Guide to buying a pram or pushchair

The choice out there for keeping your baby comfortable and safe when you're on the go can seem overwhelming. With such a wide range of pushchairs, prams, buggies, strollers and travel systems in the shops, in lots of different combinations, some parents worry about making the wrong decision. Some pram and pushchair models have reversible or lie-back seats. Some double as car seats. Others have a one-handed folding action, whereas twin prams and double pushchairs can even fit two little ones at once. This guide will help you decide which out of the hundreds of options out there is the best pram for your child. Whether you need a travel system for twins, or simply the best buggy for your toddler, Tesco are on hand to give you the help you need. We will give you information about the right models for travelling by public transport or car, as well as the best choices for people with limited space at home.

Choosing a pram to suit your child's age

Not all prams, pushchairs and baby buggies or strollers are suitable for use from birth. If you're buying for a newborn baby this is a crucial first check.

Most baby pushchairs that are suitable for newborns are adaptable - in other words they can be used as your child grows to the size of a toddler. This makes such models a good long-term purchase, as they will probably not need to be replaced.

Between the ages of three and six months (depending on the model you choose) babies can move to a lightweight folding buggy or stroller.

Best pram for your child

As pushchairs, buggy/strollers and travel systems can all be quite expensive, you will want to make the right purchase, meaning it is wise to think carefully about your lifestyle.

Some parents prefer to buy a sturdy pram as their main form of baby transport, before obtaining a lightweight folding buggy or stroller after three months, that may be more suitable for travelling on public transport or going on holiday.

If you drive everywhere, you will need a different model than the one a parent might require for getting on and off buses and trains. Meanwhile, if you live in a flat, you might have to carry a pram up the stairs every day, meaning a lightweight product is most suited to your home environment. City and countryside living are very different, so this is another factor that can impact on the pushchair or stroller features you will need for your child.

Best pram for travelling by car

If you use the car a lot, the size of your boot space - and how much is available once the car's full of shopping - should be a consideration when choosing a pushchair or buggy.

If you can fit the folded-down frame in your car, a travel system is ideal. The detachable car seat doubles as a pushchair seat for younger babies and is perfect for short trips. You can lift it in and out of the car (and on and off the frame) without disturbing your baby while they sleep. For this reason travel system prams and pushchairs are a great choice for families that often use their car.

Best pram for travelling by public transport

Do you rely on public transport to get from A to B? If so, you'll need a pram or pushchair that's easy to fold, and is lightweight and simple to manoeuvre. You'll also want to choose a model that has a detachable rain cover and, if you often walk to the shops, a spacious shopping basket underneath.

Best pram for the countryside

Three-wheeler pushchairs are brilliant for coping with uneven terrain (and wonky paving stones in towns and cities). Parents who regularly go hiking with their kids in the great outdoors find these products easy to push along designated walking paths and irregular trails.

Some people like to jog behind three-wheeled pushchairs too, as they're not heavy and easy enough to steer with one hand when necessary.

Best pram for flats

Living in an upstairs flat or a maisonette means that, unless you can leave the pram or pushchair downstairs, you'll need something light that folds easily. This will prevent you from having to lug heavy equipment and shopping, plus your baby, up and down flights of stairs every day.

Best prams for more than one child

If you have two newborns, or one older baby and one toddler, a double buggy/stroller is ideal. Twin pushchairs tend to be harder to get through doorways, but they let your children sit next to each other, and offer a great solution for parents with an older child who still can't walk too far.

Tandem pushchairs, where the seats are located one behind the other, are rather long but easier to get through narrower spaces. Think about the space you have at home to choose the right one for you.

Pram/pushchair models

Suitable from birth, a pram/pushchair will take you from newborn to the toddler stage. The seat unit lies flat to act as a cosy pram for your newborn and either lifts away to be replaced by a more upright seat, or converts to a pushchair seat as your baby grows. Some pram/pushchair models also let you switch the seat between forward and rear facing.

Tandem pushchair

Tandems pushchairs are generally suitable for two children of different ages. A tandem pushchair features two seats, one in front of the other. The rear seat reclines for a newborn, and then converts to a forward-facing seat later on. The seats can be independently adjusted, whilst the pushchair itself is designed to be lightweight and easily foldable.

Twin pushchair

Different to tandem pushchairs, twin pushchairs have side-by-side seats, which are ideal for children of a similar age, as their weight distribution is similar. Some have individually fully reclining seats, which makes them a perfect buy if you have twins.

Three-wheeler pushchair

A three-wheeler is a fashionable option and some are suitable for all terrains, so they're ideal if you do a lot of walking, either in town or out in the country. They usually have pneumatic tyres, offering a more comfortable ride for your baby.

Some three-wheeler pushchairs are also car seat and carrycot compatible, and offer a full 3-in-1 travel system. Due to their versatility the best three-wheeled pushchairs can be quite expensive.

Buggies and strollers

As it's lightweight and easy to manoeuvre and fold away, a buggy or stroller is ideal for use on public transport, as well as for taking on holiday or keeping as a spare, either in the car boot or at the grandparents' house for example.

Baby buggies or baby strollers that recline fully flat are suitable from birth; those that don't are generally suitable for use from three or six months, so check before you buy. Some models have swivelling wheels. Others have pneumatic tyres for rougher terrain.

Travel system

A travel system is suitable for use from a baby's birth and is compatible with a Group 0+ or Isofix car seat, which means you can easily transport your baby from car to pushchair (or vice versa) without disturbing them, and the car seat will attach securely onto the pushchair chassis.

However, if you're planning a journey that will take more than an hour or so, you should use the pushchair seat unit or carrycot. It's not good for your baby's developing spine to be in the car seat for long periods of time. So make sure you plan for plenty of breaks for your child to lie down if you're planning on a long trip.

Some travel systems also let you add a carrycot, or soft-bodied cocoon, to make them even more versatile. Travel systems can be based on lighter-weight buggies/strollers or sturdier pram/pushchair combinations.

Pushchair accessories

There's a great selection of push chair accessories to help boost your model's functionality. Consider the following pushchair add-ons and do some more research into your preferred models before making your final decision.

Safety harness

Most pushchairs are fitted with a five-point safety harness for when your baby can sit up. This is essential, but if your chosen model doesn't have this important feature you can still buy one that can be added to certain models.

Pram parasols and covers

Rain hoods with viewing windows, foot muffs, pram covers and sun parasols help protect your child from the elements, whether in wind, rain, or sunshine.

Baskets and travel bags

These provide a space to store your shopping safely, without having to hang bags on the handles. Having appropriate travel bags is always advisable as hanging bags on handles can be unsafe, as they can cause the pushchair to tip backwards.

Pram suspension

If your pushchair has front or rear suspension, your child will have a smoother ride.

Handle height

An adjustable handle height on your pushchair is very useful if the person who is pushing it is shorter or taller than you, or if you are well above or below average height. If the handle is static, make sure it suits the height of the main user before you buy.