Double buggies for newborn and toddler: A necessity or not?

When you’re planning for or expecting another baby, you’ll put a lot of thought into how a new addition might alter your existing family set-up. From planning where your new baby will sleep, and if they will have your toddler’s former cot or if it will still be in use, to how you will get out and about with two little nippers, there are a lot of logistics to sort. 

Do I need a double buggy?

This is one of the first things most parents wonder, and it can sometimes be difficult to know for certain. Sometimes it’s fairly clear-cut -- with a tiny age gap of 16 months, for example, buying a double buggy is a no-brainer as your eldest child may have only just taken her first steps and definitely still be very reliant on the pushchair.

If you have a different age gap, for example a newborn and a toddler of between 2 and 3 years old, you might wonder if you can manage without a double pram. This really depends on your circumstances, and we cover some common scenarios for using a double buggy below, together with some alternative options for managing without. 

Will I need a double buggy for a newborn and toddler?

Before you buy a double buggy, you want to feel confident you’ll get plenty of use from your investment. Asking yourself the following can help:

  • What age will my eldest be when my new baby arrives?

If your older child will be around 3, it might be possible to find an alternative to a double buggy. However, it can be tricky to know for sure as, if your new arrival isn’t due for 6 months, you can’t be confident how much walking your tot will be doing by then! It’s wisest, therefore, to consider lifestyle factors, in addition to the age of your toddler.

  • How much walking do I do currently?

If you enjoy long walks with your little one in a pushchair, a double buggy is probably worth investing in, as 2 and 3 year olds only have little legs. They can’t walk far and they can’t walk fast, so if you usually walk a mile or two and plan to continue this, it will be tricky without a double pushchair. 

What’s more, if you plan for your new baby to take some naps in the pushchair, it can be tough to make this happen if your toddler is stopping every 30 seconds to inspect a leaf, watch a bus or sit on the floor just because!

If, however, you mainly drive or use public transport when out, you may find life easier without a double buggy. They’re naturally a lot bigger, so harder to weave on and off buses and fit in boots. If you tend to drive places and then just have short walks from there, your youngest can be in a single pushchair and your eldest can probably manage to walk or use a buggy board.

  • Are my local roads busy?

This is worth thinking about from a safety point of view. Even if you think your toddler can reliably walk a certain distance, if you have a lively little one who occasionally bolts off, a double buggy can be a good choice to keep her safe and stop your heart from leaping into your mouth every 30 seconds! This is especially true near busy roads or if you live in an area with narrow pavements making it trickier to keep your toddler walking safely with you holding on to the pram.

  • Will my toddler still be napping?

Some toddlers nap until well into their third year whereas some have stopped by aged 2. Unfortunately, you won’t know for sure which end of the scale your toddler will be at by the time her sibling arrives, but it’s worth considering a double if she currently naps on the go a lot. Even toddlers who have largely stopped napping will often still have a sneaky sleep in the pushchair or car for months following, so if you’re planning lots of longer trips out, a double buggy might be the way to go.

What options are there besides buying a double buggy?

Fortunately, there’s lots of choice for transporting your two nippers, once you decide on what best fits your needs. Here are some alternatives to using a double buggy:

Buggy boards

Most single pushchairs are compatible with a toddler ride on board or buggy board, making navigating two children on short journeys simple and easy. They don’t work so well if your toddler wants a nap, but are perfect for shorter trips out and about.

Using a baby carrier

Slings or baby carriers are a popular choice for many, including those with just one baby. If you opted for this combo, your newborn would be positioned in the sling or carrier and your toddler in the single pushchair. It can be tricky to do some things in a sling, such as lift your toddler if she needs help on the climbing frame, but the upside is they leave your hands free and lots of babies sleep really well in them because they’re so cocooned. 

Converting your single pushchair to a double

Depending on your make of pushchair, it may be possible to convert it into a double. This saves you paying out for a whole new pushchair, and also usually means you can have part of the pushchair with a carrycot or car seat for your newborn, and the other part with the seat unit for your toddler. This handy guide gives the lowdown on converting a single pushchair to a double.

If you’d like to look at the different options available for journeying with your little ones, we offer unpressured, expert advice online, in our stores or over the telephone. Just contact us here or on 01159 305772 with any questions and we’ll be happy to help.