Tuesday, 10 November 2020

iCandy Lime Review & 7 Top Pram Buying Tips

Buying a pram is one of the biggest and priciest purchases when getting prepared for a newborn. Today, I wanted to share the pram we chose and a selection of tips I found useful when buying our pram. We were very lucky and grateful as the pram was actually a gift from my parents. My parents wanted to buy one of the bigger spend baby items; we discussed what to get and as I decided against having lots of baby furniture/ a nursery, I wanted them to buy something that would get a lot of use so opted for the pram. Then we had the job of choosing which pram to get! 

We opted for the iCandy Lime in Navy. Before I saw and tested out different prams, iCandy was one of the brands I'd seen lots of people I know in real life, and followed on Instagram using. There were a few other brands I'd heard of that I knew were popular too. I chose the navy colour as my Mum had said my sister's pram had been navy (mine had been a checkered number which was popular in the 90s, but not necessarily suitable for now unless I wanted to rock the Cher from Clueless look!), I liked the colour and liked the little link it shared with my Mum's choices too. 

The key features I love about the iCandy Lime are that it is lightweight and easy to move around, had spacious storage underneath for shopping and a changing bag, it's suitable from birth and converts into a pushchair as your child grows and was easy to fold down (this one was a must for any pram I looked at!) An added bonus I found is that the carrycot is safe for overnight sleeping, which for myself and Brad is a useful bonus if we were to stay overnight somewhere and meant we didn't need to think about additional purchases such as a travel cot or how to carry extra sleeping materials for overnight stays at our family's house. 

Below, I've shared my top tips for pram buying, and how they helped me choose the perfect pram for us. Hopefully at least one of the tips will help you find the right one for you & save some time and money along the way. 

1. Go and visit a shop where they have prams on display. For us, we were lucky enough to get to our local shop just before the lockdown hit and I am honestly so glad we did. At the time, I would have been around 4-5months pregnant - I wish I'd of gone a lot earlier because I had a lot more clarity over which prams to look out for after visiting a shop. The bigger chain stores to visit include Mamas and PapasJohn Lewis and Boots (Boots are partnering with Mothercare from October 2020, but already have prams and strollers on their online site, so if you have a larger store near you, it may be worth popping in to see if their baby department has been updated yet!). For us, we went to our local baby shops Baby Lady in Canterbury and Katies Playpen in Bexley... a quick google of 'baby shops near me' should bring up your local, independent stockists. 

2. Ask the staff in store for their input. This was a vital one for us. Neither me or Brad drive. We live in Whitstable. We like to go walking into town and going for walks on the beach. For myself personally, I rely massively on public transport to get around and see family & friends. I wanted a pram that was as lightweight as possible, easy to manoeuvre and functional. I explained this to the staff in the shops, and straight away they could tell me which prams I should and shouldn't consider buying based on these things. Before I went to the shops to look at prams, I'd researched online different prams but there are just so many to look at, and without actually seeing, feeling and testing them out it can be really easy to choose the wrong pram. I truly thought I'd be buying the iCandy Peach before seeing it in real life, then I saw the size of it ... I'm 5 foot 2, and honestly the iCandy Lime which we went for just about looks small enough against me! After talking it through with staff members who know the products inside out, we managed to narrow down to a few different prams to go away and research. 
3. Get information leaflets and booklets on the prams you are interested in. Once we'd narrowed down the prams we liked the look of, we decided to not buy on the spot, and take booklets and information leaflets of all the prams that we liked. Generally brands have their own booklets; we went home with an iCandy and the Babystyle Oyster information leaflets. I'd recommend taking these and having a good look through them before committing to buy your pram. For the iCandy leaflet for example, there was a breakdown on each type of iCandy, the main features of each one and the accessories you could purchase alongside it. I personally feel having physical leaflets is a lot easier than navigating websites comparing the models. The other pro of this, is being able to look at and choose any accompanying accessories. You may decide you want none of the additions which can come with the pram, or you may decide you actually love the matching footmuff - it's good to know this before buying as different retailers offer different deals and bundle deals, which leads me into the next tip... 

4. Shop around. Obvious right? I thought so but pleasantly surprised myself with how wrong I was. We very nearly ended up buying an iCandy the first time we went into a shop... if you aren't 100% sure, don't purchase straight away. Different retailers offer bundle deals and special offers but is it the offer you really want? The offer we nearly went for would have cost £125 more and we'd have a foot muff and changing bag that we weren't bothered about as a result. From a money saving perspective, there's no point buying a 'great deal' if you wouldn't of bought the items in that deal separately anyway. Even though the pram was being bought for us, we still didn't want it to cost my parents an unnecessary amount. After finally deciding on the iCandy Lime we shopped around to find the best deal. 

My best quick tips for this are: 

  • Check the big retailers for discount codes, upcoming special events and price compare. 
  • For independent shops, check the deals they are offering in store and online. The store we were originally going to buy a deal from in store had the same deal for £50 cheaper online! 
  • Check independent stores all over the UK - most offer a delivery service and each store usually offers their own deals and bundles based on the stock they have and what's popular in their area. 
  • Check the Google Shopping bar at the top of the Google Search - we found Little Angels Prams which had the best price for the model and accessories we were after. 
  • Check eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and any other local selling groups - you honestly never know if the pram you are after is going to be there! It wasn't to be for us, but we definitely would've bought second hand if the opportunity arose! 

5. Look for ex-editions / new releases.  We ended up getting lucky with the iCandy ... from talking to staff in baby shops, the iCandy Lime was due a new upgrade of colours/materials, which meant the old models were going into lots of deals across retailers as they were seen as 'old stock'. 

6. Search for discount codes & cash back.  One tip I apply to pretty much everything I buy anyway. Search for the specific model you want. Type it into Google, your usual cashback site and it's also always worth a look on social media too - I always check Twitter in case someone has posted or retweeted a good deal or code to use! It's also worth signing up to newsletters such as Emma's Diary as they send through offers for different brands all the time. 

7. Be patient and wait for sales and events. This is the only tip we didn't use due to the lockdown, but would've used under normal circumstances - we ended up ordering the pram mid March, days before non-essential shops were shut as we figured it'd be something we'd need if the lockdown lasted past when the baby was born! Different retailers and organisations have different events throughout the year so it's always worth if you can holding out to see what offers you can use. For example I know John Lewis do a Nursery event where you can get a gift card back when you spend £500. Another one is The Baby Show ... I saw on their online virtual event back in Spring, that different retailers were offering discount codes off their products for the duration of the event. 

In the end, we cut the cost of our pram down by £125 - £225 ... the pram ended up being the most expensive newborn purchase, but we all agreed that we were really pleased that we ended up with one of the more cost effective models and didn't end up with a huge pram costing us over £1000 that would've been difficult to use and not right for us! I hope this post has helped in some way if you are looking to buy a pram for your little one and if you have any tips of your own I'd love to know them! 
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