The big one often reserved to daddy is the pram, buggy or more accurately, the “travel system”. These are devices on wheels used to transport your precious bundle from A to B when it can’t be achieved using your arms. The hot wheels. Typically made up of a chassis, a bassinet / flat bed (babe lies flat from birth to approx. 6 months), chair (approx. 6 months+) and a car seat. This purchase will likely be subject to more debate than Brexit at Westminster.
Travel system purchasing is definitely one of the more exciting parts of baby shopping and can be done as couple, with many a romantic moment smiling at each other between the aisles of pushchairs in John Lewis.
You will also spend a lot of time furtively glancing at the other similarly-pregnated new couples, trying to decipher their potential choices and underlying rationale. You may see someone already with a bébé in a pram, looking at other prams. Take note: that doesn’t bode well for the existing pram.
You may spend a bit of time pushing the empty buggy around the shop and when you get entangled in the chassis, pretending you are trying to put the break on and collapse the contraption. You blame the bump – silly bump, getting in the way – obviously when the bébé arrives you won’t have any problems! What’s more you will suddenly have become superwoman, turkey wings transformed into solid guns and you will be able to lift the pram and car seat with just one hand, whilst delicately balancing le petit in the other. Perhaps feeding simultaneously.
Good luck with that.
When your time comes, you will probably look at and test 10, maybe 20 travel systems and in so doing travel half way around the country for the pleasure. Remember you are pregnant and tired and a little groggy. Whichever one you buy, when you actually start to use it, tired and sore and sleep deprived, you will immediately realise your criteria were ridiculous. e.g. nice colour, shiny frame, matches my changing bag and nail colour, has a big basket for shopping, and – oh look – a cup holder! Brilliant! I will need that.
Question: Does the cup holder help you getting the damn thing into the car??? Can you even lift it?! Does it fit in your boot? Can you fold it or unfold it with one arm? Is there any suspension or does your baby practically fly out when you go over a bump? How quickly can you get your foot, or hand, on the break? How easily can you detach the bed? How low do you need to bend to put bébé in? How wide is the contraption? Will it fit in shop doors? Or coffee shop doors? Because if it won’t, you are going to struggle getting that coffee my dear. And don’t forget the adapters – have you got the correct adapters to fix the car seat to the chassis, because if you haven’t, you’ve got a problem my friend. By the way they are extra $$$. You get the gist.
BTW travel systems are the price of a small car. Ok, slight exaggeration but you get the point. Guess what, most of them last for about 6 months. Maybe a year. Tops. More likely than not you will end up buying a buggy as soon as you possibly can, when bébé can hold their heads better, which is light, small and costs a fraction of your travel system.
NB: Unless you get a complete MaxiCosi system, their car seat is the industry best so you might end up getting their car seat (pebble/ pebble plus) – if your “system” includes a car seat, one third of it is immediately redundant. On this point it is worth finding out if you can get the package without the car seat, hopefully for slightly less $$$.
Oh and guess what, just to finish on the babe, after all, this is for monsieur Jnr – he won’t necessarily love the pram. Why would he? He wants to be snuggled close to mummy or daddy, not bouncing around in a little cold box! So I strongly recommend a Babybjorn or similar carrier or sling (something like the NCT caboo carrier for indoors), to get through those moments when your babe refuses to go back in the pram. It can be very awkward when you’re trying to get home and bébé has decided he has had enough of the wheeled box. Bye bye more money, hello peaceful journeys!
<Tips on buggy shopping to be found at the end of Baby Stuff #3>