Whether you’re taking them to the beach, or jogging through the park, exploring the world with your child is one of the many special moments you’ll experience as a parent – which the easiest way to do it is by using a pram or stroller.
However, with such a huge variety of different models on the market, knowing which one is best suited for you and your unique lifestyle can be very time-consuming.
In this pram and stroller buying guide, we’ll explain the ins and outs of everything you need to know when searching for the perfect way to transport your baby.
It’s far easier to pick up and put down your child in a pram.
Pram and Stroller FAQ
What’s the main difference between a pram and stroller? The key difference between a pram and stroller is their design. A pram is typically suited for newborns as they have a bassinet-like cradle to hold the baby, while strollers feature a slightly inclined seat designed for toddlers and young children.
How long does a child stay in a pram or stroller for? A pram is used for the first couple months of a babies life, as they’ll need to rest on their back. Once the baby has developed, they’ll be able to switch to a stroller, which they will use up until they are around three years old.
How much does a pram or stroller cost? Prams and strollers range from just under $100 for a basic setup, to well over a few thousand for a luxury model.
Do pram and strollers need to meet any Australian Standards? Yes, all prams and strollers sold in Australia need to pass AS/NZS 2088:2013, which will be further explained later in the guide.
Exploring the world with your newborn is easy with a pram.
Prams vs Strollers
Selecting whether you need a pram or stroller will come down to how old your child is. Like previously mentioned, prams are essentially a bassinet on wheels designed for newborns and young babies, whereas a stroller is a semi-reclined chair on wheels designed for toddlers and young children.
However, there are some key differences between the two worth considering.
Feature a soft flat bottom allowing the baby to sleep on their back
Often seen as more comfortable than a stroller
Tend to be larger and designed for walking rather than vigorous activity and manoeuvrability
The bassinet of a pram is higher and provides easier access to the child
Feature a reclined seat that gives the child a better view of their surroundings
Often designed to be more compact
Far better mobility than a pram, making it easier to navigate shopping centres and do physical activity with the stroller
The stroller’s chair features a safety harness which keeps the child safe and secure while seated
A double or tandem stroller is great for transporting your two little ones.
Types of Prams and Strollers
Whether you’re an active parent who loves taking your baby out into the great outdoors or needs something simple to take your child from A to B, the type of pram or stroller you need is heavily based off your lifestyle. Here are a few of the different types of prams and strollers on the market.
Everyday Prams and Strollers
If you plan on doing a little bit of everything, a ‘traditional’ everyday pram or stroller will serve you and your child well. These types of prams and strollers are lightweight, easy to manoeuvre and often come with a huge range of add-ons and extras that can be equipped to them. These are suitable for most parents.
If you plan on running with your child, a jogger stroller is a must. They feature lockable wheels that will help the stroller track straighter while you run, upgraded suspension to absorbs bumps better and chunkier air-filled tyres for better grip on or off the pavement. However, they are often bulkier and heavier than other types of strollers.
If you find yourself travelling frequently with your child in your car, a travel pram makes the transition between pram and vehicle seamless. This type of pram features a detachable carriage which works both as a portable car seat and bassinet while attached to the pram.
If you are considering this type of pram, you’ll have to make sure it passes the Australian Standards as a pram and car seat separately.
Double/Tandem Prams and Strollers
If you have twins on the way or need a stroller or pram that is capable of carrying two little ones, then you’ll need to find a tandem model. As the name suggests, a tandem or double pram or stroller has two seats or bassinets to hold your children.
Although useful if you have twins or two children in quick succession, they can be extremely bulky, heavy and hard to use when in tight spaces due to their added size.
Don’t buy a pram that doesn’t come with these four key safety features.
Much like many other baby and children products, prams and strollers are subject to their own Australian Standards. Pioneered in 2000, with it’s latest revision in 2013, AS/NZS 2088:2013 covers a range of safety criteria to allow a pram or stroller to be sold in Australia.
The requirements are as follows:
Must have at least one parking brake which is activated by a red lever away from the babies potential reach
All warning labels and the Australian Standards sticker must be located somewhere on the frame of the stroller or pram
A short tether strap must be connected to one side of the handlebars with a loop less than 360mm in diameter which should be around the parent’s wrist whenever using the pram
Strollers which have a seat that reclines more than 150 degrees need a permanently attached head barrier and waist and crotch harness (also known as a 5-point harness)
These requirements have been implemented to reduce the risk of a pram rolling away from a parent, which has caused multiple infant injuries in the past.
Be wary of any pram bought from overseas, as they will likely not pass the strict Australian Standards. Any pram that doesn’t meet these standards could put your child at risk.
If you are unsure whether a pram meets these requirements, contact the manufacturer or retailer for further information. However, it’s also easy to inspect the pram in-person to see whether it passes or not.
Three-wheel prams typically have better suspension than four-wheel version.
Important Features to Consider
Three Wheels vs Four Wheels
One of the key areas of debate around prams and strollers is whether having three wheels or four wheels are better. Each has their benefits and work better in certain circumstances.
Has one pivoting wheel in the centre-front of the pram or stroller
Offers greater mobility and typically better suspension than a four-wheeler
More prone to tipping over due to less stable design, especially on uneven surfaces
Generally has a larger frame that doesn’t fold down as small as a four-wheeler
Either the front two wheels on each corner or all four wheels can pivot
Typically lighter and can fold up into smaller sizes
Less mobility but more stable than a three-wheeler
Wheels are often plastic making it harder to push over non-smooth surfaces such as sand, grass and dirt
The best way to find which type is for you is to head to your closest retailer and test them out. Try and act out scenarios where you’ll be using the pram, such as weaving around tight supermarket aisles.
If you can, grab the showroom model and try to fold it up and put it in your car. If it doesn’t fit easily, it’ll make transporting it around much harder.
Having a convertible pram or stroller saves you having to buy two different carriages for your child as they grow…
Convertible Prams and Strollers
Having to buy two different prams and strollers can end up being very costly. Therefore, if you are wanting to get more value out of your investment, consider buying a convertible pram or stroller.
These models work both as a pram and stroller either by offering interchangeable seating or by having a seat that can be positioned to lay flat or semi-inclined.
Typically, models that offer interchangeable seating are more popular, as the bassinet can be used as a carrycot while off the stroller as well.
Rubber wheels offer far better grip than plastic castors.
As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for’, is very true in regards to prams and strollers. Inexpensive prams tend to be fairly basic in design and miss out a lot of features found in premium models. However, some top-of-the-range models contain a mind-boggling range of features, some of which won’t suit your baby or lifestyle.
Therefore, it’s important to decide which features you need in a pram, and which you like. Here’s an overview of some of the more common features found on modern prams and strollers:
Wheel type: If you plan on sticking to smooth shopping centre floors and quiet footpaths, then basic rubber and plastic wheels will suffice. However, if you plan on jogging with your child or going ‘off-road’, then having air-filled tyres on your pram is recommended.
Size and weight: If you’re a smaller parent, pushing a large, cumbersome pram will become tiring quickly. Likewise, if you are a larger parent, then pushing a smaller stroller will be equally as uncomfortable. Find a pram that suits both you and your partner’s size which you can both easily lift into a car.
Adjustable handle heights: If you and your partner aren’t able to find a ‘one-size-fits-all’ pram or stroller, then selecting one with adjustable handle heights is the next best thing.
Brakes: As a minimum, your pram or stroller should have brakes on the back two wheels. Even better, if you are able to find one with brakes on the front wheels too, it’ll make parking it even safer.
Folding mechanism: Ideally you’ll want to find a pram that allows for one-handed folding which stops you having to put your little one down while you set up the pram or stroller. Be sure to check when it’s folded-up that it’s able to fit in the boot of your car too.
Make sure your child will be unable to disengage their harness while you push them!
Straps and harnesses: Although harnesses are not used in bassinet-like prams, strollers and travel prams are required to have a permanently attached five-point harness to keep your child secure in their seat. Check to make sure the harness is adjustable, comfortable and impossible for a child to disengage themselves.
Comfort: Generally, all prams and strollers have been designed to be as comfortable as possible for the child inside. However, it’s still important to check the padding around the back, shoulders and head of the stroller to make sure it provides ample support for them.
Reversible seat or handle: If you like the idea of being able to switch the way your child faces, whether towards the front of the pram or back facing you, buying a model that has either a reversible seat or handles should be on your checklist.
Footrest: A footrest stops your child’s feet from touching the ground or getting close to the front wheels of a pram or stroller.
Front bar: This detachable padded bar that works similar to the one you’d find on a rollercoaster, as it stops the child from reaching too far forwards and gives them something to hold on to.
Canopies and rain covers: A canopy is useful for protecting your little one from the sun, while a rain cover is handy to have when the weather turns sour.
Accessories and parts: Being able to accessorise your pram and stroller to your lifestyle is important. Many brands such as Egg, Uppababy, BABYZEN and Jane offer a wide range of additions from car seat adaptors or upgraded seats and cup holders for their models.
Recommended Prams and Strollers
After figuring out which features you need in a pram or stroller, the wide range of brands and models out there makes it difficult to narrow down which is right for you.
Here’s a selection of some of the best prams and strollers on the Myer Market right now.
Combining a highly modular layout with a clean, simplistic design, the Geo2 from Joolz is the go-to pram for the parent who values style and function equally. Even with two seats attached, the Geo2 is able to fold up in one smooth action, ready for its next adventure.
The Joolz Geo2 Pram features a minimalistic, yet classy design that doesn’t break the bank…
5-position adjustable handlebar making it easy for anyone to push
3 ergonomic seating positions allowing making it suitable for both tired bubs and inquisitive toddlers
Can support dual seats for carrying two little ones
Large canopy provides superior protection from the elements
The high seating position protects your child's feet from debris on the ground
Nuna Mixx 2
Made from only the best fabrics and materials, the Nuna Mixx 2 offers a sleek design which will soon be your families favourite new accessory. The Nuna Mixx 2 offers all the features you would expect in a premium stroller and more!
The Nuna Mixx 2 features an exceptional matte black finish...
Chrome black wheels that offer excellent stability and control
One-handed recliner system keep bub comfortable
Consistent smooth ride using progressive suspension technology
Compact folding system perfect for your car’s boot
Large storage basket for all your baby accessories
Vista 2018 with Bassinet
Looking for a pram that not only looks stylish and elegant but offers a wide range of customisation to suit your lifestyle? From transforming into double pram to a lightweight stroller, the UPPAbaby VISTA 2018 is able to adapt to your needs through the huge range of compatible accessories for it.
Customisation is king on the 2018 Vista.
The included bassinet in this model allows you to use this stroller the day your little one comes home until they are ready to explore the world themselves
A wide range of accessories, including car seat and rain cover, makes customising the VISTA 2018 to your lifestyle simple
Front and rear facing toddler seat allowing your child to see the world from any angle
A long list of included features such as extra large storage basket, shock-absorbing front and rear suspension, and durable ‘no puncture’ wheels
One-step fold design that makes setting it up fast and easy
The Mirage Stroller from Love n Care offers parents a stroller packed with features you’d find on a top-of-the-range model, without breaking the bank. It’s featherweight construction tips the scales at just over 12kgs, making it easy to push and explore the world with your child.
At just 12kgs, the Mirage is easy to carry when it’s folded up!
Four adjustable reclining positions with a 5-point safety harness to suit any child
Reversible handle allowing your child to face either forwards or backwards
Removable food tray makes mealtime easier
One-handed folding system for your convenience
A large boot cover comes included to help keep your little one warm and dry
Designed to offer maximum mobility in a lightweight platform, the UPPAbaby Cruz 2018 makes everything from navigating tight supermarket aisles to exploring bustling city streets a breeze. The Cruz 2018 has been created with car travel in mind, as the stroller is able to pack up into a boot-size package with ease.
The ultra-mobile Cruz is designed for urban environments…
Sleek stroller frame designed for tight urban living
Front and rear facing toddler seat with extendable UPF 50+ sunshade to keep your little one comfortable in any position
Extra-large basket makes carrying all the baby essentials even easier
The Cruz 2018 is compatible with selected Chicco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Cybex and MESA infant car seats with special adaptors sold separately
One-step folding mechanism saves time and frustration
The egg Stroller
Combining smooth curves with premium fabrics and materials, the egg stroller has been designed for the style conscious parent in mind. It’s timeless design and class-leading engineering makes for an extremely versatile stroller that can be used for many years to come.
A stylish pram for the fashionable parent.
The handlebars feature five adjustable positions making it easy for parents of varying heights to use
The comfortable curved seat is suitable for babies six months of age until 25kgs
A reversible seat that features three reclining positions and sun-protecting hood
Travel system compatible with the Kiddy Egg Evo-lunafix car seat and certain models from leading brands including Maxi-Cosi, Be Safe, Cybex and Recaro
Can be transformed into a tandem stroller using adaptors and bassinet sold separately
Many parents go through multiple prams and strollers as their baby grows, which can end up being very costly. If you want to save money in the long run, buying a slightly more expensive model that allows you to convert it from a ‘flatbed’ pram to an upright stroller is a worthwhile investment.
Despite most modern models being extremely manoeuvrable, you’ll find that there are some occasions where your pram or stroller is too cumbersome. Therefore, also investing in a baby carrier allows you to take your little one wherever you may go.
Credit to Joolz, UPPAbaby, egg, Nuna and Love n Care for providing images used in this article.
Know some excited expectant parents? Help them out by sharing this guide with them!