Tips for Babies Who Hate the Stroller

Strollers are fantastic. They carry your little one through zoos, shopping malls, festivals, and parks, they hold your bags and your purse while you shop, and they allow you the peace of mind of knowing your baby is safe and secure as you navigate through crowds or near busy streets. What happens, though, if your little one is one of the babies who hate the stroller? If you have a newborn who cries through strolls, a baby who wails through rides, or a toddler who just won’t stay put in the stroller, check out the tips below!

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Image via Flickr/ T.J. Lentz

1. Try baby wearing

For many little ones, nothing beats the comfort and warmth of being strapped to mom or dad. If you’re using the stroller primarily to stroll through the park or walk through the mall, consider baby wearing instead. Many baby carriers are cheaper than strollers and are designed to grow with your little one.

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2. Adjust what you can

Most strollers are designed to seat your baby in several different ways. If your little one seems to dislike being clipped into the stroller in their car seat, consider strapping them in at an upright or reclined position or simply changing the direction that their car seat is facing. Sometimes finding your baby’s favorite position is all it takes for them start to enjoy stroller rides.

3. Don’t give up – try every few weeks

If your newborn wails every time they’re strapped in or you toddler has developed a sudden distaste for their ride, don’t take it as a sign that the stroller is never going to work out. Babies and toddlers are developing at a rapid rate and often go through phases or liking of disliking certain things fairly quickly. So, if your little one won’t tolerate the stroller one day consider packing it away for a few days or weeks and trying again another time.

4. Try when your baby is sleepy

Just as many sleep experts recommend laying a baby down in their crib when they’re sleepy but not asleep, consider strapping your baby into their stroller when they’re just about to drift off. When babies are on the verge of sleep they’re often soothed by gentle motion so a stroller ride (even if they usually hate them!) might feel pleasant. Once they’ve learned to enjoy the stroller when they’re tired, many babies will begin to enjoy it at other times as well.

5. Try out alternatives

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If you’ve tried everything you can think of and your little one still hates the stroller, consider trying out some stroller alternatives. Think about what you’d like to be able to use the stroller for (Walks around the neighborhood? Long trips at the zoo?) and what alternatives may be a good fit. Many kids who don’t like strollers enjoy riding in seated wagons and I have yet to meet a little one who didn’t enjoy being pushed down the sidewalk in a push-handle car.

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Good luck out there to all the parents with babies who hate the stroller! Do you have any tips of your own?

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Tips for Babies Who Hate the Stroller

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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