If we're babywearing do we need a stroller? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a first-time mom-to-be (due in July), and my husband and I both really want to wear our new baby in a sling as much as possible.

Do we still need to buy a stroller too?

We live in the city (Philly), do a lot of walking and some public transportation, and we don't do much in the car except weekend grocery runs (he takes the car to work during the week).

I'd love to hear from other baby-wearing moms/dads about what you've found necessary or useful...

Thanks!
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#2 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 03:14 PM
 
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We have one. It's nice for really hot days when wearing dd would not be very comfortable. The only other time we use the stroller is when we walk to the grocery store. I wear my dd and push the stroller to put our groceries in. So the stoller sees alot more groceries than it does babies.
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#3 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 03:16 PM
 
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Even though Ihave a sling I still use my stroller. For me the stroller can double up as an extra pair of hands with all the storage and basket underneath. This way if we are going out for a while rather than have her in the carrier and carry her stuff, I throw the changing pad, a few dipes, blanket, spare outfit, bottles and such right in the stroller and can push one thing. Totally depends on how you use it though. For us the bulk of a stroller wasn't an issue because it folds up easy and compact and we live in a small town so don't have to navigate the city.
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#4 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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I have a stroller.

I have NEVER used it.

I have one baby.

On hot days I use my solarveil pouch. I have consitered useing my stoller then, but my baby eats too often and I would just end up pushing the stroller and trying to feed her at the same time.

for public transportation a carrier would be much easier and possibly safer then a stroller.
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#5 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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we have an 8 month old, an ergo, and a really nice, expensive stroller.
i use my ergo ALL the time.
sometimes when my back is sore (haye is over 30 lbs) and we are going to the park or to the store, we use the stroller. or if we are going to the mall or something we sometimes bring it just because we don't have a car, and haye likes his stroller once in awhile. i don't really like using it, it's MUCH quicker to just pop him into the ergo and go wherever. however, for groceries it is a lifesaver. we bring both, and i usually wear haye the whole time and we use the stroller for groceries.
if you don't have a car and rely a lot on public transit, i'd say get a stroller eventually, but at first you don't really need one. we did use ours quite a bit in the winter trying to go places because it had a bucket seat attachment and we could keep him really warm and sleeping with a set of headphones and some heavy metal.

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#6 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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I live next door to Boston aka "the walking city". As for public transportation, it's not the friendliest for people with disabilities and strollers. If I was off by myself for just a short jaunt like a visit to the pediatrician, I would take my sling and a napsack while on public transportation. But if it's an all day shopping adventure, a stroller of some sort was key, at worst it was used as a shopping bag carrier
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#7 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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We don't have a stroller, and we don't have a car. So, you can definitely get through life with just babywearing (the Ergo is our favorite--great in both the dead of winter and in the hot summer).
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#8 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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I think in some climates (here... in the hot muggy gulf coast) sometimes it is too hot to babywear. Also I have found the stroller very useful to carry STUFF. If we're going to be out and about all day, away from the car, sometimes a stroller is great to carry the diaper bag and snacks and water and my purse and and and....

-Angela
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#9 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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Ditto on using the stroller for stuff. We walk everywhere, and there's no way I'd have carried a gallon of milk, etc. AND a baby. Our stroller carried the diaper bag, the library books, the park blanket, the potluck contribution...yes, and it carried the kids as well. Not so much when they were really little, but even then, as pp have said, in very hot weather, it can be nice to lay a sleeping baby down instead of having him sweat all over you (and vice versa). And some kids, especially when they are wiggly toddlers, just don't want to be carried all the time. They'd rather ride in the stroller. You never know.

You don't have to go out and get a super-deluxe model, but it's well worth having imo, if you do a lot of walking around.
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#10 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 08:22 PM
 
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i wouldn't run out and buy one before the baby gets here. with dd, i had FOUR strollers : a monster travel system from the il's that did not fit in our trunk, an umbrella stroller, a jogging stroller, and a regular (smaller than that in the travel system but same concept) one. we hardly ever used them - so between the two kids, when i thought we a) wouldn't have any more kids and b) if we did, i wouldn't use them, i got rid of all of them. dd was slung or in the ergo until about 3 1/2 when i was too pregnant to fasten the ergo anymore.

then ds arrived. we had slings, pouches, mei teis, etc. for a while, they were great. then he started arching his back incessantly while in the sling and couldn't STAND the mei tei. so we got a stroller - nice, lightweight, small-folding maclaren - not a lot of bells and whistles bc we really don't need them. and i got serious about running again, so we got an insane jogging stroller.

that was the long version of my advice. short version - wait to see what your babe is like and prefers.
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#11 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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Rarely but it's nice to have just in case you need it in a pinch. Just don't spend a ton of $$$$ on one. I rarely use mine but I'm glad I have one.
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#12 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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If you want to spead walk/jog/run at all you'll want a baby jogger. Although I carried my babies in a sling often I relied on my jogging stroller for my exercise time.

You have time to wait and see what you want once you're baby arrives...this isn't something you need right away.
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#13 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 09:22 PM
 
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I do use my stroller. It's especially useful if you are going to the mall or something. You can't exactly try on clothes with a baby hanging on you! That said, I got WAY more use out of my wrap, so I just bought a cheapie pop-up stroller and I didn't put my babies in it until they were about 9 months old....I think they need to be snuggled up next to me while they are really little
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#14 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 09:27 PM
 
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i think pps are right- every baby is different- this current one hates strollers, the only one i ever use is the jogging one, and then it takes alot of cajoling to get him in it.

Punk, hippy, mama to 4 amazing kiddos, Boy#1 (18), TheGirl (13), Boy#2 (11- PBD) and Boy#3 (6)
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#15 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 09:29 PM
 
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I never really used a stroller when I had one -- well, unless I was walking to the grocery store, then I used it for groceries mostly. When we went to amusement parks we would rent the stroller there, and at the mall the boys both LOVE the car/fire truck strollers...

That said, I just bought a double stroller, because that way we can walk to 1 mile away parks -- Aiden doesn't dig bein' cinched to me in a sling very often, and Ian wants up & down, etc. They both like the stroller though -- and again -- I can bring snacks, change of clothes, etc...
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#16 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 09:35 PM
 
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I almost always use the sling to carry my 24-lb 8-month-old DS, but for long walks or trips to the grocery store I break out the stroller cuz it's so much more convenient. The stroller got more use in the winter, when the sidewalks were really icy. I was so paranoid about slipping and falling right on top of my DS! : I think strollers are fine as long as you use it only when you really need to.

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#17 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 09:42 PM
 
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I found the stroller to be quite useful, once I got over being too stubborn to own one.

We often walked to friends' houses for meals, and without a stroller we had no place to put the baby down when she fell asleep. When she got bigger, it was a place for her to sit when we were at the table. When I finally broke down and bought one of those booster seats that strap onto a chair, that got carried on the stroller as well.

It's also nice to have a place to put the baby down when it's very hot and you both get too sweaty with babywearing. I used my single stroller a lot when I was pg because babywearing was really hard on my back at that point. Then when I had 2 babies, I put both babies in the double stroller, the sling lived in my diaper bag, and I'd wear whichever one needed it at the time.

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#18 of 36 Old 06-13-2006, 11:47 PM
 
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I babywear with my son in the Maya wrap (in hip carry since he's almost 2), but I bring along the stroller to haul the diaper bag and any shoping bags we accrue along the way. So, my stroller is my cargo-hold.
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#19 of 36 Old 06-14-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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I have found two times when a stroller has been useful:
1 - as a mobile baby bed for events like family reunion, christmas parties, etc., when we aren't at home, and the baby would sleep more soundly if not in the midst of a raucous social gathering
2 - taking daily long walks while pregnant

I would wait until the baby comes and you see a real need for a stroller before you spend the money (or before you let someone else buy it for you --- let them buy you your dream babywearing device). A sling has been way more convenient in almost all situations.
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#20 of 36 Old 06-14-2006, 01:31 AM
 
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Totally agree with all pp's. Don't buy a stroller before baby is born, because you won't use it at all for the first month or two of their life. That said, you probably won't need a crib for the first month or two (or ever) either. Both purchases are "useless" money that could be put towards something more useful for a newborn. (ie...a changing table/pad, a baby carrier, a moses basket/co-sleeper (longer life than a bassinet) or a bassinet)

We have one of those monstrosities called a "travel system" that we bought pre-baby and have used exactly five times. (Grandma likes it the best for when she babysits so it's at her house permanently!) We also have a jogger stroller from the days when I was a nanny that has definately gotten some use. DD is three months old and we use the stroller for long walks, ie 5 miles or more when we go to the store and to "town" for errands. Both were purchased before I found the art of babywearing I wouldn't go back for the world.

We prefer to sling baby, but she is still small and easy to manage. I suppose when she gets a little older, we'll buy a McLaren folding stroller for travel...or not. I'm waiting to see what she'll prefer. :

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#21 of 36 Old 06-14-2006, 12:47 PM
 
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I didn't start using our stroller until MT was about 4 or 5 months old. I carried him everywhere prior to that. Now the stroller is great for longer walks, trips to the park when I need someplace to stash the snacks, diaper bag, etc. It's also invaluable to us when we're at my older son's activities - MT has a place to sit and eat his snacks, we can walk around the swimming pool or gymnasium without MT getting into "trouble", etc. I agree with the PP's that you might wait until baby is a few months old to buy your stroller - you won't know what you want anyway beforehand. Truly, all you really need IMO is an umbrella stroller for taking with you if you ride the bus and then walk long distances, or for securing the bub when you're doing a quick shopping trip and need both hands, library visits, etc. But they can't/shouldn't ride in those until they can sit up on their own. My dad insisted that we have a fancy schmancy stroller with a snack tray, cupholder, etc., and I didn't argue. It's huge, and has to stay in the trunk of my car, but it comes in handy.
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#22 of 36 Old 06-15-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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I NEVER use a stroller. So far we have two kiddos (the oldest is 3 1/2) and I wear them. It is much easier for me to handle two kids by wearing them (unless they want to walk) then trying to come up with them and push an empty stroller. We have been everywhere like this (wearing both).

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#23 of 36 Old 06-15-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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Yup and yup to almost everything the previous posters said. We walk almost everywhere and the stroler is great for hauling stuff (especially since I have 4 and that can be A LOT). When my oldest was a baby, we ended up using a little red wagon for trips to the store and such. It eventually died, but mil just got one for ds that has a seat and seat belt! This will totally replace that stroller (that was free from a neighbor so I shouldn't complain).

The ladies that mentioned wearing your baby in all public transit situations were right on. A stroller on the bus is a bad experience. Wearing helps other people respect your baby's space.
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#24 of 36 Old 06-15-2006, 08:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batsoup
I'm a first-time mom-to-be (due in July), and my husband and I both really want to wear our new baby in a sling as much as possible.

Do we still need to buy a stroller too?

We live in the city (Philly), do a lot of walking and some public transportation, and we don't do much in the car except weekend grocery runs (he takes the car to work during the week).

I'd love to hear from other baby-wearing moms/dads about what you've found necessary or useful...

Thanks!
we bought one but only a small, inexpensive one. it doesnt get much use but there have been occasions where wearing the baby hasn't been particularly easy and the stroller really came in handy. i'd say go inexpensive and small so you don't feel too bad if you never need it.
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#25 of 36 Old 06-16-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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We have a stroller... I've used it once or twice

DS is 9 months old now and over 25 lbs. I was sure that by now I would need to start using a stroller (that's why we bought it a few months ago) but we always just use the ergo whenever we go anywhere. It is so much easier for us, just pop him in and go. We live in the city and walk everywhere or take public transportation, we regularly take walks for hours with him (and it is hilly here - san francisco!)

That said, it's quite possible that we will start finding more uses for the stroller as he gets older. For example, when he gets a little older and gets over his separation anxiety and I'm more comfortable with having his grandparents take him out for a walk... they definitely want to use the stroller (not comfortable carrying DS because of their back problems).

Anyway, I would agree with the PP's, I wouldn't bother buying one before babe is born, and don't spend a lot of money on it!
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#26 of 36 Old 06-16-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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I would wait until after babys born and see if you need one. I baby wear most of the time but I have a slipped disk in my back so some days I need to use the stroller. I would recommend getting an umbrella stroller instead of one of the big ones. I LOVE my Britax Espirt I got it for 50 on ebay new. It has a cup holder, small basket, and reclining seat with adjustable leg rest. But it only weighs 14 lbs and folds up tiny.
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#27 of 36 Old 06-16-2006, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This was really helpful to me -- I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences!

I think I'll hold off on the stroller for now, and wait to see how we do with babywearing.

Thanks again everyone!
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#28 of 36 Old 06-17-2006, 11:02 PM
 
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We use both the stroller and mei tai. The stroller is handy for containing my 3yo if necessary, carrying "stuff" or lying dd2 in it for a diaper change. Since it's a nicer stroller, it can be closed up at the end to make a bassinet and the heavier material can be removed to make it super ventilated which is nice for really hot days when we're outside. Sometimes sharing body heat with another person is unbearable when it's this hot and humid (today it was 98 degrees and awful humid).
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#29 of 36 Old 06-19-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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I agree with the other ladies here- at some point, you'll want that stroller to be your shopping cart/extra set of hands. Plus, when your child gets older, sometimes it's nice to put them into the stroller for a snack- instead of having the snack ending up in your hair or on your shirt, it's smashed into the crevices of the stroller!
Just my opinion!
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#30 of 36 Old 06-20-2006, 03:22 AM
 
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Ooh if you're doing public transport, leave that stroller at home! I'll never forget our first 4th of July. We parked at the park n ride and took the bus down to the festival. We had just the Hotsling with us (might want to mention that DS was born May 26th, so he was still pretty new).

DS fell asleep all nice and warm at some point, and I'm guessing that listening to my heartbeat and being all snuggly kept him asleep during the LOUD fireworks.

Then we walked up the hill to the busses, stood in line, got on the bus, sat down. It was crowded and slow (special festival buses all in a line waiting for each other to go), and he needed to eat, so I moved him around and got him latched on (while still basically in the sling).

Meanwhile, there was another small family on the bus, baby around the same age, with a HUGE stroller. DH and I were sitting, they had to stand b/c of the stroller. People glaring as the stroller hit their feet. Then baby started to wail and instead of easily letting baby nurse (or even easily, in arms, letting baby have a bottle), they had to pull the cord and get OFF the bus, b/c there was no convenient way to get baby out, and it would have been dangerous to hold him (without a sling) while standing on the swaying bus.



All that said, you dont' have to get a stroller, but you might find you want one. I say do NOT get one ahead of time. Wait. See what kind of baby you have. See if it's needed. That was our mantra in the early days, and it saved us a LOT of money in unneeded baby-gear.

We never got a stroller, though we did look for an umbrella stroller for a trip to Disney. Couldn't find one, so rented one for a whopping $8. It was very helpful in carrying our backpacks.
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