Do you also find it kinda crazy that there are so many names for the same thing? I did too - until I found out that none of these things ARE the same thing, and that kinda blew my mind. Here I was thinking that the question “Where can I buy a pram?” was just British for “where can I buy a stroller?”
There’s a much bigger difference between these types of wheeled baby holders. Let’s look at those difference between a pram, buggy, pushchair and stroller below, and see if you think there’s as much of a difference as I do!
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So I was right about one thing - the word “pram” does originate from the British. In fact, the word is a short-version of “perambulator,” which is obviously a huge mouthful and the reason everyone shortened it in the first place. A pram is also called a baby carriage, and for once, these are the same thing.
A pram is designed for newborn babies. Since it’s best to lay newborns in a flat position and on their backs, the pram has a soft, flat bottom where a baby can sleep in the lying position while you walk around with them. Here in America, this resembles a bassinet, only a pram is built to go outside and to hold a baby during the day.
Generally, prams have a large removable canopy that protects a newborn from harmful sun or unwanted peekers. This also helps newborns sleep soundly while mom and dad get some shopping done. Prams always have wheels and a handlebar to permit pushing. Prams are excellent for premature babies because sometimes babies that were born a little early can have trouble breathing in a car seat, which is generally what is placed in something like a stroller to push a child around.
As an added bonus, prams are adorable - if you want your baby to be visible, use a pram. People will gravitate towards you when they see one.
The most important note here is that a pram is not intended for a baby that can sit up on their own as it has no harness or other safety arrangements. If a baby can reach up and grab the side of a pram and pull themselves into a sitting position, it’s time to upgrade before an accident happens.
Dictionary.com just defines a pushchair as a “stroller,” but the community at large seems to disagree a tad. A pushchair is always a stroller, but some say that the pushchair is the part of a more elaborate travel system that has the wheels. A travel system consists of an infant seat, a convertible stroller, and a carseat base.
The stroller is usually convertible from a moving harness for a car seat carrier to accommodate a small child instead of a carseat. It really depends on who you’re talking to when it comes to defining what a pushchair is.
A stroller is built to hold a baby that is ready to sit up (even if they can’t do it on their own) and has a restraint system that has a harness,, a seat belt, and a crotch strap. In the states, this is considered a 5-point harness, and is the foundation of almost all toddler and baby equipment made.
Strollers are extremely diverse. Even if we’re just talking about a single stroller that is designed to do one thing - hold a child - there are so many bells and whistles it will make your head spin. A basic stroller usually has a comfy place for a child to sit and a few extra elements, like the ability to fold and fit into a small space as well as a hood or canopy to protect a child from the elements. Personally, I’ve also never seen one without some sort of foot-rest for a child so their legs don’t dangle like crazy.
The bells and whistles, however, start from simple patterns like flowers and favorite characters all the way to heated seats that are padded, one-second fold abilities, extra compartments for carrying extra things, cupholders, convertible features (like going from a stroller to a napping place by lowering the seat all the way flat), and wheels and handlebars that are adjustable, maneuverable, and glamorous in some way or another.
In one of the first places I ever lived, a buggy was actually a cart you would use to get groceries. It was the strangest thing hearing a shopping cart called a buggy. Since we are obviously not talking about this sort of buggy, what we’re really talking about is yet another type of stroller.
Here in the states, we call these types of strollers “umbrella strollers”. They’re basic, lightweight, affordable strollers that can fit into tiny spaces and are great for children who are close to outgrowing strollers entirely. It gives them a nice place to sit and take a break or a nap, but they aren’t complicated or difficult to lug around if your child has decided they don’t really want to sit today.
From experience, I can also tell you that these are fantastic tools for heavy babies over six months. Even though you feel like your little cutie should fit into a regular stroller, those get hot and don’t let a baby see every bit of their surroundings. At about six months, that’s when they start demanding this be the case.
In the list of terms, it boils down to two things: a pram and a stroller, both of which have their place and are meant for different phases of life for a child. Prams used to be a one-shot deal and were only good for the first few months of infancy.
However, modern technology and advancements have made it possible to have prams that convert into strollers for older children with hardly any hassle at all. Some of these prams can even be converted into tandem prams or later on, tandem strollers or tandem hybrids, which are a bit of stroller and a bit of pram all wrapped into one.
Prams used to be heavy and unwieldy but this has changed with recent upgrades, and they are often foldable these days, much like strollers. While the line between these products is blurring, they still serve different purposes.
There are a few key differences when it comes to pram vs stroller that I feel the need to mention are:
And a few key similarities:
Not every pram is built the same, nor is every stroller. There are prams and strollers for light jogging, for multiple children, for comfort, for covering them, and many other purposes. Research and choose which is best for you, but don’t be fooled by fancy features. What do you call these wheeled baby movers? Comments and questions can be left below!
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