Family Fun: Buggy Walks & Buggy Talks.

Soakin' up that london sun

Soakin’ up that london sun

Family Fun with: Buggy Walks & Buggy Talks….

Its fantastic when the weekend arrives & we get to spend some quality ‚Äòfamily‚Äô time together. Deciding what to do however is a fraught with much um-ing and ahr-ing.¬† Ultimately for us, the weather will have a major impact on our final choice of activity! We‚Äôre a very ‚Äòoutdoorsy‚Äô family, & whenever we have the opportunity to ‚Äòpound the streets‚Äô with Bear in his buggy, this comes up trumps. Located on the outskirts of London, we are perfectly positioned for town or country walks, today‚Äôs choice: a town walk. Out of the front door & over to Petts Wood for Brunch. Once we arrived Bear promptly evacuated his buggy for the more appealing prospect of Garden games with Nana & Granddad! & Our choice of buggy? The ‘Phil & Teds Dot’. Choosing the right buggy can be a tiresome task, & this is how we eventually settled with ours:

When we were purchasing our buggy & Bear was just a mere bump, I must have read every article possible on travel & buggy ‚Äòsystems‚Äô. Jeez, Is there a lot to take in! Given our passion for the outdoors, we decided pretty early on that a ‚Äò3 wheel‚Äô sports design would suffice for us. We opted for the Britax B-smart¬†travel system, with the isofix car seat + base. As a new parent this was very simple to use & easy for us get to grips with. Sadly though, as my little munchkin grew, became more alert & upright (like the modern day man!) I noticed he wasn‚Äôt at all comfortable in the seat of the B-smart. It appeared the seat needed to incline further & to compensate for the lack of this he had to pull himself forward. I‚Äôm not sure if this was a one off faulty buggy or an overall issue with this particular design. Panic started to ensue within me! I adored the robustness of the B-Smart & i felt assured using a brand such as ‘Britax’. Having already spent the time researching & splashing out a fair amount of cash, what would i do now that it appeared ‘not fit’ ? Paying that kind of large sum again¬†wouldn’t be possible.

I contacted Britax (their customer service was pretty good) & because the purchased was made through Mothercare, they directed me back to a store for help. Off I trotted down there. Slightly apprehensive, I demonstrated to the manager what was wrong, & he totally agreed. I received such good customer service; my mind was instantly put at ease. Luckily, because the buggy was within it‚Äôs guarantee & deemed ‚Äòfaulty‚Äô, I was able to exchange it. Hesitant to go for the same design again, incase the issue would reoccur, I exchange for a different make & model. Electing this time for the Phil & Teds Dot¬†. It‚Äôs just slightly smaller than the original Phil & Teds (read all about it here). What a great decision! We‚Äôve had it for 1 & ¬Ω years now, & I have no complaints. The fantabulous thing about this design is that it‚Äôs a ‚Äòfully adaptable‚Äô stroller for 2 children. Of course, I‚Äôm not trying to drop any¬†subtle not so subtle hints’ to my darling hubbie (would I?), but it makes a great choice for the possibility of siblings!

Phil & Teds dot. Look- the child who 'never sleeps' sleeps!! That's gotta be a good stroller!!

Phil & Teds dot. Look- the child who ‘never sleeps’ sleeps!! That’s gotta be a good stroller!!

Mummy push...bear push!

Bear push….mummy push!

I use ours with a Bowron¬†stroller lambskin fleece & I‚Äôd highly recommend the benefit of these: it’ll stop bubba from getting all sweaty betty in hot weather but keeps them snug as a bug in the winter. On our trips to sunnier climes, it has been a godsend-keeping bear from over heating.

Omnomnom... Ice cream & lambskin keeping bear cool

Omnomnom… Ice cream & lambskin keeping bear cool

For our ‘world’ travels, I did purchase a ‘umbrella’ stroller: the Maclaren Techno XT . It may sound extravagant to have bought a ‘holiday’ buggy, but hear me out; I think this is well founded. I picked mine up on eBay, second hand for £70 & being a well-made Maclaren it was in such good condition. It’s travelled around the globe with us, has been man handled by countless ground staff & momentarily lost on the tarmac at Miami airport, fortunately to be found again (looking a little soggy) & It’s still going strong! Now, I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t fancy putting a £300 buggy like my precious ‘dot’ though all of that? I appreciate which one would dent the wallet more, if it had to be replaced!

The well travelled stroller..Maclaren techno XT

The well travelled stroller..Maclaren techno XT

A good buggy/ system can set you back a small fortune. But if you invest wisely, they can last you for years. My best tips are:

  • Buy from a retailer where you can return to store: I know there are heaps of great deals online, but there really is nothing quiet like the reassurance & convenience of being able to visit a store in the instance of any faults-as per my experience
  • Price match. Nearly all stores price match. Find your products with corresponding prices & present them to the shop. That way you can get Internet best prices in your local store. Mothercare¬†, Kiddicare¬†& John Lewis¬†(to name a few) all engage in price matching. & Remember, if you don‚Äôt ask, you don‚Äôt get.
  • Try before you buy. Kiddicare Lakeside has a huge area for ‚Äòtest driving‚Äô strollers. & The best bit? No ‚ÄòLearner plates‚Äô required-even if you are a novice! Baby shows are also handy for this.
  • Buy what is best suited for you. Don‚Äôt be influenced by celebs: what they use more than likely has been ‚Äògifted‚Äô as a form of PR. So don‚Äôt believe the hype.
  • Less is, well, less. Space is key, so buy according to your available space & weight tolerances‚Ķ. These pieces of equipment can weigh as much as a small army tank. Great at toning your arms, but also great at ‚Äòputting your back out‚Äô! Check the dimensions will fit in your car, or how suitable they‚Äôll be on public transport.
  • Research. Narrow down your choices & check the reviews. You‚Äôll find these splashed all around the Internet (Which? are always great at unbiased opinions).
  • Check your home contents insurance. In fact, at the same time have a look at what other ‚Äòbaby‚Äô equipment might be covered. Children are an expensive hobby!

As I write this London basking in some unseasonably warm sun & we have been taking full advantage of every ray: We dusted off the cobwebs on ‘dot’, pumped up her tyres & I’ve been let loose on those pavements again! Watch out pedestrians…….we’re going a’ cruising’ & “I’m rollin’ with ma homie’!

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8 Comments

  1. MrsCoolBananas
    20/03/2014 / 10:56 PM

    Hello! *handwave back*! So thats that then, pramaholics anonymous needs to be formed!! lol. Thanks for your comment. I admit the one thing that held me back from buying a phil & teds were the ‘air filled’ tyres & reviews mentioning punctures. But i haven’t had one (touches the wooden floor!) & we’ve covered a fair amount of miles & uneven terrain. I was thinking this could possibly b because the ‘dot’ is a newer model, slightly smaller wheels: 10″ as apposed to 12″ on the ‘original, & maybe the have made them differently due to punctures? Which one are you using at the moment? It’s a tough one with pushchairs/ travel systems & i think what ever you have & however great it is, you’re likely to find SOME kind of fault…i think it’s in our nature! Thanks for stopping by, please visit again!! x

  2. 20/03/2014 / 5:28 PM

    hello *handwave* another pramaholic here who found your blog post through #triedandtested i used to have a p&t sports for twins i use to nanny for and only downside was once they got older then 2. seat got too small and the endless punctures no fun!! i am yet to find the “dream” pushchair but thank god i have a brand new tester (baby girl is nearly 6 weeks) to get a few more years out to find THE ONE!

  3. MrsCoolBananas
    19/03/2014 / 9:37 PM

    hahaha, don’t apologise for the length of your comment, Thank you for taking the time & effort to leave it! I guess it depends on what age the 2 kiddos are & what stage they’re at in walking etc. I know you can add a ‘scooter’ to it & seen others with the ‘buggy’ boards. The dot is relatively new, so I’m not sure if it’d be different to yours-but there are so many different seat configurations i’m sure there’s bound to be one that might work. Can’t say i’ve experienced the wheel spinning/ mind of its own part-i go up our steps on the back 2 tyres & i think you can lock the front wheel into position to help?
    I know, sheepskin sounds odd, & when i was told about it i thought exactly this! But after research found the same advice & i wouldn’t be without ours, bear is a sweaty lil monkey! Many years ago my dad was an inpatient in hospital after an op, & to regulate his body temp they placed a huge sheepskin under him, i didn’t know this until he saw bear all cozy & told me the story.
    Thanks for visiting… Please do come back! xx

  4. MrsCoolBananas
    19/03/2014 / 9:15 PM

    hahaha, pramaholic…i could think of worse ways to spend money. Gotta love a good buggy/ stroller: after all, a baby’s gotta travel in style, right?! Thnaks for the linyk day xx

  5. MrsCoolBananas
    19/03/2014 / 9:12 PM

    I admit, sheepskin seems odd…i didn’t believe it until we had one & now wouldn’t go anywhere without it! Thanks for having a cool linky! xx

  6. 19/03/2014 / 6:55 PM

    We have a phil & teds sport that we bought second hand and it’s been ok but I have been wondering about whether to get an alternative buggy if/when number 2 comes along as I find that getting in and out of the house (there’s a couple of steps up to the front door) can be a real pain with the front wheel spinning and having a mind of it’s own. I remember initially loving the idea of the converting it into a 2 seater too but actually now think Monkey will be way too tall to ever fit in the lower section so it may not work. It hasn’t been terrible, after all we’ve been using it for nearly 2 years, so may just get a footplate for Monkey to stand on instead of getting a whole new buggy. Interesting post though, love to hear other people’s opinions about buggies, there’s so many out there and you never know whether you’ve made the right choice! Interesting about the sheepskin keeping him cool, I would have thought the exact opposite! Very interesting post, sorry for the overly-long comment! 🙂 #triedtested

  7. 18/03/2014 / 10:09 PM

    I’ve never quite understood the sheepskin thing . . .
    Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  8. 18/03/2014 / 8:31 PM

    My name is Kate, and I am a pramaholic.

    It’s official. I have had SO many pushchairs, and am yet to find the perfect one – although I have to admit that the Phil and Teds do keep catching my eye! Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

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