written by Rochelle Bribble, Editor of kiwifamilies.co.nz
So you're thinking of buying a buggy? Yippee!! That means you've got (or are getting) a small person to put in it! How fabulous! But my, oh my...where to start? If you've walked into a store and been completely confounded by the buggies sitting before you, you wouldn't be the first.
Three babies down, and I've found myself a bit obsessed with buggies: At times, we've had more buggies that people in the house. Over the years, I've thought quite a lot about what is really important in a buggy, here are some thoughts that might help you with your decision...
Before you even enter a shop or get entranced by a fabulous website, think carefully about what you’re going to use your buggy for. Maybe even make a list of the things that you can see yourself doing with the buggy. There are some great buggies around for those who are into running or walking long distances. But be realistic. Chances are, if you’re not into running before
you have kids, you’re not going to be spending hours sweating it out behind your buggy after you have kids. If the truth of it is that you’re more likely to be in the comfy café couches than the great outdoors, then choose your buggy accordingly. A compact model like the MB mini can be a great choice for those who just like cruising around town and enjoying urban adventures. They’re also excellent for squeezing into small spaces that the larger models struggle with.
If you’re just kinda average sized, this might not bother you too much. However, if you (or any other the other main buggy users) is tallish or, er, more vertically challenged, you’ll definitely need to look at whether you can adjust the height of your buggy. Stand behind the buggy, take it for a walk, use it for a while. If it feels awkward and you can’t adjust it, forget it. Your buggy also needs to be adjustable for the little ‘uns. Check that the straps can be moved around and tightened and that there is plenty of room for your bubba to grow. A buggy that adjusts to lie flat is also an excellent investment – my small people have spent countless hours sleeping in their buggy.
There is nothing that is more frustrating than a buggy that won’t wiggle. Some of the buggies I’ve tried need both hands and a tail wind to turn a corner and that can be infuriating, especially if you are trying to get around tight spaces (read: cafes and shops). Try out the buggy. Use it with one hand. Use it with one finger! To my mind, there’s nothing like Mountain Buggy for manoeuvrability and the MB mini is a great example of a wiggly little number that will get out of a jam in a jiffy.
Folding some buggies can be an art form akin to origami: If you hold your thumb here, your leg there, and your tongue to the right, you might manage it. When you’re buying your buggy, trying folding it up. Yes, right there in the shop. If you can’t do it without taking a weekend course, don’t buy it. Did you hear me? DON’T BUY IT! And if you’re in any doubt about this, try folding a buggy like the MB mini. Lift a lever and you’re home. That’s the kind of thing you’re looking for.
Buggies are a serious investment and it’s worth getting it right. When you are considering a buggy, think about how it will work for a range of different ages. There’s no point in buying a buggy that’s great for your baby if it’s just not going to work for a two year old. Mountain Buggy has some great accessories that can take your buggy from the littlest bug to your big kiddos – have a look at the carry cots and car seat adapters, which ensure that a buggy like the MB mini works for all of the small people in your life as a lightweight travel system. I particularly love the way that the car seat adapter makes it so easy to move little bubbas around when they are sleeping.
Your kids are probably the most important things in your life, right? So I probably don’t even have to say this, but…. make sure that you buy a buggy that is safe! Check that it meets New Zealand safety standards and that it’s fit for your intended use. Have a look at the straps, buckles and folding mechanisms and make sure that no one is going to get maimed using the buggy. The nice thing about Mountain Buggy buggies is that they all meet New Zealand, European, American and Australian safety standards. Comforting indeed!
So there you go: My top 6 considerations for buying a buggy. It’s the kind of decision that’s worth taking some time over and it’s worth remembering that buggies are ‘different spokes for different folks’. However, the right buggy is worth its weight in gold and hopefully these thoughts will help you get the perfect buggy for you. Happy hunting!