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Friday, 15 April 2011

Choosing a double pram for twins - things to consider

Prams can be a big expense so it is important to try and get the right one for you and your family.  Plus with twins they are even more important, as carying 2 babies for any distance is not a practical option.

OK - so where do you start?

I'd suggest that you start by looking at your lifestyle.  Do you live in a town or a rural area?  Will you be walking a lot or in and out of the car?  Are you hoping to spend time browsing the shops?  Have you already got a toddler?

Probably one of the most important elements is the weight of the pram.  I used the pram for longer with the twins than with my 3rd child because of the safety aspect of keeping 2 young toddlers safe and your babies will soon grow!

If you live in a rural area you may want to consider an 'off road' pram which can cope with all sorts of terrain.  This may also be the right option if you are planning on walking a lot.

There is a lot to be said for a travel system i.e. pram and attachable car seats  - however, these are quite expensive and you will use the pram for a lot longer than you will use the 1st stage car seats.

Once you have worked out what you want then consider your budget.  The reason I haven't put this first is that your preferred option may be available second hand at a fraction of the cost.

I had a limited budget and started off with a Mclaren buggy and separate car seats - the economical choice.  I hated the pram - it was awkward to get up and down curbs, hard to push with any sort of shopping and heavy as the children grew bigger.  It also hated bumps!

I then saw an advert in the buy and sell for an off road twin Terrain Mountain Buggy.  These are a New Zealand make.  Whilst we weren't climbing mountains, the Mclaren wouldn't move across grass and felt every bump.  So we traveled 50 miles to see this pram.  When we arrived, I wasn't sure what to say (I'd never heard of Mountain Buggy) - it looked like a post office delivery cart (not helped by the fact that it was red and blue!!).  But once there, I was too polite not to buy it (not good, I know!).  However...........

........ it has been the best £200 I have ever spent!  (They retail new for £500 - £600).  The children were happy in it - they rocked (literally!).  It was very light (my friend is a childminder and after using mine has bought one and attached a buggy board so she can transport 3 children).  They have a single handle so you can push/steer with one hand and hold a child with the other.  You can also put it up with one hand and fold it down really easily.  You can take it over fields, pavements, in snow and it is narrow so you can get through shop door ways.  The fabric can be removed and is fully washable (very useful).

I didn't realise at the time that you can also purchase carrycots (single or doubles) and car seats attachments as well.

In fact I loved it so much I bought the company (actually I didn't, although I would have loved to) but I did go on and buy a single Urban Mountain Buggy for my youngest daughter.

And I resold it on ebay for not much less than I had originally bought it for - fantastic!

Looking at their website - they have a new model which looks great, although I don't know if it retains the features I loved so much on my Mountain Buggy Terrain.

As you can tell I am a Mountain Buggy  fan but I realise that it won't suit everyone.  So think about what you need and do your research.  There are plenty of sites which provide reviews which will help confirm your thoughts and try and think beyond the pretty fabric or a drink holder to the important factors, weight, size and suitability for you lifestyle!

Check out the Mumsnet review site, which incidentally gives the Mountain Buggy Terrain an overall score of 9.5 - so it's clearly not just me who is a fan!

Happy Shopping!

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