Poll: When Are Kids Too Big for a Stroller?

Baby in a strollerEver see a child in a sitting in a stroller and think, “He’s way too old for that stroller”?  (I sure did, last weekend.)  In a funny coincidence, ABC News recently featured a story about kids too big to still be using a stroller.  The story highlights a photo blog started two years ago that posts pictures of kids too big (because of their age) for strollers.  Titled “Walk,” the blog can be found at TooBigForStroller.com.

Started as an inside joke, the blog’s rising popularity has lead the blogger, Laura Miller, to be berated by defensive parents who see Miller’s blog as a cruel critique on the difficulties of parenthood.  While some parents still find it convenient to put kids in strollers, most experts agree kids should start transitioning out of strollers around age 3. 

By 4 or 5 years old, kids should showcase their self-reliance and confidence by walking on their own.  Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician and advisor for Parents, shared with ABC News: ”By this age, kids should be able to follow directions, listen to you and hold hands when you’re crossing the street,” she says. “In this day and age when our children are becoming more sedentary, you’re sending the wrong message by chauffeuring them around.” 

However, strollers can still be beneficial when parents are in crowded, public places and need a way to keep tabs on their kids.  While the American Academy of Pediatrics does not have specific guidelines for when kids should stop sitting in strollers, there are benefits to getting kids out of strollers sooner than later: kids will learn how to exercise, develop motor skills, and be more independent.

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  1. by Mama in the City

    On May 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I think that there are always factors to take into account instead of just making 1 big judgement call or age cap. As a mum who lives in the city, I often take my stroller along as we walk everywhere downtown. Much too many foot steps for my 2 year old. If I lived in the suburbs, I might find it different as I would drive more. So, it wouldn’t be a stroller but a car seat. I encourage my little guy to get out and about and walk next to the stroller. I just wouldn’t leave home without it.

  2. by chocstrawberry

    On May 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Also voted for 4 years.

    Well before 4 is okay in my books as long as its not a big day out or really busy, that’s the only time we use a stroller with our 4 year old.

  3. [...] At what age are kids too big for strollers? (Parents.com) [...]

  4. by Erin

    On May 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    When our little guy was about 20 months, he began refusing to be in a stroller. Instead of fighting with him every time we get out of the car, I’ve been going with it and letting him walk. He does really well, but I do sometimes envy those calm stroller-riders. We still have the stroller in the trunk for those days when we HAVE to use the stroller. I don’t knock other parents for using it. Sometimes, you just need to get somewhere and get out and a stroller is easier.

  5. by Bon

    On July 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    It depends on the situation. My husband and I are avid runners and we love taking our son with us. We have a BOB jogging stroller and we plan on taking him running in it until he is to big for it or until he is too heavy for us to push on long runs. Also airports for sure until he is 4 or 5 (again the weight limit of the stroller).

  6. by ikenronniesmom

    On July 14, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I needed to put my kids in a stroller a bit beyond age 3 so I could get exercise. If you can’t afford a gym membership, if you just want to be outside or don’t have a sitter, it’s the only way to go. They can’t walk fast enough for you to get a good cardio/fat burning workout. I didn’t really care what it looked like.

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