What is the difference between a pram, pushchair, stroller, buggy and travel system?
Choosing your pram is a big enough decision in itself. Other than the nursery furniture it is the most considered purchase when having a baby. You can read our how to buy a pushchair online blog here which may help.
Features and benefits of all the different brands out there pose a world of confusion, but stripping it back to basics, what actually is the difference between a pram, pushchair, stroller, buggy or travel system?
Below, we do our very best to help explain the difference between each so you can first make the right basic decision.
A pram is designed for newborns and younger babies. The carrycot design means you can lie your baby flat and facing you, so it is advisable to buy one from birth. Generally, they are very sturdy and the carrycot can be removed if you are away and can be doubled up as a moses basket for baby to sleep in. Pram carrycots are advised from birth up to around 6 months old, or when your baby can hold their head without it wobbling. Alternatively, lots of people choose a travel system with a carry cot.
A pushchair or stroller…
Put in layman’s terms, a pushchair is a chair on wheels that folds up, often flat. It is geared towards older babies, generally from 6 months. It’s what you need when your baby is a bit bigger. The seat will often face both towards the parent and towards the world so the parent can choose whether baby faces them for reassurance and bonding or away from them, where they can discover the world around them. Often they have adjustable seat positions, handlebar, footrests and other options, all which can be adapted to suit baby.
The often more lightweight and travel friendly option is a buggy. Best used for an older baby or toddler, a buggy is particularly great when out and about or going on holiday, especially if you have a toddler who gets tired easily. They tend to be a less expensive purchase and not as sturdy as a pram or pushchair.
A travel system…
Travel systems are usually based on a single frame with wheels, where you can swap the part your child goes in. So you might buy the whole kit at once and start off using the carry cot, then later change to a seat that faces you and reclines when needed. Once your little one is a bit bigger, they’ll be ready to turn around and sit facing the world. A travel system will often also have a car seat, and they also come with a storage basket to store things like toys and nappies in underneath as well as a rain cover for damp days. Although more expensive on the surface a travel system or bundle deal often means you get more for your money.
Anything else I should consider?
Think about features that will be helpful to you…
- will it fold up easily (ideally while you’re still holding your baby)?
- can it be folded with the seat part still on the frame, or do you have to remove it?
- does it stand up in busy cafes, or lie down flat so there’s more space in the car boot?
- does it come with a rain cover and storage basket, or do you need to buy those separately?
- is it easy to store the parts you’re not using?
- what are the wheels made of – if they’re solid rubber, they can’t be punctured and if they lock, it’s much easier to walk on uneven ground like country lanes or the beach.
When it comes to style and colour, it’s purely down to personal preference. Lots of parents try to buy ‘neutral’ colours in case they have more children so avoid traditional baby blues and pinks.
So there you go, you have taken your first step on the purchasing ladder for you and your baby!