I bloody did.
I asked EVERYONE. (Especially Mr Barry Von Google.)
I got some very detailed and thoughtful responses from friends that are mums, ranging from, “Get the Silvercross Wayfarer, I’ve had a Bugaboo and this is way better,” to “Bugaboo. End of story,” to “Shit, I dunno, I think we have a Phil and Ted and a Mountain Buggy, but honestly it doesn’t matter, they’re just gonna trash it anyway, and they all do the same thing,” to “DEFINITELY a Mountain Buggy, they are amazing,” to “Oh, totally the Baby Jogger, we love ours,” to “Whatever one you choose MAKE SURE YOU CAN ATTACH A CARSEAT.”
I took all of their advice and ended up in a pool of my own sweat and vomit, shivering. Of all the things I obsessed over as a pregnant woman who stayed up too late on her iPad, the pram consumed the most time. (That and the dresser change table. Went with this one. It’s wonderful.)
Next I went to A Big Baby Store and had a play round. What a ridiculous expedition that was. All prams have great suspension and terrific handling on soft vinyl flooring without a baby in them. Plus, no offence to That Big Baby Store but the staff were EXTREMELY EXASPERATING. Any pram I asked about was “really good, people seem to really like it,” and that was the end of it.
But in a way, I guess they’re right. Most prams these days are pretty great. They share a lot of snazzy features and you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a complete lemon. It comes down to what you will use it for, really. Friends of mine just bought the Bugaboo Donkey cos they figure they know they’re having a second baby eventually, why not just cut to the chase? Other friends are mad runners and went for big Mountain Buggy three-wheeler all terrain beast. Others still wanted something tiny and manoeuvrable for their tiny apartment so went for the Stokke.
I’m indecisive at best and crave absolute and definitive recommendations, but had been given none that sat right. The problem was that we live urban day to day but travel a lot. Everywhere. Also, there are a million steps from my carport to the back door of our house, and for me to get a pram in and out of the car, and up those stairs (in the rain, possibly), with a injury and an enormous child each day was about as alluring as a kick in the face.
And so it transpired that we have two prams*. One for the house and daily walks using the front door, and one to keep in my car (and for long trips away that required more than an umbrella stroller) that was easily foldable for a small woman with a messed up hip.
I know. How greedy. But I love my prams equally, and find it difficult to recommend one or the other categorically.
There are a few differences that might sway you either way, (like, er, the price…) should you be in the market for a pram and have as much clue as the president of the No Clue society, like me.
Remember, this is my first child, and I have only really tried these two prams, so if you want reviews and recommendations from a load of mums, mums of five kids, on a load of different prams, there are four million other websites out there for you. But like I said, I love definitive recommendations, not a million choices and reasons and pros and cons.
LOOKS Such a good looking pram. Total hunk. I went navy blue, as above. So gorgeous.
NEWBORN APPROPRIATENESS The bassinet, which essentially became Sonny’s daytime bed for the first few months of his life, is magnificent. (His cot was upstairs. Too hard. Too lazy.) We once even, illegally since they’re not meant to sleep in the bassinet for more than 4 four hours at a time, let him sleep in it overnight when we stayed at someone’s house. The mattress is soft and padded and comfy, and you can wheel him around while he’s cosy and rugged up in his totally flatlay bed.
Snug as a bug in a (handknitted with love) rug in his Bugaboo bassinet. This was the scene of most days during the winter of 2014.
WHEELS It’s a four-wheeler and a delight to wheel around the streets. Not sure how the wheels would handle a rumbly, rugged walk.
ADJUSTABLE? SO adjustable. You can have baby face you or face out, in three positions of uprightness. (I only just let Sonny face out. It was a sad day.) You can have the little wheels or the big wheels at the front. You can have JUST the big wheels (for thick grass) and pull it along. Everything clicks in and out super easily. The belly bar/carry handle can just swing to one side, rather than needing to take it off. The handle can be raised up or down, which is terrific when you are five foot nada, and your husband is six three. Also, the seat can be pushed right up to the table so make it a high chair. This is great in cafes and most space saving indeed. This is a super mega versatile pramatron.
NAP-ABILITY? Excellent. The seat has three settings, and one is practically flat so Sonny sleeps in it fine, and the sun cover is suuuuper long on this model (Bugaboo had previously been chastised in the past for skimpy sun shades) so it covers him fully and makes it nice and dark.
FOLDABILITY It is very simple to break down and dismantle, and becomes very flat for the boot, but it becomes two pieces, (frame + bassinet/seat) which is a bit of a pain in the arse if you’re flying. There are easier prams to fold down.
WEIGHT Now now, a lady never tells! (Perfectly fine. Light.)
BRAKES Firm as, and up near the handlebar for ease. Strap for the wrist, also. My paranoid self likes this.
We wear a lot of blue in this family. This is a good or bad thing depending on how much you like to match your pram.
STORAGE The basket is a pain in the arse to access when the bassinet is on, but once you evolve to the seat (around four months for us I think) it’s VERY deep and most useful. I think my bike might be in there somewhere. Has drawstrings to keep it all out of view and safe if required.
LIFESPAN? From newborn to four years old.
COSTS Around $1400… depending on bundle and retailer and colour choice etc.
A VIDEO, MADAME?
LOOKS A slick, very compact three-wheeler. Compact is the key word. Cos some three-wheelers are massive. Lovely range of ‘seasonal’ colours. I got the earthy tones of sand stone, above.
NEWBORN APPROPRIATENESS Great, because the seat goes down flat like a business class seat. Or you can attach a bassinet, like the Bugaboo. However. I HIGHLY recommend going down the travel system route while the baby is teeny, which is where you attach your car seat to the pram. We chose the MaxiCosi Mico, (which is exceptional, and suitable for up to 6 months old, but as Sonny is a mega child, we moved to the Maxi Cosi Euro at 4.5 months) and the attachment for the pram, which meant I was able to just clip the carseat out of the car and straight onto the pram without waking Sonny. I think this is a game changer, because for the first three months all they do is sleep, and you want to be able to go visit grandma and get them out of the car and into the house without waking them up. Look into a travel system. Trust me. (This travel system also works with the Bugaboo and lots of prams.)
MOMS OUT FOR THE DAY!! Sonny and Johnny in their carseat travel systems. (Johnny’s is on a Mountain Buggy.)
WHEELS It’s got big, tough wheels, great for sludge and snow which we discovered in NYC, and bumpy or rocky roads, which I am discovering over here in NZ. Probably good in sand too, but we are yet to test that because my trip to the Sahara to buy a new camel was cancelled.
ADJUSTABLE? Baby can only face out. (But with the ‘travel system’ when baby is in the car seat, baby faces you.’) Handlebar is adjustable.
NAP-ABILITY? Excellent, for reasons stated above.
FOLDABILITY This is its superpower: a super easy one move fold down. You just yank the strap in the seam of the seat and it folds in half instantly, like MAGIC. Fold down and lift into the car in one step. BANG.
WEIGHT 9.5 kilos, light as.
Sonny in his carseat… which we clicked out of the car and onto the pram (or floor/cafe seat etc.)
BRAKES Firm as, and up near the handlebar for ease. Strap for the wrist also.
STORAGE Real nice. Deep and with nice stretchy net sides for jamming shopping in.
LIFESPAN? Newborn to 30kg.
The pram was too shy to be in this photo.
DOLLARS Around $699 depending on retailer, bundle etc.
A VIDEO, SIR?
Like I said, both terrific prams. Hopefully this is helpful if you’re paralysed by choice like I was.
If you’re a mum, feel free to yell about your awesome pram in comments, of course.
*I’m embarrassed to admit we actually have three prams, the final being the Mountain Buggy Nano, which is a travel stroller, and awesome for (non-snow, non-rugged terrain) travel, ie, our trip round Europe last September when Sonny was four months old. I will do a post on this later as part of a bigger travel post, but it is sensational, weighs only 6kg, and is like a ‘proper’ pram, not a wiry, airport stroller. The best bit? It fits into overhead storage on flights. “Gosh” is right.