Don't Judge a Parent By Their Stroller—It's Happening and It's Not OK

Stroller-gate? One TikTok mom felt judged on a recent family outing for not having what is considered one of the higher-end or "luxury" baby strollers.

Strollers are lined up in a parking area next to It's a Small World in Fantasyland at Disneyland

Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Parenting comes with a healthy serving of things to worry about throughout our children's life span. When they are infants, we worry about whether our baby is getting enough (or the right kind of) milk—and if they are breathing while they're asleep. We worry about toddler milestones and how thumb sucking might affect dental health. As they continue to get older, the worry doesn't stop, it just morphs into something else. But one thing most of us aren't expecting to worry about when becoming new parents, is being judged by other parents for our baby gear. But it's happening—and one mom took to TikTok to share with her followers.

In a video that has since gone viral, TikTok user Brooke notes: "I never thought my stroller would enable classist side eyes." On a family trip to the zoo, she shared how she felt other parents were judging her as she pushed what isn't one of the more expensive brands of baby gear.

"Every single stroller or like baby device that I see that's going by is like an UPPA, UPPA Vista, Mockingbird, the Wonderfold," Brooke says at the beginning of her video. "And I'm pushing my Graco," she adds with fake disgust. "And I feel like people are judging me because of my Graco baby stroller".

Brooke's experience clearly is not a singular one, as many users added comments to share similar stories on feeling shamed. "I went to the park the other day with my Baby Trend!! stroller & I'm not kidding every single person had a Wonderfold & they weren't friendly," one user comments.

"I feel you. I just jumped from Evenflo Xpand Gold to Nuna Mixx Next for the same reason" another user shares.

Far be it from me to judge anyone on their baby gear choices, but I know my tax bracket and I mind my own pockets. I would never put myself into debt to fit in with the playground posse or just to be a part of the luxury baby gear gang. An UPPAbaby Vista stroller can still easily go for over a thousand dollars—on sale. The most expensive Wonderfold tips the scale at over $1,600 dollars.

I live in New York City, where the rent is just too d*mn high to begin with. I couldn't imagine paying close to the price of a month's rent on a one-bedroom apartment to buy a stroller or wagon that my kids will never want to sit in anyway.

All of my kids have been walkers/runners. They sit in the stroller for all of five minutes before they want to take off and run throughout whatever location we are visiting. We are also fortunate enough to have a family car even while living in the city. So a stroller even with three children has always been more of a perk for our family and not really a necessity. We tend to lean more towards babywearing, and that's what works for our family.

It is not lost on me however that many families need a stroller. How expensive or exclusive a brand is should be last worry on your baby gear checklist. There is a reason Graco is a brand that's more than eight decades old. The company's products continually rank high in safety, comfort, and affordability. If a brand can last that long in today's economy, then it is safe to say they are doing something right.

There are, however, two sides to every coin. "Girl I got a Doona but it was gifted from my sister," one user writes on Brooke's video. "You should see the side eyes I get loading up into my '05 Forunna."

"I have a Wonderfold...2 autistic kids and 1 toddler. I absolutely love it for their safety. I hear so many rude comments when I'm at Disneyland." another user shares.

The reality of it all is that on the long list of things society will judge us for during parenthood, the cost of someone else's baby items have no effect on you. When looking to purchase any type of baby gear, I would urge parents to look at safety, ease of use, and durability. In the grand scheme of things, how much somebody else's stroller costs, or however prestigious the brand is supposed to be, really should not matter.

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