WRITTEN BY ROBYN HUNT
Registered Counsellor &
Certified Car Seat Technician
Buying a pram can be compared to buying a car. There are quite a few things to consider before deciding on which one will be the best fit for you and your family. Many first time parents buy a pram without considering all factors involved, and later regret their purchase.
Over the years, the pram market has expanded and now you can get prams that accommodate every possible need. From ultra-compact travelling prams to big running prams to motorised prams; your options are endless. Below we will break it down for you to help you make the right choice.
When buying a pram, it is important to consider which type of pram will be suitable for your lifestyle, your budget and your boot, whether you intend to use it with a car seat, if you plan on having more children and how long you plan on using it for. In our guide, we will go through all the relevant information to help you narrow your options down to buy the most suitable pram for your growing family.
1. What type of pram is best for my lifestyle?
When choosing a pram, you need to consider what you will be using the pram for. Some parents need a pram that can handle all kinds of different terrains. Other parents might need the pram for use in airports and shopping malls. There are many different types of prams available to accommodate every need. Below we will discuss each type of pram and what they are best suited for in terms of usage.
A compact pram is one that folds up very small and is light to carry. They usually have small wheels and basic features. Compact prams are suited for use in shopping malls, airports, and other places that have smoother, flatter surfaces. Some compact prams are designed to fit in the overhead storage compartments on airplanes which make them ideal for travelling.
Pros and Cons of Ultra-Compact Prams
Ultra-Compact Prams available to purchase at Precious Cargo:
Urban terrain prams
An urban terrain pram is considered the “in between” or the “crossover” when it comes to compact prams and all-terrain prams. Urban terrain prams are suitable for urban surfaces such as pathways, paved walkways, malls, etc. They have more suspension than compact prams but less than all-terrain prams. Although these prams will cope on all-terrain surfaces, the ride might be slightly bumpier for your baby and it might be slightly harder for you to push and maneuverer, when compared to an all-terrain pram (see below).
Pros and cons of Urban Terrain Prams
Urban Terrain Prams available to purchase at Precious Cargo:
All-terrain prams can be described as prams that are suitable for use on all types of terrains such as grass, cobble stones, sand, bumpy/uneven surfaces, tiles, carpets, pathways, roads, etc. They have bigger wheels, better suspension and sturdier frames. They are ideal for parents who spend a lot of time outdoors.
Pros and Cons of All-Terrain Prams
All-Terrain Prams available to purchase at Precious Cargo:
Jogging and Running Prams
Prams that can be used for running or jogging must be TUV approved as a running pram in order to be sold in Germany. This means that they have been tested and approved as prams suitable for faster speeds and bumpier surfaces.
A good running pram should come with a wrist strap that you need to put around your wrist when you are running/jogging. This is to prevent you accidentally letting go of the pram if you were to trip or fall. They also come with a hand brake at the top of the pram for easy braking and slowing down when you are jogging or going downhill. These prams have 3 wheels- 2 at the back and 1 at the front. The front wheel must be fixed or be able to be locked into place when jogging.
Pros and Cons of Jogging and Running Prams
Jogging and Running Prams available to purchase at Precious Cargo:
Twin/sibling prams are prams that have been designed to accommodate two babies or toddlers of the same/different age. Some twin/sibling prams have seats that are next to each other (side by side), also known as a double pram. Other twin prams have one seat in front of the other seat; also known as a tandem pram. Sibling prams are very useful if you have two children close in age.
Pros and Cons of Twin/Sibling Prams
Twin prams sold at precious cargo:
2. what is my budget for a pram?
When purchasing a pram, you need to consider how much you want to spend. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding how much you want to spend on your pram:
Do you want a full travel system?
If you want to buy a travel system where the infant car seat can fit onto the pram; you would need to consider how much you want to spend on the whole system. These travel systems can include isofix bases and bassinets which are optional but must be considered when drawing up your budget.
Do you want a pram on its own?
if you want a pram on its own; you need to decide what type of pram you want. Compact/travelling prams are generally less expensive than all-terrain or running prams.
What features would you like?
Prams that have more features are generally more expensive. For example, the Cybex E-Priam has a built-in motor to assist in pushing the pram uphill and downhill. This pram is one of the most expensive prams. On the other hand, if you just need a simple, basic pram with minimal features; you can budget a bit less.
Another example is if you are planning on running/jogging with your baby; these prams are generally more expensive too.
How long do you plan on using the pram?
It is important to know how long you want to use a pram for. If you want to use it for two or more children over the years, then it’s a good idea to get a good quality pram that is robust and will last. These will generally be more expensive. If you only plan on using the pram for 2-3 years and for one child, then a cheaper pram may suffice.
Although it doesn’t really affect the performance of the pram, most parents want a pram that looks aesthetically appealing. The downside to this is that generally the “prettier” the pram, the more expensive it is.
For example: Cybex has 2 different ranges for their prams: The Gold range and the Platinum range
Prams from the platinum range have nicer features (rose gold or chrome frames), better looking materials (faux leather handles), small details (gold buckle clip, metallic logo, etc), and fashion collections that are designed by European fashion designers.
These prams come with a hefty price tag compared to the prams in the Gold range with more basic aesthetics.
Do you plan on travelling frequently?
If you are a frequent traveller, whether by car or plane, buying a big, bulky, more expensive pram might be overkill and you could save a bit of money by rather buying a smaller, more compact pram that you will probably get more use out of.
3. Is a travel system really necessary?
When most parents are looking at prams, they usually want a pram that comes with an infant car seat that can clip onto the pram to ensure you do not wake your baby up when transferring them from the car. These travel systems can also come with isofix bases for use in the car and/or bassinets that also clip onto the pram. This is a great option if you want an all-in-one travel solution. Additionally, with Precious Cargo, it is generally cheaper to buy a travel system package than buying the items individually.
Although it is very convenient to just take the car seat out of the car and put it onto the pram without waking your baby up, it’s important to keep in mind that car seats are designed to be used in cars. Letting your baby sleep in the car seat outside of the car (on the pram or floor) can be potentially dangerous.
Positional Asphyxiation is when a baby’s airway gets blocked because of the way their head and body is positioned. In a car seat (or any inclined surface), their heads can fall forward or their chin rests on their chest. In both instances this can lead to positional asphyxiation which can be fatal.
Babies under 1 month old should not be in a car seat for longer than 30 minutes at a time and babies between 1 to 24 months should not be in the car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time. This time includes travelling time and any time in the car seat outside of the car. Read out article on positional asphyxiation here for more information.
Therefore, we do not recommend using the car seat outside of the car for prolonged periods. Rather, we recommend getting a travel system that comes with a bassinet as well. This way you can move baby from their car seat to the bassinet where they will lie flat on their back which is much safer for them if you are going to be out for longer periods of time. Bassinets can be used for around 6 months. Thereafter, it is safe to place your baby in the actual pram seat.
The only exception to this rule is if you get a travel system that includes an infant car seat that can recline when it is out of the car. This will allow your baby to lie flatter, thus reducing the risk of positional asphyxiation. The following car seats, sold at Precious Cargo, can recline outside of the car and on the pram: The Cybex Cloud Z and The Maxi Cosi Marble. However, a bassinet will still be the better and safer option.
It is also very important to keep in mind that the car seat that it comes with it provides optimum safety and postural support for your baby in the car. Therefore, if you do want a travel system, research car seats first and make sure you know which ones have been independently crash tested and score well and only then look at prams that it is compatible with.
Fortunately, at Precious Cargo, car seat safety is our top priority, so we have put travel systems together where the car seats and prams are compatible AND the car seats have scored well for safety in independent crash testing.
Therefore, you will know that whichever travel system package you choose; you will be getting a safe car seat as well.
4. Will the pram fit into my boot?
Another important consideration is whether your chosen pram will fit into your boot. It happens often where the bigger prams don’t fit into smaller cars, especially hatchbacks.
Sometimes they will fit but they need a wheel or two removed in order to use the boot cover. It is important that the boot cover is not removed because it stops the pram from becoming a projectile in an accident.
Additionally, if the pram does fit into the boot, you will need to consider if anything else (baby bag, shopping bags, groceries, etc.) will be able to go into the boot as well or if the pram takes up the entire boot.
Most prams can be separated into two pieces, the pram frame and the pram seat. This makes the pram lighter, less bulky, and easier to load and offload but you will then need to ensure you have space for both pieces in the boot as well if you do plan on separating them.
Furthermore, if you have a bassinet that you will use with the pram; you will need to make sure that there is space for the pram frame and the bassinet as most bassinets cannot be flattened down easily or quickly.
Therefore, if you have a small boot, it is best to check the dimensions of the pram to ensure it will fit in your boot.
5. should i buy a bassinet?
If your budget allows; a bassinet that clips onto your pram is very useful and a safe alternative to using the car seat outside of the car. Bassinets allow your baby to lay flat on their back where their airway isn’t compromised. It also allows them to stretch out and move around instead of being restrained in the car seat.
Most pram seats can only be used from around 6 months when your baby can sit up unassisted. Before then, if you want to use the pram, you will need to attach the bassinet or the car seat to the pram frame.
As mentioned previously, babies should not be in the car seat for long periods of time, especially if they are not in the car. This is where a bassinet is extremely useful if you are going out for a few hours to a restaurant, to a friend’s house, to a shopping mall, etc.
Therefore, if you do foresee yourself going out multiple times in the first 6 months, a bassinet is definitely a must-have!
6. What if I have more children?
If you do plan on having children close in age, you’ll need to consider whether your eldest will still need a pram by the time your second baby arrives. This is especially important if you have children less than 3 years apart.
This is where prams like the Babyzen Yoyo, Thule Sleek, Cybex Gazelle S and the Qtus Duetpro are good options as you can purchase them as single prams and can purchase another seat pack later which fits onto the same frame turning it into a sibling pram.
For older siblings, some brands have sibling attachments such as a type of skateboard or bike seat that attaches to the pram frame so the older sibling can stand or sit on that while you push the pram.
Sibling attachments available at Precious Cargo:
- Cybex Gazelle Second Seat Pack/bassinet
- Qtus DuetPro Second Seat Pack/bassinet
- Cybex kid board (compatible with most Cybex prams)
- Stokke Xplory Sibling Board (compatible with Stokke Xplory prams)
- BabyZen YOYO board or YOYO Connect (compatible with BabyZen YOYO strollers)
7. After sale support and spare parts
Before purchasing your pram, find out what the warrantee is and what it covers. Also ensure that there are spare parts readily available, and that the supplier is able to carry out repairs if needed.
There is definitely a lot to consider when buying a pram. Choosing a pram that suits your lifestyle; whether it is outdoors, urban, active or jet-setting, is the starting point. It is also worth considering your budget and your boot size. If you plan on using the pram as a travel system with a car seat, the most important factor to consider is the safety of the car seat. If you plan on having more children, it is very useful to buy a pram that can be converted to accommodate a second child.
As experienced moms, we are here to help you make the right choice based on your needs and your budget. You are welcome to contact us for more information on any of our prams for advise on which option will be best for your family.