I try really hard in our family to make sure that we give the kids lots of opportunities to go to different places and have different experiences. We don’t do anything particularly extravagant, but we do try to ensure that the children come with us as much as possible wherever we go. With a child who has special needs, this can present a few extra challenges. The most obvious one is that we still need a buggy 2 years after he took his 1st steps. Thurston doesn’t use a buggy all the time, but when he is tired, or his legs are cramping, or it is simply unsafe for him to be walking about causing mayhem, a pushchair is still an essential for us.
For some reason, due to his low muscle tone perhaps, Thurston has never been able to sit properly in a typical toddler-type stroller. If he is uncomfortable in his pushchair, it really does have a negative impact on the day. I end up feeling guilty that Thurston is unhappy, or I end up carrying him, which now that he weighs 28lbs, is quite exhausting. Recently, Thurston has become quite stressed in crowded situations, and I have often wondered if he would be reassured by being able to see me instead of looking at crowds of strangers.
Chicco were incredibly helpful and sent us their brand new pushchair, the Chicco i-Move. It looks so futuristic and different to anything else I’ve used and took a little bit of getting used to. It’s quite a big pushchair, but that’s great for me because Thurston isn’t a baby anymore, and needs something a bit more roomy now. The folding and unfolding mechanism is a little bit complicated and it doesn’t fold down very small, so I think it is definitely a “walking” pushchair rather than something you throw in the car!
As soon as I put Thurston in the i-Move, I completely fell in love with it! It really is a brilliant design. The seat itself is the most supportive seat I’ve ever found, and helped Thurston to sit upright instead of slumping. That will really help his posture and muscle tone. It has a little handlebar at the front of the seat which Thurston really loved holding onto. He seemed to think he was driving a car!
The steering of the pushchair was really easy and hardly any effort at all, even with a 4 year old like Thurston. I found going up and down kerbs a bit hard to get the hang of but got used to it after a while. The handlebar folded down so it was easy to get Thurston in and out which can sometimes be hard because he has long, wriggly and uncooperative legs!
The most obvious and best thing about the i-Move buggy is that just by kicking a pedal at the bottom of the buggy, you can spin the seat round to whichever way you want it. You don’t even have to take the child out, you just kick the pedal, lift the handlebar and flip it around. Thurston was really really impressed with this feature and kept shouting “spin around!” while we were out and about.
We took the i-Move on a day trip to London to give it a proper testing, and it was a really great choice. Even though the basket seems tiny, it housed a raincover and 3 raincoats and a drink no problem. The changing bag that came with it was big enough for a day’s essentials including a change of clothes for Thurston which came in handy when he went diving into muddy puddles. We went through puddles, muddy parks, grass, cobbled roads, high streets and on the train and the i-Move was easy to manouvre everywhere. The parent-facing option really came in handy on more than one occasion in London. Thurston got particularly stressed on Oxford Street with the crowds and was instantly calmed when I span him around to face me. He really needs to know that I am there when he is upset and being parent-facing really helps him. It’s also really handy for using Makaton signs, as obviously your child needs to be able to see you for the Makaton to be useful!!
I’m really impressed with the Chicco i-Move and so is Thurston. It’s a really unusual buggy and we are so pleased with it. When Thurston gets too big, I will store it away carefully for another baby!
Thanks for reading