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At what age did your kid stop using a stroller?

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:27 AM
  • 109 Replies
1 mom liked this

I Bribed My 4-Year-Old to Stop Using a Stroller

by Judy Dutton

Long ago, when I was a younger, much more naïve mom, I stared in disdain at parents pushing strollers stuffed with too old kids. By "too old," I mean the kids’ legs were so long, their sneakers nearly dragged along the sidewalk. “Isn’t that kid old enough to walk?” I’d opine to my husband, who’d agree with gusto. We vowed we’d stroller wean our daughter early. She'd walk everywhere!

Then, of course, our daughter grew ... then one day, soon after her 4th birthday, she was THAT kid, stuffed in our Maclaren, sneakers dragging on the sidewalk. What happened?

Turns out my problem has a name: “containerized kids.” And it’s a growing trend according to the expert who coined this term, Jane Clark, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Maryland. Since birth, she argues, kids today are spending more and more time in car seats, high chairs, and strollers. Much of this is for safety, of course, yet Clark argues that these kids are suffering in that they’re not getting enough exercise.

Studies support Clark’s conclusions: Researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland tracked the movements of 3-year-olds for a week with a motion sensor clipped to their waistband. They found that the average toddler was active for only a mere 20 minutes a day, much less than the hour that pediatricians recommend.

Part of me wondered whether there was something "wrong" with my daughter for not wanting to walk. Was she anemic? Regressing? But eventually I chalked up her reluctance to walk to the fact that anyone, at any age, would prefer to hitch a ride -- my husband joked he'd enjoy an adult-size stroller. Still, it was clearly time to start stroller weaning our daughter. Only how?

More from The Stir: The Big Stroller Mistake Moms Make

My husband, the “bad cop” in our family, advised me to just take her out without the stroller and keep walking. Even if our daughter threw a fit on the sidewalk, she would eventually pick herself up and run after me. Since that seemed too harsh for my tastes, I decided to try bribery instead, offering her a frozen yogurt every day she walked to and from preschool. That worked like a charm, although I worried the sweets negated the extra exercise she was now getting ... time to switch the bribe to Hello Kitty stickers?

We haven’t ditched the stroller entirely. Since we live in a city and don’t own a car, we often walk far and keep the stroller handy for these longer jaunts. But the first thing I noticed as soon as my daughter was walking more often was this: Man, she is slow. Which makes total sense -- her legs are a third the length of mine. Since I’m usually in a rush, my hands often itch for the stroller as she dawdles her way down the block. Still though: If my daughter isn't worth the wait, who is?

At what age did your kid stop using a stroller?


Image © Image Source/Corbis

by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:27 AM
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Replies (1-10):
peanutsmommy1
by Ruby Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:29 AM
2 moms liked this

DS wanted no part of one past about 18 mos

imthatgirl0607
by Ruby Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM

After they got old enough to walk comfortably, maybe 2 1/2-3ish, I only used the stroller when we went places that meant a lot of walking. The zoo, amusement parks, long walks...that type of thing. 

For everyday errands, I just slowed my walking down. 

alexsmomma06
by Platinum Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Before 2yrs old.
weeping_angel
by Don't Blink on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM
By 3
Mandymb
by Silver Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:31 AM
3
spooky415
by Ruby Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:31 AM
I think like 4 and at that point it was pretty rare.
AHmom103
by Gold Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:31 AM

 With my oldest, we stopped using the stroller when she was 2 1/2, because I refused to buy a new stroller, and we had a new baby. My youngest was about 3.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:32 AM
When they no longer fit into one. We have 3 closely spaced children so the stroller was how we kept the numbers fair and reasonable while in public. Instead of two of us having to go 3 different ways at a time, we only had 1 or 2 different directions to manage.

Eta: having said that, I should say, our kids were never really runners. They were always pretty good at stay close by. The stroller was peace of mind really.
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PeachQuean
by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:32 AM
As soon as they.started walking on their own, so 14 months dd1.

11 months dd2.

And 18 months dd3.
mewebb82
by Gold Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 10:33 AM
My oldest was about 2, my middle child was about 3, and we rarely use one for our 19 month old (maybe 5 times his entire life).
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