Pushchair Guide: Newborn to Toddler

One of the most difficult (and important) pieces of equipment to choose for your little one is the device you’ll transport them in when you’re out and about. With so many varieties of style and design out there, it can be pretty hard to know what you should go for.
We’re here to help you with your choice and ensure you find the chair that’s best suited to you, your baby, and your lifestyle. We’ll take you through the most common pushchair styles, and everything you need to know about choosing a pushchair for different stages of your baby’s development.

Understanding Pushchair Styles

It can be overwhelming trying to get your head around all the different pushchair options as a parent of a newborn. Let us break down the different styles for you.

Pushchairs

Pushchairs are one of the most versatile styles of chairs available, as they’re designed to grow with your child. They generally have seats that can be adjusted so newborns can lie down flat, and reclined once your little one grows and becomes stronger, usually from around three months and up.

Pushchairs are great for getting around town or country for active mums, but they’re also easy to fold down if you need to hop on a bus or pop your pushchair in the boot.

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Kinderkraft Grande Pushchair

Prams

Prams are a classic, lightweight style that’s best suited for newborns, who need to lie flat until they can sit up comfortably. This varies between babies, but is usually between 2-6 months. Prams allow your little one to lie flat comfortably, and whilst they don’t fold down like pushchairs, most baskets can be removed from the chassis and used as a Moses basket or crib.

Appropriate for city living, prams are comfortable for long walks with baby on smooth terrain. They can be restrictive, though, as once a child’s able to sit up on their own, a new pushchair or attachment may be necessary to support them.

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iSafe Pram System Pushchair

Buggies/Strollers

Buggies and strollers are lightweight, portable and compact.

They’re recommended for children who are a little older and are strong enough to hold themselves up comfortably.

Generally more suited to toddlers, they’re great to have on hand just in case your wee one needs a rest when you’re out and about.

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Hauck Disney Sport Stroller

Travel Systems

Travel systems tend to be the most versatile type of chair due to their various attachments. Sometimes referred to as 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 travel systems, a 2 in 1 travel system comes with a pushchair seat and a carrycot, whilst a 3 in 1 system includes a pushchair, carrycot and travel seat.

Travel systems are the perfect choice for parents on the move, as they make it super easy for you to get around with your little one.

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Kinderkraft Moov Travel System

How to choose a pushchair for a newborn?

Newborns have to lie flat for their first three months, so this should be your top priority whatever style you decide to go for. Here are some other factors you should consider when choosing your newborn pushchair:
How are you travelling? If you spend a lot of time in the car, then a travel system might be the best choice for you. If your little one falls asleep during the journey, you can avoid disturbing them by simply transforming their car seat into a pushchair.
Are you always on the go? Having a pushchair that you can pack away with one hand will be the most practical option for you, particularly if you’re often out with a dog or another child.
How long do you want it to last? It can be difficult to predict how your needs will develop in the future. It’s likely that you’ll want to keep an eye on your little one when they’re very small, making a backward-facing pushchair a good option. But as they get older, they’ll become more curious about the world around them and will be keen to face forwards.

When can the baby move from a pram to a carrycot or pushchair?

Your newborn baby needs to lie down flat in their pram or pushchair, rather than being propped up.

This position means that they’re in the optimal position for breathing and getting all the oxygen they need to their little lungs. It’s also the best position for encouraging their spine and hips to develop properly.

There’s no set answer to the question “when to move baby from pram to pushchair”, as it depends on your little one’s development. You should wait until your baby can sit up on their own before moving them to a pushchair that has baby sitting in an upright position.

You should also make sure to check whether there’s a minimum age or weight requirement from your buggy manufacturer.

How to choose a pushchair for a 1-year old?

By six months old, your little bundle of joy is likely to have doubled in weight, so investing in a quality pushchair is essential for getting out and about when your baby is between 6 months and a year old.

Every baby is different, but there are two important factors to consider when shopping for a new pushchair: your lifestyle, and the needs of your little one. Here’s a quick guide to the things you should consider when buying a pushchair for your one-year old:

Where are you likely to be using the pushchair? Do you tend to walk around your town or neighbourhood on concrete pavements? Or do you love to explore the great outdoors? For bumpy terrain, consider choosing a pushchair with great suspension – you might even want to consider a three seater.
How do you travel? Are you most likely to get from A to B by foot, public transportation or car? If you often travel by car, then a travel system could be an excellent choice, but if you travel frequently by public transport, a compact stroller could be a good choice.
How much storage space do you need? Let’s be honest, most parents tend to lug around a whole bunch of stuff for looking after their little one when they’re out and about! If that sounds like you, a stroller or pushchair with storage space along the bottom is a good choice.

Safety-First

Ultimately, whatever pushchair you go for, and whatever stage your baby’s at, we know that safety is your top priority. Look for the EN number when shopping for a pushchair, which guarantees it meets the European Standards for safety. Remember to look for features such as brakes, locking devices and harnesses, and check the maximum weight limit of the pushchair is suitable for your little one.

Finding the right pushchair for your toddler

Now your little bundle of joy is turning into a big bundle of joy, it’s time to invest in a pushchair that meets all your growing needs. As you move into the toddler phase, it’s important to consider what features are most important to you and your little one when choosing a pushchair:
Make it lightweight
If you thought that pushing a stroller around before was hard work, wait until you’ve got a toddler on your hands! As your baby grows, you’re going to either need to build some serious arm muscles, or opt for a lightweight pushchair.
Deal with wrigglers
If you’ve got a wriggly toddler on your hands, the best thing you can do to keep them safe and secure is to choose a pushchair with an adjustable harness. This will stop your little one trying to escape, and also helps them to feel secure.
Go for easy fold
As anyone with a full-of-beans toddler will tell you – whatever makes your life easier is worth the investment! Choose a forward fold or umbrella fold pushchair, which are easy to carry if your little one decides they want to walk on their own two feet.
Choose wipe-clean
Toddlers have so much energy and enthusiasm for life, it’s inevitable that they’re going to make a little mess. By opting for a wipe-clean design, you’re giving yourself one less thing to worry about.

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About the author: Olivia

Olivia is 29 years old and a proud mum of 2 year old twin boys, Liam and Eli. She lives with her fiance, Ben, in Clapham. She works part time as a dental assistant, while Ben is a Software Developer. Living in London can be tough sometimes with 2 very active boys but with a bit of planning and budgeting, it's amazing how much you can do!

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