Wow, trying to decide on a pram is daunting stuff.
There are as many variations, models, brands, price ranges and options as there are baby shops in Jo'burg.
Do you go for a travel system that accommodates the car seat? Do you include a carry-cot? Do you buy one that folds down to a compact, light weight frame ideal for travel, or something more robust? Are the "must-have" brands really worth all that money? How much do you spend?
We spent a long time looking at prams and, frankly, being overwhelmed and confused. A travel system (where the car seat can be removed from the car and attached to the pram so the baby isn't disturbed if ze falls asleep in the car) seemed like a great idea, and I was especially keen on having a carry-cot as part of the system as well, but these were extremely expensive.
A carry-cot seemed to me to be the best solution for the "to buy a camping cot, or not to buy a camping cot" dilemma. I feel it's a bit ridiculous to spend a few thousand rand on a cot, and then another two thousand on a camping cot for travelling or for having baby sleep in our room for the first while. However I don't like the camping cots enough to only buy that as Ziggy's first bed. I also have no idea how long we'll keep Ziggy in our room, so it's very hard to gauge how much value you'd get for your money. A carry-cot seems to me to answer all these questions quite well, and seems great for taking Ziggy somewhere where ze's likely to fall asleep (it's not advisable to let young babies stay in a seated position for more than half an hour as this hinders spinal development) or just being able to wheel a sleeping baby all over the house with me.
Finally we found one system we quite liked, that had a car seat and carry-cot option, and that was affordable - until then it seemed only the most overpriced brands offered carry-cots that are actually part of the system. Now, I am not someone who is swayed by branded things unless it's a brand known for their superior quality. I am not a "keeping up with Jones" type of person. So for us to seriously contemplate a Ferrari pram system... well, it was unexpected :)
We did carry on looking for a while because the price was in the very top end of what we thought was reasonable to spend, but after considering a few other options we went back to the Ferrari system and realised just how much we liked it.
It has now been purchased, as a very kind and generous gift from Steve's parents, and delivered and set up and everything. I did take some photos but they are a bit rubbish, so these are from the web.
The frame is much lighter weight and folds down much smaller than almost any other system we looked at (that isn’t a dedicated travel stroller with no other accessories). It’s very sturdy and seems well made.
The car seat is suitable from birth to about 1 year so we will have to get a new car seat after that, but we weighed that up with the pros and decided we are happy to do that. The carry cot is suitable from birth until 9kg. The stroller part itself has several different seated positions and is suitable from a few months to around 4 years.
There are two frames that clip onto the wheel base. One of them is the car seat, and onto the second frame you securely strap either the carry cot or the stroller seat.
The handle height is adjustable (good for two parents of differing heights) and it can swivel over to both sides, so you can quickly and easily change from Ziggy facing you to facing the outside world, and you can in this way also choose whether to have the big wheels in front for travelling over uneven terrain, or the small wheels for 360⁰ manoeuvrability.
It’s really easy to collapse and unfold, and as I said takes up a reasonably small amount of space in the boot once folded. It’s also light enough that I feel confident I could fold it, unfold it and put it in the car even if I had a c-section, as soon as I was recovered enough to drive anyway.
We are very pleased with our first big baby purchase! Next on the list: the cot.