Yes, cute t-shirts look great on Insta, instant warm milk helps you get back to sleep minutes earlier and it’s good to have a counterpoint to all the stuff you didn’t fancy doing from that other parenting tome. But nothing comes close to your pushchair in terms of importance. A pushchair is so much more than you can ever imagine before you have your first child.
Let The Dadsnet reveal the secrets behind this all-conquering child rearing tool:
It’s a Mode of Transport
Yes, straight in with the most obvious benefit of a pushchair. Let’s start with the simple stuff. If you want to go from A to B with a baby and all the paraphernalia that comes with one, there is nothing that beats a pushchair.
Load it up, stick baba in and off you go. Gone are the days of bone-crunching rigid prams; your modern models like the Bugaboo Bee 5 come equipped with advanced suspension, a combination of four wheels that feature a damping mechanism for extra shock absorption and it folds in one move to provide you with the most comfortable, compact pushchair.
Chances are that a modern pushchair contains more creature comforts than your first car did. In some cases, it might even provide a smoother ride than your current motor. Either way, you can usually move from the pavement to grass and rocky ground without jolting your little one on the way.
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When did you grow out of playing Transformers? Probably a few decades ago. Well, the good thing is that you can revisit your passion when you get a pushchair because most modern models perform more than one task. You will be glad to know that is highly unlikely you’ll find a pushchair that turns into a Decepticon, intent on conquering Cybertron. But you will pick up a device that shifts seamlessly from pram to pushchair mode as your child grows.
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When you buy a pushchair, you are picking up an item that will last for literally years. It is useful from the very first day of their life, through the times when they want to sit up and stare intently at you as you walk along, then the times when they want to face outwards because they have realised the world is much more exciting than you are, and up to the times when they CAN walk the full distance, but they steadfastly refuse to for some unknown toddler reason.
Compare that with the clothes that you buy them, which they grow out of within approximately seven minutes.
It’s a Physical Sedative
If you are nearing the birth of your first child and you are not yet aware, we hate to break it to you, but you are probably in for some interrupted sleep. In fact, that is an understatement. You will be mainlining coffee and propping your eyes open with matchsticks for years to come. Enjoy.
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Seriously though, it takes a while for a child to settle into a sleep routine, to be comfortable in their crib or cot, and there will be times when you are at the end of your tether trying to get them the 40 winks that you know will improve their mood. This doesn’t stop at the baby stage either; teething toddlers sometimes need to be persuaded to kip.
This is where the pushchair comes in. The gentle motion of a walk in the pushchair is perfect for sending them off to sleep, even if they have spent much of the previous hours fighting it tooth and nail. If you’re lucky, as soon as they doze off you can take them home, park them in the hallway and make yourself a brew. If you’re not, they wake as soon as you stop, so stick a podcast on and keep walking.
It’s a Multi Gym for Parents
Connected to the previous point, using the pushchair is a gentle way to add some exercise into your day. All that walking while trying to get them to sleep helps towards your 10,000 steps, and the pushing offers a little light resistance too.
Because of the lightweight but incredibly strong manufacturing of modern pushchairs, you can also take many models out for a run with you. You get to pound the pavements of your local area, keeping in shape, whilst your child gains an early insight into what it would be like if they pursued a lucrative career as a Formula One driver in the future.
It’s a Packhorse
There are many ways to transport children, but only the pushchair comes with its own significant storage areas. There are all sorts of shelves, pockets and baskets available to carry home the 37 items you bought at the shop, having only gone in to pick up a two-pint bottle of milk.
You can also chuck in your coat when you get warm, a selection of woolen items to layer up your baby if the temperature drops, and a bunch of twigs, leaves and conkers if you are out with an older child as well who insists on collecting said items, but then loses interest in them immediately on returning home.
With that many uses, it’s easy to see why the pushchair is the most important baby item you will buy.