Are We Too Quick to Stroll? | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Are We Too Quick to Stroll?

Uploaded: Oct 7, 2013
When I moved to the Bay Area, I was without a stroller for three weeks (while our belongings shipped from VA). I can tell you that I now fully understand why strollers were invented...babies and all of the crazy amount of diaper bag "essentials" that go with them are heavy! Isn't it ridiculous that a 15 lb baby requires at least 15 lbs of diaper bag essentials?

Rather than shelling out hundreds of dollars on a new stroller (we already had two), I carried my son in his front carrier or on my hip. During these 3 weeks, I missed my stroller and I considered buying or borrowing one (Babies R Us sells some for $20, what a bargain!). Strollers fix a boatload of problems: need to charge your phone on the go? There's a stroller for that. Walking at night? There's a stroller with lights. Sun in your baby's eyes? There's a stroller that swivels 360 degrees.

In the end, I decided not to buy a new stroller because I realized that my son stilled loved to be carried everywhere we went (and I still loved carrying him). Carrying him around was like bumping him up from economy to first class. Not only was my son taller when held in my arms (so he could see more of the world around him), but we also got to cuddle for the majority of the day (and I got to reminisce about the newborn skin-to-skin contact days).

I don't need to tell you that carrying your baby has countless benefits. The Bay Area is exceptional for the number of parents who wear their little ones. However, I'm always on the lookout on how to get the best of both worlds - and that happened last week.

Last week at the San Francisco Zoo, my friends and I, each with toddler and stroller in tow, carried our children for a significant portion of the trip. All three toddlers got oodles of joy from pushing their strollers around (of course with the help of mommy). One flew like superman in his mommy's arms and pushed the handle bar with delight. The other two decided that pushing the stroller at the base would be most efficient. The toddlers found it incredibly satisfying to push their own strollers around. Of course it took us much longer to arrive at our final destination, but what we experienced in the mean time was pure joy.

This is a joy that they wouldn't have experienced if they were always strapped in a stroller or front carrier. So before you strap your child in, take a moment to decide whether you have a few minutes to spare and can walk at a toddler's pace while he takes the reins and "helps" you push his stroller to your destination.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Jade, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm

What an eye opening perspective!! I have to admit that I wondered why you didn't use a stroller but carrying your little one when we walked to Wholefoods the other day. :)

I am also finding myself to get to taste "the pure joy" a little bit more with the second baby. Things I used to have little patience or no joy doing so now I found is not only more bearable but quite enjoying as well such as co-sleeping, night nursing, baby food making, singing a silly song repeatedly, and of course, carrying him around for hours....tiring? Oh yeah! But I can\'t agree more what you said in another article, "Because one day, without warning, they will stop. And those moments are gone forever. " Haha...let\'s find sometime to get a mom massage-out together. ;)

Posted by CherylBac, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Oct 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

CherylBac is a registered user.

Count me in for a mommy massage! Yes, my son is rarely in his stroller. At the zoo, one of my friends (who sees us at least once a week, if not every other day) commented on how different my son looked in his stroller (since that was the first time she saw him riding in one). When I pull the stroller out, it means we are doing lots of walking and will not be close to the car (where I usually keep the not-so-essential essentials).

That's wonderful that you are finding even more joy the second time around. When reading Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? to my son for the 10th time today, I definitely had to remember that it's best to enjoy this phase because it will end before I know it.

Posted by Mommy of Madison Wife of Joe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Oct 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

I know what you mean. For instance my son fell and skinned his knee. Instead of putting on a bandaid I let it heal in the air. It got a scab and then it fell off. Super interesting to try new things and tell the universe about them.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 21, 2013 at 11:41 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mommy of Madison Wife of Joe - One of the main points of my post was that, although strollers have many benefits, we may at times be too quick to use them. Carrying, wearing or letting a child walk on his own can all have great benefits too. And this was one example of getting the best of both worlds.

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