Alternatives to strollers or should I make him walk?? - Mothering Forums
The Childhood Years > Alternatives to strollers or should I make him walk??
alysonb's Avatar alysonb 08:35 PM 10-13-2007
We go to the zoo a couple times a week and my older ds (4) likes to ride in the double stroller on the way in, the way out and for short spurts in the zoo, otherwise he walks. Anyway, the double is getting way too hard to push with both boys in it. I started a post in Toddlers about wagons, but based on the responses I am now wondering if a wagon wouldn't be just as tough to pull. So I am wondering, at what age do you typically start making them walk everywhere? If your 4 year old doesn't walk all of the time what do you use? Any stroller/wagon alternatives out there?

mmfoote's Avatar mmfoote 09:06 PM 10-13-2007
I don't have one ,but I have seen people use a stroller that has a standing bar in the back. My DS is 3.5 and pretty much walks everywhere. I carry an extra mei tai with me just in case, but usually, if he's getting tired, we'll just sing songs or tell stories and that keeps him going.
The Lucky One's Avatar The Lucky One 10:15 PM 10-13-2007
Well, I don't think it's unreasonable for a 4 year old to want to ride in a stroller sometimes at places where there's lots of walking, esp if it's hot. We went to the zoo this summer and my ds1, who will be 6 in January, rode for brief periods here and there in our double stroller.

Don't get a wagon. I've never found them very easy to pull for long periods of time.

What kind of double stroller do you have? We have the Mountain Buggy Urban Double and as long as the tires are nicely inflated, you barely even have to push it. I'm not kidding, it is the best stroller ever invented.

The cost of the MBUD may be prohibitive, but any jogging type double stoller would work *as long as the front wheels swivel*. Imo, a stroller without front swiveling wheels is useless (unless you are running of course).
momma-d's Avatar momma-d 10:18 PM 10-13-2007
How do you feel about a carrier, like a SSC, or something? You could keep it on and just pop him in and out as need be. That way you could use a single stroller...
carla72's Avatar carla72 10:28 PM 10-13-2007
I have a 3.5 yr old and a one year old. I usually sling my son but recently he wants to go in the stroller. I have a double jogger with a wheel that does NOT swivel I hate it it is so big it doesn't pack down well...hard to push etc. Wagon is worse. It is very hard to pull and if ds want to sleep he is out of luck ( actually he will go in sling to sleep). I bought a bike trailer that converst to stroller. I got it at costco for 60 and its great. works well it has the swivel wheel in the front and its easy to push. My dd id like your son and walks most of the time but she gets tired on long walks. As long as she is hot and tired I will allow her in regardless of her age. Mind you once she turns 16 thats it she is pushing me.
mackysmama's Avatar mackysmama 10:37 PM 10-13-2007
I have a 5 year old who tires easily and a 2 yo. For trips to the zoo and such, I bring our sit and stand stroller and a sling. On the way in and out, the 2 yo sits up front and the 5 yo rides on the back. In the zoo, it is constantly changing - sometimes I am pushing an empty stroller (well, it carries all my stuff), sometimes I am pushing an empty stroller with the 2yo in a sling, sometimes they are both in the stroller, sometimes one. It is very light weight and easy to push and steer. And, it was affordable.
Terrilein's Avatar Terrilein 03:39 AM 10-14-2007
At four years my dd was walking everywhere. She was also simply too big for any of the strollers available here! But she was also used to doing a lot of walking with me every day so spending a day at the zoo was no problem for her. We also didn't have a younger siblings riding in a stroller so no temptation there either. If the older sibs are tiring easily, maybe you can sling the younger one and take the older for a longish walk every day/every other day to "condition" them?
Justmee's Avatar Justmee 04:11 AM 10-14-2007
I rarely bring my double anywhere anymore, but I do have my kids switch out if one gets tired. I'm assuming your 21 month old can walk, or likes the sling for short periods? I would just bring the single, and then if your 4yo wants to rest see if your 21 month old will walk or take the sling for a while.
pigpokey's Avatar pigpokey 07:46 AM 10-14-2007
I would say make him walk, but my older 2 year old and almost 4 year old don't tire easily. Or at 37 perhaps I should say I tire so much faster than they do that it's not an issue for us. Maybe you gals in your 20s have a different situation
Hannahsmummy's Avatar Hannahsmummy 08:22 AM 10-14-2007
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
I would say make him walk, but my older 2 year old and almost 4 year old don't tire easily. Or at 37 perhaps I should say I tire so much faster than they do that it's not an issue for us. Maybe you gals in your 20s have a different situation
LOL! Yup, that's me too!

My daughter stopped using a stroller when she stopped napping as that's pretty much all we were using if for, when we were out for a long period and she needed a sleep. We live in a city and walk everywhere as I don't drive.

Do you guys have Buggy Boards (or similar things) there? It's a board with wheels that attaches to the handle side of a stroller. The older child can stand on it while the adult pushes. It's easy to pun on and lightweight.
Ah, found one on Amazon in the US:

I'm not sure if that is typical of price but I am sure you could find out with a search.
alysonb's Avatar alysonb 10:24 AM 10-14-2007
Yeah, I really liked the look of the buggy board thing, but the price seems pretty steep. I looked on Ebay and even the used ones were going for around $50. I showed it to ds and he said that he didn't like it (he enjoys occasionally sitting and snacking), but my younger ds might enjoy it. Anyone have one they want to trade
waiflywaif's Avatar waiflywaif 10:46 AM 10-14-2007
My daughter was ABSOLUTELY DONE with the stroller by age 3. I actually wish she would have used it a little longer, as of course she was still a pretty slow walker at that age.

A wagon is good for a walking trip, like to and from the park. At the zoo or something it's okay, as long as it's easy for them to get in and out. Another advantage is that it can carry your stuff even if the kid wants to walk.
Adasmommy's Avatar Adasmommy 11:16 AM 10-14-2007
I don't have a stroller (we only have one child . . . until March, that is ) so I think my three year old walks more/longer than she would if she were used to the stroller. I have always had a wrap handy to carry her when she gets tired, however.

Now that I'm pregnant, I'm just not feeling like carrying myself, my belly, AND my three year old. Daddy's taken over on weekends, and during the week I just tell her (if it's farther than across a parking lot) that I need her to walk a little further. You can always stop and take a break to rest.

At the zoo, there're lots of places to stop: benches, tables for a snack, the merry-go-round . . . so we don't take on too long a stretch at a time, and I pretty well know my daughter's stamina so I plan to be at the zoo just so long.

I'm hoping to avoid getting a stroller with the new baby as it seems like such a hassle (and expense!). Since my dd is getting used to me not carrying her now, I'm thinking this could work out very naturally.
mbhf's Avatar mbhf 11:26 AM 10-14-2007
we have a wagon, and i love it for short straight flat walks where i have to haul stuff (like to the beach, one turn each way ) but i wouldn't want to take it anywhere like the zoo. it is heavy on its own and so hard to steer, especially with anyone in it. i have a 4yo, a 2 1/2 yo, and an 11mo.

if i go somewhere like the zoo (lots of walking, uphill and down) i take my single stroller, my ergo, and a wrap. this way i can easilly contain everyone if i need to and everybody has a place to go if they get tired.

what kind of stroller do you have? i have a maclaren volo as my single, and if both boys want to ride for a short time, i just put one on the others lap. it works great for the walk to or from the car, or if i'm in a hurry and need to walk faster.
hottmama's Avatar hottmama 11:47 AM 10-14-2007
We don't own a double stroller. I have a single stroller that I use occasionally for my 21 mo. old (like once every month or two). We have a wagon we use for walks and sometimes at the zoo. But usually, both kids walk and when my toddler gets tired, I wear him. My 4 yr. old always walks. When we are going to be doing a lot of walking (like 10-20+ blocks), he brings his Razor scooter.
ameliabedelia's Avatar ameliabedelia 02:50 PM 10-14-2007
At 4 yo, my dd1 was walking everywhere.

My almost 3 yo can also walk around the zoo w/o a stroller and if it just us, I don't bring it (just the ergo, if she gets tired). However, if we are with friends, I do bring it, as dd1 likes to take off running with her friends, and I need dd2 in the stroller so I can keep up with dd1. I imagine that sometimes in the next 6 months to a year, dd1 will stop using the stroller all together.
CarrieMF's Avatar CarrieMF 04:30 PM 10-14-2007
We used the wagon. My neighbor & I used to take 2 wagons with us on our walks(4.7K +) 6-7 times a week. In the wagons we had 4-7 kids( 2 in each & sometimes 3 or 4). She usually had a baby in my sling & I had either the single or double stroller with a couple more kids. I preferred my single stroller as I could push that with 1 finger. If I had my double we only took 1 wagon.

YES we got

We never had any problems pulling the wagons, you get accustomed to it quickly. The ages of those in the wagons were between 2 & 4, 5 + up had to walk. Under 2 they don't always sit good in the wagon. The heavier kids went next to the handle otherwise it was hard to pull up onto the sidewalks that don't have wheelchair friendly curbs(which at this end of town few do)

A wagon would be much easier for trips to the zoo because they are easy for kids to get in & out of without much(if any) help. They can hold stuff by their feet & most have a compartment under 1 seat. My neighbor's has an addition to the back of it that holds stuff too.
MOM2ANSLEY's Avatar MOM2ANSLEY 08:04 PM 10-14-2007
dd is almost 5 and big for her age, but tires out before end of day at zoo, long shopping trip etc. she was too heavy for dbl stroller even at 3, could barely steer
if you visit zoo a lot i would reccamend a used dbl jogging stroller, it distributes weight and is MUCH easier to push, dds head touched canopy of regular dbl stroller at age 3, but at age 5 she still has room in jogging stroller....I got it for less than $100 at kids resale shop---and traded a few things in so it only cost me about 40....well worth it
alysonb's Avatar alysonb 09:52 PM 10-14-2007
Thanks for all of the great suggestions. My younger ds hates being worn, so I never did (he also hated swaddling, cribs and anything else that was/is restrictive). Even holding him, he just wants a quick cuddle and then he is struggling to get back down again. My older one is the opposite; he wants to be carried everywhere, but he is nearly 50 pounds so that isn't happening. We live only 15 minutes from the zoo, so I primarily go there as a nice, safe place to fitness walk and so we don't really sit and rest much. We have a route to walk and stop by certain animals that are active, but that is about it. Typically we do the entire zoo in two hours.

My mother told me today that she insists on buying me a wagon. She picked out a Berlin Flyer 400, which is a wood wagon with rubber (not plastic) tires. Since she is buying I can't object. I think I'm going to try it and if it is too much to handle then I am going to get one of those buggy board things for the back of my Maclaren Volo single stroller.
muldey's Avatar muldey 04:28 AM 10-15-2007
Ds is 6yo,and still loves his stroller.We have a Maclaren Triumph.Even dd(9yo) will ride in it ocassionally.Ds is at the weight limit and dd is well over it,but it is still very easy to push.I'm glad,because with ds's Asperger's he really needs a place he can just hide out in if things get too overwelming.He just pulls the sunshade down and he's happy.I have no problem with them using the stroller.I wish i could I have a turn though!
chicagomom's Avatar chicagomom 01:21 PM 10-15-2007
How about one of those Fisher Price Kid Utility Vehicles? They're much more wagon-like.
emmalala's Avatar emmalala 10:20 PM 10-15-2007
We and our kids walk a ton. We have both a Bob double and an old single jogger. Now they are 8 6 3 and even 3 usually rides only when super-tired or sick. Mostly we haul gear but use it as a "sag wagon"

But in the past, sometimes we would, for short stretches, stack two in the single, or let a third sit on the double. Just to make a break or take a little rest.

This depends so much on the family and the individual child. But for ours, we got by with just joggers.
wrzos's Avatar wrzos 12:01 PM 10-16-2007
I take my BOB double everywhere - it has a swivel front wheel which makes all the difference. I usually end up with the baby in the ergo, my ds hops in and out at will, and all our stuff is in the other seat. I prefer to have it though, not only to carry stuff, but to have a safe place for time out (if he runs off), for safe maneuvering through the parking lot, etc.
boatbaby's Avatar boatbaby 12:08 PM 10-16-2007
We never had a stroller so DS walks. I think it is perfectly reasonable for a 3+ year old to walk around doing normal daily activities. We have to carry him every now and again, and if it is a big outing (zoo or fair) I grab the Ergo (a pain at 33 pounds, but doable and easy)
CarrieMF's Avatar CarrieMF 12:45 PM 10-16-2007
The only problem I see with that wagon your mom picked out is how comfortable would it be for him to be sitting like that with his legs stretched out?