When thinking about buying a buggy, my only requirement was that it wasn’t black, which helpfully ruled out the Aston Martin super-pram! I also didn’t feel sure about the three-wheeler ones – they’ve never seemed particularly stable to me. We’d received two useful pieces of advice about buggies prior to purchasing ours:
- Don’t get one that’s too big and heavy (such as most versions of the Bugaboo) – they’re good for country walks on uneven terrain but are impractical for city living. They’ll strain your back lifting them and folding them, and you’ll end up longing for a lightweight Maclaren. In addition, they are a nightmare to manoeuvre around shops.
- Buy two separate buggies: one for newborns and one for toddlers. It makes more financial sense to get two reasonably priced ones, e.g. £150 each, than making one large purchase for £500+ that you’ll probably end up wanting to replace at some point anyway.
Needless to say, we nodded, acquiesced and generally looked like wise and knowing parents-to-be when this information was given to us. In practice, the buggy we did buy at the Baby Show is the following:
- 15.2 kg. That’s really heavy. And big.
- A complete travel system that is suitable from newborn to toddler.
However, it only cost £150, and that includes the complete travel system with carry cot etc, a car seat and base. We figured at that price, if we get completely fed up with it we can buy another one in six months and not have lost out too much. I’ve already checked out the baby things at our local charity shops and you can pick up secondhand strollers in great condition, so once the baby is less of a baby and more of a toddler, I definitely predict we’ll be up(down?)grading to one of these. In terms of the weight, it won’t be leaving the ground floor so no stair-lugging. The only time I might have to lift it is into the boot of the car, which isn’t too high up, and although I’ve never won an arm wrestle I’m not a complete weakling!
So, what choice did we go with? It’s a Graco “I Love my Bear” buggy in a delightful shade of gender-neutral greige, which can be found here.
I’ll admit… the sweet bear and bunny toys that were included with the buggy may have swayed my opinion somewhat! Mr Cath, on the other hand, spent ages folding it, unfolding it, converting it, and generally playing with it. It’s no Aston Martin, that’s for sure. But hopefully it will do the job!
Of course it was the very first one we looked at properly. We did then spend hours checking out other buggies at the show before returning, exhausted, just before the show closed to complete our purchase. So we put SOME thought into it! We couldn’t believe the prices of some of the other buggies on offer – going into the thousands of pounds. My theory is it’s like designer clothes. Some people, regardless of income, simply prefer the status and superior quality of designer black trousers. Others prefer to get their trousers from Primark for £6. To the untrained eye, they look exactly the same; the difference is the designer ones are probably made of better material and will last a whole lot longer than the el cheapo ones. Thus, we feel very relaxed about our buggy purchase. If the front wheel ends up falling off in the first week, we’ve still got enough in the buggy budget to splash out on something else. I’d feel nervous if we’d bought an iCandy, Silver Cross or one of those other uber-stylish ones – it then becomes an “investment” and you’d feel guilty if you didn’t want to use it all the time. Like my friend’s shiny new Bugaboo which ended up neglected as she couldn’t face carrying it up her stairs every day.
Our Graco was promptly delivered and was reasonably straightforward to assemble, although we don’t have any other buggies to compare that process with. The bit we struggled with the most was the rain cover! We’re looking forward to actually using it in a few months’ time… report to follow!