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going without a stroller or car

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

For those of you who don't own or never use a stroller, what kind of other gear (other than carriers) do you find useful? I'm pregnant with my 1st and I'm thinking about what to register for. I was thinking an ergo backpack



and a cart like this http://www.amazon.com/Roadrunner-Folding-Grocery-Shopping-Version/dp/B003QZMWU2/ref=br_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1EEJZSOSZSYVQ&colid=U8NKGB4EGNYG


or this http://www.amazon.com/Whitmor-6342-2779-BLUE-Rolling-Utility-Cart/dp/B001UE8ILS


If any one owns one what do you think? I thought a push type rather than a pull type might be more comfortable but those only seem to come in the boxy wire style and the side walks here are too rough for that type of wheels.


I live in a city and will rarely have access to our car (DH will be bringing it to work). I have a bike but am not much of a cyclist so I will pretty much be walking and babywearing all the time to the library, grocery store etc. I want to try not to own a stroller but still make it relatively easy on myself.

post #2 of 36


Personally, as someone who does not own a car and who also lives in a city I think you may find it tough at times without a stroller unless you have great public transport. I'm not saying it can't be done, or that you shouldn't try, but It can also be useful to have a place to put the baby for a few minutes, for example if you want to try on some clothing or you have a dental appointment. I had (well, still have) one which allowed the baby to face me so we could talk whilst walking.


I loved my slings (I had a pouch and a wrap) but there isn't anything wrong in using a stroller if it would make your life easier on occasion. They don't make your baby any less attached. ROTFLMAO.gifI do know a few people who don't find the ergo all that great for a newborn, even with the insert. They're apparently great for older babies/young toddlers. Given the cost of an ergo I would try and find someone locally who will let you try one out as, like any sling, it might not be the best fit for you.


I often used the stroller as a cart. Baby in the sling, groceries in the stroller.


What's your climate like? Another reason I went for a stroller rather than a cart was that it rains a fair bit here and I knew babywearing wasn't going to work too well if I was out walking in the rain/sleet. Although I guess you could always put the baby in the cart if it rains. ROTFLMAO.gif


post #3 of 36
I have a stroller, but haven't used it much. It's to snowy out and if I move to the new apartment I looked at the other day there will be to many stairs to get it in and out all the time. I'm thinking about getting a little cart as well. I don't think a pull behind you cart will to be difficult to pull while wearing a baby.
post #4 of 36

i always wore my dc and then had a backpack on. my backpack is big, padded & amazing. the thing i like about it is that the straps you can loosen them and then pull them tight once on. this i find very important when i have a baby on the front. i do have a stroller that was a hand me down a very old prego (:lol it looks in mint condition because it sits in the closet 99% of the time) it has a flip handle so the baby faces me. i didnt use it very often but when i did i was glad i had it. i used it a few time when xmas shopping or at the fair it was great for jackets, snacks and what i bought. i favor a stroller over a buggy is that the stroller has the option of being able to hold the baby. i dont really worry when i am just out and about because i can pee while wearing my baby ;) and once they get to big they can stand while i pee. my problem with wearing a baby all day is that as a single mom i am the only one to wear the baby and having a 25lb 5month old he got heavy after a hours and i just wanted a little break. if you do want to get a stroller you dont need to spend alot on one get one used.

post #5 of 36
If it gets pretty hot where you are you might want a stroller. Last summer I had to walk to my boy's pediatrician checkup (3 miles all uphill) and had him in a mei tai. It was NOT fun and we were both drenched in sweat when we got there (I think it was about 95 that day). The same goes for if it gets too cold. You can bundle up your baby and drape a blanket over the stroller to keep the wind off. Plus it's just nice to give your back a break sometimes...like when you're at the farmers market and you're so hot your feet are swelling and your back feels like it's withering awway to dust but your husband is talking to a vendor and you keep saying "I need to go, I'm really hurting" but he has no idea how to end a conversation and you're there for over an hour...You don't need a fancy $300 jogging stroller; the $65 Chicco one from Amazon will do, especially if you don't plan on using it very often but just want it as a backup.
post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. I may end up with a hand-me -down stroller down the road. I have worked as a nanny for a long time and tried out pretty much every type of carrier and stroller in all kinds of weather. It certainly gets hot and humid, rainy and snowy here. Even so
there are women in many parts of the world who only babywear and don't own strollers and I would like some tips about the most convenient way to do that. btw I have easy access to very convenient public transportation which in my experience is much easier without a stroller.

post #7 of 36
Originally Posted by boater View Post

Thanks for the replies. I may end up with a hand-me -down stroller down the road. I have worked as a nanny for a long time and tried out pretty much every type of carrier and stroller in all kinds of weather. It certainly gets hot and humid, rainy and snowy here. Even so
there are women in many parts of the world who only babywear and don't own strollers and I would like some tips about the most convenient way to do that. btw I have easy access to very convenient public transportation which in my experience is much easier without a stroller.


Yep, but they don't need a stroller because they generally aren't going that far from home.

post #8 of 36
For a carrier, I wouldn't personally go for an Ergo with a newborn, it just is hard to get a good fit for a lot of people from what I've read. For me the Ergo was a bad fit because the straps were too wide and it was very bulky. If you are looking for a buckle carrier, I love our Beco Gemini. It is extremely easy to use and a good fit for a little baby. I think I would go with a wrap too, since it would be summer, a Gypsy Mama Bali Baby Breeze would be great. It feels wonderful and thin but has a nice give to it but still good for a back carry and good support even for my 23 pounder. I love snuggling a newborn in a wrap. stillheart.gif

As far as stroller/cart...if you really want to try not to use a stroller then the 1st cart seems nicer and looks like it folds better for going on public transportation. I don't think taking that would be much easier than a stroller though.
do like having a stroller for times when you need to put the baby down for dr. appts,/trying stuff on/bathroom because I am just incapable of doing any of those while wearing a baby!
I don't use a stroller very often and if I do have it, I'm wearing baby while pushing the stroller and using it to carry our bags or whatever we want to take with us. it's there for the possibility that I need to put a baby in a safe place for a bit.
post #9 of 36

DH and I share a car and I use public transportation a lot. We have an Ergo and LOVE it. We used it when DS was a newborn with the infant insert and it worked well. DS was born in July, and we found that the Ergo with the insert was pretty hot though. Think sleeping bag. We still used it a lot in the morning and evening when it wasn't too hot. We also used it on hiking/camping trips and walks along the beach. I also found the Moby wrap to be to hot too. I found a pouch sling, (like Hotsling or Slinglings) in a light fabric, to be the best summer newborn carrier.


Even though we love our Ergo, if I could rewind time I would have put a Boba on our registry. A Boba is very similar to the Ergo, but it has a few added features: it has a foot-rest and it is a few inches taller than the Ergo - a great feature if your LO like to back dive. Plus, the Boba is made in the USA and is less expensive.


Our stroller is just collecting dust. I find it is so much easier to wear DS in the Ergo than to use the stroller. In bad weather, I just bundle us both up and carry an umbrella, and off we go.

post #10 of 36

It really depends on so much.  When DS was born, I didn't have a stroller, and planned to BW him exclusively.  At 3 mos, he refused to be worn, period.  Not in the Moby, not in the RS.  I bought a 2nd hand (high-end) stroller at a consignment shop and I've been perfectly happy with it.  I was able to start wearing him again around 5 or 6 mos, but still used the stroller for things like trips to the grocery store.  We live at the top of a hill, so having to climb it with him in the carrier was a pain anyway.  I do live in a big city, and public transportation sucks, but the two times I've taken him on the bus, I was glad for the stroller - trying to keep my balance in a moving vehicle with him strapped to my back is a daunting prospect (getting a seat is a laugh).  The stroller has been handy for lots of reasons - going to the farmer's market and being gone for hours because I decided to take a side-trip through Chinatown... I couldn't do that with a carrier.  Taking him to the gym, and leaving him in the stroller in the childcare until he asks to get out - it's his personal space bubble.  Or taking a walk to the post office to ship packages and just taking our time because it's a beautiful day. 


Because at 16 mos, DS is already almost 30 lbs, and over 31 inches tall.  I do still wear him on occasion, if he's fussy or if the stroller isn't practical, but by far my preferred carrier is my onbuhimo, an Ergo would never fit me.  DH prefers wearing him to the stroller if they're just going on a walk, but he prefers the half-buckle tai (and I have to put it on him still).  I would be far more housebound than I am without the stroller just because I don't have the ability to wear him for long periods as heavy as he is. 


And just this morning DS declared his independence by climbing into the stroller and saying "go walk" and when I asked him if he wanted to go, he said "let's go". 

post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 

Just to clarify, in my original post I was referring to the ergo backpack not the ergo carrier. It's a diaper bag that can be used as a backpack (for stuff not babies) or clipped onto the ergo. A friend of mine has one and loves it.

I think I will plan on registering for the 1st cart I listed. The library, farmer's market and the grocery store are all easy walking distance so I won't be bringing the cart on the subway much.

I have a pretty solid idea of what carriers want to register for and I plan on having a wide variety for different uses.

I wasn't looking as much for a debate on the validity of the choice to do without a stroller, more for strategies and ideas from other moms who have made the same choice. (I know you are on MDC because I've seen your posts on other threads!) 

Thanks everyone

post #12 of 36
Sorry! (for mentioning the stroller and the carrier misunderstanding smile.gif )
I saw Ergo and never even clicked the link! redface.gif
It's a cool backpack, but yeah, that first cart looks really good. Have fun.
post #13 of 36
Originally Posted by tessie View Post


Yep, but they don't need a stroller because they generally aren't going that far from home.

Not so. Some women have to walk a mile every day to get water for the household. Or they walk many miles into town on occasion. They wear their babies.


OP, we are not car-free nor do we live in an urban environment. But we did not find we needed a stroller. The Ergo was fine. Caveats: we had only one child, and she was a peanut. So carrying her was just really no problem, for years even. I also liked the Ergo in cold weather, since we could snuggle together. I avoided walking around a lot in the rain (like I said, not urban, so I had a choice) but I imagine an umbrella would protect both of you just fine. It might be extra fumbling pushing the cart, but if you would carry an umbrella anyway, same difference. If you don't use an umbrella, you'll both survive too :) I think I might be too much of a wuss to do a 6 floor walkup carrying a babe and groceries - but then again, you just "couldn't" do that anyway with a stroller. The carrier would at least make it possible, even if a serious workout. I'm assuming your building has an elevator. No sweat.


ETA: Sorry, I skimmed over your clarification post. Considered deleting this but what the hey.

post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks for mentioning women who have to walk far distances, lug stuff and still babywear. That's what I was referring to in a previous post. There was a great article I read recently about how in a particular community in Africa (forget where exactly) some stores were trying to market strollers to local women and no one would buy them. I liked the reasons people gave for not wanting them. For many of these women it wasn't an issue of not having the choice economically, one person the article quoted said something like: with a stroller you are pushing your baby away from you, when you wear a baby on your back, the baby follows the mother, as it should be. It was something like that. I wish I could remember where it was and link to it.



BTW luckily I'm on the 1st floor (though you are right a stroller wouldn't help much if I wasn't)! 


I've done the babywearing with an umbrella on rainy days thing, I think it works fine. I won't be totally car-free so on a rainy week or if I needed to stock up on groceries I could take the car when DH isn't working. I think if I was noticing that I started going out less or not as far or relying on driving more I would get a stroller, but I don't have much storage space and I don't see using it with a little baby so I'm gonna see how  it goes.

BTW, I see the point about dressing rooms and trying stuff on. I tend to shop in thrift stores so def. wouldn't want the baby crawling around on the floor. I don't clothes-shop for myself that much and when I do I often go with my sister or a friend who could hold the baby. Or I could use a family dressing room and bring the cart in. It would be good to figure out a solution for the few times when those ideas wouldn't work-I don't see storing a stroller just for that. It sounds strange but I remember a few years ago reading about this thing sort of like the bottom of a Bjorn or a jumper swing- sort of a "baby holster" with straps that you could hang on the hook on a door in a public restroom or dressing room. Hard to explain. Anyone kwim?

post #15 of 36

I visited a country in Africa once. Having a hard time picturing women using a stroller in the dirt (sometimes mud) paths. Sure, the cities have pavement but even those aren't exactly smooth strolling. It would be a cumbersome piece of junk for them. Their cloth carriers work just fine, and when baby is too old to be carried everywhere, then an older sibling or cousin or somebody will watch them while mama does her work. When you sleep on a straw mattress on concrete (and count yourself lucky at that) then a stroller just isn't a huge priority, and it doesn't even fit in your life. I saw people living in 10x10 foot homes, a stroller that would be used for a few months (maybe.. where?) would take up way too much space and become a dirty piece of junk in short order (and where are they going to throw it away, anyway?).


Anyway, just sayin', a stroller is not nearly a necessity nor even desirable for everyone.

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 


Yes I think that was part of it for some of the women in this article. But some women the interviewer talked to were middle class and had access to more modern conveniences but still made the choice to babywear because it made sense to them, and out of tradition.


Found it:


post #17 of 36
I like that article, thanks for posting it. In a way, I think stroller use is similar to formula since there are plenty of Moms who physically cannot wear their babies. I am so grateful to be able to do it with this baby but my older DD I could not very much because I have MS and had a relapse.
post #18 of 36

I have two kids and no car and didn't have a stroller until the second was 2, and didn't use the stroller much even then. 


I found that having a backpack with straps that are easy to adjust was really important since I often wear my backpack on my front when there's a kid on my back. 

post #19 of 36

Just wanted to encourage you not to discount the bike - it has been my lifesaver.  DH also takes our car to work and so DS and I have only the bike  or my feet as our main transport (he has always hated strollers).  Before 7 months I wore him in a sling and walked most places.  But once he hit the 10kg mark I found the sling hard on my body.  So I bought a front infant seat - one that fits on the handle bars and fork  of my bike for 30 bucks and it is amazing.  I would throw the sling in my basket and we could get out of our 2km radius in no time.  It also made shopping easy - all my goods go into my bike baskets so no worries about carrying a bigger baby/toddler and managing the groceries. Now that DS is 2 he prefers the bike hands down and it is a great way for us to get fresh air and get around. 

Of course it will be a while before you will be able to do this, but keep your eyes out for a cheap seat - I am sure your LO will love the fresh air in the spring and summer.

post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 


That's a good point. I will def. look into bike seats. DH will need one for his bike too (I assume it would be a pain to just have one and have to transfer back and forth?). He rides his bike a lot more than I do. Is the ride in front kind better? Pros and cons? Are there things I should look for in terms of safety, quality, brand names etc.? What about baby bike helmets? How old should they be? a year?

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