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How to buy the best car seats, carriers, prams or strollers

Get your baby from A to B with a minimum of fuss.

baby in car seat

The most important new addition to your life has just arrived – but if you thought that delivery was a challenge, wait till you have to start running errands and visiting friends with your new bundle of joy!

There are heaps of options for getting bub from A to B with a minimum of screaming. Safety, of course, is the most important thing in the purchasing decision process, but flexibility in accommodating your growing child where possible will also help you keep long-term costs down. CHOICE gives you useful tips for safety, comfort and ease of use.

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Child car seats

Preparing transport for your baby begins before you actually have the baby, with a carrier incorporating a baby capsule to get your precious cargo home from the hospital. If you didn't organise your own carrier beforehand you can hire a baby capsule from the hospital - that will be OK short term, and give you time to shop around for a car seat that you can keep using as Junior grows (and boy, do they grow).

Baby carriers and slings

A baby carrier, such as a sling or wrap, can be a useful baby transport solution for small trips as it's compact and light and takes up little space in the car. The close contact can also help create a bond with your child that you won't get when using a pram or stroller.

Available for newborns up to toddlers, baby carriers range from a simple wrap around to a more complex solution with padding or holes for the child's legs and arms as well as easy access for breastfeeding. Rigid carriers can also accommodate larger children when going on longer walks.

Bike child seats and trailers

We all acknowledge that a newborn is a joy to behold, but if you're a cyclist, you might find yourself longing to get back on the road pretty quickly. Once your child can sit on their own and hold his/her head up high (generally once they reach 12 months), you can still take them out for a ride using either a bike seat or bike trailer.

Prams or strollers for one, two or more kids

A pram or stroller can also cost an absolute bomb if you want to get the latest and greatest model with all the bells, whistles, features and functions; at the other end of the scale, you can go for El Cheapo Pram-o, and spend the next three years wrestling with the pram equivalent of a dollar-shop umbrella. Your baby's wheels need to be easy to manoeuvre and able to cope with interesting urban terrain.

Check out what you should look for when buying a single pram or stroller; if you have two small kids in the family (or are planning to!) you should check out the options available for double prams or strollers.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.