Before Ingrid arrived, I used to wonder why all mothers suddenly become so fond of long walks.

After Ingrid arrived, I realised that they don’t. They just do it anyway – because it puts the baby to sleep, and because it allows the mom to leave the house, and to get some exercise. I am not particularly fond of walking around in the city myself (hills and woods are a different matter!) but nevertheless I take substantial walks several times a week.

Most of the time Ingrid goes out in her pretty Stokke pram / pushchair. I love the pram. I feel a bit guilty about how much I paid for it (I’ve seen used cars advertised for less money!) but I figured, if I’m going to be using this thing every other day for several years, it better be good. I’m hoping it will be the only pram/pushchair that Ingrid needs.

And it truly is a joy to use. I really like going out with it. The big wheels go easily over bumps, and it handles so well that it can almost turn around in place. I can control it with one hand – I’ve even managed to push the pram and a shopping trolley at the same time. All parts are adjustable. The seat can face either forwards or backwards, and its position can range from almost-flat to sitting up. The rear wheels fold in so I can pull it up stairs and don’t have to carry it. There’s space for “stuff” so I don’t have to carry the groceries. And it looks cool – it often gets comments from passers-by.

The Stokke is easy to take on a bus, but Tube stations are a pain, with all those stairs. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just one long staircase – I’d fold in the wheels and drag it up (or down), and be done with it. But instead it’s five steps here, then a straight walk, then another 10 steps, then another walk, then another few steps… Every time I need to fold in the wheels, and then fold them out again. I tried it on the tube a few times, and the stairs were driving me crazy. So when we go to town, I either take the bus, or leave the pram at home and take Ingrid in the sling. The sling is also good when I am in a hurry: I don’t have to worry about the abominable pavements with all their holes and edges.

So the sling is more convenient in a way, but on the other hand I then have to carry her weight all the time, plus a backpack with baby stuff (changing mat, nappies, baby wipes, spare clothes, blanket). That plus a baby a good 10 kg altogether. And since she spends so much time in the sling anyway, my back is starting to feel the strain. With the pram on the other hand I can wheel her until she’s asleep, and then just park her in a corner while I’m doing other things, such as having lunch, or browsing books. (That’s assuming she doesn’t wake up as soon as I stop – she’s started doing that recently.)

PS: Did you know that the word “pram” is short for “perambulator”?