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3 in 1 Prams

Updated on August 20, 2009

Pram or Pushchair - what’s the difference?

There seems to be some confusion on the Internet about the difference between a pram and a pushchair, with many websites alternating between the two terms at random, without quite acknowledging that they do actually refer to different things. And these different meanings make all the difference when you are looking for the right way to transport your newborn baby.

You see, it is only actually a pram that allows a new born baby to lie flat when being transported around, and lying flat is incredibly important for the correct development of the spine - especially if your baby is going to spend lots of time in the pram. A pram is also ideal in those first few months as it allows the baby to face his parents, which offers reassurance to both parties! In the past, this meant that new parents would use a large - usually quite impractical - baby carriage type pram for the first few months; then when the baby was fully able to sit up on his/ her own, parents would be obliged to buy a pushchair.

Times, thankfully, have changed and parents do not now have to go to the expense of buying both a pram and a pushchair: there are lots of different modern pushchair models that allow babies to lie flat. However, it is important that parents understand the different types of models and ensure that the model they choose will be suitable from birth.

Attention: parents expecting twins!

If parents are expecting twins, checking that your double pushchair seats can lie flat is particularly important as many double pushchair models - particularly the tandem style, where one seat is in front of the other - do not allow for both seats to lie flat.

So what are the modern alternatives to a traditional pram?

Two-in-one Prams

The two-in-one pushchair model has a seat unit which easily converts from a fully reclined flat position to an upright chair position, usually with a couple of positions in between for when your toddler is napping. Many of these two-in-one models allow the seat unit to be arranged so that baby can be either facing you or facing forwards. Some brands also have compatible infant car seats (sold separately) that fit onto the seat unit.

Three in One Prams

The three-in-one pushchair model works the same as the two-in-one, but you also get a detachable carrycot which inserts into the pushchair when the seat is in the fully flat reclined position. The advantage of having a carrycot is that it is usually a bit more spacious than the two-in-one lie-flat position, and as it is easily detachable you can lift your sleeping baby from the pushchair unit without waking them. If the carrycot is also suitable for sleeping in the night, you can avoid buying a Moses basket. Again, these three-in-one models usually allow the seat unit to be arranged so that baby can be either facing you or facing forwards, and some brands also have compatible infant car seats (sold separately) that fit onto the seat unit.

Baby Travel Systems

The travel pushchair systems are basically composed of a foldable chassis which then have three separate units that attach to it: a carrycot, an infant car seat, and a reclinable seat. Often the seat unit does not recline to a fully flat position. The advantage of this system is that you can transfer your baby easily from the car straight onto the chassis with minimum fuss; however it is important to note that in the early months it is not recommended to leave your baby in a car seat for long periods of time. With many of the baby travel systems the seat and carrycot units can be arranged with baby facing you or facing forwards. One other thing to note with the baby travel systems and the three-in-one models you will need to check not only that the folded chassis will fit in your car boot, but the carrycot too.

Three Wheelers

Whilst three wheeler pushchairs are quite practical for getting around on different terrains, not all three wheeler pushchairs are suitable from birth. You will need to check and see whether the brand you like requires separate extras like a carrycot in order for your newborn to be in a fully flat position, and also whether it is possible for the baby to be in a position facing you.

Safety first!

Finally, whatever model you choose, make sure it is fitted with a five point harness to secure your baby in the seat, ad that it complies with safety standards in the country you’ve purchased it.


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