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Just say “No” to strollers? Maybe.

A few other moms and I were walking in the park the other day and the subject of our strollers came up. “Ugh, I hate this stroller,” my friend complained as she kicked at its sleek, $800 dollar frame while trying to maneuver the tire out of the sand trap. The other moms sighed in agreement and cast disparaging looks at their own expensive strollers. I started to jump into my usual enthusiastic cheer for my Phil and Teds e3 (which converts to a double stroller and a jogger without taking up any additional footprint), but then I stopped. My fancy stroller had a flat tire and I was pushing Zella Rose in the cheap umbrella-style stroller our neighbors gave us. ZR, being a typical low-brow toddler, much preferred the simple, light, inexpensive stroller to the fancy alternative.

If I had it to do over, I would have waited to get a stroller at all. Sure, I made use of the click ‘n go stroller that my friend gave me with the infant car seat, and I love my carseat-stroller combination, and I’ve enjoyed jogging with my Phil and Teds, and having a compact double has been great when watching other kids, but when it comes down to it my child has always been happier to be worn in a sling. And now that she is getting so heavy wearing her is hard, she loves nothing more than the cheapie, umbrella stroller (except, of course, being free to run!).

My advice to other moms would be to wait on the stroller. It’s a big ticket item that someone always wants to get you, but it ends up being between $300 and $1000 of stuff to try and park in your building’s entranceway. From an environmental perspective the world doesn’t need an additional 30 pounds of plastic. And, guaranteed, some neighbor (or a kind person on Craigslist) will be happy to unload their favorite cheapie stroller on you for next to nothing.

So, when your in-laws offer to buy you that Bugaboo or that Quinny say you will take the cash. (And if you need ideas with what to do with the money, see my blog on baby wearing or simply save it and buy that perfect stroller when you really need it.)

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