We marvel at how fast and far modern engineering and technology has come along, but come one, where has design taken a greater leap than in the world of baby transport? From baskets to backpacks to our beloved Mei Tai Slings, finding the best way to bring your little one from A to B is now has an astonishing amount of choice to it. Most of all we have to give props to the ever present sight of the pushchair - going from bassinets on wheels to collapsible strollers with their own steering, suspension and nitro-boost (OK, maybe not the latter. Yet).
But what if you're totally new to these modes of travel? We at Daisy Baby have put together a guide to pushchairs & strollers that should hopefully help you pick the right buggy for you and your child, and also get the most out of it.
How to choose a pushchair/stroller
As with any babywearing purchase, you need to weigh up budget with how much benefit you feel your chosen stroller is going to give you. There's a huge variety in the purposes and designs of these little people trolleys, and choosing one that's ill-suited or inadequate to your lifestyle is best avoided. Quality should always win out when you're trying to set a budget, but with such a gigantic choice on the market you shouldn't struggle too much to find a buggy that's in your price range that fully complies with European Standard EN 1888:2012 and fire resistance requirements. A full list of the 'need to knows' on safety can be ordered from the Trading Standards office.
Moving on to the actual types of strollers available, if you're after something just to take the baby on walks the aply named 'Jogging Stroller' may be best. Otherwise you look for prams that are designed to make grocery shopping, long days out and even car journeys easier to squeeze through. Practical brakes, a wide base and a single footrest are three of the most widely recommended features to scan for. If you have the luxury to try it out before buying, ask if you can try loading it up with baby goods or fitting it in your car to get a real good idea of whether its right for you. After that it's down to the details; easy to clean vs comfy fabric or stylish design vs. gender neutral colours etc.
Accessories you can buy for them
It's been the dedicated duty of many of our favourite babyware designers to flood the market with items that make pushchair pushing mother's lives that little bit easier. Pushchair accessories benefit not just the driver but passenger too, with pouches for toys, sunshades and the ever fabulous footmuffs now available by the bushel. Even if your baby's pushchair isn't as comfortable as you'd like, you can even pad it out with Diono's Cuddle Soft Heady & Body Support.
For any parent with a life constantly set to busy, there's little trinkets and life-hacks to shave off the stress from your daily routine. Clips/hooks for shopping bags, cup & bottle holders and pram-worn nappy kits are just a few saving graces to consider saving some change for.
What to keep in mind when using it
There's a number of steps one can take to help prevent stroller accidents, some common sense, some requiring pro-activeness on your part. Always ensuring a harness/seat belt is secure, that you know how and when to apply brakes sufficiently and that the stroller is always kept out of the Sun are no-brainers. There are less obvious safety pointers to bare in mind too: ensuring your shopping etc. don't tip over the stroller, that folding pushchairs are properly locked open before baby is placed in them and that the supplier hasn't issued a recall on your particular model.
How to make strollers more fun
To follow on from the serious advice, we thought we'd lay on something more care-free. Most strollers don't put babies face-to-face with their parents, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun. There's plenty of fun games that use verbal communication to make the long walk home fly by, such as...
We're interested in hearing some funny or touching stories from 'the chair'. Open up to us about you and your baby's pram antics either here in the comments, or over at our Facebook page, on Twitter or through Google+.