Strollers are bad? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-18-2001, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've noticed in some unrelated threads that people have mentioned hating seeing babies strolled around "in those bucket things", and other negative comments about strollers. I use a combination of a lot of carrying, the bjorn, and a stroller. My ds is mainly in the stroller when he is sleeping, as my current stroller is actually a car seat carrier (I assume the bucket thing people are referring to?) so that when he falls asleep in the car I don't have to disturb him to run errands. I just snap it into the frame and go.

My question is: As your babies get bigger, how do you run errands around town without a stroller? And why are they bad? If they fall asleep in the car, do you wake them up to put them in a sling or carrier? My ds weighs about 20lbs, and I can only do the bjorn for about a 1/2 hour at a time now or my shoulders kill me. And he cannot stand the sling - always squirming and trying to get out. I carry him a lot, but I find it really hard to coordinate purse/diaper bag, writing checks, picking up bags, etc., while holding him. I admit that as I am shopping for a real stroller, not the kind I currently have, that I feel a little disconnected from him because they face forward instead of towards me. But again, he's only getting heavier, so how am I supposed to get around with him without one? Do you really think they're a bad thing to use? Oh, and I've tried a backpack. It works great for walks and stuff, but is way too hard to get on and off for errand running. Plus, I don't like being in a crowded area and not be able to see him or when people are going to touch him with their grubby hands.

I hope this sounded right - I'm genuinely curious, not being defensive, but I realize it could be read like that. Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 12-18-2001, 04:16 AM
 
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Hi Oceanbaby!

What a great question! My ds (now 16mo - my how time flies) hated the sling for quite a while. I used the BabyBjorn until my shoulders couldn't take it anymore. But since I was really lazy and/or didn't have the time or energy to go looking for a stroller, I pulled out the sling again and messed around with different positions for my baby. With a bit of experimentation, I found quite a few positions that he was happy with - and I liked it much better than the babybjorn. Anyway, the position we are in now (when we use it - he's walking quite a bit now and really likes his automony) is the side straddle. The cloth is under his butt while he straddles my hip and both my hands are free. It is very comfortable for us. He is now about 27lbs and I can use the sling for a couple of hours at a time without getting sore. I think the sling is much better than the babybjorn for babies as they get older -- you just have to become comfortable experimenting with positions. And we use the Over The Shoulder Baby Holder which has padding in key places. If you get it on you correctly, the weight of your baby should be balanced off of your shoulder and your hip and there should be relatively little pain.

As far as getting ds out of the car when sleeping and into the sling - it has never really been a problem. As a matter of fact, I sometimes grocery shop/do errands when he can take a nap on the drive home. Then I just take him in and put him in bed. He rarely, if ever, wakes up during the transition. When he was younger, I'd put him in the sling and just do stuff around the house with him 'in arms' while he was sleeping. The rhythm of my walking must have reminded him of his womb stay. Sometimes just walking around with him in the sling will put him right out and the sling is pretty versatile in that I can adjust it for him to sleep comfortably.

I love, love, love the sling. We still use it in airports, public transportation and/or shopping centers. I only wish we were using it more than we are - it's SUCH an incredible bonding tool. But I also love seeing my boy exploring his independence and his mobility....

If you want to pull out your sling again and give it a go, there are some websites that illustrate positions to try. Also the Baby Book by Sears illustrates different positions. Good luck with everything and keep trying with the sling.

Peace,

Michelle
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Old 12-18-2001, 04:46 AM
 
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Strollers, car seat carriers, etc. are, in the final analysis tools. Like many tools they can be used judiciusly (spelled all wrong, I know) for good or they can be over used and abused.

I have read of people who were so thrilled with the convenience of the bucket carrier that they left babies in them 16-20 hours a day. They propped bottles there and let babies sleep there for hours on end. Now clearly, these people are sick and wrong in a lot if ways and if it wasn't the bucket it would be some other form of abuse and neglect. The other thing is, between the use of the bucket and women terrified to let their babies play on their tummies (fear of SIDS... while they are awake?) pediatricians are seeing babies, way too many babies, with flat spots on their heads. Sad.

Strollers are another thing. I have a couple, the big one and the tiny portable one. I use them very seldom but I use them. When we go out as a family dh can carry dd when she is too tired to toddle or we can't wait on her pace. When I am out for a long walk, like upwards of a mile, I can't tote her on the sling that whole way any more. Do this; next time you are in a mall or swap meet where you have a chance to see many kids in strollers, look at them. Really look. I often do and what I often see is babies the same age as my dd, who is looking around, chatting at us (of what we know not, but still...) engaged with her environment. The kids in strollers, like as not, are zoned out. Their eyes are sorta glazed, muscles slack and the world is just sorta ggooooiinngggg by..... and they can't see mom or dad.

Personally I could never see the attraction of lugging the carrier and the baby when I can easily transfer the baby to a sling without rousing her much, nor the hassle of erecting and dealing with a stroller on every outing. That said, they are tools. Used well no problem, abuse is so easy though.
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Old 12-18-2001, 10:31 AM
 
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Are strollers inherently bad? No. But they are often misused. Carriers (the buckets) and strollers both are far too often used as a place to park your kid & avoid interacting with him/her. If you don't do that, then great! You're using it properly.

Another problem I see with strollers is they can tempt you to stay out too long. I'm not comfortable trying to nap sitting straight up, I cannot imagine my child would be. The mentality too often seems to be "Well, if she gets tired, she can just sleep in the stroller." And then parents keep their child out too long, and she's either forced to sleep in a chair, basically, or she cannot sleep in it and gets over-tired and cranky.

Of course, honestly, I see strollers as being of limited use. Same with carriers. How many times have you gone to the mall and seen baby held and stroller used as a shopping cart? I see that all the time. It's a $75 grocery basket, basically. Same with the carrier. Mommy is holding the baby, and Daddy is holding the carrier. It simply makes no sense to me.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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Old 12-18-2001, 12:29 PM
 
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Great question! I wanted to ask the same thing!

I think strollers are wonderful.

Much better than holding their hand up over their head and trying to navigate them around. My son always complains about walking. I wish people strollered big kids! I miss the days of putting him in there and going about my business!

My baby loves his stroller. He sits there and looks around. Always "talking" to new people. It is very comfortable. I wheel him around like he is a little prince in a carriage.

My baby's eyes are far from glazed. I find that comment very odd. Alexander sits there and takes everything in. He looks around and sees the big world.

I guess if a baby is screaming to get out, it would be bad, but my kids always scream to get in :-)

Maybe it is more an issue of "responsible stroller usage". More likely to find people that don't pay attention to kids using them...maybe.....but that doesn't mean you have to ignore your kid if he is in one. I think if you are seeing kids that look "glazed over", it is more because they are ignored 24/7 than the few hours in a stroller.
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Old 12-18-2001, 12:45 PM
 
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exactly, my stroller is an expensive cart Malia loves her sling though, so we only take the stroller somewhere when we know we'll have bags and not want to carry them : I think we've used it twice
Like others have said, it's all in how you use them. I fully intended on using the "bucket" while shopping and such... but Malia would have no part of it... which is why I splurged on the didymos sling. We use it a few hours a day, certainly worth the investment.

Aly
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Old 12-18-2001, 01:01 PM
 
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I have both the sling and stroller for dd. She is 7 months now, and is usually in the sling. However she is now getting to the point where she wants to chew on everything and play most of the time. I found a stroller where the seat can be turned around to face us. I do not like the thought of her facing way from me. This was we can still be in eye contact with her, and if she ever falls asleep(which she has never done in the stroller) it reclines all the way. When she does get antsy, she is up...she even now looks at us and puts her arms up...as if she is saying up time mama Both work really well in our family.
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Old 12-18-2001, 03:51 PM
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I can totally see despising "bucket parenting," but I cannot see the point behind despising the buckets themselves. Pacifiers, strollers, bouncy seats, swings, etc. are NOT inherently evil--it is HOW they are used or abused that matters.

I have a stroller and I love it!! I carried dd in the Bjorn and sling for as long as I could and still do for short jaunts or if I'm using mass transportation. But if it's a nice day, and I'd like to walk a long way and get both of us some fresh air, the stroller is the only way to go without killing my back. I get more exercise, she gets more fresh air. I don't see anything wrong with that, and I see a lot right with it. I know that she gets tons and tons of cuddle time, so I don't think it's going to do her any damage to sit in a stroller for a couple of hours.

It's when parents use every possible tool to avoid touching and comforting their babies that it becomes awful. I've seen parents like that. But using a stroller does NOT make you one of them!
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Old 12-18-2001, 05:29 PM
 
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I did it! I bought the sling! hehehehehehe

I always swore I'd never use one, but I just got it.

Mostly for our trip, but it might come in handy from time to time also. There are times that Alexander wants me to feed him when I am trying to shop. I bet I can feed and shop! LOL

anything that helps me shop is awesome.

it HURTS my arm to hold him and the bottle both...and push a cart

hahahah

dh is calling me "Pappose"momma
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Old 12-18-2001, 07:37 PM
 
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I completely agree with everyone else who said it's not the "bucket" or the stroller itself, it's all in how you use it. I used the bucket carseat with dd until she was about 6 months and outgrew it (check your instruction manual, b/c they all say up to 20 pounds but there's also a height limit of 26 inches, which most babies exceed before they reach 20 pounds!). I only used it for three things - as a carseat, obviously, in a stroller (I had the kind that you could attach the carseat to), and to bring her in the house if she was asleep. I was shocked to see people who just left wide awake babies in it for extended periods of time. If dd was awake when we came into the house, I took her out immediately. When I used it in the stroller she was facing me and I was always talking to her - I actually used to run into walls sometimes b/c I wasn't looking where I was going! And when she outgrew it and rode in the stroller facing outwards, I still talked to her all the time, even though I couldn't see her as well. People used to look at me funny because I guess they thought I was talking to myself - amazing that it wouldn't occur to them that I was talking to my baby! I have also noticed that a lot of stroller-bound mall-babies seem to have a glazed look about them, but it's not the stroller, it's the fact that their moms ignore them and just push them around like they are PART of the stroller. I also don't understand how many of dd's age-mates (She'll be three next week) still sit in strollers when out and about. I never use it anymore unless we go somewhere with lots and lots of walking and want to have it handy in case dd gets tired.

I had an unfortunate sling experience, because back then I knew of no other slings than the "mainstream" Nojo one I bought at a large chain store and it only came in one size and was too big for me to adjust comfortably. If I have another baby I plan to get a better one and use it a lot more than a stroller.

I'm also horrified at the number of babies with plagiocephaly - the "flat head" kama'aina mama mentioned. I've seen lots of babies lately with those special helmets meant to reshape their heads. How much time are they spending with their head against a hard, flat surface, these kids? A woman I met through a playgroup once actually rocked her crying child while in the carseat on the floor - rocking the SEAT, I mean - as though the seat was a part of her child. It kinda grossed me out.

Bucket seats, strollers, swings, bouncy seats - they're all just things that have their uses, but it's moms who overuse or abuse them that give them a bad name, in my opinion! Just my $.02!
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Old 12-18-2001, 08:08 PM
 
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I agree- it's how you use them... and what works for you and your baby. I'm a SAHM (work from home actually), so I spend all day w/ my son and hold him a lot. When we go out I usually carry him or in the warmer months, occassionally use a stroller. He always hated the sling and fussed a lot in the Baby Bjorn, so that didn't work for us. He's not thrilled w/ strollers though either. Sometimes he's great in it, other times he screams and I end up carrying him. I think that no matter what you choose for your mobile times (sling, carrier, stroller, etc), it's important to spend a lot of each day holding your baby, cuddling your baby, and hopefully co-sleeping. Massage is another way to get in some great physical contact as well.
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Old 12-18-2001, 09:05 PM
 
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Old 12-19-2001, 12:09 AM
 
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where are the websites that have different positions for the sling. I still have a hard time using it, although I have tried to more often.

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Old 12-19-2001, 12:27 AM
 
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Hi there!
http://www.kangarookorner.com/page16.html

This site has all the positions on it. (for jt's mama) And it let's you compare different kinds of slings.
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Old 12-19-2001, 01:07 PM
 
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We wheel a "SU" stroller with us on hikes for when she gets tired--but usually she walks on her own wherever we go. If she gets tired we plunk her on daddy's shoulders . For as big as this stroller is and as much space it takes, we don't use it enough to justify it...

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Old 12-19-2001, 02:42 PM
 
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Okay, don't hate me but we have two slings and two strollers. All have different specialties. We are very active (okay, so not VERY active, but we try) so we have a baby jogger (hard to jog with ds in a sling). He LOVES it. We also have a McLearen (spelling ?) which is like a full size stroller that collapses to a umbrella size. Perfect for the long outings or extended travel. We use the Bodicca sling for when he is sleeping or wanting to stand. The maya wrap for when he is awake but still wanting to be with us (which we always want .

We love all of them. Don't think any of them are inherently bad.

Oh, I have never seen ds with glazed eyes! Makes me sad to even think of it.
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Old 12-19-2001, 02:53 PM
 
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Is this a fold-up chair with wheels?

Love it. When we have to get on a plane or something.

Hate it. On the street, it puts kids' heads at exhaust pipe level

Makes you think eh!

a

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Old 12-19-2001, 03:14 PM
 
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we love our double stroller for taking 2.5 ds & 7mo dd around - used to carry her but too much backbreak!

Just to say about those glazed-eyes babies - it might be that they're not Always like that, just having a bad morning. I'd hate for you to see us on a bad day and think we were like that all the time! I think we all take our turn at doing the less-than-perfect thing.
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Old 12-19-2001, 04:37 PM
 
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I always found the stroller way more inconvenient than a sling or backpack (even with my 23 lb ds). I've never understood the mothers I see who struggle to get this huge stroller out of the car, unfold it, take the babe out of the carseat, strap babe into stoller, push stroller across parking lot, struggle with door, sit down and take the baby out again??? Its easier just to pick the child up and carry her/him the 20 feet.
Maybe thats because we rarely use the stroller because ds hated it right from the start. He screamed nonstop til we took him out. I took a strollercize class and had to carry him on my back. He doesn't mind now occasionally, but I find it so hard to manuever the darn thing in and out of stores, so we only use it for walks to the grocery store so I can put the groceries in the carry compartment. I'd rather have him close anyway, then I can talk to him about all the sights and sounds we encounter on our journey


 

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Old 12-19-2001, 05:14 PM
 
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We use a jogging stroller for walks around the neighborhood, and when shopping we use the sling and the regular stroller to carry packages. In almost all other situations we use the sling. My ds did not like the sling until I learned more positions to try. I went to an LLL meeting and the women there showed me how to do it and helped me a few times to get the hang of it. I also borrowed the instructional video from LLL that came with the Over The Shoulder Baby Holder. Unfortunately I didn't go to LLL for help until ds was about 3 mo. old, before that I did use the "bucket" a lot. Next time I'll start using the sling right away!

I think a lot of women just assume they need all this equipment because they don't know any different, not because they're "evil". The more women wear slings the more the word will get out. I love it when someone makes a comment to me such as "That's great, where did you get it?" People also ask me if it's comfortable. I'm always suprised how many people have never even seen a sling before!

P.S. Ds is sleeping in the sling as I type this!
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Old 12-19-2001, 06:01 PM
 
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Amen Snugglemama! Some days I feel like NoJo or someone owes us money (or a new sling) for the promotion we have given them in our area. Both Robert and myself try to make time to show it to people and answer their questions when they show interest. That is our big contribution to grass roots change, I guess.
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