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The Guide To Buying A Pram or Stroller

Are you struggling to choose the best pram or stroller for your baby?

Strollers. Prams. 3 wheelers. 4 wheelers. Twin prams. You probably don’t even know where to start?

Not all prams and strollers are created equal, and choosing what’s right for you comes down to a lot of different factors. So we’ve broken it down to help you understand what to look for and choose the option that best suits your needs.

 Safety

When it comes to our children, safety is paramount. All Australian prams and strollers must pass the Australian standard AS/NZ 2088 to help keep your child safe.  It is important to consider the Australian safety standards in considering buying a pram from overseas as it may not pass these standards and could put your child at risk.  

The terms pram and stroller are sometimes used interchangeably and can refer to the same products.  In Australia traditionally a stroller has been a more upright model and a pram has a flat sleeping option.  A stroller is often not recommended until a child is 6 months or older and a pram can be used from a newborn.  

Start by thinking about how you will use your pram.  Will you be jogging? will you take it to the shops? will you be putting the pram in and out of the car a lot and will you use it for more than one child (now or in the future)?

Should I get a 3 or 4 wheel pram?

Three wheel prams

  • Easier to push around due to larger wheels
  • Often have inflatable tyres.  
  • Advantage is these can be more comfortable over bumps.  
  • May be less stable and more likely to tip
  • Often do not fold as small as a 4 wheel pram

Four wheel prams

  • Often narrower and easy to navigate through shopping centre aisles
  • Available in compact versions which fold small and may be easier to transport eg on planes, in and out of the car boot and on public transport
  • Often fold flat
  • Four wheel prams are often more stable, test them in the shop and see what feels best for you.
  • Often have a reversible seat on handle to allow the child to face parents of face away.  

Strollers

  • Do not always have a backrest that lays flat, which would make them not suitable for a newborn
  • Often cheaper than prams
  • Often light weight
  • Can be ideal for travel and public transport
  • Double or Twin Prams
  • Available as side by side or one in front of the other.  
  • One in front of the other will be narrower, however often second seat does not fully recline, may be better for toddler and baby.
  • Another option is to attach an accessory for a second child eg a toddler seat or a skateboard
     

Features to consider

Inflatable Tyres vs Hard Wheels

  • Inflatable tyres allow a smoother ride over bumps, this is particularly useful when jogging.
  • Inflatable tyres may get a puncture and go flat at very inconvenient times (really any time this happens in inconvenient)
  • If you plan on taking your pram on adventures it would be worth looking at prams with suspension and sturdy construction.

Storage basket

A decent sized storage basket is useful if your pram us used while shopping

Size and weight of the pram

  • Ensure your pram will fit in the boot of your car.  Also think about whether any accessories will fit in the boot with the pram.  
  • Ensure that all adults using the pram will be able to lift the pram in and out of the boot, prams can vary significantly in weight.  
  • If you are on public transport a lot, consider a pram that is light weight for lifting on and off trams, trains and buses.

Reversible Handle

This allows baby to face their parents and can help comfort a newborn.  When looking at a new pram try the handle in both positions and ensure the brake works well in either setting.  

Adjustable handle height

Not all prams have adjustable handle heights, and this is rarely a feature for strollers.  
For taller and shorter parents having the wrong handle height can make the pram awkward to push.  Check for adjustable heights and make sure all adults who will be using the pram test it before purchase.

Backrest positions

A newborn baby will need a fully reclined backrest.  With older children some strollers have only slight recline, this can be awkward when the child falls asleep in the stroller.  

Removable capsule

Removable capsules allow baby to stay asleep when transferring them from the stroller to the car and back again.  Keeping a baby asleep can be a parents dream. The capsules will only last for about 6 months and by the end will be very heavy and can be awkward to transfer between the two.  

Five point harness

These are standard in prams and strollers however the mechanisms for adjustment will vary in quality as will the quality of the straps.  Padded straps will add comfort for your child and they should be easy to adjust to keep your child secure. Ensure a child cannot undo the clasps.

Sun cover

The extent of sun cover varies from pram to pram. Consider where you live and how well protected the pram will be from the UV rays.

Folding mechanism

Practise folding the pram in the shop.  Ideally the pram collapses with one hand, to allow you to do this while holding your child.  

Bumper

These are not a safety feature, however they can be convenient for your child to hold on to and to fasten toys to distract a baby.  

Pram accessories

  • Consider what is available for the pram you choose.
  • Examples of accessories include rain cover, sleeping bags, cup holders, pram caddy, insect protection