Most parents feel a natural urge to go and get every little thing baby might possibly benefit from. A stroller is no doubt on the list, but do you really need one? The answer is maybe not, at least not in the first year. Here's why… The purpose of a strolling product is to make it easier to transport Baby while you walk. At its simplest, it is just an alternative to carrying Baby in your arms or on your hip. And, your baby will almost always prefer to be held instead of riding.
Wearing your baby in a carrier can be a joy for both baby and parent.
A good alternative, especially in the first 6 months, is wearing your baby in a baby carrier . Infants love the snug hold of being carried on your chest, and toddlers often love to be carried on your back. The best carriers distribute weight so well that you can wear Baby for hours, leaving your hands free to perform other tasks. While strolling is very convenient, a baby carrier offers a practical alternative, and baby carriers are a lot less expensive.
Strolling is Easy
For most of us, and even the most hard-core fans of baby carriers, the convenience of strolling makes it an essential tool that will get daily use for years. The key benefits:
- Easier on you — pushing Baby on a stroll is a lot less work for you than carrying Baby, even with a quality baby carrier.
- Soothing for baby — a gentle stroll, like a drive in the car, is a tried and true technique for soothing a baby, which in turn could mean more sleep for you.
- Safety — strolling provides a safer environment for Baby, with a sunshade, a protective frame, and a safety harness. Wearing your baby is wonderful in many ways, but you need to be careful not to bump into things, and take care when bending over in order to avoid spilling Baby out. Remember, you should never drink a hot liquid like coffee or tea, over a baby in a carrier. It is much easier to keep Baby out of harms way and enjoy your hot coffee too at a table, with Baby safely off to the side (never put a hot drink in the cup holder, where there is risk of it spilling on baby).
- Carry all your stuff — ample storage enables you to comfortably take all the things you and Baby might need while out walking such as a diaper bag, extra clothes, bottle(s), snacks, toys, and your personal items.
- Do some light shopping — for things like shopping, having both hands free is a must. While you can pull off shopping with a baby carrier, it can be awkward at times. While storage is somewhat limited, picking up a bag of groceries or laundry can be convenient when out for a walk.
- Get some exercise — getting back into shape is a challenge with a baby needing constant attention, but strolling provides one way to combine quality time with exercise. A brisk walk can be invigorating for you, and a joy for Baby. But, if you want to go jogging you'll need to get a specifically designed jogging option that includes additional suspension systems to protect Baby from dangerous jarring impacts while running, and you shouldn't go jogging until baby has more head control (6+ months depending on the jogger).