Is your child too big for his stroller?

There has been a bit of a buzz recently about parents who are using strollers for kids who appear to be too big for them.

I wouldn’t say that I feel very strongly about this, it’s your kid and you can do whatever you want. If it’s easier for you to put your kid in a stroller – go for it. I do, however, have an opinion. And I don’t think that having an opinion makes me judgmental. Or does it? I’m confused.

Anyway, I believe that if your kid can walk – he should walk as often as possible. I am referring to everyday life – running errands, going to school, the park, doctor’s office, dance class – if it’s within walking distance (from your house or your car) then your healthy and able child should be walking – or scooting, as mine often are. The idea is to get them moving.

If you’re going to be out all day at an amusement park, then by all means – if you know your small child will get tired and whiny then do what you think you need to do. Bring your stroller with you if you think you’re going to need it. It may make the day longer and more enjoyable for everyone in your party.

My daughter is three and she has never enjoyed being in a stroller. From birth, whenever we went out for walks I would have to put my baby carrier in the basket of the stroller because I knew that after about 15 minutes in the stroller she would scream bloody murder until I picked her up.  Once she started walking, stroller walks became her pushing her stroller. So we started to leave it at home.

My son is the exact opposite. If he can sit on or in something and be pushed around he’ll jump on it the first chance he gets. Do I let him? Not usually. I know that little legs get tired, but I don’t expect them to go for 10 mile walks with me. I have realistic expectations of what my children can physically endure. Have I taken them to an amusement park without a stroller yet? No I haven’t, but I will this summer, and guaranteed there will be some complaints from my five and a half year old.  When my kids are tired, I’m prepared to sit down and rest for a little while or even leave the park.

Every parent has the right to do what they think is right for them and their child. I do, however think that it’s ridiculous to see kids ages six plus sitting in strollers for a walk around the neighbourhood or in a mall. Strollers are not built to hold the weight of a kid that age. If your child has a disability, I’m sure that there is a safer and more appropriate way for your child to be out and about.

When I was a kid there was no way that my mother pushed me around in a stroller when I was old enough to walk… what has changed?

I believe that a lot of people are raising lazy children. Am I terribly bothered? Not really. Am I sad about it? A little bit. I don’t want to have lazy and overweight children so I do everything I can to make sure that they’re active – which starts with walking, bike riding or scooting to and from school and daycare.

When we go out for a walk to the park, library or mall, I no longer bring a stroller with me even though my youngest is only three and according to the manual she is still within the correct weight to ride around happily in it – but she doesn’t want to. Sure it’s nice to have something to put our snacks and bags in, but then I have to deal with my son wanting to sit in it. I stand by the fact that he has healthy and strong legs and he should use them.

I want healthy children who live long and happy lives. So I do my best to feed them heart healthy foods, to have them walk whenever possible, to play outside and to limit their screen time.

Good habits start early. I won’t judge you for being accommodating to your tired child, but don’t judge me for thinking that sometimes it’s unnecessary.

  • Lizz B

    I’ve seen the too big for the stroller blogs and it’s true, those kids look huge.   But aren’t cars really just giant strollers? People drive kids short distances instead of walking with them – it just doesn’t look as bad to onlookers.

    • Anonymous

      Totally! This is why I – gasp – have decided to raise my kids in the city. Less driving.

  • Kate

    Despite the disclaimers, this does come across as judgmental. I often have my kids (3 and 5) out with me from 8:00 to 4:00, doing all kinds of errands and playing as well. Yes, I use the stroller to carry extra supplies and of course my youngest child takes full advantage of it because it’s there. If I didn’t have it, I’d worry about her having a meltdown a half-hour’s walk away from home and having to carry her the whole way home while keeping my 5-year-old safe in traffic. The last thing I need is someone passing by (who has no idea the duration of my day out or the exercise involved) to scowl at me for letting my 3-year-old ride. As parents-on-foot, we all aim to get rid of the stroller, but it sometimes takes time — OUR OWN TIME.

    • Deere1967

      Why cant you just say NO to your child when she is having her meltdown!!! LAZY and HURRIED thats what it is! I bet your 5 year old cant even ride a two wheel bike yet. Why I say that is bc I see every day parents’ allowing their child to make the decisions!!!!

      • Iteachparents

        HERE HERE!!!!! Totally agree with Deere!!!! Parents are sooo hurried that they are making their children into lazy children! Parents need to start being parents and teach their children manners and to listen to their parents. I wonder if the parents of big kids in strollers let their children put on their own shoes and coat or does this take up too much of the parents time as well?

  • Janettee McCrary

    Not all “big kids” are, in fact, older. My 2.5 year old is TALL thanks to my hubby’s genes… During a parenting class we attended during her infancy, we were known as “the couple with the giant baby” because even though born tiny as a 5 lbs 12 oz preemie, she grew very quickly and a LOT. She was wearing 2T clothes at age 1, 4T at age 2, and is now wearing 7/8 girls clothes. And no she’s really not “fat” but has large bones – she’s built like an Amazon woman with large shoulders and big muscular frame (or a linebacker for those who aren’t familiar with the term). My now 1 year old is shaping up to be even larger – he’s in 4T already! Again, not “fat”… just very muscular and solid!

    They are both still in the stroller, but that’s more for safety than anything else, as I’m often running errands alone and keeping two walkers (one who is a runner) safe is very hard when your hands are full… Especially if you add in that I have issues with my neck, back, and wrists… And also my daughter has sensory meltdowns if touched so catching her when she’s running is usually a meltdown trigger.

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