Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

baby days

I've seen several posts over the last year or so about baby equipment.
Mostly prams.
Those fancy-schmancy prams that look nothing at all like a pram to me and costing thousands of dollars.

I thought I'd give you all a look at what my babies got pushed around in.

Made by steelcraft, adjustable in many ways, soft vinyl covers, so very washable!
I had a burgundy one as pictured here at the back.



Naturally I bought the bag attachment for carrying baby supplies such as spare nappies, bottle of water, clean up gear etc. The pram plus bag and a mattress cost me only $99.
The large front handle could be pushed to the back of the pram, so baby could be pushed from either direction, thus ensuring a comfortable ride without the sun shining directly into its little face. No one needs squint wrinkles before they're even a year old!


Rain covers were available too, I had one but it was very rarely used.
The front section of the cover could be unclipped and the footrest lowered for when the baby was older and sitting up. An attached strap was brought up over the bar and clipped into place with baby's legs on either side so he or she didn't just slide on out.
The backrest was 3-stage adjustable from completely flat for newborns, to straight up for sitting babies and toddlers.
Mattresses were sold separately in various thicknesses for differing prices. I bought a not-too-thick washable one. (babies are messy).


The entire thing could be easily and quickly stripped down for scrubbing, and being chrome and vinyl, it dried very quickly.

When your (my) baby reached toddler age, every unnecessary part was stripped off, cleaned and stored away, and just a basic stroller was left.
At this point I left the shopping/carry bag attachment on so I wouldn't be juggling nappy bags etc.

This pram lasted me through three babies and as it was still in excellent condition when #3 was 12 months old, I sold it for a decent price.
By then she was almost always being pushed around in one of these.....


The MacLaren umbrella stroller, weighed almost nothing, folded with a kick of the hinge and flick of the wrist, easy to steer and easy to clean.
I thought I'd just use this until she insisted on walking everywhere and then I'd be free of prams forever.
Well, that didn't work out did it. (Sheldonism)
Baby #4 came along and I hunted the local secondhand shop for another pram.
Scroll up to the first picture again and see the tan model next to the burgundy one.
That's what I found, in excellent condition for only $25.

In between pram times and playing on the floor, my babies spent a fair amount of time in one of these...

The Bouncinette.
Made of sprung steel with a removable mesh cover that could be tossed into the washing machine, the baby would lie in this and be able to see in most directions. These were very lightweight, so I could lift and carry it from room to room with the baby in it. So the child was always with me, (unless it was sleeping), and able to see that I was right there and hadn't left him/her alone. These little bouncers would rock as the baby kicked its legs, waved its arms or even just wriggled. Padded covers were available and also clip on frames with dangling bright coloured toys. Although I rarely used those, my babies seemed to prefer their toys on a blanket on the floor.
You'll notice I was a big fan of anything that could be quickly scrubbed down and even more quickly dried.
That's one thing I don't like about many of the prams I see today. They're so padded with fabrics they must take forever to dry if you wash them thoroughly. Maybe that's why I see so many that are grubby and/or stained.

I'm unable to find an image of the high chair I used for all four babies, but this one comes pretty close.


Mine was a different colour, beige, with a removable laminate tray that didn't curve all the way back around the sides. It had a chrome railing around the top edge of the tray with beads strung along it to amuse the baby while he/she was waiting for the dinner I was bringing.  Once again, easily scrubbed or hosed off in the back yard. In between babies, this was lent out to friends and returned when I needed it.

I have great memories of my children's baby days, there was no internet, and I wasn't working, so I had plenty of time and I had really easy going babies.

12 comments:

FruitCake said...

A young friend recently posted a pic on F'book of a pram "with front all-terrain wheel" cost $1,000 will sell for 400 only 8 months old."

Maybe there's a market looming for "retro chrome and laminate" high chairs?

Toni said...

MAN, didn't it just KILL when you snagged your toe on the bouncinette frame as you walked past, though!!

I used all those items (or very very similar) for my first babies, too River -- and they're none the worse for it! I rather think parents are being conned now.

Andrew said...

I laugh when I see a young trendy mum trying to get onto an older tram with a large pram. They won't fit between the door and stanchion. They give up and have to wait for a more modern tram. Why on earth do they need to be so big?

R.H. said...

One pram lasted for three babies? How economical. Maybe you should have kept it going, you might have established a record.

Windsmoke. said...

Definitely a blast from a distant past. Didn't have much to do with prams left all up to my first wife all i did was fold and unfold it and place it in the boot :-).

Tempo said...

Yes, I remember these, sturdy and long lasting. My daughters all bought these new flash ones that dont seem to last long at all.
Things are different..but not better..

River said...

FruitCake; it just doesn't make sense to me to pay so much for a pram and only use it for less than a year. If this is her first baby, what does she do when she has another? Buy another $1000 pram? If it's her last baby why spend so much money? Most high chairs these days have more safety features.

Toni; I snagged my toes on coffee table feet instead as I stepped oh-so-carefully around the bouncinette!
I agree with parents being conned.

Andrew; I see the same problem at the checkout, in my day (gosh, doesn't that sound old), prams fitted through any checkout. Now they have to go through the wide express lanes or through the wheelchair checkout.

R.H. I buy quality items and look after them, my things tend to last me a very long time.

Windsmoke; What you did was very useful. It's difficult trying to fold one while holding the baby.

Tempo; That's the trouble with a lot of modern things, they cost so much and don't last at all. Repairs cost almost as much as the original price of things, so people tend to toss things out more.

Tina ~ Tina Gray {dot} Me said...

I love this blog post! That pram is similar to the one my mum had for me and my sister. When my own children were born, my mother in law bought a pram for us which lasted for 3 children. When we were pregnant with our 4th, I found one that was designed to look like those vintage prams but I got it for a bargain price on ebay. Our 5th child had the bare necessities and it didn't harm her in any way because I didn't have a baby wipe warmer!

R.H. said...

There's something sinister about those prams, especially those lined up together. I felt threatened.

Kath Lockett said...

Posh, overpriced prams were big when Sapphire was born in 1999 but we bought a cheaper version that cost $200 (compared to $900) and it was brilliant. Sturdy, easily washable, a nice raincover and wheels that a 4WD would envy that got us over many crappy kerbs, rocks and rough ground.

By the time she outgrew the pram, we got a stroller but Sapphire only sat in it the once. She was ready to walk and stay walking.

River said...

Tina; a baby wipe warmer??? I don't believe my eyes! A. Baby. Wipe. Warmer. WTF??? I didn't even have baby wipes! A facewasher did the job, then was tossed into the napisan soaking bucket along with the terry towelling nappies.

R.H. Threatened by prams?? What is wrong with you? You've seen too many horror movies....

Kath Lockett; key points, sturdy and easily washable. Today's prams are so full of padding and fabric they'd take a week to dry. My kids weren't in their strollers much either. How many times did I hear "I not a baby!"

JahTeh said...

I had a blue version of that pram but gee it was a horror to get it on a bus.
The strollers are much better now. You rarely see them fall backwards when too much was put in the holder, now they have a tray on the bottom.

I am besieged by baby things these days, I can do without a reminder.