Saturday, January 29, 2011

Without a Stroller

I read The Continuum Concept when Luke was about three months old.  I also joined the email forum.  I remember one of the two talking about how a stroller isn't necessary.

When Luke was small, we hardly ever used our Bob Stroller (that I purchased at a lesser price on craigslist).  I thought I would need it for all the jogging I would do, or shopping with Luke.  I just thought you needed a stroller.   My husband and I used it a few times when we went for a walk or when we would jog, which wasn't very much at all.  We still took it some places and it was big and bulky and hardly fit in the trunk of our honda civic.

From the time Luke was about 3months on, I carried him in my Ergo and just went for walks.  And we sometimes put him in the stroller when we wanted to jog together (again, rarely).  The Ergo was great because I would walk a mile down to the local store and back, 2 miles total.  Sometimes I would climb the back way over the hills by our house with my little guy strapped into my Ergo.  I felt secure with him right there close.  I actually felt weird with him being in the stroller so far away from me.  Plus, if he wanted to nurse or get out, I was stuck holding him and pushing that stroller, which is why I mostly only did it when my husband was with me.  We walked everywhere.  In fact, the stroller sat in our garage for most of his life.  Until he got old enough to ask to just get in it for novelty because he liked being pushed.

Just lately, I've taken him on a couple walks in the stroller because I also walk the dog on the leash and it's hard to do both.  But last week the stroller wheels were flat and our pump was broken so I just decided to take him outside and let him walk while I held on to the dog leash and then again today with my husband.  When we went by ourselves he walked the whole way around our little loop until he tripped then I carried him the rest of the way home. Today we walked to this elementary school park where he could play and the dog could sniff around.  He walked the whole, almost 1/2 a mile there.  Then he walked almost all the way back, until he fell and wanted to be lifted and taken home.  No stroller needed.

It is a little hard on my back for him to carry him along ways without anything since I'm pregnant.  But, when it's just me, I don't go that far from home anyway.  We went to the park today because my husband was there to carry him home when he fell.
The theory in the book was correct.  And now I believe it, that babies just need to be carried until they learn to walk and explore, then they are able to walk for themselves.  Sometimes a stroller is nice to have, but it's better to have your child walk.  I think this could possibly be a reason for kids getting the American lazy syndrome... because they aren't used to walking.  They are used to being in strollers until they are way older.  Then they aren't used to walking very far.

Anyway, this is just my theory for now.  We'll see how Luke evolves into a walker.  I really enjoy seeing Luke walk around and explore around the neighborhood.  Maybe when our new baby comes, he'll want to take walks with me while I carry the baby.  And maybe when he's older, he'll want to keep walking with Mama as we enjoy time together. :)


Lisa C said...

When Michael was a newborn, Phillip wanted to take him for a walk in our stroller travel system (you know where the car seat clips into the stroller), and I really just hated having my little baby in the stroller when I could be holding him. Our stroller was a gift--otherwise I think we would have waited a long time before getting one. My MIL kept saying that eventually he was going to get heavy and I would want to use the stroller--and it was true, but only because I hurt my ankle. So we used the stroller a lot when he was in his second year because he wasn't ready for that much walking yet.

I liked the stroller for when I was shopping because then I didn't have to carry bags of stuff PLUS a baby. But when it came to shopping at the mall, the stroller was sometimes as much a hassle as carrying all the stuff. And then he always wanted to be held anyway. Maybe it would be better to get a sling for the baby and a cart for the shopping?

Anyway, he can walk a long ways now, but still wants to be held when he gets tired. I'd like to get a rebozo--it would be light enough to carry around anywhere, and then I could tie it into a sling in case he gets tired. I do think you are's much better that they get used to walking from an early age. It will help them stay active and a definite bonus if the parents enjoy walks or hiking.

Cassie said...

I never minded walking around with the Ergo on my waste. I just don't think I should wear it while pregnant lol.
A stroller is nice sometimes.... I do like to use it. But ours is too hard to put in the car...I mean... I'd rather carry him pregnant than put the stroller in the car.
I was really excited when Luke liked to ride in the shopping basket. That made things easy. Should be fun with two kids. :)

Lisa C said...

I don't think I would have minded carting the Ergo around when he was smaller and wanting to be held more. But now I don't even know IF he'll want to be held. I just want a simple strip of fabric to take on walks just in case.

I wonder if a rebozo would work well for being pregnant, if you carried him on your back, since you could just tie it around your chest and not have anything across your waist.

Megan said...

It took me over a year, but I finally found a cheap stroller that I love. I wore my daughter most of the time, but we still definitely need a stroller. Mostly for going to the grocery store or shopping when I need to put things in the basket. It also was my friend when I needed to go clothes shopping for myself. If I didn't need to try on clothes, then I always had her in a wrap. My daughter absolutely loves the stroller though. She's the adventurous type and I think likes the "speed." We have a little umbrella stroller in the house that is one of her favorite toys. She loves to push it and be pushed in it. It also makes it easier to keep track of her since she is definitely the child that runs away, runs into the street, doesn't want to hold my hand, tries to run up to other people's houses, runs at dogs, etc. I still let her walk quite frequently, but it wears me out pretty fast (like to the end of the block and back a couple times. I'm glad she likes it so much as it will make it easier to keep track of her when I'm wearing the next one.

Anonymous said...

Just a random fact I have gleamed from reading lots of stuff: children can/should be able to walk their age in miles.