Pushchairs: Pushchair accessories
Pushchairs come with a bewildering variety of accessories, from raincovers and hoods to cup holders and footmuffs.
We guide you through the essential accessories for pushchairs to help you decide which ones you really need, and which you can do without.
Essential accessories for pushchairs
Raincovers are essential for any pushchair that will venture into the great outdoors to keep the wind and rain off your child.
Most pushchairs, apart from the cheapest buggies and some designer models, include a raincover in the price.
If your pushchair doesn’t come with one, consider buying it separately. They usually cost up to £30.
It's often wise to go for a raincover that's made specifically for your pushchair to ensure the best fit.
Shopping baskets for pushchairs
Most pushchairs have a mesh or fabric shopping basket suspended under the seat.
Vital for storing shopping or nappy bags, these can usually carry up to 2kg of everyday shopping items - up to 5kg for the biggest versions.
Make sure it’s easy to access - some pushchairs have shopping baskets that are hidden by bits of the chassis, fabric from the hood or the backrest when the seat is reclined.
Never hang bags from the pushchair's handles, as this is dangerous.
Hoods for pushchairs
Pushchairs with a hood can help protect your child from mild drizzle, bright sunlight shining in their eyes or blustery wind.
Some pushchair hoods have windows in the top, so you can still keep an eye on your baby when the pushchair seat is facing forwards.
Our pushchair testers like hood pockets, which provide handy extra storage, and there are now pushchairs with specific iPod pockets (and even speakers for the baby).
Pushchair features worth considering
Some accessories, such as a bag to store your folded pushchair in or a toe warmer for your baby, are practical and worth considering.
Padded pushchair harness
One of these can make wearing (or straining against) the pushchair's harness more comfortable for your baby.
Pushchair bumper bar
These bars, which hover across the front of the pushchair's seat, will give your child something to lean forward against. The bar should never be used to restrain your child in the pushchair, though.
Some pushchair bumper bars include a tray where your child can store their bottle and favourite toy.
Look for a bumper bar that unclips and swings out. This is easier to use than having to lift your child over it to get them in and out of the pushchair.
Pushchairs with footmuffs
Footmuffs, cosytoes or aprons can be worth considering if you're going to use your pushchair for long strolls in cold weather.
Parasol for pushchairs
This is useful for parents who want to use their buggy in summer and don't want to bother with the hood. It will keep the sun out of your baby's eyes, keep them cooler and protect them from burning in the sun.
Cup holders and parents' trays
Some pushchairs have cup holders and trays for parents, which can be useful for caffeine fiends or holding dropped dummies, but check they're well-designed and don’t get in your way.
Car seats and carrycots
We think it's vital that you protect your child with the best car seat you can buy, so we don't test travel systems or pushchairs that will only work with car seats that do poorly in our tests - see our reviews of child car seats for current Best Buys.
All the travel systems we've tested, many all-terrain pushchairs and a few strollers can be used with a car seat. In all cases it's easy to attach and detach the car seats from the frame. In some cases the car seat is included in the price of the pushchair.
Some travel systems can also be used with carrycots - handy for getting your baby in and out of the pushchair when they're sleeping.
Pushchair accessory first looks
Our expert researchers, along with a pool of willing parents, have been trying out the latest and most popular pushchair accessories to see if it's worth splashing out on them.