The other day I was asked what I’d recommend when it came to pushchairs. The enquirer was a little concerned about stories of MAMMOTH pushchairs and hideously selfish mothers who annoyed other civilisation dwellers. I replied that, having had both a large-ish travel system and a fold up pushchair, that I’d encountered the same kind of filthy looks and lack of assistance whatever I was pushing and that therefore they should base their decision on the comfort, durability and practicality of whatever they liked and bugger everyone else. Stories about mothers who push other people off pavements are so prevalent these days that I’m sure people say them without it ever having actually happened to them, the anti-mother urban myth. But it did get me thinking about what I would really like in a pushchair. Here’s my ideal checklist:
- Good wheels. Our travel system pushes very easily. It’s so noticeable when I’m pushing the fold up cheapo pushchair – it’s such an extra effort because the wheels are smaller and have no suspension.
- An alarm that alerts you to your child having a large amount of snot running down their face when you can’t see their face. This will save people looking askance at you as they pass.
- An easy to fold up and store facility – possibly like Mary Poppins’s carpet bag, folding into something handbag sized.
- A self steering option that saves you from veering off wildly to one side when carrying the baby, or when just using the front wheels when getting onto the bus.
- A decent sized basket for shopping, coats, cardis, discarded shoes, books, toys, purses and other debris.
- A spacious rain cover – E hates having hers down and spends most rainy journeys trying to escape. I think this may be because it rests so close to her face.
- Clips to secure the child that don’t attack your fingers and leave you with blood blisters. (NB this should really be standard on ALL child’s equipment. I can’t be the only person who finds the clips a bugger to do up? Can I?)
- Decent brakes. ALL pushchairs/ prams/ travel systems appear to have really crap or inconvenient braking systems. We can’t use the ones on the travel system now as they jam and so the wheels won’t go round. Which means stopping on a slope can be an issue… Trying to put the brakes on when we’re on a bus that’s pulling away and the chair is jammed up against the wall to stay out of the way is also a problem. Perhaps some kind of handle brake, like a bike would be good?
- Colours – the choice for our current pushchair was blue (with cars), blue (with robots), pink (with flowers) or brown (with dinosaurs). Expand range please! Stop gender stereotyping!
- And finally, keep it cheap. None of my suggestions (except the alarm and the folding up-ness) are unreasonable so you shouldn’t need to break the bank in affording this excellence.
I won’t be buying another pushchair for E but if you have any recommendations for other mums that can be passed on, do post them below!