It’s been a little while since we chatted about buggies and pushchairs. Given that lots of you lovely lot are expecting and are probably in the market for a pushchair, I thought I’d share the decision process behind why we bought the Bugaboo Bee 3 and what I love and DON’T love about it…
Why We Choose The Bugaboo Bee 3
Like most people, we narrowed down a list of the things that were really important to us in a buggy.
1. It had to be light. For the most part, I would be the one using it, so we wanted something that could easily be lifted by one person.
2. It had to fold up small. We live in an apartment, so wanted a buggy that wouldn’t take over the place. We also travel up and down the country frequently so the buggy had to fit in the car, leaving space in the boot, as that was needed for my clothes. Oh wait, silly me. I mean the travel cot, breast pump, steriliser, bottles, 50 million spare sleep suits and nappies…
3. It had to have a big basket. The primary purpose of this buggy was to allow me to walk to the shops and buy food if Matt was away with the car for a few days for work.
4. It had to be suitable from newborn until Elle stopped wanting to use it. We didn’t have a huge amount of money to play with when purchasing ALL of the baby crap and wanted to invest once and not have to buy a stroller a couple of years down the line, or to buy again for future babies.
The Bugaboo Bee 3 certainly achieves all of the above things. As well as being light, it’s easily manoeuvred with one hand (handy for getting in and out of doors without needing assistance, walking a dog, crying down the phone to your Mum…etc). It’s VERY small when folded, although I must admit ours was usually parked in our utility room in the early months, rather than folded away. I’m also pleased to report we can fit it into our boot with the rest of the things we need for a weekend away. The basket easily fits two bags of shopping too.
We didn’t buy the bassinet as the standard Bee 3 chassis is suitable from newborn and with Elle at just over two now, it’s working well for us as a stroller too. Once you get the hang of putting it up and down, the Bugaboo Bee 3 is easy to use, but it takes a little time to learn how much pressure to use and which buttons to press. Like all conscientious parents to be, we attempted this before Elle arrived and it resulted in shouting and tears. We thought we’d broken it. We hadn’t.
The whole thing can be taken apart and cleaned, the covers are machine washable too. On warm sunny days, I’ve basically hosed it down and left it to dry off in the sun and it’s come up a treat.
This buggy is built for tarmac. It’s sold as an Urban pushchair and has the hashtag #beeinthecity. It CANNOT handle rough surfaces, grass or sand – so don’t buy it if you want to off-road or if your local council need to resurface your pavements. Having said that though, it’s still pretty sturdy and handled me taking it to buggy bootcamp in the early days.
Your baby is clipped in with four straps, connecting with one button which you click open to release. I’d read reviews that thought this was too easy for the child to escape from. But I’m happy to report that it takes a reasonable amount of pressure to click this button and Elle hasn’t attempted this yet…
What I LOVE About The Bugaboo 3
The canopy is amazing. It comes really far down, so if Elle falls asleep she can be almost completely covered, but I know there’s still great airflow.
It looks nice (!) everyone always comments on how cute and compact it is. This is fine if you have a pixie for a child, but I’m not sure bigger children would get on well with it. (The size of it also means that your baby feels quite low and far away from you compared to the bigger pushchairs – but this was a sacrifice I was willing to make for something that was light and easy to store).
I can’t fault the Bugaboo Bee 3 in being a light, easy to use buggy from newborn to toddler. It’s been perfect for us at every stage so far. (If you’re on the look out for a stroller, check out this post on the best strollers for travelling).
What I DON’T LOVE About The Bugaboo Bee 3
The chair covers don’t seem to fit the base particularly well. I’m not sure if that’s just due to the fact that Elle kicks them off when she’s having a tantrum about being put in it, but I’m always having to clip the bottom one back on. Equally the rain cover doesn’t seem to fit very well either – it’s like it’s been made for the bassinet, rather than the buggy. I don’t know if perhaps Bugaboo have a one size fits all rain cover (?) but this is annoying when the rain is set in and you have to take the dog out.
There’s no bar across the front, so when your baby gets to the ‘leg resting’ stage (yes, this is a thing – see action shots above) they have to do it legs akimbo. Which isn’t really an issue, they are obviously comfy, but they don’t look quite as chilled as their little mates with a front bar on which to put their feet up.
When your baby is facing you, it’s easy to get into the basket to retrieve your shopping. When your baby is forward facing however, you either have to stick your hand through a small hole and attempt to pull out your desired items (biscuits), or lift up the seat and risk waking the sleeping monster. Very annoying if whole point of your walk was to get them to sleep so that you could have your tea and biscuits in peace.
Would I Buy It Again?
Hmmm. Tricky one. It lives up to everything it promises, so in terms of doing the job we wanted it to do – yes, I’d certainly buy it again. I’d definitely recommend the Bugaboo brand, yes they are more expensive than others, but we’ve had zero issues with it and I know it be fine for another baby too. As an urban pushchair/stroller it really is great. I can’t help feeling that maybe we should have invested in something that was able to handle sand/track walks given we have a dog and are quite ‘outdoorsy’ (hate that word). Our logic was that for beach or coastal walks we’d use a baby carrier, which we did for the most part, but carrying an ever-growing baby is pretty tough on your back.
Also, next time around, I’d invest in the Baby Cocoon as I did sometimes feel like Elle was exposed to the elements compared to other bubs in their cosy bassinets.
Buggy Buying Advice
Even if you’re not buying the Bugaboo Bee 3, I hope this has helped you to decide what kind of buggy would work for you. It’s ok to feel completely overwhelmed by the whole process. I shed full on tears in John Lewis on more than one occasion while I was pregnant. Don’t feel pressured into buying all of the gadgets. We didn’t have a bassinet, car seat adapters, or any fancy frills because we decided we didn’t need them to fit our lifestyle.
The temptation to buy new is overwhelming with your first baby, but do consider buying a buggy second hand – there are some great bargains to be had and honestly, once your child has thrown up in it, the newness soon loses it’s shine.
If you have friends with kids, try their buggies out. Using a buggy in the wild for a morning is very different to pushing one around a shop for 10 minutes. If you want read about Lolly and Becky’s pushchair choices, you can visit this archive post too.
Do any of you have a Bugaboo? What do you think of them? Is anyone in the middle of deciding which pram or pushchair to purchase?
Oh and if someone could explain to me how I STILL end up with sand in basket of the buggy which doesn’t even visit the beach – I’d really appreciate it 😉 xxx
(PS sorry for my awful iPhone shots, I thought you’d appreciate some real life images, rather than stock imagery, and I couldn’t resist including teeny tiny baby Elle).