It was Iris Apfel who said, “If there was a choice on spending a lot of money on accessories or dress, I always chose accessories.” We can spend months debating which travel system we like the look of and which is the most value for money but how much time do we give to the pram accessories that companies offer. We’d never dress for the day without considering the accessories to go with an outfit, shoes, bag, etc. So why do we not do the same with such a big aspect of Mum-life.
I have to admit, first baby, I didn’t, AT ALL. I knew I wanted a Bugaboo and that was that. The only additional accessory I bought was a footmuff (and a life saver it was too in those winter months). But my second baby changed that mind-set.
Along came Alfred, evicted two weeks early and making a grand arrival on his sister, Ada’s second birthday. Ada was never really a pram lover. Yes, I was that Mum walking round the shops with a baby in one arm, pushing a pram full of bags. During my second pregnancy, I debated a Bugaboo Donkey for a long time, being adamant I wanted Ada to have the choice to be ‘pushed’ if she was tired etc. but I was reluctant to change as I knew deep down it was a waste and she was far too independent. Then came the Bugaboo board.
We visited Winstanley’s Pramworld to try out the Bugaboo Board prior to purchase. The staff attached it to one of the display models and after an initial hesitation, she was off. She loved it. A good pitch – “look it’s a cool scooter board,” and she was sold. Once Alf arrived (fortunately, a pram lover!), the board made solo outings with two little ones a breeze. Ada could hop on and off with ease and seemed to soak up the oohs and aahs from passers-by. Unlike some other boards, the Bugaboo board has a seat option (detachable), so your little one has the option to sit or stand on the board. The board easily disconnects so your chassis can still fit nicely into your boot when stowing or if it’s not being used for a particular outing, you don’t need to have it permanently attached.
Pram accessories are designed to enhance your travel system and make your busy-mum life easier. Next up, came a cup holder. Not the most essential I hear you say. Well it depends on how much you value your takeaway coffee. Try pushing a pram, holding a cup and shopping. The juggle is real. The cup holder gave me somewhere to put my drink down when I needed to. Or a bottle of milk or sippy cup was in easy reach. It has three adapters included to fit the different size side bars (ensure you fit the correct size) and the these just snap on and off – no screwdriver needed here. The cupholder slides off the clip too so fitting is all round quick and easy. Inside the cup holder are four prongs to stop those slimmer containers from rattling around and sloshing.
Now, I envy mums who can travel light. Just have a small bag for the day and cope perfectly wonderfully. I am that Mum who packs for every eventuality. I have rucksack packed with nappies, bottles, formula, change of clothes, dummies etc etc. Then, in an attempt to lighten my load and not carry an additional handbag, in goes my personal items (now reduced to an absolute minimum). But this means I end up scrambling through my rucksack to find my phone, car keys, purse etc. Again, not ideal when you have two babies in tow. The new Bugaboo Handlebar Organiser is ideal and a great time saver. Everything is there at hand. It has lots of compartments to separate all your things. You can store your baby essentials and/or mummy-essentials. It includes a thermo-insulated bottle section to keep those bottles cool/warm and is machine washable – a god send! Unlike some other handlebar organisers, the compartments are zipped and seem more secure to hold your valuables – there is a more concealed pocket at the back too to keep them a little more secure too. However, the best feature in my opinion is the strap for when you remove it from your pram. Other handlebar organisers are awkward to carry once removed so they become inconvenient if you are having to leave your pram unattended somewhere, say whilst you eat for example. The Bugaboo handlebar bag has a strap to make it almost like a handbag that you can sling over your shoulder. Move over designer handbags!
Now we all know the British weather can be pretty grim so as a Mum you can’t afford to be caught without a rain cover. I had the standard raincover that came with my Bugaboo Travel System but in all honesty, when it starts raining and you are quickly trying to cover the pram before your baby and pram is drowned, it’s not the easiest to work out. Bugaboo have brought out a new high performance rain cover that immediately impresses me for the fact it comes in a compact storage bag. Initially, I was concerned that it would be like those fabulous pop-up tents, great when you initially open it and there it is already constructed with minimal effort but when it comes to packing up, you wonder how it ever went in a small bag. After a practise or two it was surprisingly straightforward and not as daunting as I was expecting. It is certainly better than the standard rain cover, more structured to enable a better view and ease in fitting with an obvious top and bottom – hurrah! It also has a zipper on the front to make it easier to reach your little one plus a reflective strip to help keep you visible on dark winter’s evenings. Like the handlebar organiser it comes in different colour options too. From looking at the packaging, it looks to only fit the seat part of a Bugaboo system which is no good if you are using the bassinette part of you pram, however it fits the bassinette perfectly and so much better than the standard rain hood. I really wish I had had this the first time round.
Mum-life can be busy and fraught at times and I would do anything to make life flow more smoothly especially when out and about. Consider your pram accessories like you would add-ons when purchasing a car. Yeah, you could possibly do without them, but life would be so much easier and more comfortable with them and who is not up for making mum-life easier? I am definitely a pram accessory convert and quite frankly, know I couldn’t live without them now. Pramworld have a wide selection of options to “pimp-your-ride” (too old-school? Thought so!), so make sure you check out what is on offer and how they can help make your Travel System work optimally for you and your family.