There is a difference between a stroller and a pram. Loosely defined, the difference between a pram and a stroller is that a pram allows the baby to lie flat completely in it.
If the shop staff tells you that the stroller is not for newborns, this basically means that it’s a stroller and not a pram.
If you intend to bring your baby out when it is still very young, you will definitely need to get a pram and not a stroller because your newborn will not be able to sit upright in a stroller. The market is flooded with strollers/prams of different shapes and sizes, some very simple, while others look like something that comes straight out from a sci-fi movie. Certain basic factors you want to consider are:
1. The weight/bulk
Generally speaking, a pram is heavier than a stroller because it has more features and is often more sturdily made. The best thing to do is to carry the pram/stroller around (folded) to see if you can live with the weight in the long run. The weight for a good pram is about 5kg on the average. The more feature it has, the heavier it is. If it comes with a load of features and claims to be lightweight, most likely it is made of lightweight material and you will have to pay a bomb for it.
Also, if you do not own a car, it can be troublesome to bring a huge pram around, especially one that cannot be completely folded up and kept away.
2. The features
A stroller is definitely more simple in term of features. Some useful features are:
– Big wheels – it’s easier to maneuver and more difficult for the wheels to get caught in drain covers, potholes, etc.
– number of positions – usually strollers come in two positions (upright and slightly recline) while prams come in three. The third position is the ‘complete recline’ position suitable for babies of all ages from newborn onwards to sleep lying down flat. Newborns definitely need this feature. And for the older kids, personally I think it is more ‘humane’ to allow them to sleep flat. As it is, adults complain about how uncomfortable it is to sleep on an airplane because the seat can only be slightly reclined (unless, of course, you are fortunately enough to fly First Class).
– Handle Length – get everyone who is going to use the stroller/pram to try out first. Makes sure that the handle length is comfortable for everyone.
– Reversible Handle – it’s a good to have but not absolutely necessary feature. Having a reversible handle means that you can push your baby with your baby facing you. Useful if the sun is shining directly at you and you don’t want your baby to get the sun. However, this feature also makes the pram heavier. Most stroller/pram comes with a canopy and I think it is good enough to protect the baby from the sun.
– One Hand Operational – This means that you can open and close the stroller with one hand, leaving your other hand free to hold your baby. Test this feature out at the shopping by opening and closing the stroller with one hand. This is because some are really not that easy to manage with one hand.
Pram Cum Carseat
I personally feel that it should be kept separated because of the importance of using a proper and safe carseat. The safety of the baby is of utmost important, not the cost.
Your baby may not even want to stay in a stroller! So I really would not advise new parents to spend a lot of money on this item. Yes, I also drool at the latest space-craft looking ones. But what’s the point of spending thousands of dollars on such a thing when the little one just prefers to be carried? Besides, during the first few months, it is so much easier to move around with baby in arms rather than lug a stroller around.