When it comes to prams, if safety is King then practicality is Queen. Any parent will tell you that while kids are the best thing that will ever happen to them, they are darn hard work. So, if practicality and versatility are important to you, then you might be thinking about getting a reversible pram.
Reversible prams offer the option to have your baby facing you or facing the world – which is incredibly valuable. Studies have shown that babies in parent-facing prams had a lower heart rate, which makes it easier for them to fall asleep. Plus, parent-facing prams mean you get more eye contact with your child which not only strengthens your bond, but also makes your baby feel more content and secure. Facing out to the world is also important for development, giving your little one time to see and learn about what’s around them.
And there aren't just benefits for babies. While toddlers enjoy interacting with the world on a forward-facing pram, having them facing you increases your interaction – you'll double the amount of time you spend talking and laughing with your toddler. This won't just strengthen your bond, it also helps with your toddler's language and speech development. Of course, there will be hectic moments involving screaming children where the ability to change directions will be invaluable.
Reversible prams give you the best of both worlds – but which type do you choose?
There are two types of reversible prams available – reversible handle and reversible seat. Naturally, there are pros and cons for both, either way the option to have your baby facing you or facing the world is both practical, and beneficial for you and your baby.
Reversible seat prams
The design of a reversible seat pram allows the bassinet or stroller seat to be completely removed from the frame of the pram. This means your child can face you or the world, and the pram frame doesn't change direction. This is a huge benefit; however, it does mean you need to remove the seat each time you want to change. For safety reasons, your little one needs to be out of the seat when you do this, which shouldn’t be an issue, as most of the time you’ll decide on the direction before you put your little one in the seat and set off on your adventure. If you’re using the bassinet you can leave your little on in it while you change directions as the base is flat.
Reversible seats are often a feature of travel system prams which also means you can interchange between a bassinet, seat, or an infant car capsule / car seat. Bassinets are not always included in travel systems, and car capsules rarely are, but the option to add a bassinet or connect a car capsule is so useful if you’ll be in the car a lot. The babybee Comet is an example of a 2-in-1 travel system that has been designed with a reversible seat option, and comes with interchangeable seat and bassinet.
Reversible handle prams
The design of a reversible handle pram means the seat remains in place and the handlebar changes from one side of the pram to the other. Changing seat direction without moving your child can be a great feature, however there are a couple of things you’ll need to consider:
If the pram has small front swivel wheels and large rear wheels, when you change the direction of the handle bar the large rear wheels will then become the front wheels. This can make steering a bit tricky, and small wheels will struggle to go up steps and will buckle if not locked. If all four wheels are the same size this will not be an issue for you.
If the pram isn’t designed with a hand brake, to put the brakes on you’ll need to walk around the seat to the front of the pram when the handle is reversed.
Check to see whether the handlebar is the same height when used in both directions. Sometimes in one direction the handle is designed to stop at a certain height which can be restrictive depending on your height.
So which one is best?
Whether you get a reversible handle pram or a reversible seat pram, the size, weight, fold method, wheels and how compact the pram is shouldn’t be affected. Everyone has different preferences for pram features, and what works for one family might not work for you. It’s always a good idea to think about your lifestyle and what you’re going to need the pram to do. Make a list of requirements for your pram based on what you’re currently doing day to day.
If you’re interested in a reversible seat option, check out our Comet 2-in-1 bassinet & stroller set.