Pram shopping. Whether you love it or loathe it, most parents will find themselves on the market for a new (or used) pram at least once in their parenting journey.
Selecting the right pram can definitely be overwhelming, with dozens of different makes and models hitting the market each year.
Double prams are no exception to this. Once you think you’ve found your perfect pram match, there are some points worthy of consideration before you hand over the cash.
Choosing a pram for two children:
Let’s begin with the first step – configuration. Twin strollers can be side by side or tandem front/back. Then there is a single pram with a second seat attachment option, travel systems and the list goes on. If you’re starting to go cross eyed, it can help to think about these real life factors:
- Little sticky fingers don’t always keep to themselves, so you’ll need to consider whether you want your new baby beside your first child in a side by side pram. Think food sharing, eye poking, blanket pulling or toy throwing. In contrast, I love the side by side for the companionship they offer each other, and how easy it is to pop them in and out.
- Is there enough space between the rear and front seats in a tandem stroller or pram? It’s amazing how much space those small, squishy toddler legs can take up sometimes. Will one child happily sit behind the other, or will they both want front row seats to the big world in front of them?
- If you already own a pram that you’re madly in love with (lucky you!), then investigate whether a second seat option is available for your make/model. If you’re looking for a whole new set of wheels, then read on.
Second seat attachments:
What happens when your first child no longer needs (or wants) to be in the pram? If this event is likely to creep up soon, you might need to consider investigating a single pram that has a second seat option.
Gone are the days where the flimsy toddler seat perches precariously on the top of the small baby underneath. These days the second seat options are amazingly comfortable, safe and secure.
Check out the Bugaboo Donkey Duo for the perfect example a mono pram with a duo conversion option.
Weight limits in a Double Pram:
If your chunky 3yr old still uses the wheels, consider how much longevity you’ll get out of a twin or tandem stroller. We love the Baby Jogger City Mini Double for its 45kg combined weight load capacity.
If your duo of children is pushing the weight limit, you could consider a skateboard attachment such as the universal Valco Veebee EZ Rider Toddler Board.
Check the weight limits and do your maths to work out how long you’ll be able to use your chosen double stroller for. After all, after all the research you’ve done, you at least want to get some good mileage out of your tandem stroller!
Double Pram dimensions:
This is a big one - make sure you check the folded measurements closely. In reality, sometimes the only way to tell if it will fit in your boot is to try it out in your own car.
The Mountain Buggy Duet measures only 96x63x32 when folded, making it a great option for a side by side double pram that folds compactly.
The dimensions of the pram when it is open are also essential. After all, if you’re going to be using it to get mobile, then your tandem pram needs to be able to glide through the spaces in your local digs with relative ease.
For a tandem stroller, you can’t go past the Joolz Geo Twin Pram, which is only 60cm wide when open. It also collapses to a size of 97x60x42 with both seats attached, which is definitely one less thing to think about when you’re juggling small children (not literally, of course).
Look for inspiration from others
No, this doesn’t involve hiding in bushes with a long lens. If you happen across a tandem pram in your travels, check it out.
- Does it look like something you would use?
- What do you like about it, apart from the colour?
- What features don’t you like about it?
- If you feel comfortable, ask the owner about their stroller. Would they buy it again if they had the chance, or would they choose something completely different. Chances are they will be more than willing to help out another mum or dad who is facing the same shopping dilemma they did a short time ago.
Ask the experts for help
Head into your local baby store and chat to the staff about what you’re looking for. Then practice, practice, practice.
- Collapse the pram, and put it back up;
- Attach the toddler seat and take it off again;
- Recline each seat as though you have a sleeping baby in there that has just taken you 4hrs to get to sleep. Can you do it like a ninja, or does it cause a “bull in a chinashop” style outcome.
- Take it for a spin around the baby store to see how it handles. Remember you won’t always have two hands free to steer. If it manoeuvres like a Mack truck, then you might like to look at some other options to compare their features.
Until you try them, you won’t know what to look for. You might find that the model you previously walked past is actually the easiest one to use, with just the right price tag. Or perhaps the one you had your eye on with all the features is awkward to recline and you need to be James Bond to access the under pram storage.
Making the final decision
A double pram is definitely an investment and like most products, the price tags vary considerably. Consider your budget now but don’t forget to think about the near future. The cheapest option right now may not always be the most economical if you have to upgrade it soon after.
While you definitely don’t need any financial pressure on at this time, it can help to do some calculations about how long you’ll be able to use it for to determine the most economical pram for your situation.
Ultimately, it will come down to personal preference and an ultimate desire to make getting out and about with two (or more!) children as easy as possible.
Don’t forget to choose one that you love the look of, if possible. After all, you’re going to be seeing a lot of your new double pram, so it may as well look stylish as well!