Choosing a buggy is one of your biggest baby shopping decisions and you want to get it right, yet so many mums end up buying two or even more buggies for their first child.
Do you need a travel system and a lightweight?
Can you get it right first time or do you actually need two different pushchairs? The answer is yes and yes, as it all depends on your needs.
Some families will find they get great use out of a travel system for the first few months and then switch to a less bulky buggy. For others, a lightweight pushchair that’s designed to be used from birth, will be a one-stop answer.
Why choose a travel system
Buying a travel system is the popular choice for many first-time mums. These are buggies that include a compatible car seat, enabling you to fit the car seat on the buggy frame. Travel systems can also include a carrycot and many will give you an opportunity to choose whether to have your baby parent or forward facing.
Travel systems can be a huge help if you’re frequently going to be moving from car to buggy for short journeys and back to car again. They enable you to move your new baby easily and avoid you having to lug a group 0/0+ car seat around by hand.
However, the flexibility of being able to clip the car seat on and off the buggy, plus a sturdy frame, comes at a cost – bulkiness. By the time you’re no longer using the car seat on the buggy, you may be looking longingly at nippy little lightweights.
Travel system pros
- Incredibly handy if you’re constantly moving your baby from car to pushchair and back again
- You can get everything in one package, which can save money
- Many offer parent and forward facing seat options
- Many offer great functionality and bag storage space
Travel system cons
- Can be bulky and heavy to cart around
- Can be expensive, especially if you opt for additional carrycot
- You’ll only use the travel system option for first few months
- Babies can’t stay in a Group 0/0+ car seat for long periods of time, so if you’re going on a longish shopping trip you won’t be able to use it in its travel system format anyway and will need to use either a lie-flat seat or carrycot.
Why choose a lightweight pushchair?
It used to be that lightweight buggies were only suitable to use once you’re your baby was 3 or 6 months old. Now there are several lightweight buggies that are suitable from birth, such as the Maclaren Techno XT.
Lightweights (also often called strollers) are very useful if you know you’re going to be folding your buggy up and down several times a day.
Think about what your needs are going to be when your baby is born. Will you need the flexibility of being able to transport your baby in the car seat for short walking trips (perhaps if you’re taking an older child to nursery)?
If not, you may not need a pushchair that’s compatible with a car seat. You’ll still need a car seat, though, if your baby is going to travel anywhere in a car.
Losing this ability to clip on a car seat, means a lighter, less bulky pushchair with probably a simpler folding mechanism.
Lightweight buggy pros
- Can be easy to carry around and lift in and out of cars
- Often have simple fold mechanisms
- Are usually compact to fold and store
- Will often be cheaper than travel systems
Lightweight buggy cons
- May not be as comfy for a newborn as a travel system
- May not be as sturdy as a travel system
- Is likely to be fairly basic and may not offer much high-tech functionality
- You’ll still need to buy a car seat if your baby travels in a car