I have finally decided to publish a post that has been sat around waiting for a few weeks now. In my very first Blog post and on the “About Lauren” page it states that I am a self proclaimed Buggy Whore.
I can’t even deny it, I have heard the words “Not another pram?!” from many a person – friends and family alike. My husband despairs. He gets so bored of me talking about prams that he has perfected a very good ‘interested and listening’ look when in fact he hasn’t heard a word that I am saying!
So here goes, my name is Lauren and I am a pram-a-holic!
Prams, pushchairs, buggies, strollers – whatever you want to call them they are there to serve one purpose. To transport a baby/toddler from A to B. For me it’s not that simple. Yes it is about transporting my children but I also have many a requirement needed from these wheeled goods.
Firstly, my children have to be comfortable, there is nothing worse than expecting a child to sit for a period of time in an awkward position. I wouldn’t want to do it and as an adult can shift my own body into a more comfortable position. As a toddler Spud can make it clear when he isn’t comfortable but poor Spike as a baby is just expected to like it or lump it.
Secondly, it has to be easy to push. I don’t want to struggle or get angry every time I go anywhere. I like a simple life. Pushing 50lb worth of child up a hill is not the easiest and if the pushchair is particularly heavy or difficult to steer it makes for one very unhappy Lauren.
Thirdly, it has to look good. Yes they aren’t fashion accessories and an ugly pushchair could be amazing but I’m shallow and don’t want to be seen pushing an odd looking contraption down the road!
These are the three that stick out the most. There are other issues like the option to rear face, I prefer air tyres rather than buggy wheels, it has to be sturdy and not feel like its going to snap in two. I could go on and on.
This is my pushchair history (I will try to keep it brief!) –
1. Silver Cross Sleepover Linear – It was love at first sight. I saw this when I was very early pregnant and fell instantly in love with it. I loved that the baby would have a good sized carrycot that could convert into a moses basket and it just looked so comfortable. Unfortunately “don’t judge a book by its cover” rings true. It was fantastic looking but unbelievably impractical. We foolishly didn’t try to get the whole thing into our boot before Spud was born. At 5 days old we tried to go out and realised that not only did it take up the whole boot but it was a mission to make it fit. Instead of just buying a new pram we got a new car. The wheels weren’t great on the paths where we lived because they weren’t smooth so Spud always had a very juddery ride! The only thing I can’t fault is the seat size and the comfort. I wanted to sit in it, that’s how comfortable it looked!
2. Unknown – The first pushchair that I ever purchased just to serve it’s purpose (see I can be sensible!) I found it for £25 at a NCT sale and got it for walking our dog. I didn’t want to ruin our lovely SX by taking it through the woods or through muddy fields so this was perfect. It was heavy and with a locked front wheel quite hard to push but it did it’s job and I didn’t feel bad about shoving it in the shed to dry off.
3. Maclaren Techno XLR – I had to buy a stroller very early on because the SX didn’t fit in anyone else’s car so when I went to stay with my parents I was limited to what I could do. Spud was about 8 weeks old when I first got this and it was great. It was so light, it sort of glided along. I took it to the Baby Show with my friend Sarah and we managed to squeeze it into the boot of her VW Golf with her huge Urban Detour. Unfortunately Spud got quite heavy at about a year old and it made it a lot harder to push and I always felt like the back wheels were straining under the pressure! We managed to bend the chassis when we put it behind the seats in the car so it became very doddery indeed!
4. Jané Slalom Pro – Another one that I loved the look of when I was early pregnant but it was double the price (as a travel system) of the SX at the time. My parents were buying my pram and said I could either have this or the SX and money so of course I chose the cheaper option with money! We eventually got so fed up with the SX that we sold it and I saved up for just the pushchair. Spud was 5 months old when this arrived and I honestly loved it from the minute that I took it out of the box. I had a few issues including that it didn’t rear face but Spud had started leaning out and around of his pram to see where he was going anyway. I cried when I boxed this pram up to post to it’s new home when the Hubby made me sell it to buy a double.
5. Maxi Cosi Loola – OH. MY. GOSH. What a pile of absolute poop. I have nothing nice to say about this pushchair at all. It wasn’t sturdy, at 16 months Spud looked massive in it and it was unbelievably difficult to push or get up a curb. Put it this way when the Hubby tried it for the first time he pushed it about 5 paces and then walked away swearing leaving me to rescue our son!
6. Jané Powertwin Pro – It made sense to us that because we loved the Slalom so much to get the double version. I was 6 months pregnant with Spike and Spud was a little on the large side but didn’t look too bad. Then came the growth spurt. At 21 months old Spud was badly squashed in the Powertwin Pro. So much so he was able to remove the bumper bar (which is usually a button release) using his knees. His head was a lot higher than the back of the seat and he just looked so uncomfortable. I was adamant when I found out that I was pregnant with Spike that I wouldn’t let Spud suffer one bit. I wasn’t going to make him grow up when he was still just a baby himself so a pushchair was a must but finding a double was a nightmare.
7. Baby Jogger City Mini – What a fantastic pushchair. Firstly the fold and ease of use makes this one hard to find fault with. We still have this one and use it for Spud and I love how I can just grab the fold handle and in one move collapse it and fling it in to the boot of the car at the same time as holding his hand. It makes times when the lifts aren’t working seem less like the end of the world because it’s easy enough to fold and light enough to carry. The storage on it is great, the basket although hard to access is massive and there is a net pocket on the back which can hold tons. The sun canopy goes right over meaning it blacks it out enough for him to sleep, blocks out the sun and lessens the need for a raincover. It is one that I would recommend very highly.
8. Easywalker Duowalker Sky – You can read my full report here. But in short it was perfect for what I wanted from a double. I had Spike in a carrycot all snug from the Winter elements and Spud in a seat big enough for a taller than average 2 year old.
9. Mamas and Papas Skate – I purchased this pre-loved after realising that I need Spike to have his own single as I didn’t like him in the Baby Jogger City Mini because I wanted him rear facing and to me it is ‘too strollerish’ for a newborn. I loved that the seat unit converted into a pram body with the help of some handy straps and that the seat unit could be quite high up on the chassis. It had three height positions along the sides of the chassis so that when Spike was still teeny I could see him closely and reach him without too much effort. I didn’t like how quickly the wheels wore and that whenever I hit a slight dip or rock the front wheels would fling in on themselves and I would nearly go over the handle bar!
10. QuinnyBuzz 3 – I purchased this one to replace the Mamas and Papas Skate and at first thought it was amazing. After some use I realised that the back wheels are so far apart that it actually wasn’t that much slimmer than my side by side Easywalker. Pushing it gave me the impression that it was compact, then I would try and get through a door and get stuck. I loved the snugness of the infant seat unit and that you could upgrade to a larger seat as they grew. I also loved the fact that it would put itself up when I got it out of the car. Unfortuantely it just wasn’t my dream pram.
11. Jané Slalom Reverse – My full review of this pushchair can be found here. In short I love it. It was released not long after we got the Slalom Pro and I had wanted it since. I had saved up for it about 5 times but always found something else that I could actually justify spending money on (i.e “Not another pram?!”) It got to the stage where the Hubby even wanted it and I found a bargain so snatched it up. I have been using it for Spike for about a month now and there still isn’t anything that I don’t love. For the first time I can see myself properly happy with my pushchair! Even the Hubby commented the other day that he hadn’t heard me talk about a new pushchair for a long time!
12. Cosatto You2 Snap – You may have noticed that since the Maclaren I’m not really one for strollers. Personally i’m not keen on this one. I constantly kick the middle back wheel and find it quite difficult to steer. However this was purchased to serve its actual purpose. It lives at my mums house for when we visit them as they live 300 miles away. Anyone that travels with kids knows that boot space is of the utmost importance and with our double filling our estate boot it made life difficult when packing to go anywhere. It also means that I can go out in my parents cars or out with friends without trying to juggle the huge pushchair. It’s not one that I would have for daily use.
It is only 12 pushchairs. Some of you will be thinking “oh my gosh 12?!” but one of my favourite Facebook pages, Pushchair Trader, has opened my eyes to a whole world of Buggy Whores. There are people on there who have had hundreds of pushchairs before finding one that they love! It could have happened to me when I wasn’t happy with Spike’s rear facing ones but we bit the bullet and got the one that we really loved. I have 3 pushchairs at my house, two singles (the Baby Jogger City Mini and the Jané Slalom Reverse) and one double (the Easywalker Duowalker Sky) I’m not really that bad. My friend over at Ramblings Of A Suburban Mummy claims that she isn’t a pram whore but has 5 in her house at the moment! I have always had a valid reason to buy them and have never got one just for the sake of it (see me trying to justify my addiction!) For now I seem to have found ‘the one’ and have been 33 days sober. I probably will fall off the wagon, it is still early days and I have been eyeing up the Jané Energy (says the woman that doesn’t like strollers!) but for my Hubby’s sake I am going to remain strong! (Plus if I stay on his good side Baby number 3 might become more of a possibilty!)