Your baby hates stroller? Don’t worry, you are not the only one. There are plenty of parents dealing with the same problem every day when they want to tuck the baby in the stroller and go for a walk, shopping, or jogging.
Most babies, mine included, have the temporary stage of hating the stroller for no obvious reasons.
I share some proven tips on what you can do to help yourself and the baby.
But first, let’s see when can baby ride in a stroller in the first place.
You should use a stroller with a proper reclining mechanism for newborns because they cannot support their heads. The strollers that can fully recline are convenient because they can be used as a bassinet. Babies usually overgrow these bassinet strollers at the age of five or six months.
For some babies, it is about the time when they can sit in a stroller.
To break the confusion about when can my baby sit in a stroller – check the neck. The baby should be able to hold the neck without assistance for longer to sit safely in the stroller. Some babies reach this milestone before the fifth month, while others need more time.
The variations are perfectly normal, and if you aren’t sure whether that moment has come, you can talk with your pediatrician.
Some babies just don’t like to be pushed in a stroller, but other times there is a reason for excessive crying whenever you strap it in the stroller.
Here are some things to check before you sign off the stroller and start using the carrier or other things for transport.
If you notice crying and bending when you put the baby in stroller, it might be a good idea to check the padding and headrest. If the padding isn’t sufficient, plastic parts might pinch and prick the baby and cause discomfort.
Also, think about the weather and feel the fabric used for the stroller cover. Is it breathable or makes the baby sweaty during hot days? Try to add cotton layers or find a good stroller with sufficient padding and a padded headrest. A reclining seat is always a plus as it gives you more options to find the best position for the baby.
The simplest reason some babies don’t enjoy stroller rides is boredom. My daughter was especially bored in the stroller after the first trimester, so I had to come up with safe entertainment, such as toys.
You can find some toys that can be attached to the stroller and keep the baby busy during the rides. Clip-on baby toys such as the popular Lamaze Clip On Toy are great, because they are soft, and include contrast colors and shapes, which will keep most babies occupied during the ride. For older babies, you can bring snacks and choose some exciting routes to arouse curiosity, inherent in babies of that age.
Overstimulation is the opposite of boredom and pretty common in younger babies. If there are too many things going on where you walk, such as other children playing, people doing sports or jogging, vivid scenery, the baby might be uncomfortable from all the stimulants in the environment.
You can try choosing a quieter path or putting the canopy to provide more privacy to the baby. Also, start by taking shorter rides to get the baby to adjust to the stroller walks.
As Mayo Clinic explains, reflux happens in younger babies because one muscle isn’t fully developed and causes common spit-ups.  If that is the case with your baby, the improper recline angle of the stroller can make things worse.
Avoid going on walks in the stroller after a meal, to prevent the baby from spitting up.
Lastly, the baby might be too big for stroller. Babies grow so fast, and sometimes, you don’t even notice that your toddler has overgrown its stroller and feels constricted whenever you put it in.
Try with a bigger one or for some parents, a walking baby harness seems like a better alternative as it is comfortable and easily adjustable.
Lastly, if you own a travel system – stroller and the compatible car seat that attaches to it, the baby might not feel comfortable in the seat. You will be able to tell if the same symptoms – crying and fussiness, happen whenever you go on the car ride. Here is what to do when a baby hates car seat.
Try to entertain the baby during the ride, play the music the baby loves, and have someone in the backseat. Always stay calm and focused on the road, and try another stroller to see if it works. Maybe it will enjoy stroller rides once it reaches the milestone when can baby sit in stroller without car seat.
Here are some versatile tips that might help you change the baby’s preferences toward strollers.
Using a stroller for ten or more minutes at home will help the baby adjust and get used to it. Slowly increase the time the baby spends in the stroller and watch out for the reasons from the list above, as it might help you solve the issues before you go for a walk.
Also, if you plan to jog with the baby, you first have to make the baby tolerate the stroller, step by step. Once you are ready to go outside from home, take short walks and slowly increase the time. Eventually, you’ll be able to jog with the baby without issues.
Don’t go for a walk after the meal, a bumpy ride might cause discomfort and digestion issues for the baby. Instead, you can wait half an hour after the meal to go for a walk, and it can be excellent nap time.
Test which seat orientation seems to work better for your baby. Does it like to observe the surroundings, or the baby cries as soon as you make it look away from you?
Ride it in the orientation that he doesn’t cry that much and slowly introduce the other way of riding.
Smartmompicks.com has a great tip. Younger children copy older siblings in so many aspects. Put older children in the stroller to show the baby how great stroller rides are and hope it works.
If you spend time and effort to get the baby like a stroller, and it doesn’t work, it is time to think about alternatives.
A wagon is an excellent stroller alternative for older child. They have a larger weight capacity, can accommodate more children at a time, and the kids have plenty of space to play and entertain during the rides.
These are suitable for older toddlers, and not newborns. The Radio Flyer 3-in-1 Wagon is among the highly recommended wagons that offers plenty of fun and space for children older than 18 months. It is also easy to fold and pack when traveling.
Carriers are convenient for younger babies, cozy, practical, and suitable for babies of different ages. There are different types, such as wraps, slings, backpack carriers.
My favorite one is Infantino Carrier, suitable for the rear and forward-facing position of infants and newborns (how cute!). Another great option is the Baby Bjorn carrier, well-known for its quality, albeit on a pricier side – you can check the One Air model that is better for hot weather here. You can pick from a few different nice colors though.
Lastly, push cars are great for babies from age 1 to 3 years. Children might enjoy an occasional ride around the neighborhood, especially if there are additional features such as a ring bell, steering wheel.
The Step2 Whisper Ride II is entertaining for most toddlers, and convenient for parents to push because of the long handle.
Strollers are great, they give you a lot of freedom to go outside, but not every baby likes to be pushed around. You can try to figure out why the baby cries every time in the stroller, slowly introduce the strollers and move on to the alternatives if nothing works.
Speaking from experience here – as time passes, you will get to know the baby’s preferences. Don’t be fooled, the little angels have distinctive characters from their birth, and some honestly don’t like strollers.
How did your baby react when you first put it in the stroller? Share your experience, and don’t forget to like and share the article if you find it useful!