Buying essentials for your baby can be really exciting, it can also be a little confusing when there is so much choice out there. We take a look at what you need to consider when buying your baby’s travel system and what is best for you.
What is a travel system?
A travel system usually consists of one frame which then fits a pushchair, compatible car seat and a carrycot. The carrycot is for when baby is a newborn and needs to lie flat, they then progress to the pushchair as they get older. The car seat may come with the travel system or have a connector for another well-known brand. The benefit of a travel system is that it can be more cost effective and as you can fit the car seat onto the frame of the travel system, you can easily transport your baby from the car to travel system without waking them (this is only recommended for short trips as it is only advised to keep your baby in the car seat for a couple of hours).
Different features to consider:
There are so many travel systems to choose from, but it is important to think what you would use yours for and what features you need to have.
1. Storage – where will you keep your travel system when not in use? Will it fit in your car boot? How compact your travel system folds up is really important as you don’t want to be tripping over it in the hallway. This is particularly important for the carrycot section as this is often the part which is the least compact.
2. Shopping basket – will you be using the travel system when you do large shopping trips or is it more for going from A to B with your change bag? Where you store your bags while out and about is something that needs considering.
3. Car seat compatibility – not all travel systems have a car seat included and so if you are purchasing your car seat separately, you will need to check your seat is compatible. You may be able to buy a connector which fits a number of standard car seats but it is worth checking that your car seat is compatible as this is one of the main benefits of a travel system.
4. Carrycot – many travel systems come with a detachable carrycot to use when baby is very small. As they are removable they can often be used around the house as a Moses basket as well as when out and about. Some also come with attachable rocker legs which can then enable you to rock your baby to sleep when using at home.
5. Pushchair – this is likely to be the most used aspect of your travel system as some can be used up until your baby is approx. 4 years old. Does it include everything you need? A place for your toddler to store toys / water bottle? Does it face forwards and backwards? Does it fold easily and compactly? Ensure it meets all your changing requirements.
6. Terrain – where will you mainly be using your travel system? If the majority of use is on pavements then you may prefer a 4-wheel system, whereas if you live in the countryside and will be enjoying lots of woodland walks, then a 3-wheel system may suit you best. Choose a travel system which suits your main use rather than the occasional trip.
There are so many options available to new parents, the important thing is to decide what you really need a travel system to do and also how much you are willing to spend. Once you have worked out your priorities then if possible, try as many systems that fit into your requirements at a baby show or specialist store and then make an informed decision. It is also worth talking to friends and family who may be able to also offer some advice.
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