Strollers are the ultimate parenting convenience, and are one of the rare things that will not take a toll on your body! The smooth glide and relative weightlessness of the modern stroller is an amazing thing.
But how long is too long to have your child in a stroller? Can extended stroller use really lead to lazy kids?
The short answer is that most kids will not sit still long enough for you to find out!!
There is more to this, of course, so read on to learn more about the natural progression that will lead you to stop using your stroller.
How Long Can I Use a Stroller?
You can use a stroller for as long as your child safely fits within the specifications for weight and height provided by the manufacturer.
For most stroller models these limits are quite generous (we will provide some examples shortly) and the more likely cause of you no longer using your stroller is that your child just doesn’t want to sit there anymore.
It is easy to overcome questions like this, but as with most things related to parenting, there is a natural progression that unfolds if you just let things happen.
Development Stage of Your Child
By the time your child is three years old, they will be more than capable of walking a reasonable distance. From this point, it essentially becomes a matter of desire and personality that will vary from child to child.
Some will love the ride and will continue to enjoy the passing faces, and scenery.
A more curious toddler will want out of the stroller so they can walk, look around, and may just want to push the stroller – making it redundant.
You can of course offset this with distraction. A snack, toy, or book can prolong the time they are willing to spend in the stroller. But that desire to explore will take over eventually.
Stroller Capacity Limits
You should always check the recommended limits for your model stroller to ensure safe use.
However, to provide a general guide we have looked at each stroller featured in our guide on strollers suitable for big kids and have the following ranges:
- Maximum Weight: 50lbs – 75lbs (5-7 years old)
- Maximum Height: 41″-44″ (some have no limitation)
It is rare for a child to be content sitting in a stroller until they are seven years old. However, there are circumstances where extended stroller use will make your life much easier!!
The final consideration is whether a stroller will make your day easier.
A long day out (Disneyland is a favorite example), or when you are in a rush, and generally the two examples where a stroller can be a lifesaver.
It is all well and good for a child to wander and explore, but it is guaranteed to slow you down!!
So the short answer is that it will probably not be up to you how long you will use a stroller. Your child’s behavior will dictate when you strop using your stroller and let them just walk alongside you.