Buying a pram is one of themost expensive purchases you can make for your baby. Before you splashout, ask other parents what they rate about the pram they chose, wherethey got it from, and about any problems they have encountered with itin use.
This is what some relatively new parents had to say about choosing and using a pram:
• 'I bought a three-wheeled 'off roader' but after six months endedup buying a slimline stroller as well. The three-wheeler is great if youwant to go off the beaten track but it's heavy to get in and out of thecar, takes up all the room in the boot so I couldn't fit in the weeklyshop, and the tyres can come down. Although a pump is supplied, that's areally annoying problem - and the last thing you want to try and fix onyour own with a baby. Now I use the stroller around town and save thethree-wheeler for weekend excursions with my partner - it is really easyto push on all sorts of ground, and Lauren looks so comfortable in it.'
• 'We got our pram at an NCT Nearly New Sale. We needed a doublebuggy as our eldest was only eighteen months old when the baby arrived.The double buggy was a side-by-side version, hardly used and cost us £60- about a third of the price it would have been new. It had fullinstructions and was spotlessly clean. I am tall so I find aside-by-side version manageable but I have smaller friends who preferpushing the tandem double buggies.'
• 'My mum bought us a three-in-one travel system - which combines acar seat and pram, and then transforms into a forward-facing,middleweight buggy. It cost over £400 and it was very handy for thosefirst few months. The great thing about the three-in-one system was thatwe could transfer Jack from the car onto the pram chassis withoutwaking him. And he could sleep in the house in the pram - although youneed a fair amount of space. With hindsight (and if I had to spend myown money) I would have chosen a simpler and cheaper pram - after sixmonths we found a stroller was more useful. And I know others whomanaged without a pram and just used a sling and a car seat to begin,with before transferring their baby to a padded lie-back stroller at sixmonths.'
• 'Whatever you do, try pushing the pram with a six month old baby'sweight in it, a changing bag and some shopping so you get an idea ofhow freely it moves when it's loaded up - you always seem to have massesof gear with babies. And check the handle height - is it comfortablefor you and can it be adjusted if several different people will be usingthe pram? I gave myself bad backache pushing a non-adjustable pram thefirst time round.'
• 'We walk everywhere as we don't have a car - and I think it'sreally important to be able to see your baby. I had a very traditional'coach' style pram but I used it until Tara was eighteen months old andit was great to be looking at each other the whole time. Many of themore modern prams have the baby looking forward which I think is a shameas it's wonderful to be able to interact. However some of the forward-facing buggies have a clear window in the hood so you can see what yourbaby is doing and I would choose one of those if I had to get somethingthat would fit in a car boot. '
• "For my first baby I bought a pram but hardly ever used it - toomuch trouble to get in and out of the car and she didn't seem to want tolie quietly in it and sleep like others seemed to. For our second babywe bought a rucksack type back pack carrier, which can be used fromaround six months. Both Effie and Sam loved being at human eye level. It is the most well used item of baby equipment we have because bothbabies enjoyed being in it and when Effie was tired, walking her for awhile in the carrier produced instant sleep!"
Sam, mum to Effie, three and Oscar, seven months