Top Tips on Maintaining Your Baby's Pushchair
Not all pushchairs are made to last, but if you put effort in maintaining one, you can get a wonderfully constructed stroller that will remain functional for many years. Here are some of my top tips to keep your baby’s pushchair in tip top shape.
Read the manual
A pushchair is not exactly a sophisticated piece of equipment, but it still pays to read the manual. Surprisingly, 24% of women and 64% men don’t read the manual when buying something new, which includes pushchairs, too, so this is a gentle reminder to make sure you actively read up on your baby’s pushchair. A lot of valuable information can be found in a manual, including how to assemble and disassemble it, removable parts, material info, and of course, how to keep it in good working order.
Disassemble, brush, and vacuum the fabric
Cleaning a pram typically starts with detaching the seat and fabric from the frame. Most seats and canopies are machine-washable with a gentle cycle. Afterwards, leave them under the sun rather than tumble drying as this may damage the fabric.
Not all strollers can be taken apart, so the best you can do in this scenario is to brush it and use a vacuum. Focus on every nook and cranny, then soak a towel in soapy water and wipe down any dirty areas. A vinegar, water, and baking powder solution can remove more stubborn stains.
Inspect the frame
Inspect the frame for rust, dirt, and debris, especially the hinges. A solution made up of warm water and mild detergent is enough to clean the frame. Avoid strong abrasives as this can damage the plastic parts and corrode metallic components.
Clean and lubricate the moving parts
It's good practice to remove the wheels every once in a while to give them a deep clean. Most wheels can be disconnected and the steps on how to do it are found in the manual.
Squeaky wheels can be fixed with lubrication, which ideally should be done once a month. Oil and silicone lubricants are the most popular but these tend to attract dirt and dust. A non-stick Teflon lubricant is a viable alternative.
If your pushchair has air tyres, pump them up as well to keep the pressure at the recommended level. For most buggies, the recommended air pressure is 20 to 25 psi. The exact value is typically indicated in the manual, too. A hand air pump – the kind used for bicycle wheels – can do the job.
Mind the storage space
In my previous blog post about travelling with a baby, I suggested investing in a foldable stroller, especially if you travel a lot. Some parents prefer bigger ones though for more comfort and functionality, and in this case, it's a matter of looking for a robust buggy that is still easy to store. Go for a single pushchair that's compact enough to easily fit in the back of a car, and can be carried in and out of narrow passages or doorways. Use a storage area that's dry, easily accessible, and far from most busy areas in your house to avoid unnecessary nicks, bumps, and spills on the pushchair.
The space should also be cool, well ventilated and away from direct sunlight. This prevents rusting and moulding, while the cool temperature prevents the tyre rims from warping.