It's one of the biggest investments you'll make as a new mum, so ensuring the pushchair you pick is the perfect one is really important. But where on earth should an expectant mum start? A trip to the buggy section of any big department store is enough to make even the most confident of blissfully-pregnant mums feel like a complete novice - and as you test drive pushchairs into advertising displays, and get your fingers trapped in tricky folding mechanisms, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of options, functions and high tech features on offer.
Of course, at the crux of this decision is whether your baby will be happy in whichever pram you're deliberating over, but he or she isn't even here yet so how are you supposed to know? There are some things that are a given; a well-established brand with a great reputation means you can be sure you're getting what you're paying for. You want your buggy to be suitable from birth but also to stand the test of time for this baby and any future arrivals. But what about the unknowns? Having walked this path before (around the block, endlessly, pushing buggies full of sleep resistant babies!) the mums at HELLO! are sharing the lessons they learned the hard way about what you really need in a pushchair - and why it matters so much!
Andrea Caamano, HELLO!'s Website Editor, puts baby's comfort above all other considerations - because a peaceful sleeping baby is the holy grail of parenting. "Mums are always on the move, especially during maternity leave when you are out and about attending different play groups and medical appointments as well as shopping and meeting friends, so comfort for baby was always the most important for me - you can get a lot more done when your baby is napping! Babies and toddlers can nap for hours in a pushchair if they're comfy - so that's the critical thing for me. Can the pushchair recline quickly and easily, is it big enough for your child to feel roomy and not cramped - basically does it feel as close as possible to having a nap in their comfy cot?" One of the comfiest prams on the market is the iCandy Peach. Loved by celebs from the Beckhams to Irina Shayk, Bradley Cooper and Andy Murray, comfort is at the top of its list of impressive design features. With a spacious, quilted reclining seat unit, it will ensure baby can relax while you're out and about, so you can too.
BABIES: Get the full low down on the birth of the new royal baby
GOOD FOR MUM TOO:
Alexandra Wilby, Commissioning Editor for HELLO! and HFM, has learned the importance of making sure a pushchair works as well for you as it does for your baby: "I know prams are designed to be comfortable for baby - but they have to work for mum, too. It's vital to have enough room underneath for shopping bags, toys, books, nappies, and other baby paraphernalia. My handbag needs be easily accessible, and being able to put my all-important coffee in a drinks holder attached to the side is a life saver when dealing with sleepless nights!" The iCandy Peach has an ingenious answer to mum's inevitable overflowing list of baby items: underneath there's space for 10kgs of shopping, and the bottom of the basket includes a smart basket bag, which you can grab and go when necessary. In addition the Peach has two clever pockets on the back of the seat for items you need to have within grabbing reach at all times - your phone, your travel card, a muslin, a dummy - whatever.
BIG ENOUGH TO LAST:
Rosie Nixon, HELLO!'s Editor-in-Chief, and mum to two busy toddler boys has realised that what you think you're looking for when your baby is just a bump may be completely different to what you need when they’re rapidly growing up: "You give birth to this precious tiny baby and you can't believe he'll ever become big enough to fill a buggy but believe me, it happens faster than you can imagine. I'm mum to two beautiful boys and they are big and tall for their age, so a pushchair that is big enough to last - from baby to large, lively toddler - is really important and something to consider when you make this important purchase."
RELATED: See the latest parenting features here
Children grow quickly, so it's important to find a pushchair that changes as they do, seeing them through from being a tiny newborn to active toddler (preferably with no need to splash out on expensive seat converters or equipment). The Peach ticks all the boxes thanks to its clever and stylish design. Everything parents require arrives in one neat and simple package, the carrycot transforms into a seat unit thanks to the clever zip in, zip out design, and the bundle includes car seat adapters to complete a full travel system. The carrycot is suitable for permanent overnight sleeping, ideal for visiting family and friends, whilst the seat unit holds a class leading 25kgs.
Gila Polak, HELLO!'s Executive Head of Fashion and Beauty, isn't ashamed to admit that while this purchase was for her little girl, she wanted to make sure it looked good enough for her too - and why not?! You'll spend the next few years going everywhere with your pushchair, so it had better look the part: "When thinking of the perfect pushchair you have to take into consideration a variety of different elements to ensure it's the right fit for your baby. For me, it was also finding that stylish accessory that would last through the different seasons. I love style and am very particular about my other accessories so why should a pushchair be any different? If it can help with the 'yummy mummy' look then why not?" she laughs.
iCandy are known for their iconic British design, desirable craftsmanship, and head turning models. Their team of British designers believe in creating pushchairs which exude style, but not at the expense of functionality, both style and practicality must work in perfect harmony. The iCandy Peach has four fashion-forward colours, along with three chassis options to choose from, so it's no wonder fashionistas like Victoria Beckham and Abbey Clancy are fans. Fresh for 2018, parents will now be able to create their dream fabric and frame combination from the options available. Parents will have the possibility to create their own bespoke iCandy by selecting their favourite chassis colour, along with their preferred fabric choice, lending an element of customisation to the process of selecting a pushchair.
For Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon, Online Content Editor at HELLO!, practicality was something she wished she'd considered more carefully. "I chose a pushchair which happened to have very little UV protection, and it was something I didn't notice until it was too late. The amount of time I had to spend moving small parasols around whenever I turned a corner, slathering on baby sunscreen and dealing with a whiny toddler because he suddenly had the sun right in his eyes was a nightmare. It's not something I ever considered when I was test driving buggies, but proper sun protection and other practical things like air vents, so that your baby doesn't get stuffy if it's raining, make life so much easier." The iCandy Peach offers sun protection SPF50, and features an extendable canopy to keep baby covered from the sun at all times.
Soon to have her second baby, Gemma Strong, HELLO! Online's News Editor, knows first-hand the importance of flexibility. "There were some mums I met first time around who had a game plan and knew they wanted a second baby fairly quickly and had bought a double buggy from the start, but I had no idea what the future would hold for our family - I couldn't see past the next few weeks at that stage! So my advice would be to get a flexible pram. And one that can swap from carrycot to pushchair mode without you having to buy extra parts."
There's enough to think about when expanding your family, let alone having to worry about finding the money (and space) for a larger pushchair or double buggy. iCandy's innovative Peach is a single to double pushchair, meaning that it can upgrade into a double pushchair as your family grows, saving you money and storage space in the long run. To discover more information about the iCandy Peach, please click here.