Undecided on whether to get a pram or a stroller?
Prams are the safest carriages for newborn babies due to their ability to recline almost to a flat position that is said to support their healthy development. So, how does a pram compare to a buggy, a stroller, a travel system, and a carrier? Today, we look at their comparisons based on key factors such as their definition, age limit, weight, safety, and cost.
Pram vs Stroller
While a pram describes a baby carriage model with a flat sleeping surface or a bassinet, a stroller refers to a model where your little one can seat upright. In most cases, the terms pram and stroller are used interchangeably, and manufacturers make models that offer carriages with both near-flat and upright seating positions. Strollers are good for kids aged 3 months and above.
On the one hand, the lay-flat design of prams makes them safe for newborns while strollers’ inability to recline fully makes them unsuitable for the same purpose. Most traditional prams, however, are bulky, very tricky to move around, and difficult to fold down for transportation or storage. Strollers, on the other hand, are versatile as you can convert them into a car seat and come in a range of varieties that suit varying standards of living. They also have safety harnesses.
What is a pram?
A pram resembles a carriage with wheels and features a unique lay-flat design that allows your little one to sleep or lay down flat. This outline makes prams ideal for your newborn as it is said to promote healthy lung and spinal development as well as proper breathing. Prams boast a sturdy construction.
Read more about the best pram for newborns here.
Pram or Buggy
Buggy is a British terminology that is commonly used to define either a stroller or pushchair based on the individual you ask. Unlike prams that are suitable for newborns as they lie on their back flat, a buggy can be tailored for versatility to carry both newborns and older babies. A buggy can also be folded flat which is impossible with a pram and is suitable for kids 3+ months old.
Pram vs Travel System
On the one hand, prams are ideal for newborns as they allow them to lie flat which is considered safe and healthy for their development. Travel systems, on the other hand, are recommended for kids that can sit upright on a stroller, around 5-7 months old. Both have safety harnesses to secure your child, but a travel system is costlier than a pram as it comes with more accessories and functionality.
Although some travel system strollers can be used for newborns without a car seat, others can’t, and it is still not recommended. For your newborn, grab a pram.
Pram vs Carrier
While a pram helps ride your baby along sleeping on a bassinet or reclined surface on wheels, baby carriers give the same function but through wearing your baby.
Unlike prams which are one-size-fits-all products with limited varieties, however, carriers come in 6 different types. You have a choice between wraps, backpacks, Meh Dai, pouch, ring slings, and soft-structured carriers (SSCs) suitable for dads, petite moms, and some with positions that let you breastfeed. Carriers are ideal for newborns but are not easy to use for the first time.
And while prams are best suited for carrying newborns, carriers have the upper hand when it comes to carrying preemies. Carriers are inexpensive, yes, but some have a steep learning curve and are bad if you have back or shoulder problems. That makes prams a better choice although significantly pricier compared to carriers given you can carry baby essentials and no stress on shoulders or back.
Insights on the history of prams
The history of perambulators, also known as prams, dates back to the 18th century, predominantly in 1733, as the brainchild of an English painter and architect, William Kent. While working in the Royal Garden as a designer, Kent was asked by the Duke of Devonshire to make him a baby carrier that could be used by his children. So he made a very fancy 4-wheeled pram, and that was the birth of the buggies, strollers, travel systems, and carriers we use today.
Before prams were invented, royal families used goat-powered carts, while babywearing using slings and baskets was common in Egypt, during the pharaohs. History repeating itself, right?
Jane Lanbert is a mother of two and works as an elementary school teacher. Jane joined Motherhood HQ to provide expertise on product testing after her stint at Consumer Reports. Jane loves reading and getting immersed in new research on various topics from parenting to pet psychology. When not reading or testing baby gear to review, Jane enjoys hiking in the midwest and hanging out with their two dog pets. Jane is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, and holds a degree in Elementary Teaching. She can be reached at email@example.com