We have an instep grand safari swivel wheel jogging stroller. It says in the instructions not to use it with babies less than 4 months w/o popping an infant carseat in it. We do have an infant carseat which is compatible with it, but I'm wondering why we can't just put a new baby in it in the regular seat with the seat all the way reclined? The seat reclines almost totally flat (maybe 175 degrees), and we would NOT be using it for jogging or on dirt roads with a newborn. We would only be using it for regular walking down a nice, flat, even sidewalk...no bumps, no dirt, no running, just regular walking. It seems to be me that it really wouldn't be any different from a regular stroller since it reclines almost totally flat.
We do a lot of walking and live someplace where it it is hot/humid almost all year. I do babywear, but also use a the stroller a lot since babywearing in the heat/humidity isn't so much fun. Baby is due in Sept, so it will definitely be very hot/humid and we also have a 4-yo that is in and out of the stroller a lot on walks. Being able to share the stroller between the baby/ the 4-yo on walks (ie. babywearing when the 4-yo is tired and wants to ride) seems easiest, but it would only work if we could use the stroller with the baby w/o the infant carseat. So, am I missing some reason why this isn't safe??? I can see how jogging or dirt/unpaved roads could be dangerous, but I'm not seeing any problems with just regular walking with the seat being almost totally flat.
I would want to make sure the infant wouldn't slip out of the harness and that there is enough head support
The issue with jogging strollers and newborns is all about supporting their head in a stable position. There are two issues, really. First, the baby's position must allow his/her head to be stable and supported at all times. Second, the jogging stroller is likely to be used by parents on rough surfaces, inclines and trails with twists and turns that might result in the baby's head being jostled.
I would follow the manufacturer's instructions. Call them and ask them to let you talk to their safety personnel about it. Or, pose the question on a medical site where medical professionals answer questions.
It is possible that the slight angle would be a problem for some babies, and the safety instructions will err on the side of safety. I actually transferred my child to the toddler car seat at age two months because no matter what he was simply too tall for the infant seat, but the pediatrician said it was okay for him because he had so much neck strength already. He was lifting his head off my shoulder and turning his head from side to side when he was two weeks old. I don't know what I would have done if the pediatrician had said not to move him yet because the straps were digging into his shoulders.
So, you could ask your pediatrician at the baby's visits to determine whether it is okay for the baby to be in the stroller as you described. You would get a response more specific to your baby. You could even bring the stroller into the room and show the doctor so he/she can make a determination and explain their answer. There is a decent chance the doctor will say that it's fine earlier than four months, but let the doctor decide. He/she may also say that as long as you are on smooth pavement it is fine after a certain age.
Governess, pediatricians are absolutely not a source of information on how to use safety equipment. They frequently know nothing about car seats (as evidence by your description of the conversation) and I doubt they understand safety concerns with strollers.
I'm confused by what you mean when you moved your child to a 'toddler car seat'. Do you mean a convertible? You used it rear facing, correct?
Head strength has absolutely nothing to do with car seats. And convertibles can be used from birth provided they are used rear facing.
If you put your child forward facing, the chances are high that he would have died in even a low speed auto accident.
"Straps digging in" doesn't mean the seat is outgrown. It probably means you failed to move the straps from the newborn setting to the older baby setting.
This is why it is important to consult the restraint MANUAL, not a pediatrician, on how to properly restrain your child.
For the jogging stroller, I could be wrong, but I felt OK taking my daughter in one as an infant. I didn't jog with her, though. Just walk. And I used one of those head support things that people put in car seats (even though they should NOT be put into car seats). Mine lays more flat than the car seat and I was more comfortable with the stroller than the car seat. The head support thing kept her body stable and she didn't move around in the seat. I think the manufacturers err on the side of caution and assume parents can't make rational decisions about what's safe and what isn't - like jogging with a newborn may not be safe (but might be a little safer in a rear-facing car seat in the stroller) and sitting the stroller into an upright position would not be safe. So their answer is "don't use this product."
I'm not an expert, though, and I am not going to advise you to go against the manufacturer's instructions. I would have preferred to babywear, but it took me a while to recover from the SPD I developed in pregnancy and could barely walk under my own weight; and believe it or not the 8-9 lb newborn was too heavy for me to carry very far, but I really needed to get up and walk somehow in order to get my body to heal right.
~*~ Full time mom ~*~ Hobby Sheep Farmer ~*~ Child Passenger Safety Technician ~*~