Please advise- first baby, living in London, which pram?
bumbleumble · 05/01/2014 10:31
I have been researching prams all through Christmas and am getting into a muddle trying to choose. I did visit John Lewis to try them out, but as I'm having my first baby it's hard to know what to look for. Any advice would be very appreciated.
We are hoping to have two children in quick succession, so may need to buy a second double pram in the next few years.
My mum has offered to buy our first pram as a present, so I'm not too hung up on the price.
My criteria are:
- I want to have a parent-facing option (when they are a toddler as well as a baby)
- I am short and my husband is tall, so we need adjustable handle heights
- I will walk a lot, so easy to steer and push
- We would like to go jogging with the pram, likely on paths rather than off-road (I am planning to join a pram-jogging group)
- I would like to be able to wheel it through a London park on the grass
- I will use it on public transport in London, so a pram that is narrow enough to fit down a bus aisle
- I would really like one that I can fold with one hand if I need to, for example to board a crowded bus
- My local tube station has two staircases to reach the platform- will I be able to wheel/ carry a light pushchair up/down these, or will I need to walk to another tube station even with a light pram? My second nearest tube station is wheelchair-accessible and fifteen minutes walk away
- I would like a basket big enough to fit all the baby paraphernalia (planning to use reusable nappies so may have more than average) but I wouldn't be doing a weekly shop requiring a huge basket
We don't drive.
I have read all the Which? and mumsnet reviews, and the posts here, and made the following shortlist:
Bugaboo Bee Plus (my current first choice, but DH worries I'm being taken in by their swish website! Also I'm uncertain about wheeling it across cross, or jogging with it)
Baby Jogger City Versa (will this feel to large/ heavy to push?)
I keep oscillating between the above options!
Any advice would be appreciated.... I can appreciate there may not be a perfect pram for all my criteria!
We've noticed this thread is quite old now, and some of the product recommendations are a little out of date. We've spent weeks speaking to parents and testing prams and pushchairs, here's our round up of the best pushchairs on the market right now and what to look out for when buying one.
Hope that helps!
Cariad007 · 05/01/2014 11:27
I'm keeping my eye out for the new Babyzen Yoyo 0+ as it's small, light (less than 6kg) and can be folded one-handedly with practice. It also complies with cabin baggage restrictions if you're off on holiday. Only thing is that the handle isn't adjustable but this isn't a problem for me as my partner and I are both tall.
I've heard good things about the Bee though and it's certainly compact. What puts me off is that you need two hands to fold it send as we are in a first floor flat that isn't ideal.
I'm not sure how suited either of these are for jogging - perhaps a 3 wheeler would be best?
callamia · 05/01/2014 11:39
Have you considered getting a carrier as well?
We live in London, and I also live by a train station that would involve steps with no lifts, and there's no way I'd manage the pram on my own. When we go into town, I have my three month old in a carrier - also much better on the bus. I've been left at the bus stop with a pram because the bus is full, but I can always manage (and often get a seat ;) ) with the carrier.
You honestly don't need much baby paraphernalia when you go out. We also use washable nappies, and a few spares, wipes, bag, a muslin and a change of clothes pretty much cover what we need.
Getting a slim-line and light parent-facer is a tough ask - I was also looking for this, and had to change my mind a bit. I didn't like how lowdown the bee was, and I don't think the wheels are any good for off-hard ground. We have a BJCM, and I love it. The pram is good, it fits a car seat for some parent-facing time, and the wheels can cope with most things I've tried so far. The GT version is probably even better - just a bit heavier. I thought about the versa, but I'm pretty small and I thought it'd be just too heavy to manage on my own. The CM is easy to fold (when it's not a pram obv).
I don't know about what's good to jog with. I'm not quite ready to take up running again yet :) I know the baby joggers say that they're not for actually jogging with (of course!), but I'm not sure of the reality of this - I'm sure others will have good advice.
Ihateparties · 05/01/2014 11:49
Please don't jog with a bee, it really isn't suitable. If it's something you're going to do a lot really think about getting a proper running pushchair with large fixed wheels or at least a regular pushchair with decent size air tyres.
As per the above poster, if I had stairs and busy buses to contend with on a daily basis I would use a carrier most of the time. The yoyo 0+ is a good idea if the handle could work for both of you. You could then probably have a second pushchair for terrain/running.
Your wishlist.. something.. or more than one thing will have to give. There are few one handed fold options and even less of those are parent facing for baby and toddler.
Cariad007 · 05/01/2014 11:54
Oh yes, I should probably add that the 0+ Yoyo is parent-facing when they are newborn but once you convert it at 6 months it is not.
chocolatemartini · 05/01/2014 12:07
I'm in London and I used a sling exclusively for 15 months. So much easier on public transport.
Cariad007 · 05/01/2014 12:17
I was thinking of using a sling exclusively for the first 6 months and only then getting a pram (as 6 months+ options are more reasonably priced) but then thought that bub might not want to go in a pram after bring carried around for 6 months?
bumbleumble · 05/01/2014 12:21
Ok, so maybe we should concentrate on getting a pushchair that is suitable for jogging and walking, and use a sling/ carrier for public transport trips that involve stairs or squeezing into packed buses?
I do get lower back pain so I was uncertain about using a carrier a lot, but I could visit local sling libraries and try out several different types to find one that is more comfortable.
I did look at the BJCM too, in fact that was my initial first choice until I became interested in a parent-facing pushchair.
Ihateparties · 05/01/2014 12:25
I love carrying, still carry my toddlers now but if I did it full time I would be miserable, just not cut out for it. Plus had one baby out of three who is much less of a fan of touch than the other two, he loved being put down (strange baby, that totally messed with my head as a first timer). The other two liked both modes of transport..
rootypig · 05/01/2014 12:31
Bugaboo Bee, it is brilliant, and something else for running. Not the uppababy, it's a tank.
I do't know how severe your ack problem is, but I have an arthritic hip and couldn't carry my baby much at all, the sling type didn't make much difference, it was the weight. Beware going out with a baby in a sling and not being able to get home. London buses are brilliant for (compact) prams.
rootypig · 05/01/2014 12:35
(Despite hip I could carry baby in Bee up and down several flights of steps no problem until she was well over a year old. The narrow chassis is the key - incredibly easy for one person to handle. Never needed to fold to get on a London bus, they are sufficiently frequent that you don't seem to get pram buildup.)
Tiggywunkle · 05/01/2014 12:45
I think that more than one pushchair would be sensible.
First of all if you remove jogging out of the equation then the task of finding a suitable pushchair becomes much easier. You should only run with a pushchair which is designed for the job, eg a fixed wheel Nipper or BOB, and only after your baby reaches 6 months. The Bee is probably the worst pushchair I could possibly name for even thinking about jogging with.....and absolutely do not try!
Forget even thinking about a double pushchair at present - however I have to say that looking at your criteria, an iCandy Peach would meet them, although I dont think I would want to carry any pushchair, a 10 month old and a changing bag up and down any steps. But the Peach would fold one handed, and in theory if you practised, you could manage to do it. But it would be a bit of a faff. The new Raspberry would work well though and would be more sturdy than the Bee (still not a jogging pushchair though!) Trying to do tubes etc with two would be nigh impossible using a double pushchair though unless you took wheel chair accessible routes.
The Versa would fold one handed and parent facing - whereas the Vista wouldn't (you would need to change the seat around to fold which isn't very practical when holding a baby). The Versa would also manage grass fine. In theory you probably could carry the Versa down stairs with a baby, but its heavy and I suspect it would soon be annoying. But its manageable - you need to pick a folded pushchair up and see how logical and easy it would be to carry. The Bee and Versa would be easy to carry - the Vista would be difficult and unweidly from my recollection of it.
Having a sling is an option but I didn't get on with slings - by the time I had recovered from a C-Section, I didn't want to be carrying anything more than I had to. Even now I dont like carrying a changing bag if I can help it. But its worth a try, even if you can just get through the first 6 months past the carrycot stage.
Definitely look at the Babyzen YoYo - it certainly would be a HUGE advantage for going on the tube and on buses. You could then get a jogging type pushchair for running with or going to the park.
callamia · 05/01/2014 12:47
I did a lot of reading about parent facing pushchairs, and I came to the conclusion that any effect on language etc was negligible/zero, and that since he wouldn't be in a pushchair for hours at a time, it would make no difference to his development. The work on stress experienced by babies in forward facing chairs never includes information about effect sizes, or long-term outcomes and so I feel like it's yet another (under-researched) stick to beat mothers with. They're also almost always much more expensive (/rant).
Do try out some carriers. I love the ergo that we use. It's never given me back ache, and I think it will last a decent while. He's also a pretty hefty three month old, but I'd prefer to carry him up a hill than push his pram. We can and do also go fairly decent distances with the carrier on public transport. It's easy to take him out to sit on my knee if he wants to feed or have a stretch too.
cariad007, it's not the baby who doesn't like going in the pram when he's mainly carried - it's me. I just really like carrying him. The days we need to go shopping and carry things, he goes in the pram, and has a fine time.
SchroSawMargeryDaw · 05/01/2014 12:57
I have an Icandy peach blossom, it's amazing as both a double and a single(and I've went through tons of prams, had I bought this at first, I wouldn't have).
I also have a Bugaboo frog and hate it (similar to the cam).
blushingmare · 05/01/2014 22:19
I think you're not meant to run with any pushchair except a specific running one. I bought a second hand Baby Jogger Professional when DD was 9 months and it's brilliant for running (but a bugger to store!).
I absolutely love my slings, but sadly could never take DD out in them for the day - it just hurt my back too much wearing her for that long and not having somewhere to stash nappies, change of clothes etc, I found a real pain.
We have an iCandy Strawberry, which I've been pretty pleased with. We live in London and our tube is steps only - no lifts/escalators. I was quite intimidated by taking it on the tube at first and didn't for the first few months, but now just don't give it a second thought. It's perfectly possible to bounce the buggy, complete with baby, change bag hanging on handle and basket full of shopping underneath, up and down the steps of the tube stations as long as you are careful and take your time. Tbh it's extremely rare that someone doesn't stop to help - the only times I ever have to bounce up and down the steps is when I'm the only one getting off at the stop and there's no one around to offer help. Escalators also perfectly possible once you're confident - go up and down facing forwards and just watch carefully where you park your front wheels.
I think getting a baby out of a buggy and folding it and then carrying it, plus baby, plus anything else you have stashed in the buggy onto a crowded bus would be an ambitious thing to attempt no matter how well the buggy folds up one-handed. Maybe a bit easier once you've got a walking toddler, but pretty tricky with a baby. Unfortunately when the buses are rammed you just have to wait for the next one. I have had to walk home once as was unable to get on any bus, but that's only been once in 19 months (although was pretty grim at the time!).
Don't know if that helps, but just sharing my experience.
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