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What's Wrong with Strollers?

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
I'm not trying to start trouble or anything, I just honestly want to know why a lot of AP women are against strollers. I consider myself to be a pretty strong AP roll model - I co-sleep, I do child led breastfeeding, I use my sling faithfully but I ALSO use a stroller sometimes. I carry my baby all the time but I also like to take long walks and my back CAN NOT handle a five mile walk with a 30 pound baby. Besides Cam LOVES to ride along in his stroller. He goes vroom vroom and gets upset if I try to take him out.

Hope I don't get flamed too bad... but it's something that's been bothering me and I honestly want to find out people's thoughts on this issue.

post #2 of 88
I use a stroller to mama, I have a 1 yr old and a 3 yr old. The 3 yr old was slung religiously until I was about 8 months pregnant and incapable. She still gets slung around the house when she wants to. My 1 yr old loves the sling, but more often has wanted down to keep up with the big sister. She will sling when big sister is walking, but when sister is in the stroller, that is where she wants to be to.

I think the idea is when people use the sling as default and spend hours pushing around the mall (or wherever) while babies are fed, diapered, and left ot fall asleep there. When the stroller becomes the babies "spot" and carrying or holding isn't an option. There are many people who do just that- but there are also many of us who use it as a tool when the child wants to sit in it.
post #3 of 88
Well, I'm a stroller lover! With my DS we tried slinging the first few months of his life, but he HATED it. No matter which position or what sling he just hated it. He would tolerate a Baby Bjorn, but not for long amounts of time. However, he was happy in his stroller ususally.
With my DD we sling most of the time, but if we're going on a long walk she goes in the stroller. She also sits in the stroller (and seems to enjoy it!) when I'm outside doing some yard work. I sit her right near to where I'm working and talk to her the whole time - or else she is entertained by her brother.
I also use the stroller when I'm out with both kids - DD gets slung and DS goes in the stroller.
post #4 of 88
Yeah, I too use a stroller and the real issue is peopel who "abuse" them. They keep the child restrained and rarely hold them,etc. Heck, DS hates to be held close most of the time and often refuses to hold hands. HE has wiggled out of my hand and ran into the street more thanonce. But ifI geth iminthestroller he generally relaxes and watches the world go by. So for us it is agreat help.

Yet as mentioned in the Kenya thread, I can see why cultures who have never used them would reject them...
post #5 of 88
I haven't been able to figure out why so many people seem to believe that there is an AP thing against strollers. Somebody told me that Granju's AP book is vehemently anti-stroller. I went back through it and it's NOT.

I think the thing against strollers is (or should be) mainly for small babies. I'm sure we've all seen the "container babies" who are basically never held but always in some kind of baby container, whether a stroller, carseat, swing, bouncing chair, playpen, etc.

It is nearly impossible to do some things without a stroller-- like the things you mentioned, or a day at an amusement park, or a trip on an airplane that involves also dragging a carry-on bag and changing planes multiple times.

I also can't carry my baby while digging in my garden or holding a hot pot of food with two hands or when I'm bending over the bathtub trying to wash my other kids. I use a bouncing chair for that, although I don't use the bouncing thing I just let her sit in it so she can see me and I can talk to her.

I also can't carry her when I eat in a restaurant and she keeps knocking my plate off the table. That's the one time I actually use the carseat out of the car, I take it in the restaurant and put it on the special holder so that she has her own "chair".

And guess what, like you said kids like riding in a stroller after a certain age. But even babies sometimes don't really like being bound up in the sling. Some do, some don't and even those that do have their moments when they prefer to be able to be free to kick their legs and move around. I know some of the AP literature can glorify societies where babies aren't put down at all until they're 6 months old or something like that, but none of my 3 girls would have tolerated that, in fact it would have been very un-AP of me to confine them like that because they didn't like it. They like to have floor time (or, in my case since I have an active and somewhat aggressive 2-year-old to protect the baby from this is occasionally playpen time--gasp!) to be free to stretch and kick and move.

Still, I was just wondering the other day how people who put their babies in containers all day get along without a sling. It just makes no sense to me because after a while they get mad in the containers. If my baby isn't happy in the bouncing chair watching me, I do what I need to do quickly with the hot pot or whatever it is, and then I carry her in the sling. She'd be a wreck all the time if I didn't carry her!

I found this great article at the kellymom site recently that addresses this subject:

There is No Doctrine for Attachment Parenting:
Being AP is a Frame of Mind!
post #6 of 88
I have nothing against strollers. I don't really use one. I also don't use a sling. I guess I am what I would call a 'baby holder'. I carry him everywhere!
There have been times when I have seen a baby who is unhappy in their stroller, and the parents just don't care. This is where I think it's not very 'AP' to use a stoller. As long as your kid is happy in the stoller, no problem!
post #7 of 88
we have a stroller that k will sometimes tolerate. she's high-needs and doesn't like to be put down for too long a stretch.
she's also about 18 lbs at 5 months, so the sling gets tiring after awhile.
i agree the issue is people using them in leiu of paying attention to their baby. i was out with my mom recently and i had k in the sling. we passed some moms sitting outside a coffee shop and they had a babe in a stroller which was turned away from them and none of them were interacting in any way with him. i felt so bad for him.
post #8 of 88
I use a stroller too. I don't think there's anything wrong with using a stroller, especially when dc enjoys it.

I think stroller "overuse" is expemplified by what I saw two days ago. Dd and I were going out for a walk, both on foot. (She is 16 months old) It takes us about an hour to get around the block, because she stops and looks at everything and explores.

Neighbors with 22 month old were leaving their house at the same time to go for a walk. They forced their dd into a stroller, and she cried and cried. She watned to walk too! But, alas, they took off at their quicker grown up pace and she was whining in her stroller.....
post #9 of 88
Strollers certainly have their place! I just hate seeing kids in the stroller with a bottle in one hand, paci in the other and the parents totally ignoring them. I'm a firm believer that when you feed a baby, you should cuddle them. I fed my twins by bottle and I held them each and every time...
post #10 of 88
Thread Starter 
Keep it coming - you guys are making me feel soooo much better! Phew. I was beginning to get a stroller complex, I really thought I was missing something because I'd see some nasty comments about the use of strollers on different AP boards and I always thought "Jeez, seems like they have their place as long as they aren't abused." KWIM?

Not that I really care what other people think but I was super curious as to whether there was some really bad stroller related things I was missing and I wanted to be informed!

post #11 of 88
I am another stroller lover. My kids loved them.

When they cried, they got picked up. No biggie. Made my life easier....to go shopping, for long walks, to go to the pool. At the very least, when i would christmas shop and my child would fuss, it could hold all the gifts while i held my baby!

post #12 of 88
I also use a stroller. My baby weighed 20lbs at 4 months old and I had a 21 month old. There is just no way I could carry around that much weight with huge breasts too. My back was hurting bad enough.
I do not see why so many "ap" or natural mommas are against strollers either.
post #13 of 88
My DS didn't like the stroller much when he was a baby. We'd get so annoyed because, whenever we went out with my parents, my mom would whine "Where's his stroller?" We didn't take it many places because he'd sit in it for five minutes, then I'd end up carrying him while rolling the stroller.

Now, at 2 1/2 he likes it! The only time we really use it though is the zoo.

Most of the AP moms I know use strollers.

I do think a sling is better because you're holding the baby close and snuggling them. But there are times that a stroller is better...like, as someone said, for long walks.

post #14 of 88
i dont think a stroller itself is bad - its a tool, its how its used

some folks throw their kids in there and thats it; they sit isolated and they dont interact w/them

i myself found that when dd was in the stroller for a long time, i felt separated from her (i dont mean on a daily basis, i mean if we went to something unsual like an art show in a park or such)

honestly there were a number of times i carried dd and used the stroller for our stuff
post #15 of 88
When we pull into the farmers market or the mall dd2 freaks out and starts screaming (in a good way) "MY STROLLER, MY STROLLER!!!!!!!!!" She loves it. Probably because since she has been able to walk, I let her walk if she wants too, but mostly she rides in style, like the princess she is!!!!
post #16 of 88
It only bothers me when people don't interact. I am usually talking non stop with Goo when we walk. It doesn't matter if she is in the strolller or walking with me. We just talk all of the time...
post #17 of 88
We love strollers for long distances or unsafe walking. But, I'll always use a backpack when out near woods as I feel it gives more safety; ie. we've been charged by a moose before and I honestly feel ds would have been endangered strapped in a stroller. And, last week, we ran into a bear and again, I feel like the stroller could've been tragic.
Otherwise, they're great! IMHO
post #18 of 88
Another stroller owner here. DD loves sitting in it when we take long walks and it comes in handy when she needs to 'put out of commision' for 2 mins while I handle something dangerous, for instance.
They can definitely be abused though. Our nephew (7 months) is hardly ever taken out of his, the poor child is strapped into it for the better part of the day and it is starting to show on his motoric development. His parents are convinced that they are doing the right thing and that we are spoiling Marina rotten, of course.
post #19 of 88
Without having read any other replies: Nothing. They are very useful at times, though of course should not be used as an excuse to never hold your baby. Mothers of multiple children often really really need them . It would be silly to assume, if anyone here has, that a mother is not attached properly or not loving because she uses one (i say that because i have seen this rather icky critical attitude displayed here and elsewhere a number of times, and i don't like it ).
post #20 of 88
I, too, think strollers have their place. We had two of them and they were wonderful when our little guy got tired or when we needed a place to store stuff while walking somewhere.
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