We've all been there - dragging a pushchair across the beach as it sinks deeper and deeper into the sand, struggling with a pram in even small amounts of snow, or coming to a violent halt when stroller wheels jam in gravel. Not to mention staggering around under the weight of a laden buggy when we give up on even trying to push and try carrying instead.
It was watching young families fighting this battle on the beach in Gran Canaria that got Bromsgrove-based professional tennis coach Lee Cowan thinking about a potential solution. Now his invention, sandsliders, has been named one of the four finalists in the Baby Products Association's 2018 Concept & Innovation Awards and will be showcased at the Harrogate International Nursery Fair next month.
Spectacularly simple, sandsliders are a universal accessory that attach in an instant to all prams and pushchairs up to 50cm wide, by means of hooks on adjustable straps. Position the polypropylene sandsliders under the back wheels, tilt the front wheels off the ground and go - over sand, snow, pebbles, even fallen leaves and mud. Then just wash off the debris ready for next time.
Lee, working with family friend and entrepreneur Dean Mortimer, seems to have considered all those little factors that make life as a parent easier.
Even if you have a rugged all-terrain pushchair for use at home, a holiday stroller is usually chosen to be lightweight and compact for travelling - not for its ability to take on stretches of sand. Given that most of that parenting paraphernalia is generally stashed in the basket and you may well be hoping that your little one will nap in the stroller at some point, chances are you really want to keep it with you. Especially as keeping one eye on a pushchair parked in the far distance and one on a toddler racing towards the surf is hardly relaxing!
So sandsliders are lightweight (428g), fold in half to be compact and pack flat, can be hung on the back of the pushchair, and even come with a cotton travel bag featuring the brand's heart-nosed teddy!
Sandsliders retail at £20.