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Walking long distance, 5 year old can't walk so long, what to do?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just looking for tips or thoughts on what to do with a 5 year old who can't walk long distances. We are about to go on vacation at the end of August and our youngest who just turned 5 always wants us to hold him because he gets tired of walking. This is just been for going to places like the Aquarium or a Museum. He just is always wanting us to hold him. We often do just tell him no, you're a big boy now you can walk. So we can usually get by with short trips and get him to walk but we will be going to San Francisco and walking a lot and we really don't want to have to hold him up and down those hills and kill our backs doing so. We sold our stroller about a year and a half ago but was considering just getting a cheap umbrella stroller for our trip. Is that weird to push him in a stroller?? I feel strange searching for a stroller again. Is there anything else we could use to help him with some of the walking?


Any tips/advice/suggestions would help.

post #2 of 14

Have you considered that maybe your plan is overly ambitious for the age range of your family? Perhaps you need to readjust your plans or expectations, shorten the duration of the days, add more mass transit. 


I have a really hard time picturing a 5 year old in a stroller but we never really used them much.

post #3 of 14

I wouldn't think an umbrella stroller would be comfortable for him. 


Sometimes what is tiring about walking can be the holding hands, which for a kid means holding your hand up. I made a leash for my belt loop that my young ones would hold on to-- still attached, but they are able to have their hand at their side.  (again, for those that worry about "leash"-- the clip is on me, the child holds on, but is not actually attached to the leash)


another thought is to build up stamina. How much walking are you hoping to do? Make sure you plan for rests and water breaks. Are his shoes well fitting and comfortable?


When we take big walks as a family, my youngest, also 5, complains at about 2 miles. She's got another half mile in her before she really tuckers out, though.

post #4 of 14

Do you have a wagon?  If you're flying that might be hard to bring but maybe you could rent one somewhere.  I walk a lot with my 2 year old in a stroller and my 5 year old walking but if I know we're going too far for the older one (more than a mile or two) I take the wagon so they can ride together if he gets tired.  If we don't have the wagon and he gets tired  I give him a piggy back ride for a block or two or we stop a rest a few minutes to give him a break.

post #5 of 14

I don't think a stroller is weird but pushing it up and down those hills is not going to be great. An umbrella stroller is not going to cut it with a 5 yo IMO. Maybe there is someone you can borrow from? I would do my best to plan for less walking if its that much of a problem.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yes, we're planning on taking the cable cars as much as we can. A wagon would be nice, but going up and down those hills with a wagon also would be difficult and we're flying down so can't take one on the plane. Ok well looks like we'll just be carrying him some and taking lots of breaks or trying to get my 8 year old to play some sorta game with him as we walk to distract him from the walking. I'll have to pack lots of snacks and water too, that will probably help at break times. I think I'm just gonna forget about the stroller, thanks.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

That's a good idea about attaching something for him to hold on to. I didn't think about the holding hands as being tiring for him. Thanks.

post #8 of 14
What about a scooter? Often kids can scoot longer than walk. The razor ones fold in half for storage and such. We live in a city and tons of kids are on scooters and I have seen many "checked" at coat checks in museums.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Actually, I just had that thought today because I took both my boys to the park and they rode their razors down there. I'll give that a thought. I'll have to get my youngest to practice on it more though before we go. He just got it for his birthday last weekend. Thanks!

post #10 of 14

You can always use a baby carrier.  Better than carrying him.  Get a mei tai or SSC and put him on your back.

post #11 of 14

I would go for the scooter before a baby carrier, then my second choice would be a cheap umbrella stroller.  He might look a little weird, but nobody who has ever gone on a vacation with kids would think it was outlandish.  Heck, I wish someone would get ME a stroller.

post #12 of 14

I wouldn't do a scooter or a wagon for San Francisco. The wagon would be a giant pain and there won't be a lot of space for scootering. I'd worry about the traffic. I don't think it's at all weird to get a stroller. San Francisco has so many hills. I'd ask on free cycle for a mac claren type stroller.  Sturdier than an umbrella but just as compact.

post #13 of 14

What about a bike? You will all get to your destinations quicker, and it is less tiring than walking. When my DD turned 3 she would bike 1/2 a mile or more, and that would be in rain, sleet, snow, whatever. She is 6 now and can bike more than a mile for sure. If it is uphill, she likes "bike breaks", she sits on the bike for 10-30 seconds and then continues. 

post #14 of 14
We took a weekend trip to San Fran when my ddhad just turned five. We brought our stroller..but it was a terrible idea. The hills were hard..getting on/off buses and trains was a joke. The city is really not a child friendly place. We found it was easy to fit in lots of breaks for a rest and snack. Enjoy!!
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