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Ask Babybee: What’s the difference between a pram, a stroller and a travel system?

Pram, stroller, travel system. What's the difference? A lot actually! But we're here to help you decipher their differences with ease, so when you're shopping for your family you can buy with confidence knowing exactly what you're adding to cart.

Let's break down the basics and differentiate between a pram, a stroller, and a travel system. (Please note: the following applies to Australia only, as countries in Europe uses differing terms including pram or pushchair, whereas North America typically only uses the term stroller.)

What is a pram?

A pram is the term generally used to describe a stroller model that can be used with a bassinet. A pram with a bassinet allows your newborn baby to lie flat on its back (in line with expert advice by Red Nose and other safety groups in Australia).

You’ll be hard-pressed these days to find a pram that doesn’t allow for a stroller seat to be swapped for the bassinet. Therefore a pram is simply a stroller that has a bassinet or newborn insert (which acts like a bassinet) and when the bassinet or insert is attached is safe to use with your newborn.

What is a stroller?

A stroller is generally a model typically allows for an upright seat only, rather than having the flexibility to add a bassinet. As most overseas countries do not use the term pram, you may see some brands here referring to their product as a stroller despite the product coming with a bassinet (further adding to the general confusion of these often interchangeable terms!).

What is a travel system?

A travel system is the term used when your pram or stroller has adaptors that allow for a car capsule to be placed in the stroller frame. This means you can easily transport bub from the car to the stroller without having to wake them up to move them out of the car capsule and into a bassinet.

The key advantages of each

Prams: Experts recommend your newborn lies flat on their back until they can sit up unaided and support their own heads. A pram (remember the option that comes with a bassinet AND seat) is the best option to stroll with your newborn. Once your bub is big enough and can sit up by themselves, you can then swap the bassinet for the stroller seat. Most prams will be suited for use until your bub is a full blown toddler, but always check the specifications of each manufacturer so you can compare seat sizes.

Strollers: This option tends to be best for those looking for more compact, lightweight solutions. A stroller typically only comes with a stroller set and should be used when your bub no longer needs to lie flat on their back (and require a stroller). However, some manufacturers will refer to their pram as a stroller, meaning their product will have the option to switch between a bassinet, newborn inset or stroller seat.

Travel systems: These are advantageous to parents who have a car capsule and are looking for a seamless way to get bub in and out of the car, especially when they're sleeping. Many car capsules on the market are compatible with our range of prams, all you have to do is buy a pair of capsule adapters. Please note though, it is not recommended to leave your baby in a car capsule for prolonged periods of time as they cannot lie flat on their back. So, if you intend on taking your newborn out for a long walk a bassinet is your safest option.

The difference is in the detail

While a pram, a stroller and a travel system can all be terms for the same thing, each type and each manufacturer will have their own unique features. It is likely to be the biggest investment you will make for your baby, so make sure you do your due-diligence and research, research, research!

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