What's Wrong with Strollers? - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > What's Wrong with Strollers?
HelloKitty's Avatar HelloKitty 11:30 AM 05-19-2004
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.


Rainbow's Avatar Rainbow 11:38 AM 05-19-2004
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.
MiaPia's Avatar MiaPia 11:46 AM 05-19-2004
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.
menudo's Avatar menudo 11:49 AM 05-19-2004
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...
AutumnSunshine's Avatar AutumnSunshine 11:50 AM 05-19-2004
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!
mraven721's Avatar mraven721 12:00 PM 05-19-2004
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!
witchbaby's Avatar witchbaby 12:06 PM 05-19-2004
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.
mocha09's Avatar mocha09 12:07 PM 05-19-2004
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.....
GoodWillHunter's Avatar GoodWillHunter 12:24 PM 05-19-2004
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...
HelloKitty's Avatar HelloKitty 12:27 PM 05-19-2004
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!

Lucky Charm's Avatar Lucky Charm 12:31 PM 05-19-2004
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!

OnTheFence's Avatar OnTheFence 12:43 PM 05-19-2004
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.
thirtycats's Avatar thirtycats 12:45 PM 05-19-2004
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.

LdyBluNH@aol's Avatar LdyBluNH@aol 01:50 PM 05-19-2004
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
Celtain's Avatar Celtain 02:11 PM 05-19-2004
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!!!!
Foobar's Avatar Foobar 02:23 PM 05-19-2004
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...
BusyMommy's Avatar BusyMommy 02:27 PM 05-19-2004
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
magster's Avatar magster 02:33 PM 05-19-2004
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.
WithHannahsHeart's Avatar WithHannahsHeart 02:46 PM 05-19-2004
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 ).
mirlee's Avatar mirlee 02:48 PM 05-19-2004
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.
WithHannahsHeart's Avatar WithHannahsHeart 02:51 PM 05-19-2004
oh, just wanted to add: when we took an international trip last summer (dd was about ten months at the time) the stroller would have been an awful encumbrance (plus i seriously doubt she would have stayed in it then). The damn carseat was bad enough. Anyway, i had a marvelous hip carrying device (clips to the body with strong straps, cushy shoulder padding); i had borrowed it from a friend, and almost kissed her on teh lips when i got home, it was just that useful. DD slept in it, and my hands were free to help with baggage; i felt safer and better with her right up next to me. Jus lovely.
Throkmorton's Avatar Throkmorton 03:25 PM 05-19-2004
I use my stroller every day. DS and I walk everywhere, and it is the only way to get further than the front porch with him. I feel so mean when I can't carry him once he gets tired, so I bring along the stroller, which he loves. I used a sling until he was 4 months old, 20 lbs and I couldn't possibly pack him any more. Too hard on my back.
GoodWillHunter, you would have been horrified to have seen us in the mall yesterday. Me pushing a stroller, 2 year old DS with a cheeseburger in one hand, paci in the other... Ok, it was a veggie burger, and the paci is only for when he is about to have a nap. Part way through the time in the mall, I realized how bad that must look.
In other words, i see nothing wrong with strollers. We walk about 5 miles a day with one.
crayon's Avatar crayon 03:31 PM 05-19-2004
Stroller mama here too! We have a Jeep Liberty stroller and we LOVE it! I do have a sling and I never use it- maybe a handful of times in over a year! It hurts my back and she likes the stroller better- I do understand all the AP attachment to a sling but I have not found the perfect sling- I do want a euro carrier but DP says it looks like the baby cant see anything- and I also think it is like 90 bucks and I can buy at least 6 dipes for that! lol..... We do have a back pack we take everplace and use it a lot. I think that AP is a lot of stuff- I have a friend who didnt nurse her baby full time (due to lots of latching reasons) but she is very very big into AP and is studding to be a midwife- so I think AP is a mix of things!
Irishmommy's Avatar Irishmommy 03:37 PM 05-19-2004
Moving this to Parenting Issues...
Ellie'sMom's Avatar Ellie'sMom 03:51 PM 05-19-2004
We've used all manner of baby/toddler moving devices in our house: ring sling, Bjorn, wrap sling, backpack, umbrella stroller, jogging stroller, even (gasp) the removable infant carseat...different situations call for different tools. I know there is alot of derogatory talk about "bucket babies" around here, but when dd was an infant you could not have paid me enough to try to transfer her from carseat to sling when she was sleeping.

And Mocha, that could have been me you saw putting a screaming toddler into a stroller.
Dd gets to walk alot, but sometimes we actually have to get somewhere at a reasonable pace. Dd occasionally is unhappy to get in the stroller, but always happy once we get moving (just like with the sling when she was a babe).

Loved that Kellymom article!
Brisen's Avatar Brisen 04:08 PM 05-19-2004
When dk#1 was little, we didn't have a car I could drive, so I bussed a lot with him -- sling was easier, and I felt it was safer. When dk#2 was born, ds#1 was 2. I had an umbrella stroller I used for dk#1 occasionally then if we were going for a long walk (he would walk on his own on the bus, I would just carry them both if it was an awkward place). I slung dk#2 while pushing dk#1. I've found personally a wagon to be a better investment for us -- it's tough enough that the kids can play with it, it's easy to clean, they can both still fit in it for a long trip, I can use it on rougher terrain, and I can use it to carry other things. I think it has a weight tolerance of 150 lbs. About the only time when I would really want a bigger stroller would be at the mall, and they are free to borrow there. That's just what has worked out for us. The wagon does make a fair amount of noise if we're pulling it empty on the sidewalk, and it gets hot in the sun (it's metal). Lining it with a blanket helps.
AutumnSunshine's Avatar AutumnSunshine 04:23 PM 05-19-2004
Originally Posted by Foobar
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...
Is it my imagination or do people really look at me like I'm crazy when I have my baby in the sling and I am talking away to her? Maybe most people don't talk to their babies?

Umm Zaynab
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 04:31 PM 05-19-2004
"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."

That is ridiculous! At the amusement park you can wear an Ergo or wrap carrier. On an airplane I honestly do not understand how you think using a stroller in an airport is EASIER than a carrier. Personally I don't like having to lug around a huge stroller when I could just put my baby on my back. Another example i live in the Maple capital of Ontario and there was a huge maple festival a couple of weeks ago. We were there for hours with Olivia either on my back or front in the Mei Tai. She was right up there with me, experiencing everything and involved in the conversation. Plus it was REALLY crowded and I was able to walk freely, not having to worry about guiding a stroller through the crowds of people. Everyone else was lugging around strollers and their child was totally out of all the excitement, just riding around staring at people's kneecaps.

My opinion on strollers is I feel that in most circumstances they are not needed. I really can't stand being in a mall and seeing a child in a stroller with a blank look on their face. And I watch for awhile and people don't normally talk very much to their child when they are in a stroller. IMO it keeps the child out of the line of conversation and real interaction with the world. And I can not tell you how much I HATE those bucket baby carriers. They weigh like what, 10-15 lbs? You can't pick them up and carry them? They are only little for such a short time, I don't understand why you wouldn't want to take advantage of it and hold them as much as you can. I know I'm going to get flamed for this but I am just being honest. Everyone seems to be in support of strollers so I wanted to present the other side.
Evan&Anna's_Mom's Avatar Evan&Anna's_Mom 04:41 PM 05-19-2004
Originally Posted by Heavenly
That is ridiculous! ... My opinion on strollers is I feel that in most circumstances they are not needed....
OK, so you have an opinion on this. But do you really need to call everyone who doesn't agree with you "ridiculous"? Maybe for you they aren't needed. But for some of us they are, for lots of reasons, most of them reasonably explained here. It's OK to disagree, but please watch the name calling and judgement. Would you say this to your child?
Lucky Charm's Avatar Lucky Charm 04:47 PM 05-19-2004
I'm not ridiculous either. And you do have a right to your opinion.

I am so glad i changed my sig a few weeks ago
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