Baby, Mother, Parenthood, Toddlers

Are You Over-Using Your Buggy?

Buying a travel-system is almost a given when you are expecting a baby.

Perhaps you may be lucky enough to be given one second-hand from a friend or family member. In today’s modern society a travel system of some sort is a necessity. There are several options on the market but we need to be able to safely get from A to B whilst ensuring that our infants are warm, dry and safe.

The NHS advices that you should “spend some time looking at what is available for getting around with your baby”. There are many different options on the market. Some people choose to only use baby-carriers while others depend on a travel system which goes from birth to toddler hood. There are a number of safety factors to be considered such as ensuring your newborn is lying down flat, using all buckles and harnesses correctly and ensuring the travel system or carrier is designed to safely transport the weight and height of your little one.

But what happens when your baby graduates from baby to toddler? They want to walk, run and explore every inch of this world and yet we still have errands to run and weather to contend with. A stroller is a very useful tool when it comes to being out and about with a toddler. You can nestle them in safely if they need to have a nap and you can protect them from the wind and rain when you have to be out of the house.

Could you be over-using your buggy though?

While it is an important tool, could your child be missing out on precious exercise and exploring time? We are all guilty of choosing to use a stroller at a time where our child could be walking with us hand-in-hand. In today’s busy modern society that is not always practical though. Perhaps you have to pick up some groceries while out and about, perhaps you know they will require a nap while you are out that day. Having a stroller makes everyday life easier.

Picture 036If your child is anything like mine then they probably resist the stroller as soon as they realise what is happening. My son arches his back and gets very distressed at times. He does not want to be strapped in to something unable to run and walk freely. It’s really as simple as that.

It is something I have been more mindful of lately. I am trying to find the balance between making life easier for me and making life more interesting for my son. Buggy-use is definitely something that has an impact on both. These are some of the things I have been considering recently.

1. Bringing the carrier instead of a stroller. It sounds so simple but this has been a really effective change for us recently. It saves me the job of dismantling and packing up the travel-system and means I can avoid the protest from my toddler. When popping in to the shop for a few items or running errands I can happily use the carrier. It saves time, space and my little boy is a LOT happier being up high, closer to me and able to look around at the world.

2. Let him walk. Another really obvious solution but one I failed to use enough in recent months. There are a lot of situations where my son really enjoys stretching his legs. Supermarkets and malls are a surprisingly baby-friendly place for new-walkers. We spent an hour at the weekend toddling to and from different shops. He loved the sense of independence and exploration.

3. Try to factor in some play-time during a busy day of errands. I often schedule a little play date or park visit for the middle of the day when I know my son will spend a lot of the day in the stroller. He is less likely to resist the stroller when he has had a chunk of time on his feet exploring and playing. In fact, it is often a welcome change for his tired little legs.