Author Topic: Is a stroller necessary? Update on page 2  (Read 12180 times)

mushroom

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Is a stroller necessary? Update on page 2
« on: December 27, 2014, 08:07:46 AM »
I'm expecting my first child in April, and my husband and I live in a 600 sq foot apt in Chicago. While it's possible we may move into a bigger place once the baby's born, we like to keep things clutter-free. We'd love to just have a baby carrier and go without a stroller if possible since they seem like bulky monsters, but are we being totally unrealistic?

- Most of the week we use public transportation where a stroller would be annoying
- Weekends we run errands like grocery trips in the car. My husband does most of the grocery shopping, so either both of us would be there or I would likely be home with the baby while he does groceries.
- I don't just sit and hang out in places like cafes and very rarely go shopping
- Zoos and museums seem like the best places for a stroller, although it could get annoying in crowded spaces, plus most of the museums are downtown where we would want to take public transportation w/o a stroller
- We love hiking, where we would go with a baby carrier anyway
- My husband is likely willing to use the carrier for relatively long periods of time. I think it might start getting heavy for me for long periods as the kid gets older.
- Stroller could be handy for grandparents; we would drive to ones in Michigan or fly to California
- Money isn't much of an issue, there are many relatives dying to get us things so we would likely get it as a gift if we register for it
- Not sure about a second kid, but I would say likely, possibly 2-4 years after the first one is born

What do you think? Is no stroller possible or are we totally crazy? If we do get one, do we just get a small fold up umbrella even though they suck or just go for a durable fancy one as long as we're going to do it?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 12:04:02 PM by mushroom »

netskyblue

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 09:39:43 AM »
I am soooo anti-stroller.  I'm sure there are people who love them, but I can't stand them.  I kind of feel like if the kid can't walk on his own (older children - I'm thinking of the 3yo's I see being pushed around in strollers) and/or it's not feasible to use a carseat carrier or one of those wraparound things where you carry the baby against your stomach, the kid doesn't need to go!

But then, I don't really walk long distances or shop in places where I wouldn't have the use of a cart.  I don't shop as an activity, either, though.  "Shopping" means going to the grocery store with a list.

Gray Matter

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2014, 09:49:13 AM »
I, too, found strollers over-rated, bulky, and generally a pain-in-the-ass.  I was happier wearing my babies, either in a sling (winter baby) or an Ergo or backpack as they got a little older.  I did take a few walks where the kids petered out in the middle and I ended up with a 20-lb child in chest carrier and a 30-lb toddler on my shoulders, but hey, it's a good weight-bearing activity.

kkblock

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2014, 09:50:16 AM »
Hi there Mushroom,

Congratulations on your new family member! I am expecting my first in May 2015. While we have 2 strollers gifted from inlaws, we have a shed and a bigger home than you guys (extremely impressed btw). They are bulky and annoying in stores, museums, etc. plus I think they can lead one to over purchase/carry items with them. My suggestion is that you register for a warp and a carrier and wait to see if you need/want the stroller after the baby arrives. You will likely get so much that you can return items for a nice credit towards a stroller. Or let a relative know they are on reserve to get it for you (since they will likely be dying to). Also, befriend other moms in parenting classes as they may have friends who are dying to get rid of items and you can get a good one that way. If you are getting a car seat for the time you take the baby in the car, you can get a stroller base with wheels for that if you need one. Just my 2 cents. I plan on using our stroller for walks in the hood and a carrier for out and about, grocery shopping, etc. I will likely spruce up one of the other ones and sell it on Craigslist if the hubby lets me. None of our family members are mustachian or read here, so my secret is safe. I have heard that this can be done with a lot of used baby stuff.

Another thing we did was a family member offered to buy is a year of diapers. Since we are doing cloth, we asked for a cloth diaper service to wash and pick up/drop off. Not cheap, but better for the landfills and better than plastic toys/crap that people will want to give. It gives you time to see if you like it and then once the 20+ diaper a day phase is over, you can keep doing cloth with out being overwhelmed by the volume (at least that's the thought). Good luck!

justajane

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 10:04:57 AM »
I'm with kkblock. Just buy a carrier for the time being, and if you change your mind and feel like you want a stroller, you can always buy one after the kiddo is born. Strollers are easy items to buy used on Craigslist. People are always trying to unload them and likely have used them less than they expected.

If I lived in Chicago, I personally would want one for such an urban environment. I imagine leisurely walks in my neighborhood and jaunts to the park. Babies get awfully heavy (my 7 month old is already 20 pounds!), and in an urban environment, one reason people might keep kids who can technically walk in a stroller is to corral them. A 2 year old could possibly jut into the street or run ahead of you.

But I agree with others that sometimes I see older kids in strollers and think "Why aren't you walking?" Sometimes there might be physical or mental delays, so I try not to judge too harshly. My older kids walked on their own without a stroller for longer distances by the time they were 2 1/2. I shutter at the thought of walking long distances with an 18 month old strapped to my body, but that's just me.

mm1970

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2014, 10:38:48 AM »
I'm going to chime in on the "pro-stroller" camp, but maybe not just yet.

I live in So Cal, and I walk a lot.  When my boys (6 years apart in age) were babies, I used carriers.

Sling and bjorn for the first one
Moby, ring sling, and ergo for the second one

I loved baby-wearing - it's definitely easier for shopping to wear a baby, go for walks, etc.  Though when they are teeny tiny, it can be hard.  Many carriers aren't good until they are a certain age/ size.  So the Moby was great for infant but I found that one a challenge to get on.

So I would go for regular walks with my toddler strapped to my back up till he was about 16 months.  Then the time change happened.  In the spring, when it was light again after dinner, I tried again, and by then, he was too heavy for my knees and ankles to handle the extra weight.

Thus, I use a stroller now, a LOT, for my 2.5 year old.  I think my older son was out of one by this age - he walked places.  Except for when I/ we walk for EXERCISE, then a 2 year old really can't do 3 miles, you know?  My 2.5 year old though is the crazy one, who is always running off - so the person above who said people use it for containment is exactly right.  Didn't have those issues with #1.

Strollers are useful for the zoo, etc., but you can rent them.  They were really good for travel too, but a cheap one will do.  Our stroller is a cheap $50 one.

It really just depends on your lifestyle.  I know lots of people with expensive jogging strollers, but me - I don't jog anymore so I just have a stroller I can walk with.  If you don't find yourself walking long distances with a 2 year old, you might not need one.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 11:05:32 AM »
We loved our Baby Bjorn for the first months. After our kids grew out of that, the Ergo handles them up until age 2 or 3. Given your living situation, I'd go for the carriers and put off a stroller until sometime later... if you find you need it.

We love our Bob stroller. It's big, but surprisingly maneuverable. And it doubles as a jogging stroller.  One nice thing about the Bob stroller is that if you have two, one can ride in the stroller and the other can ride on the foot deck in front. When they are 3+ and wiped out, it's nice to have some wheels underneath them. In our area, the Bob strollers are expensive even on Craig's List. But the plus Is that the resale value is great, so it's almost a no interest investment for a few years.

imustachemystash

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2014, 11:25:39 AM »
Some of my fondest memories with my babies include strolling around the neighborhood on a sunny day.  It's also how I lost my baby weight.  I had a baby carrier as well, but sometimes after holding my baby all day it was nice to just place him down in the stroller and have him be entertained by the scenery while I had my body to myself.  I say get one!

ABC123

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2014, 11:25:46 AM »
Babies get heavy. Especially once they are old enough to squirm around and try to get down. I personally would get one. You don't have to get a crazy expensive one, but it is a nice thing to have.

Workinghard

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2014, 02:29:31 PM »
We loved umbrella strollers. So lightweight, easy to fold up, and did not take up any room at all. We usually took the canopy off.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Kolcraft-MLB-Umbrella-Stroller/23444570

Mrs3F

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2014, 02:45:46 PM »
When my first was born we got a big stroller that the car seat fit into. I barely used it because it was so bulky. You can definitely get by with just a carrier for a while, but I'd ultimately recommend an umbrella stroller once the baby gets too big to comfortably carry everywhere.

Gin1984

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2014, 02:51:36 PM »
I did not think we would need one, and then my daughter got heavy and both my back and my husband's back started to seriously hurt.  We bought a used stroller and it has been great.  We don't use it often but it has been very helpful when we do.

ZsMom

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2014, 04:20:45 PM »
If you have a good carrier (Ergo, Tula, Boba) I think you can totally get away without a stroller. We hardly used, with the exception of a jogging stroller for my husband to run.  I don't ever use for day to day stuff, going out etc. Never travel with one, and we travel quite a bit, domestic and international.

Other consideration about carriers - strongly suggest using frequently from the beginning, rather than going long periods of time and not using at all and then trying to wear baby all day while traveling or something. This will really reduce your physical discomfort:)

homehandymum

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2014, 11:18:58 PM »
Since you've got space constraints, I'd opt for a sling/wrap for the first few months (when their little necks are still really weak), followed by a carrier/back-sling, followed by an umbrella stroller.

But be prepared to try something, hate it, and opt for a different solution :)

Umbrella strollers are good for older babies (6months plus), but tiny babies need to lie flat, or be held where you can constantly monitor them, since they can't hold their heads up for long.

Also, YMMV with the slings/wraps.  My youngest baby was 10lb when born, and would only sleep in the baby sling.  By the time he was 3 months old and ready to graduate from the Moby into a different sling he was sooooo heavy, and I was soooooo done with carrying him everywhere that I used the stroller and never bought a different carrier/sling.  Fortunately about then he also had a developmental shift and was ok sleeping during the day in the cot.

1967mama

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2014, 12:43:53 AM »
I second the Ergo baby carrier. I use a sling for the first 4 months or so then switch to the Ergo. A stroller becomes nice later on when they are getting heavy...haha! Umbrella strollers are great because they are compact. I strongly dislike the huge strollers that you clip a car seat into.

I'd suggest just getting a sling to start and then see if/when you feel the need for a stroller. Definitely not a "before the baby arrives" thing to lay out tons of cash on!


N

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2014, 12:46:25 AM »
Ill chime in, as I also live in chicago :) and had babies. :)

TBH, I did not use a stroller with my first until she was 3. I had a variety of slings, and carried her, well past her 2nd birthday, almost all of the time. She wasnt a heavy baby-I think at 2 she was still under 25 lbs. I also drove mostly to and from places. I didnt really use cta at that time. One thing that was awesome was having a babywearing coat, that I could wear her in a sling underneath the coat.

When I had my second, though, I started using the stroller more, but put the toddler in it and carried the baby. The stroller is nice because you can put your stuff in it :) Diaper bag, lunch, waterbottles, :)

The thing about strollers is you can always find second hand ones- on CL or virtual garage sales on FB, or at play it again sports store, or thrift store...etc. I had a jogging stroller from the thrift store that lasted a couple years for 10$. That thing was amazing. it survived several plane trips, and a few summers at the beach (nice big tires go over sand, as well as bumpy sidewalks) I think umbrella strollers are kind of useless (and the handles are always too short for me so I have to hunch and its uncomfortable.

It still folded up pretty well, and fit in my trunk of my civic. It was a step-up brand (not high end or fancy) but it served me well. and hey, you could also jog with it (if you had to. lol )

Its true that strollers on the bus are a major PITA. some trains less so. but obviously, people make it work if they have to.  I have friends without cars who make it work with multiple children and slings and a stroller and a lot of walking :)

but I dont necessarily think it has to be gotten ahead of time, and if you are planning to use a sling, you dont need a stroller until later anyway. get it secondhand, sell it off if its not useful.

Now, if you want to talk slings....I highly recommend finding a way to try a few kinds out. I dont know if there are still active babywearing groups around, there used to be, and they had lending libraries of slings! or go to a La Leche League meeting and ask around if anyone has recommendations or one they can let you try on or borrow.

I personally loved the pouch style sling. Its sized to the wearer, so you and your partner or other caregivers may need different sizes, or one size might fit you both. I used a pouch with both kids for most everyday from infancy until toddler age. I also ended up liking a ring sling when my kids were older and more in-out-up-down. Most of my friends liked ergo or similar carriers, but I never liked back carries, so I never got one. Mobys are fantastic when you have a small infant, but they get uncomfortable as baby gets heavier and can be inconvenient to tie on.

So exciting to have a new baby! or baby on the way! :) yay!

MicroRN

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2014, 01:32:44 AM »
No, not necessary, but it can make your life easier.  Babywearing is great, but not all kids like being worn.  If you do longer day trips, the stroller is a handy place to store extra gear.  You can bring along picnics and go for multiple mile walks.  We love spending time outdoors, but the kids don't have that much walking endurance.  A stroller that lies flat can give a young kid a nice space to nap.       

Our first child, I rarely used a stroller.  I had a Moby wrap, an ergo, and homemade ring slings.  He loved being in a sling.  Most of the time when we went out there were 2 of us, so we traded off carrying him.  However, I got pregnant again when he was 9 months and started having trouble carrying him comfortably a bit later.  At that point, the stroller became very useful.

Baby 2 was born when my older child was 18 months - not really old enough to walk long distances, and with a habit of trying to run away from me.  After about 3 months, Baby 2 hated all slings and wraps.  He would twist and turn and struggle to get out of them, but would happily sit in a stroller and look around.  A double stroller became my best friend.  We walked to the park with it (about a mile), and it made getting in and out of the car much safer while running errands, because I didn't have to worry that my toddler would take off through the parking lot while I was getting the baby out of the car.

At this point, we're starting to use the stroller much less, although we still take it if we're headed into the city and expect to be walking 3-4 miles, or are going somewhere like the zoo.  While the older child can walk quite well now at 3.5, he's autistic and the stroller seat is a safety zone for him when he starts getting overwhelmed.     

chouchouu

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2014, 05:44:38 AM »
I had both a stroller and a carrier and live in an apartment. I used the carrier for short outings but if I'm leaving the house for any length of time I took the stroller. We don't have a car though and our girls sleep so well in the stroller but not in the carrier (I had an ergo)

I used the basket underneath to carry groceries. I really love having a stroller and I had no problems getting round on public transport, though I'm in Sydney and buses here have seats that flip where you put the stroller. I find the carrier claustrophobic when on too long. You can always buy one second hand on CL, that way you can sell it for similar to what you pay of you find it doesn't suit your lifestyle. Or just see how you go with the carrier and get one if you feel there is a need. In general, the shops will always be open, so no need to worry about baby supplies before baby arrives. If there is something you need you can get it once you realise there is a need.

Overseas Stache

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2014, 05:46:11 AM »
My two cents,

I think having a stroller that the baby can lie flat in is a great tool to have in the arsenal. Babies can be incredibly hard to put to sleep and sometimes the thing that works the best is pushing them around in the stroller. Heck I would say the primary role our stroller has is for a place for the girls to sleep. Either to put them to sleep in our house if they won't go to sleep any other way, or as a temporary portable crib when we travel or even when we are just visiting people. It is nice just be able to push our girls to sleep and leave them in the stroller to take their nap while we visit others, instead of just trying to fit our visits around the babies nap's times.


justajane

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2014, 06:22:54 AM »
Overseas Stache's post reminded me of an article I read a while back.

Apparently in Sweden strollers are essential, because prefer for babies to sleep in the fresh air, even when it is 20 degree outside. The adult will stay inside, while they leave the baby outside unattended but adequately wrapped up for naps in the stroller.

Different strokes, right?

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21537988

mushroom

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2014, 08:10:13 AM »
Thanks so much for all the input!

It sounds like the way to go would be start with a carrier and get a stroller later if we find we need it. The only reason we were thinking about getting it ahead of time is that we have relatives who want us to register for things and we don't really want a lot of stuff. So if we were going to go with the fancy stroller route it would be better as a gift. But it sounds like an umbrella stroller worked for a lot of people or at least a cheap used one later on.

I think I'll probably get a wrap and a carrier - it seems like a lot of people like the Ergo carrier but in the store it seemed hard to put on without a pouch like the Baby Bjorn. I'd be afraid of dropping the baby, and I watched a Youtube video that still made it seem pretty awkward. But you guys manage ok even when you're by yourselves?

GizmoTX

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2014, 10:01:45 AM »
We used a car seat that has a stroller built into it, called the Sit & Stroll. It's surprisingly compact & fits in airline seats. The wheels drop & retract like airplane landing gear & the handle stows like a roller bag. While this is sold as a fantastic travel item, we found it invaluable every day. The seat has a five point belt for baby & is secured quickly by fastening the vehicle seat belt over it. It can be used rear & forward facing, newborn to 40 pounds. I believe it's only available online.

We initially had an infant carrier with a handle for carrying but it was too quickly outgrown, plus I found it heavy & awkward. Our baby preferred a sling to other ways of wearing him. We rarely took him shopping & then only when he was much older. At the toddler stage, I remember pretending to be a horsie in harness when walking with my grandmother. My mom could never outrun toddler DS, so he too was attached with a waist harness & leash when he went for walks with her.

Bob W

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2014, 10:30:58 AM »
4 kids raised with strollers.

ZsMom

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2014, 11:41:31 AM »
Yes absolutely manage an Ergo by myself. Different ways that people like to put them on, some clip the back and then put over their head (I prefer) or some unclip, put on the straps and then clip it in back after you're wearing.

Caution with Baby Bjorn's. There is concern that they don't provide proper hip support and can cause hip dysplasia. Here is one explanation, there are many similar articles and blog posts if you Google around. http://wellnessmama.com/12549/baby-hip-dysplasia/

If cost is an issue, nothing wrong with picking up a used Ergo on Craigslist/etc. They are washable.  Also depending on where you are located, you may have a local Babywearing chapter that has a carrier library to check out. You can see/try on all of them for free.  You can also become a member and "check out" a carrier to use for a month at a time, and get a new one every month. In my area the cost for this membership is $35/yr. Pretty cool idea because you can check out a K'tan or newborn wrap or sling initially, and then trade for a soft structured carrier later. Also the volunteers that run the programs are very knowledgeable and proficient with the carriers and able to teach you how to safely use them, which ones might be best for your situation, etc. Let me know if you need more info.

Kepler

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2014, 08:26:41 PM »
My son was a small kid, and I used slings for his first year, shifting to an umbrella stroller later if I needed to move quickly and/or carry other things (I would drape groceries on the stroller).  My son preferred being carried, so one umbrella stroller lasted until he didn't need one any more, since he'd rather go in the sling if I allowed it.

My daughter was... not a small kid, and did not particularly like being carried.  She was okay as an infant in a wrap, and then in the Ergo periodically after that, but she actually preferred the stroller (and prefers walking to anything else, but she can be a "darter", so we use the stroller if we are carrying anything else or going through a high-traffic area).  Since we've used the stroller more with her, we've run a couple umbrella strollers into the ground - but we can generally get them on special for $15 each, so it's not a particular problem.

Note: we don't have a car, so every trip is on foot, and we are often lugging groceries and such back and forth, so this makes a difference in what we need.  It also means that, even if we are happy for the kids to walk, we can end up going too far for their stamina if it's a particularly busy day and/or we wander farther than usual on a walking trail.  So we often push the umbrella stroller along in case a kid needs it on the way back - they often nap in the stroller on the way back home.

mushroom

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2014, 09:55:54 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback!

I think I will wait on getting a stroller for now.

Zs mom, the Baby Bjorn Carrier I was looking at was the Carrier One, which is the new wider one that supports the legs more than the original one. I like that it has a pouch and seems easier to use than the Ergo. We tried on a bunch of different carriers at Buy Buy Baby (were we not supposed to?) but obviously without the baby, and a rental is intriguing.

ZsMom

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2014, 12:00:34 AM »
That's great - I didn't know they had a wider one now:) Yes a lending library is AMAZING. And for a $35/yr membership I think it's a bargain!

mamagoose

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2014, 11:21:52 AM »
We have a big jogger stroller (about $150 from BRU), an umbrella stroller (about $15 from Target), an Ergo carrier (about $100 at Target.com) and a ring sling (about $90 on Amazon). The ring sling was great when she was still a newborn and would get "lost" in the Ergo since it's so big, but we still use the Ergo now at 16 months on almost a daily basis. It's just so darn handy and it folds up into the diaper bag, I love it. The big stroller was a lifesaver during the first 6 months when it was the only way to get her to nap. Seriously, we would have to push her in the stroller playing Jack Johnson on Pandora and then cover it in a blanket and wheel her into a dark room to get a nap. Actually the first time she slept through the night was in that stroller, we were camping and she fell asleep by the campfire so we just wheeled her right into the tent and she slept all night. Worth every single penny. The umbrella is good for the car like for short day trips, or in your case for the public transportation trips.

merula

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2014, 12:58:50 PM »
Mushroom, do you run any errands on foot? I love having a stroller because it's an easy way to haul things rather than carry them, baby included. I've taken my stroller on transit quite a bit. (Buses and light rail primarily, subways when traveling. I've only ridden the L once, pre-kids, so I couldn't speak to that.)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 12:43:12 PM by merula »

HP

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2014, 04:31:20 PM »
It sounds like you are probably correct in guessing that you will prefer a carrier to a stroller, but one nice thing is that you won't need to make that decision until after the baby is born. :) There will be 4-6 weeks after birth (or longer, if you don't have a perfect birth) where you should be sitting around resting and not walking or going anywhere except check-up appointments, so that you don't deal with prolapse, extended bleeding, milk supply issues, or anything like that. During that time, you can get to know baby and see what works well for you guys. (And for many people it takes about three months to get into their new groove before they are ready go resume a more normal schedule.) So this is not something you need to get nailed down before birth, if that's any comfort.

Personally, I like the soft structure carriers like Beco, Ergo, Tula (must be able to both front and back carry, some have infant inserts). The backpacking ones (on metal frames, intended for hiking or camping) were kind of a pain indoors because they were so clunky and stuck out-- turn around too quickly and you'd take out bystanders. Wraps and slings were either inconvenient to put on/take off (so much excess fabric) or painful due to unequal weight distribution.

We also had a small umbrella stroller that was handy for some things. I'm glad we had it, but I can't say we used it a lot. Since we had two children close together, it was nice to push one and carry the other, but once the younger one got a little bigger, we found a double bike trailer that had attachments to make a stroller. The versatility in that was awesome as my husband likes to bike places and I like to walk places. Ours is a little wide for standard door widths, though, which is a pain when you're using it as a stroller and want to take it in the store with you. Also it doesn't collapse easily (requires some assembly work with screwdriver, wrench, something like that). So it wouldn't fit on the bus well at all, or even attach well to the bike rack on buses. There may be other models that are not so wide and work better. (Certainly a single wide trailer/stroller should be fine.) (Also there's no suspension on these things, so it's considered unsafe to bike with babies less than 6mos.)

meep

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2014, 11:13:53 PM »
I don't have a license or car so I'm either walking or taking public transportation.

The carrier has been a necessity to me. Crowded buses and trains during rush hour? I'd get shanked bringing a stroller into them.

The stroller is nice to have. My younger goes through spurts of wanting more freedom than being strapped to me but it might not work having her walk (traffic, my hands are full, etc) plus if I did any heavy shopping the stroller could help carry it.

If I were you I'd buy a carrier and wait to see if I want a lightweight umbrella stroller. Your carrier success will also depend on what kind you get. If one style isn't working for you don't get turned off on them all. Check for used. Most people buy them and don't use them so the barely used resale market is huge.

Mrs WW

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2014, 10:33:23 AM »
Overseas Stache's post reminded me of an article I read a while back.

Apparently in Sweden strollers are essential, because prefer for babies to sleep in the fresh air, even when it is 20 degree outside. The adult will stay inside, while they leave the baby outside unattended but adequately wrapped up for naps in the stroller.

Different strokes, right?

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21537988

I live in Sweden and I have never met a parent who does not own a stroller. Babies can be carried, but if you like to walk, run errands and move about all day  a stroller is essential. For us its been the childrens bed for all daytime naps, a great way to haul groceries andgreat for me as we walk about 25 kilometers a day. Also assisted sitting (as the baby does in a car seat, or baby sitter) is considered harmful for the baby and irs future spinal development. My personal take is: but a big ass convertible stroller and use it for the next two years. The baby/toddler sleeps, you walk. Great for everyone!

As for spending your first 4-6 weeks staying still inside your home, that is the opposite od the advice I got. Get walking and do your Kegels, and stay away from crowds (especially indoors) and you and your baby should both thrive! Good luck with everything!

LiveLean

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2014, 06:57:40 PM »
Our kids are 12 and 9 and my wife still reminds me of how I lost our McLaren stroller when I took it out of the minivan to vacuum at the gas station and forgot to put it back. I pointed out in the weeks that followed that we really didn't miss it. We also had the huge baby jogger someone got us as a gift. I run a lot and found baby joggers totally impractical. Nobody runs so much that they can't find 30-60 minutes a day to have their spouse or someone else watch child while they run.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2014, 05:49:27 AM »
We have a 1-year-old and haven't used a stroller yet. We live in a very walkable area, though not a big city, and she just gloms on to one of us when we take her someplace. She also hated confinement as an infant, so strollers and carseats weren't very popular.

Newborns are tiny and light and you'll want to be supporting their neck anyways. There's no reason to get a stroller before your child arrives; you don't really know how you'll parent yet and you don't know the child's preferences.

justajane

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2014, 06:56:09 PM »
Overseas Stache's post reminded me of an article I read a while back.

Apparently in Sweden strollers are essential, because prefer for babies to sleep in the fresh air, even when it is 20 degree outside. The adult will stay inside, while they leave the baby outside unattended but adequately wrapped up for naps in the stroller.

Different strokes, right?

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21537988

I live in Sweden and I have never met a parent who does not own a stroller. Babies can be carried, but if you like to walk, run errands and move about all day  a stroller is essential. For us its been the childrens bed for all daytime naps, a great way to haul groceries andgreat for me as we walk about 25 kilometers a day. Also assisted sitting (as the baby does in a car seat, or baby sitter) is considered harmful for the baby and irs future spinal development. My personal take is: but a big ass convertible stroller and use it for the next two years. The baby/toddler sleeps, you walk. Great for everyone!

As for spending your first 4-6 weeks staying still inside your home, that is the opposite od the advice I got. Get walking and do your Kegels, and stay away from crowds (especially indoors) and you and your baby should both thrive! Good luck with everything!

Interesting experience. Thanks for sharing! I presume in Sweden then that the strollers enable an infant to lay down without straps? I had an older Peg Perego stroller with my first baby that was like a bassinet and then could convert into an upright seat. I'm presuming that's what you meant. I think it's very true that the cloister mentality is probably culturally specific and not the only way to go about the early postpartum period.

My baby is seven months, and the easiest way to get him to stop fussing is to take him outside and push him around. He's happy as a clam in the stroller, even if it's very cold outside. Too bad I couldn't set him outside the coffee shop to nap in the winter! Here that would probably lead someone to call the police.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2015, 06:25:13 AM »
I feel like something that expectant first-time parents are not told enough is that people have individual preferences built-in and evident from birth. You're told "this car seat is the most comfortable" or "babies love swaddling", but it's not always true. Everybody's heard of taking an infant for a car ride to calm them down. But my daughter hated the car seat until very recently.

One thing this leads to is people buying stuff their child might hate. My daughter never once slept in the crib. I don't care what the studies say, she was in bed with us (and yes, we turned up the heat so we didn't have covers on) because that's the only way we got any sleep at all. Can't be a safe parent if you haven't gotten any sleep.

The Mustachianism angle on this is that items that aren't absolutely necessary aren't worth buying before you get to know your child.

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2015, 11:48:13 AM »
Thank you for posting this question! I am due in March and we have been debating this (also have a small house with storage issues). A quick straw poll among friends with babies rates pushchairs / 'travel systems' from "should not really have bought one at all" to "second only to nappies in terms of usefulness". So I think it depends enormously on individual circumstances and also the child you get! Some love slings, some hate them, some refuse to sleep in the 'carrycot' part of the travel system etc.
I popped into Mothercare today to take a look at prams, and sweet Lord, you can pay up to 1600 for a 'travel system' (Stokke brand). That's more than our car is worth!
The second hand market on prams and pushchairs seems to be very strong here in the UK, so we are going down that road, and if we find we aren't using it, we'll put it back on Gumtree for the same price and sell it on. :)

waltworks

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2015, 01:12:48 PM »
I wore out 2 sets of tires on our BOB stroller running with our son (and now son and daughter) for fun, and to go visit their mom at work, meet up with friends at the zoo, etc. Totally impossible to go long distances (at least for me) with a carrier (but I'm a guy and I don't think male spines are designed for carrying 20# on the front). It can handle dirt roads and even smooth singletrack. Plus they hold their value pretty well - if you buy a used stroller, you can probably sell it for 80% of what you paid, even a few years later.

I also would go grocery shopping and fill the bottom of the stroller with 20+ pounds of groceries and run home.

Anyway, at the very least I'd get a $10 umbrella stroller off Craigslist. They take up almost no space, are indestructible, and give you a lot of options. Some 2-3 year olds can/will walk on their own for long distances, others not so much. 30 pounds of kid on your shoulders isn't always fun for you or them.

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MayDay

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2015, 10:07:22 AM »
We were big on baby carriers, but still loved having a stroller.  We frequently used them around the neighborhood in the summer months as sticky sweating weather us miserable for baby wearing.  In the winter we always wore the baby when possible to keep them warm easily. 

I'd say get a MacLaren or similar (they fold up tiny) and just keep it in your car trunk.  I did continue to wear my kids past age 2, but by that age they preferred the stroller much of the time, as they could play with toys and have snacks.  Maybe you don't ever walk far but let me tell you, there is a huge age range where they are heavy/hot to wear, but can barely make it a half mile to walk.   And even if they *can* walk longer they will be insanely slow and whiny about it. 

greaper007

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2015, 10:51:59 AM »
The baby carrier stroller that goes from the car to the stroller without removing the child was a godsend for both my kids.   The last thing you want is to wake a baby up to move it.   

Otherwise, strollers are great for long distances or traveling.    I have a double BOB, and I know they're annoying, but there are lots of things I couldn't have done with a 3 year old and a baby without it.    Things like walking a half mile from parking at the zoo, going through the airport and still managing all the bags or just going for a run.

I was (am) a stay at home dad so there were lots of times I needed two hands and had to take both kids somewhere.   You can't do that very well without a stroller, at the very least it keeps your 3 year old from running wild down the aisles.

Fodder

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2015, 10:58:21 AM »
I would wait and see.

I had a BOB Revolution and I loved it.  It was fabulous through two kids, piles of snow and ice (I had icers for my own boots) and was super easy to maneuver all over the place.  I did not often take public transit with it, though when I did, I would time it NOT to be on a bus at rush hour.  I did a lot of walking on mat leave, was able to run errands by using the stroller basket, and also visit my friends who were in walking distance.

I also had a baby carrier (Beco Butterfly II), and while it was a lovely carrier, I had wiggly babies who did not particularly enjoy being carried.

And I do admit to appreciating the convenience of being able to snap the carseat in during the winter and then be able to move a sleeping baby inside when I got to my destination.

For me, I was pro-stroller.  The BOB was the only stroller I bought, and I found it worked fabulously.  My kids were both out of the stroller by 2/2.5.  They are pretty game to walk places, and we've since moved from the burbs to a rural location, so I now cart them around in the bike trailer.

Yankuba

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2015, 07:36:13 PM »
My two cents,

Babies can be incredibly hard to put to sleep and sometimes the thing that works the best is pushing them around in the stroller. Heck I would say the primary role our stroller has is for a place for the girls to sleep. Either to put them to sleep in our house if they won't go to sleep any other way, or as a temporary portable crib when we travel or even when we are just visiting people. It is nice just be able to push our girls to sleep and leave them in the stroller to take their nap while we visit others, instead of just trying to fit our visits around the babies nap's times.

+100

Our son took dozens if not hundreds of naps in his stroller. When we were away from home and it was nap time and our son started getting restless we would plop him in the stroller and walk him around a bit until he passed out. It saved us so many times. I remember some nights I would walk him up and down the hallway of our building in his stroller because we couldn't get him to sleep any other way.

startswithhome

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2015, 06:57:29 PM »
If I hadn't broken my tailbone delivering I think we would have used the ergo/ring sling almost exclusively. But the jogging stroller was a big help in my recovery.
I feel like if you have a car seat for getting home, diapers, food (breastmilk/formula), appropriate clothes for the season/your indoor temperature, and a safe place to sleep... you can get the other stuff as you find the gaps like "She sure settled when I swing the car seat, but my arm is tired " - get a swing. "He keeps waking after he kick off the blanket" - get a sleep sack. But don't run out and buy solutions to problems you might not have, just because other people had them. 

kander

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2015, 04:45:17 AM »
I'm a stay at home mom without a car, so I use our stroller very, very, intense. I've tried several carriers, but all of them gave me backpain. So I just stick with my stroller.


Meggslynn

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2015, 11:33:39 AM »
We never really enjoyed our stroller but I did find it necessary.

A baby and diaper bag is too much to carry in my opinion (but I have neck and shoulders problems). I would go with these two options that don't take up much space when they are folded up compared to the full size strollers :

This for when you they are a infant and you just click in the infant car seat:
http://www.amazon.com/Graco-SnugRider-Stroller-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0007KMUH4

And then something like this for when they are older:
http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Convenience-Stroller-Hibiscus/dp/B00GY8J8GY/ref=sr_1_18?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1423074706&sr=1-18&keywords=stroller


mushroom

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2015, 06:40:42 PM »
I find it totally crazy, but you chose the infant car seat and stroller I already have on my Amazon registry, and I looked through a fair number of both items. Either you're my alter ego, or Amazon has some weird brainwashing system to all direct us Mustachians to the same items.

mabinogi

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #46 on: April 02, 2015, 12:52:40 PM »
I found it totally unnecessary to have a stroller for the first six months. My son HATED car seats, strollers, basically anything other than being held, so he spent a huge amount of time in a wrap or other carrier, strapped to me or my husband. He never fell asleep in the car, so there was no need to be able to move the car seat into a stroller to maintain his nap. He began to tolerate a stroller at about six months, which was great, because that's about the age you can start running with baby in a jogging stroller. My husband and I are both big runners, and we like to run together sometimes, so the jogging stroller got (and continues to get) a lot of use. I'd even use it to run to the grocery store for small trips (back when we lived in Seattle, near an awesome biking/jogging trail, instead of podunk Idaho where we are now).

In short: hold off on the stroller until after your baby is born, and see if it would be convenient for your lifestyles based on baby's personality and preferences.

emily2244

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2015, 05:01:51 AM »
You definitely don't need a stroller for the first 6 months with your first baby. Wait until you start wanting one and then get it. At that point you will probably have a better idea of what you want.

Scandium

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2015, 07:37:14 AM »
For what it's worth we like to put our son in the stroller when we go for a walk.  In the stroller he look around a lot more, and has started getting really excited about trees etc. In the carrier he gets squished in and facing us (unless you get a crotch dangler..) and tend to fall asleep almost immediately. Probably not a huge deal, but it's nice to see him looking around. We have a dog that needs walking 2x per day so we do that a lot. If you'll only go from A to B it might be different.

We also got a bassinet/pram thing attachment to the strolled and he sleep in that around house during the day, very convenient to wheel his nap spot around. We're not a fan of putting our baby in the hunched over car seat position for a long time (due to back issue concerns) so probably would have use it less if we didn't have the bassinet tough. I expect to sell that easily once he outgrown it.

edit; it's the deluxe pram, attaches to babyjogger strollers.
http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Jogger-Deluxe-Pram-Black/dp/B00GODPB6U/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1428414416&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=babyjogger+basinett
Tons of those on craigslist around here, but we got both items as a gift.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 07:48:24 AM by Scandium »

TabbyCat

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Re: Is a stroller necessary?
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2015, 10:09:50 PM »
I planned to get a stroller on Craigslist, but the decent types hold their value and people are selling them for $20-50 off the new price after 2+ years of use - I have even seen some used Baby Jogger City Mini 2012 strollers sell on craigslist for MORE than the current new-in-store price for the 2012 model. I'd rather get new and sell it later myself for that if they are still trending that high on craigslist. We are also in a small apartment and I plan to keep it in the trunk of the car. We are getting ours now to use the regstry completion discount.