Buggy board or double buggy? With a 2.5 year age gap between my children, I deliberated this question for a long while. I didn’t really fancy lugging a bulky double buggy around, but neither did I like the idea of being stuck with a child who refuses to go on the buggy board, or being forced to walk at toddler pace when we are in a hurry.
In the end, I opted for the buggy board with a ‘see how it goes’ approach. There have been more than a few times where a double buggy would have been a lot more convenient, but the buggy board is a cost-effective compromise. Here are my buggy board pros and cons. (For reference, we have been using a Lascal Maxi buggy board with a Bugaboo Cameleon).
A pushchair that is a dream to manoeuvre suddenly becomes a concerted effort to turn when you have child on buggy board. Right angle turns are very hard to pull off. You know when someone is walking towards you in the same path line, so one of you needs to shift over slightly to give way? Well, trying to manoeuvre the buggy board to make that shift is really difficult. It’s similar to pushing a fully loaded trolley.
It is also very difficult to pull the buggy backwards with a toddler on buggy board. The wheels just don’t shift. I have to tell Arlo to get off when I need to turn the buggy and pull it backwards, ie, when walking through an inward opening door. Not only does this make things twice as long, but if your toddler is not great at listening/following instructions, you could have a very annoying juggling act on your hands. We’ve had a few close calls when it comes to lift doors closing too soon, etc.
We have noticed after long walks using the buggy board, Arlo’s legs are very wobbly when he comes off, due to being braced for long periods of time. Sam took him on a 2 mile trip recently, and Arlo couldn’t actually walk for about five minutes when he got off. Making sure your child walks part of the way is one solution, but if you regularly have to do long walks in a hurry (ie the school run), you might need to take this point into consideration.
You can’t hang bags off the buggy when using buggy board as it gets in the way of the child standing. I am currently using a backpack as both the childrens’ changing bag and my handbag.
The thing I struggle with most often in opting to go for buggy board plus buggy combo are stairs and escalators. Who do I carry down the stairs first? The buggy or Arlo? Should I make Arlo wait at the bottom of stairs and go back for the buggy and hope he doesn’t run off in the meantime? Escalators – OK, I know we aren’t MEANT to use them with buggies, but sometimes (especially at tube stations) there is no other option. But again, it’s impossible to hold both a toddler and a pushchair on an escalator when I am traveling alone with the two of them.
Rory was born in May, so we have been using our buggy board in summer. I can imagine I would have more need for double buggy in winter. I don’t like the thought of Arlo standing on the board in the driving rain – although it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you make sure you have the proper weather-appropriate clothes. The buggy board would not stand a chance in snow.
When introducing the buggy board, make sure your toddler’s first use of the buggy board is on a smooth, flat, journey – particularly if you have a non-daredevil child like Arlo. The first time he tried it, we walked downhill on an uneven surface, and he freaked out. At that point, I thought he would never get on the buggy board again. He refused for a while, but I made sure to only use it on smooth, flat, surfaces until he was confident on the board, which took a few weeks.
However, it’s not all negative.
A buggy board attached to a single buggy is a lot less cumbersome than a double buggy.
£40 for a buggy board VS the cost of a double is a much more appealing figure, and is the main reason I put up with the annoying aspects of the board rather than running out to buy a double at the first opportunity.
The face to face aspect is really lovely – Rory absolutely loves watching his brother right in front of him, and Arlo loves being able to talk to Rory.
A buggy board is good for short trips out where you need a speedier option than walking at toddler pace. But it’s not ideal for long days out or in bad weather. Buggy boards have some manoeuvrability issues that are highly annoying, but not a dealbreaker. The decision ultimately comes down to how much walking you need to do with your buggy – if you mainly use the car, and the buggy is usually just for running errands, you might find a buggy board better suits your needs. If you mainly walk everywhere or have regular long distances to walk, you might find a double buggy to be the easier option.