New parents have a world of choice out there when it comes to strollers, pushchairs and indeed travel systems. Some may be unfamiliar with the term travel system, so what is it exactly?
Generally speaking a Travel System is a combination of a matching car seat and stroller, often from the same manufacturer and can include a carrycot that can be attached to the stroller frame to form a lie flat pram. The advantage with a good travel system is that the parent can remove the car seat from the car and attach it directly to the stroller frame without disturbing baby, as the baby grows the stroller seat can be used ensuring that the travel systems lasts a long time and is not just for infants as some prams might be. Though obviously you will need to change your car seat as baby grows.
Our advice is to choose the car seat first, after all the safety of your baby is paramount. Look for a car seat that is recognised for its safety and for convenience check the compatible bases also, most car seats can be fixed with your cars belt, however to use with a stroller, removing the seat from the car is much more convenient when using a base, the base remains secured in the car and the seat can be safely and quickly fitted or removed. Check if your car supports the ISOFIX system for further convenience. The car seat will be essential for babies first journey home after the birth so you can see why we suggest you choose that first.
Many brands, such as Maxi Cosi can be used with other brands of stroller, either directly, as is the case with the Quinny Buzz, or by using adaptors. So to reiterate, get the car seat right and everything else will fall into place.
Choosing the stroller. Just as with the car seat there are numerous options when it comes to strollers or pushchairs, as always safety is paramount. Ensure the harness is secure, a five point harness is probably the most secure. Check the stroller for comfort, both for baby and for you. Check that the handles are adjustable to suit your height. Ensure it comes with accessories that you find important, such as a shopping basket, also check that it remains upright when you hang your diaper bag on the handles.
The stroller should match your lifestyle, does it fold easily and compactly to fit in the car. 3 wheel models are highly manoeuvrable and suit trecks through city or country, these are just some of the options you might consider.
Once you ve narrowed down your stroller choice you can then see if it fits with your car seat decision, can the car seat be attached either directly or with adaptors, if yes, brilliant you ve got your ideal travel system, if not don t worry ask your self if the option to attach the car seat is important to you, it may not be. You can compromise on many things but never safety.
Finally you may like to look at some of the other options, a complete matching travel system is always an option, go for a respected brand and check the safety record, this may give you further options such as a lie flat pram which is a great option for new borns.
Many also ask whether a used travel system might be an option, I wouldn t recommend it, unless you can be 100 sure of the history of a system, in particular it s car seat, then it s safety cannot be judged, a car seat that may have been involved in an accident may no longer be safe to use. Additionally, with so many good systems available there is a system for every budget range that won t compromise on quality or safety.
You can read much more on travel systems, car seats and pushchairs at http://bumptobaby.ie