Babywearing/no stroller and childhood obesity? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 09-11-2009, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend of mine just asked me a question, and I had no idea what to tell her... I thought I'd ask you all if you knew anything. She overheard a conversation in which somebody who is anti-stroller for her infant was asked why. Apparently the anti-stroller/babywearer went on at length about childhood obesity. My friend couldn't figure out what the link between the two was (given that the infant was young--it's not like the option was a stroller or walking). The only thing I could come up with was that it might facilitate breastfeeding (and therefore make obesity less likely). That seems like a bit of a stretch, though. Is there some research that I'm missing?
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#2 of 21 Old 09-11-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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We were the couple in the mall that had our baby in the carseat and then the stroller/buggy/cart : As our daughter didn't walk on her own until 16months going in the store was difficult unless there was two of us, so we used an umbrella stroller until then. Once she learned to walk though, I found myself using the stroller less and less. We don't even own one anymore, so she's either walking or in the buggy/cart when we go grocery shopping (actually, not even always, sometimes she really wants to walk!)

I know though where I live there are a lot of moms that do put their 3, 4, sometimes even 5 year olds in the stroller...that bugs me I have to say. So maybe what your friend overheard was something along the lines of once you start you don't stop?

I have been learning as I go...when my daughter was born I didn't know anything about babywearing. We got rid of our stroller with the carseat so I could buy a sit n' stand but I don't even think I'm going to get that anymore. Forget about it for now, and if I'm finding a stroller would be useful I'll get a cheap umbrella one. Until then I'm going to have fun using my ring sling & Mei Tai!
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#3 of 21 Old 09-11-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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I think it would have to do with how long some people use their strollers. Like pp said I see a lot of people with their children sedately strapped into a stroller when they are well past an age where they could be walking. I realize I could be seeing them after a full day of walking but...

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#4 of 21 Old 09-11-2009, 08:02 PM
 
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ETA:

Oops nevermind. I thought the person was against strollers AND babywearing.
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#5 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 12:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
I think it would have to do with how long some people use their strollers. Like pp said I see a lot of people with their children sedately strapped into a stroller when they are well past an age where they could be walking. I realize I could be seeing them after a full day of walking but...
I do recall reading something about childhood obesity and the modern trend of parents using strollers later than age 2.5 or 3. Plenty of people do put 5 and 6 year olds in strollers while I think that most people stop wearing their kids between age 24 and 36 months.

My other thought is that wearing your baby, though this depends on the carrier and the position, probably requires the baby to use more muscles (like how horseback riding is more than just sitting on a horse). Babies don't need to use any muscles at all when they're strapped into an infant seat, and many parents cart their infant around in the baby bucket until they're easily six months old... house to car, car to stroller, stroller back to car, and the baby never sits up or changes position or even holds their own head up (though they are able). In the sling for example, our babies sat upright once they could and had to adjust to the motion of my body.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#6 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
I think it would have to do with how long some people use their strollers. Like pp said I see a lot of people with their children sedately strapped into a stroller when they are well past an age where they could be walking. I realize I could be seeing them after a full day of walking but...
My son didn't start walking until a week and a half before his 2nd birthday. So he was "sedately" strapped into a stroller past when some people might think he should have been walking.

He's not obese and never has been. He has gross motor delays and has been in physical therapy since he was 11 months old.

A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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#7 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 04:09 AM
 
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bokonon - I in no way was trying to be offensive. By mentioning they could have just been walking I was trying to say that the few minutes I see them does not necessarily accurately reflect the situation. I also was thinking more of children who are 4+

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#8 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 10:43 AM
 
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i dont think strollers and babywearing should be together.

strollers dont matter the size, the age, the weight they are in it. i see kids that are huge like 5-6 all the time. i hear oh ___ dont like to walk:, it is so much easier just to keep them in there or i dont have to chase them. with strollers the are meals and snacks on wheels.

babywearing is different because once a child hits a weight. we are not able to carry them any more or not as much. as they can walk they are put down because of their size and a will to be free. really on breastfed babies are fed in a carrier for the most part.

i think the food that is eaten, tv, video games, pc's, home life and schools also play a huge roll in the factor.

you cant just blame it on one thing but ya if a child is not taught to walk and is always in a stroller and drove around in a car they will be come lazy and complain when they have to walk making it a battle and not part of life.::
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#9 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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i dont think strollers and babywearing should be together.

strollers dont matter the size, the age, the weight they are in it. i see kids that are huge like 5-6 all the time. i hear oh ___ dont like to walk:, it is so much easier just to keep them in there or i dont have to chase them. with strollers the are meals and snacks on wheels.

babywearing is different because once a child hits a weight. we are not able to carry them any more or not as much. as they can walk they are put down because of their size and a will to be free. really on breastfed babies are fed in a carrier for the most part.

i think the food that is eaten, tv, video games, pc's, home life and schools also play a huge roll in the factor.

you cant just blame it on one thing but ya if a child is not taught to walk and is always in a stroller and drove around in a car they will be come lazy and complain when they have to walk making it a battle and not part of life.::
My almost four year old still rides in a stroller. She is actually underweight, but is full of energy and runs and plays all the time. I hardly think she is lazy. : But when we are shopping, she gets bored and wants to ride in the stroller so she can play with her baby dolls. Why does it bother you so much that I don't force her to walk we she doesn't want to? And yes she does snack while she is in there, and in the car, and where ever else I can get her to eat, because food is a big issue with us and I'm just happy that she is eating. I don't think strollers cause obesity, bad eating habits and lack of outdoor play does that.

And both my girls hated being worn, so babywearing was never really an option for me.

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#10 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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i'm confused about how people are taking so much offense...

Katie
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#11 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 12:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by littlemizflava View Post
i dont think strollers and babywearing should be together.

strollers dont matter the size, the age, the weight they are in it. i see kids that are huge like 5-6 all the time. i hear oh ___ dont like to walk:, it is so much easier just to keep them in there or i dont have to chase them. with strollers the are meals and snacks on wheels.

babywearing is different because once a child hits a weight. we are not able to carry them any more or not as much. as they can walk they are put down because of their size and a will to be free. really on breastfed babies are fed in a carrier for the most part.

i think the food that is eaten, tv, video games, pc's, home life and schools also play a huge roll in the factor.

you cant just blame it on one thing but ya if a child is not taught to walk and is always in a stroller and drove around in a car they will be come lazy and complain when they have to walk making it a battle and not part of life.::
:

Plus its harder to ignore a child who wants down while being worn. But you can keep going when the kid starts fighting the stroller.

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#12 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 12:23 PM
 
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i'm confused about how people are taking so much offense...

What is offensive is implying that my four year old who rides and eats in a stroller is lazy.

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#13 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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i'm confused about how people are taking so much offense...
so am i....


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What is offensive is implying that my four year old who rides and eats in a stroller is lazy.
well i have seen so many people focing the child to be in the stroller. i have seen alot of kids who refuse to walk and the parents are all shy because this is the only way they can have the child quite. a stroller can have a place but i see it misused alot.

both my dc were walking fully on there own while we were out from when they were 2. yes i mean a full day of walking and this can be a full day of shopping. they can walk and snack. they dont complain at all. i never really used a stroller maybe 5 times a year for the first 2 years for both of my kids. i babywear my ds from when he was young. i only wore my dd when she was a baby when we were going out and then as she was older just around home. sorry i see strollers more of a pain in the butt then useful for the most part.
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#14 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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so am i....




well i have seen so many people focing the child to be in the stroller. i have seen alot of kids who refuse to walk and the parents are all shy because this is the only way they can have the child quite. a stroller can have a place but i see it misused alot.

both my dc were walking fully on there own while we were out from when they were 2. yes i mean a full day of walking and this can be a full day of shopping. they can walk and snack. they dont complain at all. i never really used a stroller maybe 5 times a year for the first 2 years for both of my kids. i babywear my ds from when he was young. i only wore my dd when she was a baby when we were going out and then as she was older just around home. sorry i see strollers more of a pain in the butt then useful for the most part.
I've seen (and have had people here on Mothering say that they do) force their child to be worn instead of letting them get down and walk. Anything can be misused. And my child CAN walk, but when she doesn't want to, I don't make her. Babywearing doesn't work out for everyone, and I found all the sling and carriers a pain in the butt and my stroller usefull.

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#15 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 01:54 PM
 
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I'm with everyone else--the person linking strollers to obesity must have been thinking about the trend of using strollers longer and longer with older kids. And like lots of other people said, I can think of many other habits that would contribute more to childhood obesity!

I don't want anyone taking offense--we all do whatever we need to that works best for our families. I used a stroller with my four year old when we went to DisneyWorld, but that is the only time I've used it since I got my wrap when she was four months old. And then I donated it! For me, strollers are USUALLY an inconvenience.

I do have to plan errands that my dd can/is willing to walk for. In stores I try to get her to ride in the cart because it is so much easier and faster for me than keeping her up with me!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#16 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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I don't get the whole sling is more convenient over stroller concept at all. I tried it, but, I will take my stroller any day. I think its probably all in what you get used to. In my area of the midwest it is VERY VERY VERY RARE to see a child in a sling despite how common MDC moms say it is. Really, is this something we have to have strong feelings over?? I can think of way more serioius things to debate about.

I find myself using the double stroller less and less for trips into the store as DS grows bigger (he's almost 3). He is wanting to walk more, so I take the single and put DD in it. But, I will continue to use my jogging stroller as long as DS will allow me to strap him in. In fact, he absolutely LOVES the jogging stroller. He's happy, she's happy, and mama's happy b/c she gets a good workout in w/o putting the babes in childwatch at the gym. Everyone wins.
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#17 of 21 Old 09-12-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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It is probably a lot of what you get used to but for me the stroller is a big pia. Obviously a LOT of people disagree or strollers wouldn't be such a popular item.

But for me (with only one child - I can see how some things would change with 2 or more):
-the stroller takes up my whole trunk if we drive somewhere (the carrier takes up almost no room)
-if ds is not in the carrier when we're out & about it fits into my bag (as opposed to having to push a bulky thing around)
-the carrier NEVER limits where I can go (into any stores, up & down stairs, over rough ground, etc.)
-I always know ds is comfy & warm or grumpy & cold immediately
-I'm tall & every stroller I have ever pushed I get quickly irritated because I have to take short steps to avoid kicking the wheels

felix23- it has been mentioned that just because I see someone with their child in a stroller does not mean the whole story is pictured. BUT there are a lot of people who DO discourage their children from walking because it is easier for them. As pp have said, with anything it can be misused. I don't assume someone's child is lazy or destined for obesity when I see them in a stroller but I can definitely see where overuse of it could reinforce bad habits.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#18 of 21 Old 09-22-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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We recently traveled to Ohio (we are from the Mid atlantic coast) and I was surprised at how many older children were in strollers. We quit using a stroller with DS when he was about 2 (other than for jogging when there was no way he could keep up.) I find when he walks around with us we are more attuned to his needs. He walked around the Zoo a few days ago with us (he is 3.5 now), when he got cranky we knew it was time to eat lunch and rest awhile. If he had been in a stroller we would have kept going. He is a big kid and part of the reason we ditched the stroller is because he needs the exercise. He has good stamina now and is very muscular. I also think that walking on his own everywhere (especially at the zoo) connects him to his surroundings encouraging him to interact with life.

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#19 of 21 Old 09-22-2009, 12:32 AM
 
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I can think of a lot of reasons to be anti-stroller, but none of them have anything to do with early childhood obesity.....

Oh, and as for "misusing" babywearing and forcing kids to be worn.... I did force my 2 year old to go on my back recently... He wanted to walk through a very large, very busy craft fair, and that was a disaster waiting to happen. So, heck, shoot me. I was trying to save the merchandise.
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#20 of 21 Old 09-22-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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I agree that it is the mis-use of strollers with older children that could be one of many factors contributing to obesity, but by no means the only factor.

As for why I prefer carriers to strollers, there is no big bulky thing to push around, try to fit through store aisles or crowds, or drag out of the car. I also enjoy the ability to interact with my DS with him up at my eye level. We have lots of great conversations while he is on my back, and he gets to see the world from my level, instead of having to look up at everything. This is just how we prefer to do things though, and while it may not be for everyone, I think everyone should have the opportunity to try wearing their baby (or toddler) in a good quality carrier before deciding that wearing is not for them.

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#21 of 21 Old 09-22-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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And I found it nearly impossible to push a single stroller while wearing one baby, so I used the double stroller a lot (but I also kept the sling in the diaper bag so if either DD wanted to be worn, I could do so.)

With DS, I often used the stroller at the mall when he was 4, because this way he wouldn't wander off when he was bored and/or if I was busy talking to a saleslady or paying for merchandise. The stroller is also convenient for putting packages in!

I first used a stroller with DD1 when I wanted to go shopping, and realized I couldn't try on clothes while wearing her! I needed a place to safely put her down while I tried stuff on, and it was easier on her to stay in the stroller than to be placed on the floor, picked back up between stores, placed back down, etc. Whether I had one child in the stroller or two, I'd always let DC walk next to the stroller OR be worn if that's what the child wanted AND it was safe to do so.

IMO, the study probably found a corrolation between stroller use and childhood obesity. But corrolation does NOT equal causation. Lots of things have changed in society along with the shift from carriers to strollers, and the parents who choose to use carriers are likely to make healthier choices in other areas of their lives as well.

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