What are the essentials in a good pram?

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good pram essentials

So what makes a good pram? OK, here’s the thing.  I had my first baby more than 15 years ago. During the pregnancy, my Mum took me out to buy a pram. It was her big gift to our family and naturally, we wanted the very best.

Since that time I feel like I’ve seen and tried it all. I’ve had four kids and changed prams a bunch of times and I know what a good pram is. We’ve some pretty basic criteria for what makes a good pram.

1.   It has to fit through our gate

This sounds kind of obvious, but one of the prams we once tried had wheels that were just a little wider apart than usual and it did NOT fit through our front gate and was therefore literally impossible to use.

2.    The buckles must not be a puzzle

I’ve seen grandparents in tears because their arthritic old hands could not manoeuvre the tricky, fiddly little buckle bits. I get that clips have to be kid-proof, but can all pram designers please work on the assumption that parents already have their hands pretty full?

3.   It fits into the back of the car

I’ve made compromises on this in the past and survived, but MAN, it is SO GOOD when you can collapse that little baby down and get it to the shopping centre, in, out, bam...

4.   It doesn't make me look daggy

It’s a big ask when some days I have crumbs stuck to BOTH cheeks when I leave the house but I love a pram that has a bit of sass. Honestly, it brightens my day.

So, during one of the busiest weeks of my life when I was pitching my cookbook to publishers, making a daily radio show, parenting my kids and making an interstate trip for work, Mountain Buggy sent me a brand-new Mountain Buggy MB mini. They asked me what colour I preferred and of course I bellowed "yellow".  Criteria number 4 – doesn’t make me look daggy? TICK. I am sassy!

Leaving our house for the airport, I tick off Criteria number 1: Does it fit through the gate?  Yes, it does.  The Mountain Buggy Mini is a little narrower than the last two prams we had, so getting in and out of the front gate is easy.

When we arrive at Melbourne Airport we test Criteria number 4 when we pick up our hire car and put the pram in the back. Easy? Light? It’s in, no stress, so easy. TICK.

Once upon a time my husband and I were boyfriend and girlfriend. Seems crazy, I know! We were living in Melbourne and back then, I used to drag him to the weekend markets at the Collingwood Children’s Farm ... and I thought we could do it again, this time with our two toddlers. The organic produce there is amazing.

Mercy, our 2-year-old, loves standing on the scooter, which can be attached to the pram, or ridden as a regular scooter. The 1-year-old is cheerful so long as there’s a steady supply of food coming his way, so we clip him in (no puzzle, the buckles require no degree in engineering, so Criteria 2 is ticked off) and race toward the food stalls.

The pram handles the uneven terrain and I load up the undercarriage with a bottle of organic cold-pressed olive oil, two cakes to give to my mother-in-law, a punnet of fresh strawberries, gnarly apples dotted with spots and imperfections that taste delicious, and a loaf of sourdough bread.

This visit, the market growers are selling heaps of different mushrooms, new-season apples are in abundance, chestnuts, and I absolutely lose my mind for ... Jerusalem artichokes. My favourite and only $3 per bag - about a quarter of the price I usually pay!

The outing to the market is a success, and so is the pram! That's lots of ticks in one day!

MB mini is available from babytrain.com.au RRP $449

– Yumi Stynes is a mum, radio host and author of a soon-to-be published cookbook

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