A functional, versatile pram or stroller is one of the most important investments parents will make when preparing for the arrival of a new baby. With proper maintenance and care, a pram of exceptional quality and flexible design, should take a child from newborn all the way through to preschool, with ease.
So what exactly does proper maintenance entail? Let’s do a quick run through of simple upkeep protocols which can be followed, to keep your pram in tip top shape for many years to come.
Read the care manual
Prams are equipped with manuals which will often outline basic care instructions. These may cover proper operation and maintenance tips to extend the useful life of the pram. This guide may also provide information on how to remove components for cleaning and upkeep.
Manuals may also outline how to remove components such as harnesses, drink holders or trays, for cleaning. Grubby hands and mouldering food can cause these parts to become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Care and maintenance of prams is important not only to ensure the longevity of the usefulness of the pram but also as a matter of hygiene. Most parents will use the pram or stroller as a makeshift feeding chair when out shopping or dining. Particles of food will inevitably drop and be caught in the folds and fabric of the prams seat - breeding bacteria.
Clean pram seats by vacuuming the cracks using a hose attachment, to pick up any loose particles. Use a mixture of baking soda and soapy water to gently wipe over the fabric. If the harness is heavily soiled and designed to be easily removed, take it out and wash and disinfect thoroughly, before replacing the harness as per manufacturer's instructions.
To clean the fabric and body of the pram, try a 50/50 mix of water and baking soda with baby safe soap. Alternatively use a gentle soap with water and apply with a soft sponge or cloth.
Another option is a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water which you could spray onto the seat area and scrub the fabric gently with a brush. A toothbrush is effective in cleaning heavier stains or soiling.
Dry the fabric thoroughly to avoid mould developing. This is particularly important if the pram is stored folded, as this may contribute to fungal growth.
Just like a car, a prams wheels are a vital component of its safety and effectiveness. If wheels are designed to be removed easily, take them off and clean away mud and debris. Avoid using harsh cleaners or solvents as they may degrade the rubber.
Tyres made from rubber may eventually perish if stored in direct sunlight. Avoid oils and silicones as a lubricant as they can attract and hold grit and dirt, which increases the risk of wear and tear.
In the process of cleaning, check brakes are functioning properly. If the pram has disc brakes, avoid getting lubricant on them as this can decrease the ability for brakes to function safely and effectively.
The sun can fade fabrics over time, causing the once vivid colour to appear aged and worn. Sun exposure can also degrade plastic components over extended periods of time, causing them to crack or become brittle. Keep prams stored out of direct sunlight to extend its pristine, new appearance.
A quality pram is a smart financial investment. Provided it is well maintained, a pram or stroller can be a single purchase item, which will carry your infant through every stage of childhood without missing a beat.