Buggies and strollers - something you will use everyday for at least the first two years of being a mum. Somewhere for your baby to sit, sleep, eat, feel comfortable, safe and secure. Lots of mums to be ask me how you know what buggy to pick when you're going to have a baby. Personally I went on a recommendation and what was considered to be the 'cool' buggy to own at the time (Bugaboo Bee). Yes, not really the most effective way!! Having gone through three years of buggy experience with Finn I would now say the most important thing to consider is what you actually do most days. Do you have to go up or down a flight of stairs every time you leave your house, do you go for a country walk everyday, do you use the car or do you just pound the city streets and narrow local shops everyday? One buggy can't be suitable for everything so you really have to put into focus what is the most important thing for your lifestyle.
There is a sea of buggy choice out there and it can be pretty confusing and overwhelming deciding on what to pick so I thought I'd pull together some key questions you need to ask yourself when considering which buggy to purchase. Mothercare helped me out for this blog post as they put me in touch with one of their buyers to see what I needed and kindly gifted me the buggy that I felt was most suitable for Violet. We also visited their Edmonton store as it has the widest range of pushchairs in London. I was really impressed with the selection they had and help on offer, it's great to look online and read reviews but nothing beats going and actually testing them out, collapsing them, pushing them around to see what feels right. If you can make a trip to this store I highly recommend it. Plus they have a cafe and the Little Bird by Jools range in there along with all the other essentials you need to stock up on if you're about to have a baby. Here are a few pics from the store we took...
We tested a fair few buggy out. I totally fell in love with this Magic Unicorn print Cosatto stroller!! The buggy of dreams! Cosatto had the most lovely, fun colourful range we've seen and we were very tempted.
You can also book an in-store appointment with an expert personal shopper to help you try some out and choose your perfect pushchair. They have the UK's widest choice of prams, pushchairs and strollers, so you can see a huge amount of choice and the ability to compare different models, plus there is always going to be a pushchair to suit your budget. Mothercare's pushchairs all meet the latest safety standards and all are covered by a two year guarantee.
So what are the key areas to consider?
-Your child's age (some systems are suitable form birth whilst others are from 6 months) and needs (for example a newborn baby will need to lie flat and facing you)
-Lifestyle (do you mostly travel by car or public transport? Do you do a lot of walking in town or the countryside? Do you do a lot of shopping on foot? How big is your home for storing a buggy, will you need to fold it away every time?)
-Budget (whats included in the package? Some come with car seats, foot muffs, rain cover etc so check you won't need to buy all the extra essentials if your budget is tight)
For me my list included:
-Buggy needs to last a few years - my baby is 7 months old but want it to take me into toddler phase too
-Need comfort for baby napping in it essential - adjustable and comfy padded seat that can recline back
-Must feel safe/ secure in straps as have had strap issues in the past!
-Easy to manoeuvre
-We do a lot of public transport travel so needs to be small/ compact for fitting on bus and easy getting on /off buses etc
-We do some local shopping on foot so need a bit of storage for shopping
- Ideally need to have option to have buggy board for my 3 yr old son but not essential
- lightweight so easy to get in and out of car etc and ease for grandparents to use
-Use the car /travel quite a lot so ideally don't want it to take up too much space when folded in the boot as we have 2 kids now
- mostly walking city streets but do have some country away weekends
Sara Cooksley, Senior Pushchair Buyer at Mothercare said:
I would recommend that she buys a Mothercare Nanu or Nanu+ as both offer secure lie flat seat unit. The + offers the extra seat liner for extra comfort. I think given the remit is city and country usage it’s hard to find one that suits both and it may be that she looks at getting the Baby Jogger City Mini (below) and a Nanu+….
I would also recommend the following for Emma;
-City Mini Baby Jogger – Great for city and country use. A great sized seat that feels nice and protected for younger toddlers. It has a unique fold option which means it’s very compact in the boot because it essentially lays flat.
-Cybex Qbit – New to the market, very very compact fold seat unit. It has a Layflat seat unit. Better suited to city usage because of the wheel size.
-Mountain Buggy Nano / Babyzen Yoyo - Unique compact fold strollers with good sized seats despite the compact fold. The smaller wheels means they are not really designed for extended use in the countryside.
-Silvercross Reflex – Traditional fold stroller but with extra comfort from Silvercross. Great lie flat seat unit, extra-large hood, includes bumper bar
-Bugaboo bee – Great looking and compact product, not designed for countryside use.
-M&P Armadillo XT – Larger wheel option but with comfortable lie flat.
-Quinny Zapp xtra – Really compact fold 3 wheeler, compact fold doesn’t compromise the seat unit which offers multi recline, not for extended use in the countryside.
We tried some of the recommended styles in store and did some online research and asked around friends. We decided to go for the Babyzen Yoyo as it was so compact, narrow and lightweight, perfect for everyday use in London. It seems to be the perfect urban buggy - folding easily so you can even carry it on your shoulder like a bag. A comfy padded seat and straps made it feel secure and it's super easy to manoeuvre with a padded handlebar. Enough under storage space for a bit of shopping and a useful zip storage pouch built into the back to keep hold of all those valuables and essentials.
We've been super happy with our Babyzen Yoyo so far with my favourite things being that it feels like a mixture of a buggy and stroller, the straps are comfy and she has slept well in it. It's easy to put up and down and takes up no room in the car at all - so loads more room for all your other bits you need when you travel with a baby. I can steer it easily with one hand so I can still hold Finn's hand when we walk back from nursery if needed. The only downside I have encountered so far is that when I was on a bus, even with the break on it did swing around a fair bit as we went round corners. Also we won't be able to use it in the countryside as the wheels are not designed for that at all! However I feel it does tick all boxes for our needs in London, plus it looks pretty cool too!
Thank you to Mothercare for helping with this blog post and feel free to email me with any questions if you are interested in getting the Babyzen Yoyo for yourself.