One of the first big ticket items most first-time parents will get is the pram. Popular brands like Maxi-Cosi and Quinny are famous for their designs that allow you to seamlessly convert a car seat into a pram! There are prams of all kinds on the market today – strollers, pushchairs, buggies, front-facing, rear-facing, sporty, lightweight… and the list goes on.
However, these days, an increasing proportion of young mothers are ditching their prams in favour of less bulky “baby wearing” options like the sling or carrier. Brands like Pupsik Studio and Mums In Mind are known for their slings, which can be used for babies from the newborn stage to early toddlerhood. Others prefer the carrier, which distributes the child’s weight more evenly across the shoulders and back, going with names like Ergo, Bjorn, Sleepy Wrap, Manduca and Beco.
Many young couples opt to have the ‘best of both worlds’, in that they buy or borrow both a pram and a sling/carrier. In fact, some even get more than one pram or carrier. For example, Jenny* owns a Pupsik sling, Ergo carrier and Combi Stroller.
“I used the Pupsik when my baby was a newborn, and it was great for carrying her around with me wherever I went. I still use it now, but much less so, as it’s a strain on my shoulders, and it’s more difficult to fit her in now that she’s a lot bigger. The Ergo is great for longer trips out, and looks more unisex than my sling, which means my hubby is not averse to taking over the weight now and then. And the pram is for long days out, or when I want to shop for clothes or shoes and can’t have a baby strapped to me while I’m doing so.”
And so we have compiled a table comparison of the pram versus the carrier/sling for you to have an overall picture of their respective strengths and drawbacks.
|Carrier / Sling||Pram / Pushchair / Stroller|
|Lightweight (especially the sling!) and portable. Most slings can be folded and packed into your diaper bag. Carriers like Beco and Sleepy Wrap are quite compact to stow away, while Ergo, Manduka and Baby Bjorn carriers may need to be carried in an additional bag.||Weight varies depending on model and type of prams. Stability and durability generally mean a bulkier and heavier pram. Strollers are generally lighter, but only suitable for babies who can sit up safely.|
|Cost ranges from $45 for a MIM sling to over $200 for an organic carrier.||Cost ranges from $199 for a basic stroller to four figure sums for high-end sturdy or vintage pram models like Stokke and Bugaboo.|
|Slings are certified as safe even for newborns, as long as you are careful to position baby according to the instructions given. Most carriers can be fitted out with an infant insert for newborns to increase support for the neck. All that said, be prepared for lots of unwanted attention and/or comments from less informed family, friends and the man on the street, who may be unnecessarily concerned for baby’s safety in these carriers.||Most prams and pushchairs provide great support for young infants. Strollers generally do not provide as much support and are better suited for older babies and toddlers.|
|Portable on public transport, and up and down stairs.||Inconvenient to bring onboard buses, and up and down stairs.|
|Weight of baby may cause muscle strain to the back and shoulders, especially if baby is heavy and/or you are carrying baby for extended periods of time. Favouring the use of the sling on one side only can also adversely affect your posture, so switching sides regularly is advisable.||Takes the weight of your shoulders – literally – but you’ll need to hoist it up and down public transport or your car boot, and some models are difficult to fold up for carrying.|
|Studies have shown that “baby wearing” often leads to calmer, more contented babies. The constant rocking motion and proximity to mother’s body are definitely key factors in helping them feel secure. Consequently, many babies generally take to this mode of transport fairly quickly, and may even find it easier to fall asleep in it.||Baby in the pram gets a much better view of the world all around him or her. Some prams have a reversible function so baby can be front-facing at times and rear-facing at others.|
|Keeping it clean is a breeze – just throw it into the washing machine!||Keeping it clean is a breeze – just throw it into the washing machine!|
|Can come in very handy at home when you need to be handsfree and baby can’t be left alone. For example, when you’re trying to fold the laundry, read a book, or even cook lunch!||Mainly restricted to use out of doors, as you wouldn’t want its wheels making dirt tracks on your nice clean floor, especially if baby is already crawling.|
Depending on your budget and lifestyle needs, you can buy one or the other, or both!
For a one-stop place to test out various pram and carrier models, check out some of these places below:
200 Jalan Sultan #03-27 Textile Centre Singapore 199018
Opening hours: 9am – 6pm
Mondays to Saturdays (Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)
Win5 Building 15 Yishun Industrial Street 1 #08-25 Singapore 768091
83 Kaki Bukit Avenue 1 Singapore 417954
69 Kaki Bukit Avenue 1 Singapore 417947
City Square Mall 180 Kitchener Road #B2-29
By Dorothea Chow.
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