So many pushchairs...
Shopping for your first stroller can at first seem like a bit of an occasion, especially with all the excitement around your impending arrival. However, excitement can quickly turn to frustration once you realise all the things you have to wrap your head around, like the myriad features or key practical considerations, like whether you can get the pram up your stairs or into your favourite coffee shop? Then there’s the added pressure of thinking about the future; with growing babies and expanding families, the question of how long a pram will work for you looms large. Trying to make that first purchase cost effective and practical for the long-term is, in conventional ownership, like fighting a losing battle. Realistically - even with just one child - it’s unlikely you’ll get by comfortably with just one pram. According to Which, 75% of parents said that they owned more than one pram, 80% of parents said they have at least one pushchair they no longer use and over half said that they were still holding onto all the pushchairs they bought! While most have the best of intentions to responsibly dispose of or re-home their perfectly good stroller, this often ends up becoming a rainy day task relegated to the bottom of the list of ‘things to do’. So it’ s no wonder that so many pushchairs sit in the attic or the back of the cupboard unloved and gathering dust.
What are the common mistakes to avoid?
1) Thinking too far ahead
Whilst in life planning tends to serve you well, with prams, it can often lead to the opposite effect. Many parents purchase a “second child ready” pram even before their first has arrived in the hope that the one pram will last the entire journey. Though there are a number of perfectly good double pram models on the market, unfortunately, the double conversion feature of these prams tends to make them bulky and heavy, meaning that even in their single configuration they’re difficult to manoeuvre and become an unnecessary burden.
Even if you are planning to have a second child in quick succession, you will only need a double pram for about nine months at most. So what might seem like a canny purchase will only give you its full value for a short time, meaning that you’re mostly lumbered with a pram that is more frustrating than functional. Unsurprisingly, many who plump for a “second child ready” pram end up changing to something that is more suitable for their single child.
2) Assuming that one pram will fit all
As much as manufacturers like to claim they have designed the one pram that suits all scenarios, our experience and conversations with parents strongly suggest otherwise. We spoke to one parent who was on to their third pram with just their first child! Finding herself disappointed and frustrated by a top of the range pram, she eventually gave in and bought a lighter model better suited to urban living. Having persevered for too long, however, she discovered she’d made the swap too late and her child was already too big, necessitating a third ultralight weight purchase.
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet and trying to find the elusive “one size fits all” pram can often end up leading to full attics and depleted bank accounts.
3) Being dazzled by trends and features
It goes without saying that we all want the best for our children, but trying to ascertain what is “best” in the vast universe of prams can be bewildering, with their list of specifications reading more like car specs. Then there are the current trends to consider in terms of which is the most popular and most fashionable pram. Very quickly you can forget that a pram needs to be practical and fit your lifestyle and not the other way around.
How to get it right
Rather than focussing on the bells and whistles of a pram and the dazzle of a million features, these practical steps will help you narrow down the right choice based on your lifestyle.
1) Three questions to ask yourself
By keeping the focus on your lifestyle and needs, you are much less likely to be seduced by glossy lifestyle images or bewildered by bedazzling specs and far more likely to find the model that fits in with your world.
Ask yourself the following:
- First, consider where you live - are you in the heart of a city and roaming pavements, or the countryside and regularly going “off road”?
- Second, think about how you will mostly be using the pram: to manoeuvre round tightly packed tables in cafes or for long rambling walks?
- Third, decide where you will be storing it at home: will it be ready to go in a roomy hallway or neatly folded out of the way in a cupboard?
2) Road test it
User reviews can be a helpful starting point, but there’s no substitute for real life experience. After all, you know little of an online person’s lifestyle and they certainly don’t know yours. Talk to friends with babies whose domestic and social life you relate to and find out what’s worked well for them and what hasn’t. Better yet, if you have the opportunity nothing beats a road test so, if possible, have a wander around with a friend’s pram to see if it will be a good fit for you.
3) Accept that you will need to change
By accepting that you’re not going to find a pram for all ages and stages, you’re already avoiding one of the major pitfalls that many tend to fall into. Be prepared to learn as you go and most importantly don’t persist with a pram that you or your baby don’t like – it is much better to throw in the towel early and find a solution that works rather than put up with it because you don't want to part with a hefty investment.
How does Juno help avoid the pitfalls associated with traditional pram ownership?
At Juno we have addressed the plethora of problems associated with picking the right pram and are releasing parents from the constraints of traditional ownership.
With a Juno subscription, you can rest assured that there is always a right pram for each stage of your baby’s growth. Because we understand that there is no one size fits all solution, we introduced the pram swap to all our subscriptions, a unique feature that allows you to change your pram as your baby grows and your lifestyle changes.
Each of the prams we offer has been carefully selected and road tested so that you can rest assured that you have access to the right pram for every step of the journey.
We are saying goodbye to the days of unnecessary clutter, cost and buyer’s remorse.
Learn more about how this unique feature works and the many ways in which our flexible subscriptions adapt to your needs, or speak to us to get started with a Juno subscription for all your prams and much more.