The great pram debate

As a father-to-be, many choices regarding the impending arrival of a child are taken by the expectant mother. Clothing, feeding, nursery furnishings – I’m happy for my partner to take the lead, although obviously I take an active interest. Searching out the right breast pump? Thanks, but not my field of expertise.

But there is one area which I will take responsibility and insist I take control. Choosing the right pram. Just as when replacing the family car, I will research the various models available, seek out forums littered with owners’ reviews, check out the handling and comfort. And of course, seek my wife’s preference on colour.

Maclaren or Maxi? Four wheels or three? New or ‘pre-loved’? Some choices will be easier than others – if you are unwilling or unable to spend at least £500 on a new carriage, then a budget model or pre-owned example will no doubt suit best. Beyond that however, the options are still plentiful.

The problem is, until you’re actually using the pram it’s difficult to answer many of the questions posed. Some of the conveyances are described as ‘All-terrain’, so I’ve found myself asking what kind of family outings will require off-road capability? I’d envisaged gentle Sunday morning strolls through the park, proud father with wife on arm, singing birds, admiring octogenarians, rolling clouds. I fear like many of my utopian visions of parenthood, I’m in for a shock, but I am sure we won’t need the added grip and traction of an ‘All-terrain’ buggy. We do live in the vicinity of Chelsea, but we don’t drive a tractor.

The parallels with buying a car continue, as whilst out shopping we come across a row of pre-used buggies on display. ‘Too small’, ‘Don’t like the colour’. ‘Scuffed wheels’ we remark as we scrutinise each conveyance in turn. Now I’ve never bought a new car, the promise of crippling depreciation has always been enough for me to risk the hazards of the second-hand market. But buying a pram IS different. Perhaps we should bite the bullet and invest in a brand new vehicle after all?

Ultimately, our foray into the perambulator market is cut short, as a family friend’s much loved SilverCross Linear Freeway is now surplus to requirements. One careful owner, a known history, unmarked bodywork, lots of options (…I mean accessories) and at a bargain price. Extensive internet investigation followed, revealing this to be a very well liked, capable and popular choice. A close inspection reveals this is indeed as described. Deal done!

Only time will tell if it’s the right choice for us. And if the wife struggles to drive it? We’ll chop it in for a different model. I HAVE always wanted a Maclaren after all…

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