This is a question which most parents will ask when choosing a pram for their precious child, indeed; there are so many prams in the market right now that it has become very taxing on parents to choose the right one. When baby carriage was first invented by William Kent in 1733 for Duke of Devonshire, it was only meant to be a transportation to be pulled by ponies! More than two centuries after his invention, it has been renamed as the perambulator (which is what we are used to call “pram”) or stroller.
Bielanko, Monica. (2011). The Evolution of The Stroller. [image]
There are three main factors to consider when getting a pram:
1. Age of the child
Child of different ages has different requirements when it comes to a pram. Newborns and babies who have not fully develop their neck muscles should be using a pram that can be reclined into flat or near flat position so that their head can be well supported.
Before your baby turns one, he/she will be stimulated by parent-child interactions hence a parent-facing pram will be more beneficial for their brain development.
When the baby starts to turn around, safety will be the most important factor when choosing a pram so that they will not fall out of the pram when you are not looking. Choose a pram that comes with a safety harness to secure them or, allows parent facing position so that you can be aware of the adventure happening in the pram!
When your toddler starts to walk, he/she might dread staying in the pram for too long, very often you might find yourself holding his tiny hand in one hand and pushing the pram on the other. During this period of time, get a pram that is easy to steer with one hand and a safety feature to stop the mischievous toddler from escaping the pram!
As the child grows, the only time when they realise the existence of stroller is when they are tired or sleepy. A grumpy sleepy child is not easy to handle, thus most parents will tend to bring a stroller along. A lightweight but sturdy stroller will be the most practical, paying extra attention to the maximum load allowed for the pram as your child gets bigger. The child will have to be comfortable falling asleep in the pram as well. Pram which is compact when folded will be a plus point for a car with a small boot.
A child has different requirements at different stages of growing up; it is not easy to find a perfect pram which can fulfill all requirements from newborns all the way to two or even three years old. We have seen parents getting another pram when the child has outgrown the first one.
Why not rent one for each growing stage then? By renting the most suitable pram for the child, you will not only provide what he needs most at different development phases, you will also be relieved from buying a second (or even a third) stroller when the first pram is becoming too small for your fast growing child!
2. Lifestyle of the parent/caretaker
The caretaker’s usual routine matters as well. If your husband is tall, it is best to have an adjustable handlebar such that he does not need to bend uncomfortably when pushing the pram.
If you are driving, a pram which can be converted into a travel system by replacing the pram seat with infant car seat will prevent disturbing your child's sweet dream when they dozed off during the journey.
Do you know that prams/strollers must be folded up while travelling on buses? Public transport commuters should look out for a lightweight pram with quick fold function for a faster (and less embarrassing) travel up and down the bus/taxi. One-hand quick-fold will be an added advantage so that you can have another hand to hold on to your toddler up the stairs. Also, wheels cannot be too small else it will be stuck in between the train and the platform.
Kang, Audrey. (2013). Big struggle to haul kids and pram up crowded bus. [image] Source: asiaone
Another point which is often overlooked is the age of the caretaker. Learning how to operate a pram is never our concern as we have already conquered learning that new trick in iPhone, a new Excel’s formula so to say. However, it will be a different story for our parents.
If your child is going to be looked after by your parents, they would need a fuss-free and simple pram for their daily usage. A higher pram could also reduce the strain on their back as they do not need to bend down to attend to the child. Big storage basket/bag can allow them to bring the child with them for grocery shopping!
Budgeting is part of planning for every big event in life, and it being in constraint is pretty often the case. More often than not, the pram that caught your attention is always out of the budget which forces you to buy a cheaper pram at the expense of quality. On the other hand, you may also decide to stretch your budget a little to get the best pram for your child, but who knows if you or your child will really like it afterwards?
Either you could just ignore and get used to it or you will need to buy another pram of your liking (and the hassle of selling previous one). And we often realised that a higher quality pram could be bought in the first place for the price of getting two prams!
It is frustrating and causing unnecessary spending of money when you bought the wrong pram. Put your hard-earned cash to a good use, and try renting the pram for a few months before deciding to invest.
Alternatively, you may choose to rent for long term instead of buying a pram as well. This will save you the hassle of disposing/selling the old pram and you could even change the pram anytime when your child has outgrown it.
Make your baby comfortable, choose the right pram!