Buying a pram and/or cot can be a daunting task as there are a multitude to choose from all varying in shapes, sizes, colour and functionality. It is important to take your time when making these purchases as their usability and practicality will impact on your posture and health over the next couple of years.
So what should be at the top of your checklist?
- Adjustable height: this allows the pushchair or pram to be set to the individual needs of whoever is pushing it. Ideally your hands should be resting at a comfortable level which allows you to walk upright and with a straight spine.
- Easily collapsible: Many makes and models often say they are and some even suggest that it can be collapsed with one hand. Try giving it a go in the shop as what suits one person does not necessarily work for all, find the one that is right for you and that is not to stiff or cumbersome. Some models come apart into different sections which although are more time consuming are better for your back when placing into the car as the individual parts are lighter than the whole unit for you to lift. Check the manoeuvrability of the collapsed pram to ensure that you will be able to move it around easily.
- Appropriate size and shape for the babies room: although this sounds like an obvious statement it is important that there is enough room for you to move around easily without having to twist and un and thus put your back under unnecessary pressure.
- Can you secure it to the wall or floor? This is something you may want to consider especially as your baby develops into a toddler and is able to stand and potentially rock the cot which may result in it tipping over. This could help prevent injury to your child or yourself when dashing to save it.
- Movable sides: Ideally the sides of the cot should drop down several layers to allow you to place your baby straight onto the mattress without having to lean over the sides. This will reduce the strain on your back because 5kg at your chest weighs 5 times that amount at arms length, and don’t forget this is a something you will be doing thousands of times so the strain will quickly add up.
- Movable base: as your baby grows this allows you to adjust the height they sleep at to keep them safe.