Buying a pram: the moment of truth

I woke up on Saturday raring to pick up our pram and car seat. I didn’t know how symbolic these objects were or that they’d freak us out.

My in-laws bought them for us a few weeks ago and had them delivered to the store so we could leave them in storage. That was never going to happen.

It was bit like the Saturday before last when I pleaded with Laurence as soon as his eyes opened: “Please can we get a kitten today. Please?” He said yes but the internet and newspapers let us down.

People of Bristol, have your cats stopped reproducing? Isn’t spring when all the baby animals are supposed to emerge? That’s what Bambi taught me.

At least the pram and car seat were a sure thing. Once Laurence realised the injustice of suggesting we collect them “tomorrow”, we were off to Mamas & Papas.

I had tried to approach pram shopping like my father would: methodically researching, making notes and comparing to produce a highly detailed list to choose from. He’s done this with anything remotely technical he’s ever bought me.

A few years ago when he offered to buy me a camera, I unwittingly let him down by quickly glancing through the options and replying seconds later: “Oh, I like that one. It’s little and pretty.” He tells everyone this story. I’m not sure if it’s my impatience or technical disinterest which amuses him more.

In the end, I produced a fairly thorough list but admitted to Laurence: “But I like this one because it’s pretty.” It was the Mamas and Papas Pliko Pramette – so feminine and classy while agreeing with our practical requirements. I don’t think I could have gotten more pleasure from choosing an evening gown.

The traitor had been looking behind my back. Which? gave the M&P Sola their vote and he was pretty sold on it. I had to agree, it looked a good match. We decided to be open-minded and went to the store.

My poor brother skulked in a corner with his HTC Desire while a sixteen-year-old demonstrated every single buggy in the joint that would do for a newborn. We got our heads around the Luna and the Sola, momentarily drooling over the Urbo.

As it turned out the Pliko Pramette actually did tick our boxes. It was parent-facing, converted between pushchair and pram, the right size for our trunk (alright, boot, you Brits) and folded up completely. We left satisfied. Laurence felt like he’d picked a car and I a handbag.

But after he assembled it, and demonstrated it to me, he gave me a crumpled look as if to say, “My God, we’re having a baby. What are we doing?”

I found it funny. It’s not as if I can successfully forget the reality. She’s constantly sitting there around my middle, sometimes sticking a foot up my ribs.

I had my turn last night when we closed up everything to head to bed. I stopped in the hallway to look at the little car seat that would hold the creature. I imagined her head laying back, her eyes closed in sleep and wee toes peeking out.

I looked at Laurence. This time three years ago, I was an undergrad writing a dissertation, longing for him to notice me. Now we’re married and having a baby.

The sight of the car seat made me dizzy. All this and I’m not even twenty-five yet.

When I told him about it, he said: “At last. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who’s scared.”

[she/her] • writer • unschooler • team Soul Farm • Revillaging podcast • breastfeeding counsellor • Trinidadian in Cornwall

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  • Great blogging Adele, i read through nodding and musing away to myself as this was me not so long ago choosing our pram. Just thank the Lord you don’t drive a Mini (i’m assuming you don’t), this cuts down the number of prams which will fit in our boot which is just major stress! I can see baby’s pram from here, ii was originally meant to remain at my Mother’s until he was born….who was i kidding, i keep twirling it round our apartment like i’m on the loose! I remind myself of that episode in Friends where Monica keeps trying on her wedding dress, doing the washing up in it etc….lock me up now! x

    • We don’t have a mini – that would be a nightmare! I’m imagining you rolling the empty pram around your flat. Very funny! Laurence suggested I take it for a mozy around the neighbourhood but I said that would be creepy!

  • This brings back memories 🙂
    We used to go pram/pushchair oggling at Cribbs every weekend, just to see which one was nicest — best view is from Nandos upstairs 🙂
    We eventually decided on the BebeConfort Loola (fantastic, but heavy, for a supposedly lightweight) with the creatis car seat, and planned it all so well, we didn’t get either until after the baby was born! She did arrive 3 weeks early 🙂

  • Love this post, brings back the moment last year we spent what seemed like 3 days putting up the cot, only to have a total moment of panic as the last nail went in and it all came together. We went with the Sola by the way, but the Pilko is very pretty, granted. What our lives have now come to…

    • Yes, it’s the little things that can bring reality home. I was pretty convinced by the Sola when we were in the store but he didn’t like the way it folded and in the end the Pliko was the only one that folded all the way, even in pram mode. How’ve you found your Sola out of interest?

  • Aw, it’s such an amazing time this, the “before” and the preparing. I remember feeling like it was a bit like preparing for a wedding. Not a bad idea to twirl that pram around your house though, as we spent quite a lot of time doing that in the living room when our girl was born, as for a while it was the only place she was happy to go to sleep in! Countdown time now Adele! Enjoy every last single second xxx

  • I remember pram buying for Amy (it was over 11 years ago) and I remember going straight to one, picking it out and walking out the shop. I think the choice these days is phenomenal.

    CJ xx

    • It’s all a bit ridiculous really. We demonstrating it to my mother-in-law and she was saying that the pram she used with her three boys didn’t have all of these little gadgety things. As far as I can see, she got on fine.

  • Ohh I was sooo excited to buy our pram. I’ve wanted one ever since I was a little girl (like other girls dream about a fairytale wedding I assume). I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t want so narrowed the list down pretty quickly and in the end my husband had the final word. 🙂

    It doesn’t fit in to our boot though…by about an inch…

    But does make it so much more real. >_<


  • Loved the this post, I can remember feeling really freaked out by the pram, like the pram was a bigger commitment that the child! I spent more time researching prams than I did birth…..
    Then I didn’t learn how to put it up or down before I needed to – it whilst holding a small baby, then I realised it only just went in the boot of the very small car. then I realised I had no idea how to fit the car seat in the hospital car park. I am sure you are better prepared than me!

    • That is exactly how I feel! I haven’t read much about birth yet at all but boy did I research that pram! I put it up and took it down again to take the pics in this post so at least I’ve done it once. Now, as for the car seat…

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