Did you ever wonder How old is too old for your kid to be in the stroller? Sure, a stroller is a handy tool for a parent. Whether you’re using it while you’re shopping, at the park, or just to calm your child down, it certainly comes in handy.
On top of that many kids simply refuse to walk by themselves. In this guide, we look at when is the right age to quit the stroller, the benefits of transitioning away from it, as well as weight limits.
The Right Age
To some parents, there is no right age. They will allow their child, even at the age of 5 or 6, to continue using the stroller. There have been many debates about this issue. Some people think that these parents are coddling their children into obesity.
Parents have also said children are being lazy because they don’t want to walk. According to Dr. Brandon Smith from the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, strollers generally necessary past the age of 3.
At that point, a child should be walking and running on their own without the help of a stroller. This helps promote their independence and motor development. They can’t do that if they are constantly sitting when they go outside for a walk.
Benefits of Transitioning
There are certainly a handful of benefits that come from transitioning out of a stroller, whether you realize it or not. It may mean more work for you, but it’s actually helping your child in ways you may not be able to see right away.
Social & Emotional Benefits
It’s frustrating trying to keep track of your child once they are out of the stroller, but there’s a silver lining in sight. When they are running freely, they are learning how to navigate the world on their own.
This helps the child develop their safety skills once they are out of the stroller. Have them practice holding hands while crossing the street with you, practice stopping at crosswalks, and teach them to look both ways. Children benefit from walking and running safely. It also allows them to read your cues and learn how you react when they are out on their own running around.
Small children are tiny balls of energy that never seem to slow down. Letting them out of the stroller is the ideal way to help them get some of that energy out. It’s a great exercise for their muscles, heart, and bones.
When your child is out of the stroller and running around, it instills good habits that may carry on into the future. It’s teaching them to make running and walking part of their daily routine. Encourage your child to walk and run on their own and to not depend on you or the stroller.
Yes, there are certainly exceptions. If you are going to be in a place where there are crowds, such as Disney or New York City, then you’ll certainly want to consider bringing the stroller with you, especially if they are new to being out of it.
If you and your child want to go for a jog, they aren’t going to keep up with you. They’ll get distracted and may even run off.
Here’s something to remember; you don’t have to use the stroller to cart your child around. Bring it with you to store the diaper bag and other essentials you may have while out and about. You can also use it as a shelter for your tired and hot child for a little while. They can nap in it after playing hard on the playground.
As a parent always looking for easier ways to do things, I have used my child’s stroller without having my child with me. I used it for garage sales, shopping, and even sneaking snacks into movie theaters when I actually had the time to see a movie.
Jogging Stroller Age Limits
Jogging strollers are a different kind of beast. They are generally more expensive, but they seem to last forever. These types of strollers are acceptable for children over the age of 4. Moms and dads who are highly active and want to include their toddlers would benefit greatly from a jogging stroller.
They hold up to 75-pounds and can handle a child between the ages of 4-5. Joovy Zoom strollers are perfect for this. They are lightweight and can handle the weight of your child.
Ditching The Jogging Stroller
We talked about when to ditch the regular stroller, but does the same go for the jogging stroller? It may be time to let the jogging stroller go when your child is ready to start exercising with you using a bike or roller skates.
This may mean that you will have to slow down a little bit so your child can keep up with you. Maybe try power walking first while your child is learning how to skate or ride their bike.
Your child may have outgrown the stroller, but they may want it back after they see a younger sibling using it. Do you know how children want something another child has? This applies to strollers as well. If you don’t want them to regress into the stroller stage, consider a glider board.
Glider boards attach to the stroller so your child can stand on it rather than lay in the stroller. This is a good compromise, especially if your child is determined to have something to do with the stroller again.
There may not be an exact age as to when a child shouldn’t be using a stroller anymore, but there are weight limits. As stated above, 75-pounds is the maximum weight limit you’ll find on a stroller of any kind, unless it’s for handicap use.
If your child is old enough to remove themselves from the stroller, there are some safety precautions you need to take. These also apply to smaller children:
- Don’t leave them unattended in the stroller
- Don’t hang anything off the back of it as it could tip backward
- Keep the stroller out of the sun. Plastic parts can become hot and burn the child
- Always put the brakes on