The important step of picking the right pram

PRINCESS Charlotte arrived in style for her christening last Sunday, in an antique Millson Prince pram which has been in the British Royal family for generations.

The important step of picking the right pram

The choice of Royal carriage drew many admiring comments and Silver Cross, who are the only remaining British manufacturer of these coach-built style prams, has also reported a resurgence in interest in recent times. Their hand-crafted Balmoral pram, €1,999, is available online at www.silvercross.ie.

“A Royal birth and christening will always increase attention on baby and nursery products. Recently we have seen a strong resurgence in interest in the traditional coach built style — although they have never really gone out of style. There is a general trend and fashion for all things vintage and nostalgic, and the coach-built prams fit beautifully with this,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Silver Cross has been suppliers to the Royal family since they first gifted a pram to King George VI for the current Queen Elizabeth. Their Sleepover pram, €849, designed to strike “a balance between the beautiful ride and baby comfort of the traditional coach built with the convenience of the more modern systems,” was used by the Duchess of Cambridge for Prince George.

Silver Cross is also a popular brand in Ireland with a range of more modern travel systems that can be used with their Simplicity infant car seat, including the Wayfarer, €699.95, one of the top-selling models at Mothercare and Tony Kealys.

Celebrity choices tend not to have much impact on Irish parents who are more likely to consider practical lifestyle needs and talk to family and friends before choosing a travel system for their new baby, according to Dolores Judge of Tony Kealys (www.tonykealys.com).

“There are a lot of extra features in the more expensive models but whether you will use all those features really depends on your lifestyle,” she says.

The first and most important purchase to make for your new baby is their car seat. Many buggy models are designed to be compatible with car seat brands, such as Maxi-Cosi or Be-Safe, to form a complete travel system.

Usually the most expensive purhase that you will make for your baby, the model you choose depends on your lifestyle, where you live and if you will be doing a lot of walking or using public transport. Being able to wash seat covers is an advantage, particularly if you are hoping to pass the buggy on to another baby, as are models that can be adapted to take a second seat. Many parents will switch to a lightweight stroller when their baby is older, easier to use on public transport or pop into the back of the car when shopping.

The little princess looked very cosy in her antique carriage. Comfort is one reason why pram-style carrycot attachments have become more popular for travel systems in recent years. Generally used during the first six months, unlike a lie-flat pushchair there’s no need for a harness and a carrycot provides lots of protection when out walking, whatever the weather.

The UPPAbaby Vista, €979, won Gold for Best Pushchair in the inaugural National Parenting Product Awards 2014 (www.nppa.ie) and also Gold for Best Buggy in the Maternity & Infant Awards 2014. With multiple configuration options the Vista can accommodate a second, or even a third child, with the PiggyBack Ride Along board and its carrycot is approved for overnight sleeping.

Other top-selling models include the multi-terrain Bugaboo Cameleon, €1,039, which continues to be the brand of choice for many Irish parents, along with the iCandy Peach, €1,065. Mothercare’s new Roam travel system, €399.95, is designed to offer a more purse-friendly alternative.

The Joolz Geo, €999, which has a robust XL shopping basket and can also be adapted with a second cot or seat, is another good all-terrain travel system, recommended by Lucy Payne of Bella Baby (www.bellababy.ie).

Though vintage styles may look attractive, most they are not practical for most modern families, while manoeuvrability and being able to add a car seat are key concerns. She advises parents to choose their buggy well ahead of their delivery date.

“What people sometimes don’t realise is that it can take six to eight weeks to order your travel system, unlike other nursery items which can usually be taken home from the store on the day.”

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