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5 Things Parents Should ALWAYS Look Out For When Buying A Pushchair

Follow the path of motherhood through the park as a casually dressed mom walks with her baby in the stroller, the rear view revealing the beauty of the shared journey.
Follow the path of motherhood through the park as a casually dressed mom walks with her baby in the stroller, the rear view revealing the beauty of the shared journey. FreshSplash via Getty Images

A pushchair is one of the most expensive baby purchases you’ll make. Alongside this you have to buy a car seat, cot and ten thousands other things you didn’t even realise.

But what’s most daunting is spending all of that money only for your product to give you issues. Nearly 40% of parents told Which? that they had issues with their prams after bringing it home and using it.

So, according to parents, here’s what to look out for when buying a new pushchair.

1. Wheels

Around 20% of parents say that wheels have caused issues when they have bought a pushchair.

Which? Advises to always test out a pram before buying it to make sure the wheels are aligned, it steers well and it feels right.

Consumer review website Which? tested a number of pushchairs to 206km to find out whether they can withstand uneven pavements and potholes.

They said: “This replicates two to three years of use. Ideally look for swivel front wheels, because they rotate to move in any direction with very little pushing and pulling, making it easy to manoeuvre on flat ground. Get ones that can lock to help you when going over rougher ground or gravel.”

2. Folding mechanism

More than 16% of parents told Which? their pushchair was a nightmare to fold or it required a lot of effort to fold.

Experts advised: “Before you buy, have a few tries to make sure you feel comfortable with the mechanism and ensure it doesn’t get caught at any point.
It’s also worth checking how many steps are actually required to fold it.

“Although many pushchairs come with claims of having a one-handed fold, our tests prove that the reality can be very different.

3. Hood

Now this is one issue you probably didn’t even think of.

A hood is very important for sleeping babies so you want one that is quiet and smooth to extend.

“Our tests have uncovered issues with a number of pushchair hoods, and one in seven parents admitted to experiencing problems. Our advice is to give them a thorough check, and look for any areas where the stitching might be coming loose, or for any tears or holes.”

4. Brakes

Okay this one is a no-brainer, if there’s one thing that should be working correctly in a pushchair, it’s the brakes.

14% of parents had issues with their brakes according to the Which? survey.
The consumer reviews website checked the brakes on a number of pushchairs.

“To check how effective the brakes are, we place each pushchair on a gradually increasing slope to see whether it stays in place with the brakes on, or whether it slides down the slope.

“We test the stability of each pushchair in all the configurations you might use, for example with the seat reclined to various levels and facing different directions, and our tests have found that some pushchairs can overturn far too easily.”

5. Handlebar

Finally, 12.5% of parents said they had issues with the handlebars on their pushchairs. These are of course important because they need to be sturdy enough to direct and lift the pushchair across kerbs and uneven pavement.

So, to test the strength of the handlebar, Which? used special equipment to repeatedly lift and lower the handlebars up to 10,000 times.

This was designed to replicate several years of use.

“Our pushchair reviews reveal if we found any issues, and we also note the handlebar height and whether it’s adjustable. Being able to easily adjust the height of the handlebars will make it much more comfortable for you to push, especially if you’re a different height from your partner or anyone else using the pushchair,” they said.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said:

“A pushchair is one of the most expensive baby purchases you’ll make, so it is important that it ticks all of the right boxes.

“Our research shows common pushchair problems that parents encounter include wheels that are tricky to steer and prams that are awkward to fold.

“Do your homework before purchasing a pushchair, and consult Which?’s reviews which are based on rigorous tests. It could also be worth trying one out in person to make sure it is the right fit for you.”

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