completely the wrong things or is it really this impossible...

- Something to use from birth (obviously)
- Ideally something that can be used 'off road' (live in rural-ish area and my usual route back from shops is on rough tow-path and do a lot of weekend walking)
- But also needs to be narrow/light-weight enough to be used on public transport (trains and London) (these two things seem to be mutually exclusive according to all websites/shops)
- Don't use the car a huge amount and car has huge boot so space there not a problem
- But have small house so storage space there is an issue
- Car is old, so doesn't have fancy Isofix (so according to some people all car seats will be hugely unsafe and if I truly love my baby I should buy an expensive new car immediately hmm) so not sure if I can get anything that works as travel system, or if I should?
- Can't afford to spend the earth, but have no idea what is a reasonable budget to get something that won't fall apart/is safe
- Really don't care if it's 'fashionable' or a particular colour...

Have got a bit of time, so no panic, but not used to not being able to work out my options at all!

Any help/ideas/recommendations really appreciated!

FlightAttendant Mon 12-Oct-09 14:40:30

Hello smile Nice to meet you! I am sure people will know you're not me as I am a pushchair junkie, but still, it is better if we both know there are two flights grin

Anyway, down to business. I would say a mountain buggy would be one of your best bets. Second hand as they are ££ new but they last forever.

It might not go on the bus too easily but you could get a small cheapo folding thing for those times, for about £25 or so.

FlightAttendant Mon 12-Oct-09 14:41:14

and you can use a car seat on it but cna't remember which one...someone here will know smile

tellnoone Mon 12-Oct-09 14:43:05

Well, I've been through many's a pushchair and I don't think there is a 'perfect' pushchair out there. I found that different ones do different things. Sorry this isn't any help as you are short on storage space so can't have several of them hanging around!

Also the last (and only) time I bought a car seat and system from birth was 6 years ago, I justre-used it for my 2nd DC. But I wouldn't particularly recommend it, it was an basic Graco system and there are all sorts that are loads better these days.

Good luck with your search because it may take a while to reaseach what will suit you best! But I'm sure you will get lots of info on here and have a look through the reviews and old threads.

Pingpong Mon 12-Oct-09 14:57:32

IMO the travel systems are a waste of time and money. You don't sound like you are going to need to put the car seat on the wheels very often.
I don't have an Isofix thing in my car either but bought a Maxi Cosi Cabriofix with the Easyfix base. The base is great and means you can easily clip the seat into the fitting and the button shows green to say it's been done right (red if it's loose) so much easier than faffing around with seatbelts and very secure.
Regarding buggies I bought a Phil and Ted even though I only had one baby. The lady in the shop said NO ONE buys them for their first but we have used it for DD and her little buddy and I'm now 20w with no2 so I don't now have the dilema of which double buggy to buy. We hoped we would have two children quite close together and it seemed to make sense to chose the P&T to start with rather than waste lots of money. They also have a great resale value and are very sturdy and great for rough walks and beaches.
The down side is that it is not designed for taking on public transport but you've figured that out so for public transport I would say get a sling or front carrier for up to 6 months and then get a McLaren or Zapp/Petite Star Zia for town/holidays. Always loads listed on ebay so you can easily get second hand.
GL and don't worry too much if you hate what you buy you can always sell it and chose again, my friend is always updating her buggy and it's not as expensive as it sounds as she ebays.

bluefootedpenguin Mon 12-Oct-09 15:38:31

Hello. I spent ages deliberating over every different kind of buggy and must confess that I have had several. Travel systems are alluring but car seats are heavy to carry about and you are advised not to put your baby in them for long periods of time so I always found that I would rather put my baby straight into her pram. I agree with other posters that there isn't a perfect pushchair as such, it will be a compromise on something or other. Have a look at the Micralite fastfold or toro and maxi cosi carseat. You can buy adapters for these to clip it to the micralite frame. I bought the fastfold for keeping in my car as we walk off road quite often and our folks are rural. With the carry cot it is suitable from birth, seat unit says from 3 months plus but I think realistically 6 months is more appropriate. Big pneumatic back wheels and you can buy the all terrain kit to add large front wheels too if required~ £40. Very light, about 6kg and is a true one hand fold/put up. I can do this with my DD in my other hand. If you have your baby on your knee it will stand on its own in a very small space- good for at home too. As for in the car, the wheels come off very easily to save space. Costs about £275 for carrycot, raincover and pushchair but you wouldn't have to bother getting something lighter later on. Maxi cosi seats fit very easily with 3 point belts and you don't need to get a separate base. If you want to save some money you could pick up the pushchair very cheaply second hand on ebay and just get a new carrycot. Good luck!

FlightofFancy Tue 13-Oct-09 17:13:29

Thanks all - that really gives me some starting points.

I'd looked at the Maxi-Cosi Easyfix base, which sounds like a good idea. And I think the MC car seat does clip on to quite a few types of pushchair.

So, a sensible plan could look like this:

- sling/baby-carrier for public transport in first six months (less likely anyway) followed by fold-up thing afterwards (the modern equivalent of those stripy pushchairs everyone had when we were kids I presume!) Some friends of our have given us a sling and offered a rucksack-style baby carrier so all sorted there!

- get a car seat base and seperate car seat, planing to leave it fixed in the car most of the time (but nice to have option to quickly click seat in/out if junior asleep on arrival somewhere

- get a pushchair/pram that's suitable for lots of walking/outdoor stuff and use the car seat with it for the first few months until junior is big enough to sit in main chair bit

Think I'm starting to understand! At least have some basic info to start quizzing people in shops without getting sold the most expensive thing they can find!

BertieBotts Tue 13-Oct-09 17:38:27

OK, glad you have a starting point now It's so daunting I think choosing your first pushchair because there is so much choice and how are you supposed to know what you want before you've even been out with a baby?

I do think everyone has their own opinions/things that they want so will just add my immediate thoughts on your post.

Don't bother with the base if you are going to be leaving the seat in the car - it doesn't take a second to undo the seatbelt to take the baby out in the carseat if they are asleep. We have never had a base and I take the carseat in and out every time. It's really not that much hassle Alternatively if you don't plan on having any more children it might well be worth getting a convertible 0-4 years seat which goes rearfacing until 13kg and then turns around. If you have a very tall baby this will enable them to be rearfacing for longer too which is good as it's much safer.

Sling - great that you have been given one, (free is always good!) though I assume it is one of the baby bjorn/tomy/mothercare/etc fixed backpack-you-wear-on-your-front type carriers - these are fine for short outings but a proper sling will be much better on your back, especially if you will be wearing it for long periods of time. I really recommend a stretchy wrap for a newborn. They look a bit daunting but if you can tie shoelaces you should find it easy. I used to carry DS in the stretchy wrap for a whole day - 6 hours or so at a time, without getting back ache.

I'm not sure what the buses are like in London (start looking at the mums with buggies and taking notes now!), but I often use buses with my pushchair, which is a larger one as it's suitable from birth and parent facing. It would be no use if I had to fold it though as I can't fold it one-handed so if there is already a pushchair/wheelchair on the bus I have to wait for the next one. They are very regular here though so it's not a problem (and very rare anyway unless it's rush hour. Some of the buses on different routes have space for 2 or 3 pushchairs/wheelchairs which is even better) I thought I'd have to fold it up but I very very rarely have to and I get buses most days.

I wouldn't plan to use the car seat on a pushchair base if you are going to be using the pushchair for long periods of time, as the curve of carseats are not ideal for a baby's developing spine or their oxygen levels, but less than an hour at a time should be ok (and being in a carseat has to be better than being propped up in a seat they are not big enough for!)

HTH and doesn't make it all more complicated! grin

FlightAttendant Wed 14-Oct-09 09:34:24

Oh I loved my clicky on and off stage 0 seat smile

It was so easy leaving the base in the car and when he was asleep, I just pressed a button and took it off without having to wake him - I am sure some strap-in seats are easy enough but the other ones I saw you had to wrestle with the belt and it would have woken him.

It is also great to be able to strap baby into the seat when you are still in the house, then carry it out and bung it in the car all ready.

FlightofFancy Wed 14-Oct-09 13:46:03

I think I've come to the conclusion that I'll ignore the public transport issue (as it's mainly trains that I'll be using, so not quite as narrow or crowded as buses) and get something that works really well for walking and outdoors etc.

I'm lucky that I've got a wrappy-type sling (Closer I think) with all sorts of options for ways to wear it tied up - I will need to practice with a bear or something before I test my wrapping skills on a real baby though!! (and same friend has also given me a backpack carrier for when junior is older, so all sorts of options on carrying!)

FlightAttendant Wed 14-Oct-09 14:02:43

I've taken my mountain buggy on numerous trains without much of a problem - as long as it isn't rush hour.

I avoid buses anyway usually, because you never know when/if there will be enough space.

izz2009 Wed 14-Oct-09 14:33:08

When we were looking for pushchairs, we wanted one that allowed the car seat to click into.

We decided on the Bebeconfort Loola and were really pleased with our choice, as we were able to take the car seat out and click it into place without baby waking. We used the travel system for both our children, and what's more, actually got 1/3 of the price back when we sold it.

Also, it was nice that the pushchair bit could be used either forward or rear facing.

What I would say is that from around 9 months, you'll probably want a smaller pushchair, as it is fairly big.

Click Here to have a look.

Hope this helps.

mamadiva Wed 14-Oct-09 14:38:58

I am now on my 5th pushchair for 3YO DS and if only I could start again...

Have you looked at the Britax Vigour 3? -That is suitable from birth, can be used with britax car seat, large wheels for offroad, folds relatively small and not overly bulky when up either and the seat is forward/rear facing!

This is also a fab pushchair and a blardy bargain if you don't mind 2nd hand. Although would'nt use the car seat maybe just as a rocker feeding chair in the house but personally don't trust 2nd hand car seats anyway.

Definately use Ebay/locals/gumtree etc as much as possible for things like this because you do get some wonderful bargains!

Also want to say agree that you should get one for walkiung and one for public transport BUT try using the main pushchair for the first 9 months without another one and see how you cope because some people just don't need a second one when they think they do!

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