When you have a baby you learn pretty quickly that your pram is SO much more than just a pram. It’s with you most days, it’s your sanity for those walks at witching hour, your saviour when the baby just won’t nap and your co-parent when you’re tapped-out and your arms just can’t hold the baby for another second.
Your pram will be with you from day one right through until the toddler years, so it’s safe to say it’s one of the biggest purchases you will make as a new parent.
So knowing what to look out for when making a purchase, as well as some safety tips and tricks when using it are important. Making sure you keep your baby safe and you can both enjoy getting out and about with your new wheels.
1. The pram itself
Make sure you purchase a pram that meets safety requirements in Australia and is fitted with a working brake, safety harness straps to secure your baby in the pram, should have a 5-point harness (2 shoulder straps, 2 waist straps and a crotch strap) to ensure both their upper and lower body is secure. A tether strap to allow the person pushing the pram to wrap around their wrist.
New prams should come with manufacturers instructions outlining the safety features and the suitability of the pram according to weight and age.
2. Second-hand prams
If you are buying a second-hand pram it is important you test all the features to make sure they are still working, especially the brake. Make sure the harness clips all click in properly and that the frame is sturdy and not dented or damaged in any way.
3. Assembling your pram
If you’re putting the pram together from scratch make sure you follow the safety instructions properly to ensure that it is set up correctly. Test the brakes and wheels are all working correctly.
Most prams will require you to take them apart in order to fit them in the boot of your car, so familiarise yourself with how to do this and make sure you are clicking all the sections into place properly. You can usually find instruction videos for most makes of pram online if you are having trouble.
4. Clicking them into the harness
Always make sure that your baby is properly clicked into the 5-point harness. This can become more difficult as your baby grows and they want to wriggle or refuse to get in but they must always be properly secured before you move the pram.
5. Avoid overloading the pram
We know it can be hard to avoid sometimes, the only way you can get the groceries done is when the baby is in the pram and especially when they’re too little to go into a trolley. But make sure you don’t overload it with too much excess weight. Hanging heavy bags off the back of the pram can cause it to tip over which is extremely dangerous for your baby.
6. Always use the brakes
When you are stopped, make sure you always use the brakes even if you are on a flat surface. Get into the habit, so it becomes automatic. The slightest bit of movement from your child could initiate the wheels rolling.
When you stop at a set of lights or on the side of the road, or anywhere that has traffic or bicycles, park the pram parallel so that there is no chance it can roll out into the way of traffic or any other danger.
7. Never leave your baby unattended in the pram
Prams are an invaluable tool for getting your baby to sleep, but they should never be used as a substitute for a cot and your baby should never be left alone in there. Not only could your bub wriggle and become caught up in the straps posing a strangulation risk, but they might also roll into the wall of the bassinet and become unable to breathe. They may also roll causing the pram to move or tip over.
If you are out and about and they fall asleep, lay your baby as flat as possible, remove any blankets, hats or beanies and all toys from the cot and keep a close eye on them.
8. Never place wraps or blankets over the pram
Parents often think a muslin wrap or blanket is a good idea to place over the pram to keep their baby from waking or to keep the sun off them. However, the problem is that this then causes the pram to trap heat and can cause your baby to overheat.
Many prams come with dedicated sun canopies with built-in ventilation to ensure proper airflow can get into the pram.
9. Keep watch on older siblings or other kids around the pram
Older children just love to help out with little babies which is so adorable, but often they don’t have the skills to manoeuvre a pram or put the brake on so they should always be supervised when near a pram. They also can be excited to see the baby that they might climb up to get a better look which could cause the pram to topple over.
A great option for an older sibling is to get a skateboard attachment that clips onto the base of the pram allowing your older child to see the baby and also giving them somewhere to safely stand or sit while you are moving.
10. Stairs and escalators
Sometimes stairs are unavoidable and you may find you have to get up or down a set. Take your time and double-check that the baby is strapped in, check that your tether is attached to your wrist and use your body weight to slowly move the pram up or down the steps.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone to give you a hand, most people would be more than happy to lend a hand and sneak a peek at your adorable bub!
It can be tempting to use the escalators in shopping centres, often there is a queue for the lifts and they are a mile away. However, you should never have a baby on an escalator as they can stop suddenly and cause you to lose your balance. Travelators can be used as long as you make sure you apply the brake and have the pram tether around your wrist.
Even if you think some of these things seem very obvious or won’t happen to you, you’d be surprised at how common some of these situations can be. So take the time to make sure you are using your pram correctly, double-check that it’s set up properly and that your baby is strapped in and you’ll be able to enjoy a fun day out with your little passenger in tow!
You can also read more about the Australian safety standards on the productsafety.gov.au website.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x Bugaboo.