I’ve been thinking a lot this week about all the different styles of pram and pushchair that are available and which pram accessories are the best ones to buy. It all came about after talking to a friend who was buying their first pram /stroller and telling her the bits I liked about our one and what we would buy instead if we had the choice. A lot of what I liked about our pram was the handy accessories that came as standard and were actually really useful.
So I’ve decided to round up some of the most common pram and pushchair accessories for you to help you make an easier decision if you’re purchasing a one anytime soon. I’m dividing the article into things we loved and things that were not really needed.
If you think we’ve missed any good accessories off the list then let us know in the comments and we will add it to the article.
Pram accessories we couldn’t live without!
This is quite possibly the most useful of pram accessories, especially with the many and varied weather that we experience in the UK! Our pram came with one that fitted perfectly over the hood, covering the foot of the pram as well. The only problem we found (apart from never knowing which way round it went!) was that the cover would sometimes drip water into the big basket underneath. However, that wasn’t a massive issue and only occurred in very heavy rain.
Not only are rain covers pretty much a necessity when it rains, they can also come in useful if it’s really windy. If you’re pushing the pram with the wind blowing in it can get quite uncomfortable for your little one so we used to put it on for those occasions.
We also have a rain cover that came with our pushchair (it’s this Silver Cross one) and that one also gets used regularly. With pushchairs though, I find the feet always poke out the end so wellies are great for wet days to stop their feet getting damp! Some rain covers only cover the front of the pushchair attaching the the front edge of the hood and then around the feet. I prefer the ones that go over the hood as well so the full buggy can stay dry. The Silver Cross rain cover even covers the back of the pushchair so it keeps any bags hung over the handles dry as well.
Footmuff/ Cosy toes
The footmuff that came with our pram was another thing that we loved and would definitely recommend if your pram doesn’t come with one. We used it at least until our daughter was two and a half and I know people who use them a lot longer. It meant we didn’t have to wrap our little one up loads on the bottom half as I knew she would have a footmuff (and sometimes a blanket as well if it was really cold) on in the pram. Much easier once we got somewhere only having to take off a coat and not a full snow onesie thing.
If we went into shops I could just unzip the footmuff and know that she wasn’t overheating. The outer fabric is also showerproof so didn’t have to worry about blankets (or her) getting wet if it was just a little shower and I didn’t have the rain cover.
Most footmuffs can be put straight into the washing machine to remove any spills or stains. They also act as a buggy liner when you need a bit more comfort for your child but it’s too warm for the full footmuff.
Again, this came with the pram we bought, however after using it I feel it was needed for us. It provided that extra bit of safety when our daughter was little, doubled as a teether (quite often…) and when she was older I would leave off the 5 point safety harness so she had a bit more freedom to move, but kept on the bumper bar so I knew she wouldn’t just leap out of the buggy. Those were our reasons for liking it, however, I know for a lot of parents it’s viewed as something else to get in the way when trying to get your little one in and out of the pushchair!
Now our daughter is nearly three it isn’t something we would use as she’s always in a lightweight stroller that we put in the car. So I guess it wasn’t used for ages, but when it was in use it was great!
These came in really useful for hanging some toys and buggy books to the pram so that our daughter had something to play with that wouldn’t be lost over the side. You can also get pram clips to hang your shopping bags from and ones to make it easier for your nappy bag to hang from the pushchair handles (some nappy bags come with these as part of the package).
Anything that means less carrying and more hands-free is good by us!
This one probably isn’t essential for everyone but we absolutely loved ours! My sister-in-law had some and very kindly bought us a pair as a Christmas present (good idea if you’re buying for any new parents this year!) The gloves velcro on to pram or pushchair handle so you always have them on when you’re pushing the pram. Ingenious, no more fumbling around taking your gloves on and off when going in and out of shops etc. Our nephews also loved them and used to fight about who would push the pram as it meant they could wear the gloves!
Things we didn’t need
We bought one of these to use with our old car stroller as the hood didn’t do a great job of blocking the sun. It was useless. We couldn’t get it to manoeuvre enough to the right angle, and if by some miracle we did in about 2 minutes time we were facing a different direction anyway and needed to reset it. And our daughter would grab at it to play with anyway if it was within reach!
It might suit for little babies as they are a lot less mobile, or if you aren’t going to move the pram when you put it on! Anyway, instead, I would try to find a pram with a really good hood (some are UV filters as well) that will cover most of your child anyway.
Always slap on the sunscreen and a hat when the sun’s out and keep to the shade. It makes pushing a pram in hot weather a lot easier anyway.
Our pram did come with cup holders on the handle. They were used up to a point, however, they didn’t fit every size of cup or bottle and quite often were just used as a mini bin! Most nappy bags have built-in bottle and drinks holders that are easier to use.
If you enjoy taking a coffee or soft drink out with you then maybe look into it, but otherwise, our advice would be not to bother.
I did use one of these for a little while to see whether it could double as a nappy bag along with our Kid Transit travel changing mat. They are quite handy as they usually come with cup or bottle holders and enough space to store a few essentials that might otherwise get lost in your pram basket. Some also have slots for phone, keys, purse etc so they could double as your handbag. They are also positioned so that everything is within easy reach for you when you’re pushing the pram.
But, the storage is quite limited so if you wanted to take along a change of clothes and some food, for example, you would still need an extra bag. Also, if you’re always folding your pram or pushchair then the bag has to be removed every time. Overall, I found it more of a nuisance and quickly reverted to taking a full nappy bag with us when we went out.
Best Pram Accessories: Final Thoughts
After experiencing some of the good and bad pram and pushchair accessories that are available, our number one tip would be: get a rain cover! Try to get one that fits closest to your buggy and make sure it covers as much as possible. That way at least your little one and your shopping will be dry even if you’re not.
Let us know your thoughts on the best pram accessories you use in the comments below.