As moms ourselves, many of us have grappled with this question — do I really need a stroller? But man, look at THAT mom, she has her own bubble with no baby in it. I definitely need a stroller. I have too many baby carriers. But my tiny carrrrr!
Ladies, it’s a logic loop, trust us.
The truth is, there is no one correct answer here — strollers and baby carriers just serve different purposes. Chances are at some point, you’re going to need both. How heavily you’ll depend on one or the other (and how much you should spend) is entirely up to what a day in your life looks like.
There are pros and cons to each, and using one over the other doesn’t make you a bad mom, so let’s break it down. Is a stroller or a carrier right for your family?
- You get your own space
- You can store things in them
- Great for hot days
- Many carry multiple kids
- You can see what you’re wearing when you use one
- You can jog with one
- They come with cupholders
- It’s easier to carry your diaper bag
- Fantastic for family outings with lots of walking around
- They take up more space in your car
- Harder to keep an eye on baby
- Prevent you from using a shopping cart
- Some kids may still want to be held
- You have to take your baby out to nurse
- Harder to clean
- More expensive
- Bulky in stores
As a babywearing parent, the perks of a stroller are pretty appealing. I mean hey, wearing an outfit, and people actually being able to see the neckline? That’s always a plus.
Strollers may not be ideal for the grocery store, but for family fun in wide open spaces, they’re pretty perfect. Trips to the park or zoo that would wear out even the most seasoned babywearers on a hot day are pretty perfect for this wheeled accessory.
Airport travel typically warrants a combination of the two. Many parents will babywear their kids, and use the stroller as a luggage cart, so that they still have it when they get to their destination.
That being said, for everyday errands, strollers might be overkill for some families (at least when it comes to keeping one in the trunk). They take up a LOT of space, both in vehicles and stores. If you’re pushing a shopping cart, you’ll be hard-pressed to push a stroller too, unless you bring some reinforcements along.
If you do wind up investing in a stroller, it may make more sense to store it than to keep it in the car 24/7.
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Easy to wash
- Keeps baby close
- Easy to nurse discreetly in
- Keeps your hands free for other things
- Perfect for grocery shopping
- Available in a variety of price ranges
- Great for kids who love being held
- Can be tiring
- No personal space
- Challenging for those with injuries
- Generally not safe for exercise
- Little storage
- A lot to handle with a diaper bag/more than one kid
For the kids who hate being put down (and the moms that don’t mind), baby carriers are one of the most natural ways to keep your babies close. They’re great for bonding, but also a practical measure that frees up your hands.
In the early days, it’s hard to imagine getting through the day without a ring sling. Need to put on makeup? Got it. Need a snack? Go grab one. Have some vacuuming to do? Done and DONE.
Babywearing is fantastic for people who don’t mind that invasion of personal space. It gives babies that all-important physical contact and bonding with mom, and it gives you the freedom to still function, no matter how clingy your baby is. And plus — SNUGGLES.
There’s also the benefit for nursing mothers. When you’re out running errands, it’s AMAZING to not have to drop everything and find a clean, quiet space to nurse your baby. With a little practice, nursing your baby in a carrier is easy, discreet, and lets you keep going when there’s just no time to stop for a snack.
That being said, it can be challenging at times. If you have lower back or shoulder pain, it may not be an option for you to babywear. More than anything though, many moms opt for stroller days over grabbing a carrier because they just want that personal space — and that’s okay.
Which One Do You Need?
The truth is, every mom should have a GREAT go-to carrier, and a stroller on standby that she loves. You won’t always need the stroller, and you won’t always want to babywear, but having both gives you options.
Our one bit of advice here at Maya Wrap? Use what makes you the happiest mama there is, what gives you the most sanity at the end of the day. Parenting is full of choices, and in the end, the one that’s best for your family is the right one — it’s just that simple.
Do you use a stroller? Which one’s your favorite compliment to your baby carrier stash? Tell us in the comments below!