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Kirsty McCabe is 'The Imelda Marcos' of buggies and changing bags

Our weekly columnist muses on how her ever expanding footwear collection is slowly being replaced by baby paraphernalia...

Posted: 20 June 2014
by Catherine Hudson

The Graco travel system
The Joolz Day
The Nuna Pepp
A lifetime's supply of luxury changing bags...

"Pre-children, it would have been fair to say I was obsessed with shoes. My husband would claim I still am given how many pairs clog up the wardrobe. Along with a fair few handbags, it has to be said. These days though, it's all about buggies and changing bags.

At one point we had three pushchairs in our garage and another one that we were actually using. This was when we only had one child. Though to be fair, one was borrowed from my sister and another was a gift - thanks, mum!

I feel I should try to explain to all the dads out there who cannot understand why we mums go crazy over a bells-and-whistles first pushchair/travel system only to splash out on another buggy, this time a small and compact one, less a than year later.

The reason is simple, just like shoes we need different buggies for different occasions. So for the benefit of my husband Renato, here's my justification for having two buggies in my life (I did eventually give away the two spare lurking in our garage, along with a few changing bags I was no longer using).

The travel system style of pushchair is fantastic when you have a newborn. You can pop the car seat onto the buggy base so you don't need to wake the baby when moving from car to buggy. Or they can lie down flat in the pram carrycot option until they are big enough to use the seat, either facing you or facing away. I must admit I got a new buggy when my second child came along because I really missed out on having the parent-facing option with my first!

My first ever travel system was a Graco. I loved the fact that you didn't have to take this bit off or clip that bit on in order for the car seat or carrycot to be used. It was simple, straightforward, had a great folding mechanism, big basket and a reasonable price tag. The only downside was the no parent-facing option in buggy mode.

Second time round I discovered the Joolz Day. While a bit more fiddly than the Graco you soon get used to it, plus the carrycot option can double up as a travel cot. The travel system looks lovely, steers like a dream, is great for the taller parent (being of Dutch design), you can have your child facing you and it even has its own buggy board that doesn't get in the way of the brake and folds up with it. With adjustable handles it's one of the few buggies that you can push easily with a toddler on a buggy board. The downside – well, it is rather more expensive.

A travel system is also a bit big and rather heavy. So if you're off on holiday you want something that folds up nice and neat to squeeze into your car boot or pop into the aeroplane baggage hold. You might also just want a bit more space in your hallway, or if you live up lots of stairs you need something lighter. So with a backwards fond glance at the travel system, you move onto a stroller.

After borrowing one from my sister that had done 10 years of service and wasn't the easiest to steer I acquired the clever Nuna Pepp, a lightweight buggy with an ultra-compact fold-in-half design. It folds down to a flat backpack size so it easily fits in my car boot, and on a recent car journey it even fit in the space behind the front seats. You know you've got an impressive buggy when friends without children are impressed by it!

During a recent catch up with my NCT friends and our 10 children (you can imagine the chaos with five toddlers and five babies), I popped Logan into the Nuna for a nap. Immediately two of my friends declared buggy envy and were admiring its features and handling. Logan soon nodded off thanks to the extra pushing around.

Hang on though – you're walking to the shops with your baby and a toddler. The stroller isn't going to quite manage this job. You need the big buggy, with lots of space to store the shopping and ideally a buggy board for a tired toddler to hop onto. Yes, you can clip buggy boards onto strollers but they become difficult to steer and there's no room for the toddler, shopping and a changing bag, not forgetting the travel potty.

No wonder you are so keen to have a plethora of prams to hand. 

But talking of 'changing bags' – these are the new 'handbags' for any new yummy mummy. They range in price from free (thanks to the Boots Parenting Club) to second mortgage status. I haven't yet gone to the higher end but oh, I've been tempted. In fact, with my birthday coming up next month perhaps I should treat myself to a new one…"

Have your shopping habits changed since you have had children? Do you now have more changing bags than shoes? Let us know by commenting below...

Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk every Friday. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine and watch out for the hashtag #somethingfortheweekend to join in with the conversation

Read Kirsty's columns: 

blog, books, celebrity, parenting, support, advice, something for the weekend, kirsty mccabe, prams, changing bags, bags, travel system, buggy, pushchair

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Posted: 14/03/2017 at 17:46

These essentials are really helpful for us moms who've juggling our time with the kids and all. Thanks!

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Posted: 17/02/2018 at 15:00

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