We have one, we use it regularly, and DD (17 months) and I love it. She is just like all the other kids here with leash-liking mamas: incredibly fearless and independent, with zero stranger anxiety. I could never, ever keep her with me in a crowd. It was a nightmare! She will NOT hold hands (and I have TRIED...there was a special song I'd sing...), she will NOT tolerate the Sutemi (how I wish!), she will NOT be carried (want to see a megatantrum?) and the stroller is only okay if we are in constant motion, if then.
I hear mamas saying, essentially, "Well, if your kid was disciplined correctly, you wouldn't need it." You know, I am not a softie or a laissez-faire parent about discipline. But there are some discipline battles that can wait, IMO, and some requirements, at some ages, are too much for some kids. I personally think a general tenet of AP and GD is that when it becomes clear that you are asking too much of your child (and most parents know where that line is) you rethink the situation to meet your child's needs, rather than focusing single-mindedly on having the child "obey."
Anyway, where's all the ire about how awful and disgusting and terrible strollers look? I know MDC mamas often aren't super pro-stroller, but how many of you don't even own one? Not too many, I'd wager. You probably use it judiciously in certain situations, as I do with my leash.
The first time we used it I could not get the smile off my face. It was that freeing, for both of us. She was so happy. She will now ASK to have it put on.
Obviously we don't use it all the time. It is not a substitute for teaching about safety. I don't worry about that--truly. I am doing plenty to teach her about those things, but a) she's still very young and b) god, so much better safe than sorry.
I have gotten plenty of looks, a few snide giggles, but many words of support. No negative comments, and I just dare ya to make one.