My personal favourite, a coffee cup holder!

As a parent of two children, one just three and another about to turn five, the deliberation over a baby carrier was a long and arduous process. My wife and I considered various factors, from wheel size, storage and how easy something is to fold, weighed up against the baby’s comfort, which a wrap carrier appeared to us to provide.

And so, as I imagine is often the way, in seeking to cover all bases we bought more than one and waited to see what we used the meet. For most day-to-day purposes, we favoured the stroller for our first-born, as he enjoyed the face-to-face contact in the cot mode, and to see the world around him once he could be front-facing. We chose an Oyster brand stroller as this was highly compatible with easy click-in accessories, such as a sun shade or, my personal favourite, a coffee cup holder!

Our Oyster stroller had a number of other practical advantages, too. It is easy to fold down and store in the boot of a reasoanbly-sized car; if you can fit a carseat in comfortably, chances are the stroller will fold down to fill the boot space. A convenient bar across the child’s seat means sliding feet in was easy, even when the little one was somewhat unwilling to climb inside. Also, the frame was sturdy and lasted for around three years of continuous use.

Finally, the large size of the rear wheels became very handy both in terms of longevity – we lived up a high hill for our first year or so of parenthood, so a sturdy stroller was a must – and also on one memorable occasion, when we had to return to a temporary car park which had been very muddy since we parked up several hours earlier. It was a struggle, but the Oyster stroller made it through the bog!

So while the Oyster stroller was our go-to travel system when we were out and about, we also tried a wrap carrier, called a Caboo, and a Baby Bjorn carry system. These both had some significant advantages, especially in our babies’ first few months. For close contact, even skin-on-skin in the earliest months, tbe Caboo was fantastic. This allowed our baby to nestle into either me or their mum, and they would very often cuddle in very comfortably. Our own insecurity as new parents meant it could sometimes feel a little bit precarious – we’d always make sure there was somebody else around while using the wrap, especially to help with putting it on! – but in time we became more confident to use the Caboo solo.

The Baby Bjorn is a more weighty system which operates more like an ourdoor backpack, with comfortable holds for baby’s arms and legs on the parent’s front or back. This suited us well once our babies were around a year old, but before they could walk everywhere. These three systems worked well together for us and our growing family.