Some days the only way we can go about our errands with a baby is if we have the right equipment for the job. Whenever we take trips with our baby, do groceries, or get some exercise at the local park, the right baby essential will help make our trip enjoyable if not more bearable.
When shopping for baby gear, it is almost automatic for parents to purchase both a stroller and carrier. Most parents get a lot of wear from both baby gear whether they are at home or out and about. Baby carriers have an advantage over mobility and intimacy as well as social, intellectual, and emotional benefits you can only get with a carrier. Meanwhile, strollers are best for an active lifestyle, carrying multiples, and those with back problems.
Carriers let you go about your duties hands-free but take its toll on your back, torso, and shoulders. A stroller can be a hassle in crowded places but is a pleasure to have when your baby falls asleep during the trip and when the baby gets heavier. Both also have its pros and cons as well as some safety precautions you need to know. Read on for a complete guide.
What Is A Stroller?
Pram, carriage, or buggy—the baby stroller is essentially a baby bed or chair on wheels. It is made of cloth, steel, aluminum, rubber, and plastic. It can also come with a canopy to protect baby’s delicate skin from the sun.
Strollers come in a range of sizes from large terrain strollers to light umbrella strollers. Your lifestyle is a significant indicator of the type of stroller you and your baby needs. You can get a decent stroller for as little as $30 with a canopy and extra storage underneath. High-end strollers range in price from $300 to $1,200 with add-ons like a phone charging system.
Infants can use most stroller types from birth to the preschool years. Some can even carry a four or five-year-old child.
Parents of multiples can carry twins, babies, and toddlers in multi-seat strollers. Sibling strollers allow you to take both baby and an older sibling. There are also bulky duty strollers designed to withstand running, jogging, or hiking.
Types Of Strollers
Why Use A Stroller?
When doing groceries, whether we shop for little or a lot, we almost always favor a shopping cart over a basket or shopping bag. Likewise, strollers are practical to have as even a tiny infant can get heavy when you carry him for hours. Strollers also come in handy to carry your baby bag with all of baby’s essentials when you’re out doing errands.
Parents purchase strollers for different reasons including transportation with a baby, a convenient storage when they are out and about, to enjoy some leisure time outdoors, to safely supervise the baby when you’re out for errands, to improve health of the parent through exercise, and to get the baby to sleep when every other method fails.
Strollers are great for afternoon walks, trips to the park, the mall, when exercising, and traveling. Strollers can also double as makeshift rocking chairs, high chairs, and a temporary cot. Clingy babies are a challenge to get used to the baby stroller. As the baby learns to walk, he will want to go out of the stroller and explore his surroundings more.
Consider Before You Buy
Stroller Safety Features
What Is A Carrier?
Modern parents are closer than ever to their babies. We want to share the intimacy and offer the baby security and comfort from babywearing. The best takeaway of carriers is that it allows you to take on tasks hands-free. It is essentially a cloth backpack for the baby that straps or buckles to your shoulders and sometimes also your torso.
Sometimes your baby will refuse being left in the stroller and wants to be carried. Carriers are great for clingy babies and also foster bonding as you do more things together even when doing chores.
Of course, the baby gets heavier and using a carrier will no longer be ideal. Still, some parents get a lot of use from a carrier from birth to the toddler years. Some babies can’t get enough of their parents!
Carriers are also bliss to have in crowded places. You also don’t have to worry about carrying added weight on flights of stairs since carriers are virtually featherweight. However, if you have a bad back, you can get back pains from hours of use of the carrier. In hot weather, both you and the baby will feel uncomfortable using the carrier as well.
Types Of Carriers
Why Use A Carrier?
Carriers resemble the closeness of a mother and baby during pregnancy. The skin-to-skin intimacy makes for content babies that feel your warmth and heartbeat. Studies show that babywearing promotes emotional security and brain development, among others. Babies who are carried or worn also cry less.
Light as they are, baby carriers are convenient to bring anywhere. However, it is important to check the quality of the baby carrier and its attachments. Be cautious of suffocation when using wraps and slings.
The correct position is for baby’s tummy faces mom’s tummy and not the chin-to-chest position. Also, be aware of back pains and shoulder pains that result from long hours of using a baby carrier.
Consider Before You Buy
Stroller vs. Carrier By The Age
On most days, you will be out and about exploring the city walking for long hours. A baby carrier will get heavy so opt to buy one that is easily adjustable so you can switch babywearing with your partner. Consider a lightweight stroller or a travel system so you won’t disturb a sleeping baby.
If your travel involves long hours on rough terrains, a terrain stroller or a hiking carrier should do you well. For public transport, a carrier makes it easy to go through train stops, subways, and a tuk-tuk or a small tricycle. A baby carrier can also provide your baby with a sense of calm in a noisy and unfamiliar place.
No matter your lifestyle, you will get a lot of use from both the baby carrier and the stroller. Both baby essentials are useful at home, in the city, the country, or when traveling. Consider how, where, how long, and how often you will use the baby gear before buying.
Consider the temperament of your baby as well. Some babies refuse to stay in the stroller for long periods and would rather be worn or carried. However, baby weight can restrict how long you can use the baby carrier.
Stroller vs. baby carrier for travel
What you use will depend largely on your destination and itinerary. Plan to go island hopping or trekking? A three-wheeler stroller is your best bet unless you are determined to go hiking with the baby on your back. Carriers provide exceptional mobility when traveling, but consider what long hours of carrying the baby can do to your body.
Stroller or carrier for newborn
Add-on equipment is often necessary when using a baby carrier or stroller for a newborn. Prioritize full body support and proper breathing at all times. Carriers resemble womb-like familiarity and can be comforting to the baby as long as the fit is right.
Why do I need a baby carrier?
Some families can go without carriers throughout their baby’s first years. However, parents who desire to be closer to their infants love the benefits you can’t get with a stroller. Babies who use a baby carrier cry less and are less colicky. They are calmer and their needs are met more easily and quickly.