Four people who haven't had children of their own went out to buy a gift for their friend who was about to deliver her baby. And then they realised that there are so many in the market. With a variable price range.
So how does one go about deciding which one to buy?
One of the first criteria was the budget. We had to make sure that we will be purchasing within the budget. Next, was the different types available in the market with a wide variety of features, which feature would be considered important and which feature was not?
I, of course, used the internet as my main research tool. I scoured around various websites with reviews on the various brands of pushchairs available as there are so many in the market. And the price range from a modest RM150 all the way to RM1,700 and even more! Whoah! SOme with suspension and others with lightweight chasis. It was mind boggling!
From watching the other ladies with children in the compound, I thought that the one push button to assemble the pushchair was important. Especially when the mother is all alone with the baby and is trying to handle both her baby and her pushchair.
So two days ago, all four of us converged at a local Mall to pick up the stroller because the mother to be has already been admitted in the hospital, with 2 cm dilation. We had to make the decision somehow. The other couple had done some research themselves and found a shop that sold strollers with the one push button feature. We on the other hand, was more inclined on buying items from Mothercare. About now you're probably thinking that we are such brand conscious snobs. But as my dearest put it, at least he knows that the products sold in Mothercare or any of the better known brand items had gone through some sort of consumer testing and had to comply to UK consumer standards. The unknown brands however, well we don't know if they had to go through the safety testing procedures or not. Even though we were buying it as a gift, we still wanted to buy the best we can afford within our budget, as if it was for our own child.
So in the end we compromised. We bought the MamaLove pushchair and a Mothercare baby carrier. We have never heard of Mamalove before and judging from our internet search its sold in South Africa. It looks plesant enough and the frame looks sturdy. We opted not to buy the matching baby carrier because we thought it looked hard, not erganomic, the fabric rough and somewhat heavy compared to its Mothercare counterpart which had an easy removable washable cover and was much lighter.
A quick search on the net, there are some snob values to the brand names of some of the push chairs. Mamas&Papas, Jane, Bebe, Maclaren, Britax, Aprica, Graco, Chicco and lots lots more. As one reviewer puts it "Advantage: strong and sturdy, the best money can buy. Disadvantage: Jealous looks from other parents." Oh la la. This reminded me a conversation I once had with a friend. She mentioned, "Before we had a child, we looked to see what brand of clothes other people were wearing. But after we had our baby, we looked at the brand of their pushchairs."
Oh la la indeed! So it does look like the pushchair is not only a baby travel accessory but goes on to be symbols of money and prestige.
In the end, we decided on a pushchair over a travel system (this due to budget partly.) I had one reservation though, I felt that the weight of the pushchair is a turn off. As I struggled with the contraption and I sure wouldn't want to be lifting the pushchair at all. But the other couple seemed to like the pushchair enough. We didn't consider buying an umbrella stroller because we felt that we wanted something that the parents could use as soon as the baby was born.
So you parents out there, tell me what you think. What was your criteria, for purchasing the stroller for your child? What features were most important for you, what did you find useless after using the pushchairs for awhile? And what do you look for in a pushchair for your subsequent child (if you bought another one.)
Or did you, let other people who have no prior experiences like us, make the choice for you? ;)