I have lots of friends at the moment who are expecting. Seems there was another baby boom around March/April (wasn’t Prince Louis of Cambridge born then??!!) Sure the same thing happened when little George was born!
Anyway the discussion of double buggies has been coming up and I have had a few requests and questions to talk about them and advice on if to get one.
Answer is – it depends on the child and your life style! I will give you a low down on our lifestyle and age gaps to help.
Here are my 2 son Albert (20 months) and Sebastian (4.5 years).
Sebastian doesn’t even reach a centile line with his height and is probably about the size of the average 2.5/3 year old. He was very pushchair dependent at aged 2 and couldn’t walk more than 5 minutes without asking to be a carried or pushed. You can imagine how small he was at that age ( he was still in some 9-12 month clothing)
I hear of people not using a pram at all at this age. I can’t relate as I couldn’t imagine such a tiny little thing with tiny legs walking all the time especially as he just got so tired. One thing I hate is people forcing very small children to walk longer distances purely because they have legs. I believe in parents freedom of choice and each to their own but I find it unfair. I read on one mums forum post a lady say she doesn’t care if they fall to to ground and refuse to walk..if you walk away and leave them they will come after you crying….its quite amazing she said!! Well of course the child has probably been rushed with adrenalin due to fear of being left!! It was a horrible comment and really sad.
By the time my youngest arrived Sebastian was 2 and a half and was walking far more but only short bursts and shorter distances! So I had to slow myself down a bit! But for nursery runs ( just over half a mile but hilly walk) he still needed the pram. And long days out the same as he often got tired. He was also still napping!! For each of my strides he was practically running his legs are so little! We walk ALOT. If you use the car a lot and don’t walk longer distances then you may be fine without and just need a buggy board which I talk about further down.
If you have followed my YouTube then you will know babywearing is something I am big into and have any tutorials on this. I wore Sebastians constantly and at one point nearly sold off the pram. I wore him on my back daily for hours. I did wear Albert in the sling on dry days, when first born and some nursery runs. I found the Zipusin coat panel amazing but only good when they are smaller.
He was born in November and it rained a lot over the next few months. When it didn’t rain I wore him and when it did I put him in the pram. As he got bigger, I back carried him more but this got harder on days out if it rained, my back has been ruined by pregnancy so I can only wear him for shorter periods of time around 20/30 mins at most now which makes me sad. ( In an ergonomic sling this should be far longer) Sebastian was using the buggy board more and more and we soon got a mountain buggy free rider board! This is a scooter that clip on to the pram as a buggy board. It is only compatible with a few brands though such as MB, Phil and Teds, baby city and Bugaboo.
To see my review of this click here HERE!!
Also a KEY POINT… I parent alone around 90% of the time! I am not a lone parent but there isn’t much co parenting happening here either sadly as my husband works super hard and extra hours as we are saving for our final home.
So for my pram acts as an extra pair of hands. Make sure you follow my youtube channel as I will be doing a video soon on things no one tells you when you have your second child, and in that I talk about how my pram has on many occasions been like my extra hands!!
Had several occasions of busy Christmas markets, going to crazy busy cities and waiting on train platforms alone where I would rather strap them down for their own safety. Thats just me! While we did try a wrist strap at the market, people kept walking into it even though we tried to hold hands and worse, my son became overwhelmed with it all.
Buggy board is something we use, like the sling in short bursts. Because…its back breaking!! I do not have this trouble when it is on the mountain buggy as I can walk next to it. But you have to lean forward quite far, even on the normal step buggy boards which we have at my parents. They are not great on slightly rougher terrain (we discovered on the back street of York!) and I have had many bruised shins, and clipped my sons heals! They are great, for shorter school runs and towards the end of a busy day but for day to day longer walking… a pain in the arse at times we find!!
By the time Sebastian was 3 I was using the pram far far less, but it was still was an essential item when I did use it. Another thing I hated which surprised me was I hated a tandem pushchair. We had the Icandy Peach (review I did here) and I loved it as a single and hated it as a double. It is hard to get the lower child out of the bottom and also they wanted to interact with each other.
`I also hated pushing something around with an empty seat most of the time so I was looking for alternatives as we still needed something.
Thats when I found the Mountain buggy duet. Now I know I RAVE about this!! Well there is a reason why and its because it fits us so well!
I had looked a the Bugaboo Donkey. This is a pram with a side basket and it extends to allow a second seat and turn into a double like this one!
This is it in mono mode! However as a double it is rather wide where as the MB is only as wide as a single at 62cm!
But if I got this then it meant I would need to take it out as a double! No good.. thought stylish and pretty and wonderful to push! If you have very close age gaps, or twins you won’t regret this purchase.
However the MB seats are fabric. It is a side by side and you can easily take off one seat, fold it and put it in the bottom basket, and put a basket in its place! Great for if you do a nursery drop off, and the spend the rest of the day using it in mono mode, end of busy days out, if it starts to rain or if they get tired and need a nap! It takes seconds to do!
I wouldn’t buy this as a single on its own. I have done a full video review on it here and while it is fine to get in a car, it isn’t the lightest to lift…[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUl4enyYaDM[/embedyt]
But as a double into single its perfect. I keep it still stored away under the stairs. Just only the other day it his 30 degrees here. The car felt around 50 and I was way going to put the kids in it. The car seats were roasting. I decided to walk to nursery and pick up Sebastian at the end. He sat in it all the way home as it was far too hot to walk, even for me, he had a busy day, and ait ice cream with a pram fan on!
Even now at aged 4 we still need it on occasions and I regret not taking it to York that time!
With 3 children soon, this item will save me in some seriously stressful times.
You need to also look at how your child is generally in their behaviour.
Unlike some very good walking and obedient children his age, he likes to walk where he wants! Even a simple shop in the local co op can be hard with him bolting out the door while I try and pay and my eldest being lured into some Frozen magazine. I have abandoned my shopping at the till twice due to sudden door running. The wrist strap, back pack strap….yea forget it! He will pull on that and sit down until you either drag him or take it off!! Unlike Sebastian he has the physical ability to walk slightly further but refuse to stand on the freerider, instead he jumps on it and once suddenly darted off it and nearly on to the road. When I tried the wrist strap he then nearly tipped the pram over with a friends child in! If you walk a lot like we do, you may find your self struggling if on your own and on a long day out you may need somewhere to put them if they get tired and nap. I don’t want to have to come home just so my child can nap when I could easily stay out.
Its a hard decision for some and you don’t want to be wasting money on something you hardly use. I know lots that have done this. Now having done this once before I realise every child is so different but that just having even a cheap double as back up for odd occasions is a comfort.
I never buy my prams new anyway but my advice would be look on ebay and local selling sites. You can pick up cheap doubles for around £50 or less.
My biggest advice to first time parents who know they will have a shorter gap in age is buy a tandem or convertible pram that turns from single to double at a later time such as –
- Mountain Buggy Duet
- Phil and Teds tandem sport
- Bugaboo donkey (higher in price but with it for twins and short gaps)
- Icandy peach/ Egg/ Silvercross with tandem seat that can be purchased later
- Upperbaby vista
- Oyster max ( see my review on this Here
Stay tuned for my next post on Alternatives to Double prams and their pros and cons!
What has your experience been…I would love to know!!