Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

stroller

We received this stroller as a gift from my family, and began using it when Tiny and Buba were just about a year old. For over a year and a half, it was the only way we rolled when we were out and about. The kids could sit facing me, facing each other, or facing forward, and I became quite good at changing the seating arrangements with kids in their seats if and when a quick change was needed to detour any brewing trouble between them. For the most part, they were happy and I was happy.

But for the last few months, it seems no one is happy when I have to pull out the big, red stroller. The only way they can sit these days, is facing forward with Buba in the back and Tiny up front. But Buba can now pull down the canopy shade to torment Tiny when he becomes bored, and Tiny can easily Houdini herself out of the 5-point harness, turn herself around, and grab at Buba’s feet and legs in retaliation. And while I can contain and entertain them both much more easily in the stroller than I can with the two of them walking, I often find myself debating whether it’s worth the time and energy to pull out the stroller and wrangle each kid into his/her seat when I need to run in somewhere for just an item or two.

I’ve tried letting them walk with me in a store, and while it’s going much better than it did at first, it’s still not easy-peasy. They still can’t help but touch almost everything that interests them, and they’re not great at staying close to me should I let go of their hands in order to carry something. And it’s so frustrating, because I even though I loved this stroller for months and months, I’m really feeling the itch to ditch it. I mean, my kids will be three years old in three months, and they’re capable of walking without easily fatiguing. So why am I still wrestling with the non-automatic doors and running into displays as I try to round a tight corner? Why? Because sometimes, though I wish it weren’t so, it seems that’s the only way to accomplish the mission we’re on.

Have you successful transitioned to life without a double stroller? If yes, tell me your secrets, please.

16 thoughts on “Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

  1. HA! I could have written this post! My boys will be 3 on March 29. Our double stroller was in the trunk of our car nonstop and used almost daily for the first 18 months; then it was kept in the garage and the trunk about half the time for another 9 months or so and now it’s just sitting in the garage. I can’t remember the last time I used it. I *should* give it away, but I just can’t quite do it yet… What is stopping us?

  2. My boys (age 3.5) are still confined to our Jeep double stroller for certain outings when I need my hands free and they must sit for a short period whilst I accomplish something (like bringing my older son to tutoring and getting him settled while I confer with the teacher for 10 mins or so). I gave up shopping with it a while ago. That’s probably why I only shop at places with the big enormous double seater cart. And even then I tear through the store like a maniac because I count the minutes until they start fighting or leaping out on me. Its a nightmare to shop with them to I avoid it at all costs. There’s no such thing as a “quick errand to grab a couple things” with them in tow, which I have accepted.

  3. I gotta say, this a bit disheartening. I was hoping to ditch the stroller soon as I have a third baby (now 4 months) to lug around as well. But, my twins only just turned 2 so it sounds like I will need the trusty double for awhile longer. And, on principle, I refuse to get a triple stroller :)

  4. 1. Find a single phrase to get your kids’ attention and grab your hand. Mine is, “Hands, people!” Yes, it’s reminiscent of telling a dog to sit, but when a crazy teenage driver looks like they might spin onto the sidewalk, the instant reaction is well worth it. The girls have more endurance than me, so I’ve never outwalked them.
    2. Switch to a wagon. So what if non-parents give you strange looks?

  5. I love the “switch to a wagon” idea, Sadie. Then, both kids could ride, or one could ride and one could hold your hand. In theory, it sounds perfect. I’m not there yet, my twins are 6 months old.

    I use a Mickey Mouse harness for my 3 year old. Honestly, he doesn’t need it anymore, but there were a couple of months right before he turned 3 that got really scary. Using the harness helped him learn to walk with me, and now he can handle most situations without it.

    Saftey if the most important thing. Who cares what other people think.

  6. We’re totally in the same boat. Two months shy of three years and SO ready to ditch the double stroller. BUT, you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to enter a supermarket with the two of them walking (we live in a big city with no double shopping carts). I don’t know. I’ve given us to early spring (at least then the bitter cold weather will be gone) so their lackadaisical strolling won’t bother me as much. But yeah, I’m pretty much figuring on having to do re-plan all my food shopping to moments when they are not with me.

  7. I did ditch the stroller around 2.5~ish, although we do even to this day sometimes still use the jogger (but never for errands). That being said, I avoid taking them shopping at all costs unless DH goes along. Always have, still do. The only place I consistently take them is Costco because they have the two child carts.

    Thankfully my schedule and helpful DH allows me to do most of what I need to do when they are at school or DH just keeps them home with him.

  8. I agree with Sadia, switch to a wagon. I was more disappointed when they were too heavy to be pulled in the wagon than I was when I ditched the strollers. I used a Radio Flyer All Terrain wagon… but with twins you could get away with a more compact two seater wagon.

  9. I ditched any wheeled mobile early. Definitely before they were 2.5. (They walked early so I had a lot of experience with walking toddlers already) Once they could walk easily going in the stroller was not fun for them. So, if they didn’t 1.stay close to me 2. hold my hand when asked 3. behave and not take things off shelves and make any kind of mess without cleaning it up 4. not listen to me in any way their punishment would be to go in the stroller or shopping cart (only works with the plain shopping cart, not the ones with the TV). Sometimes, their punishment would be that I would carry them (I’d carry them like a log or fireman carry. Not in a nice way) if they didn’t behave.

    I was very stern on the rules. If they wanted to walk, they would have to show me that I could trust them to walk. Else, back in the stroller they go.

    No strollers and no diaper/kid bag for me at the age of 3 years and 3 months!!!

  10. Oh, and I have been taking them grocery, target, mall, library, camping, etc anywhere with no stroller. The only place I bring one is Disneyland so they have a place to nap if they get tired and it makes a good seat to watch a parade. That might change soon as well though.

  11. We go strollerless to most places and even when we do take it, they are in and out of it the entire time. From our treks to and from daycare, they walk well next to me, but that has been something we’ve worked on every every day.

    For shopping I’m all about throwing them into a cart. Double carts are awesome if they have them. If they don’t (or if it’s Target where they suck) I’ll do one in the bucket. I hate that scenario, but it works. I have let someone hang onto the end of the cart, trashman style, Again hate, but it works. For Trader Joe’s they each get a tiny shopping cart of their own and I hope that everyone guards their shins.

  12. Our stroller usage really dropped off after age 2. I remember I took the stroller out of the van because I was having it cleaned, and never really put it back in. Between 2 and 3, I might take the stroller for a particular occasion (we took the Maclaren to Disney at 2.5 – and then left it at my mom’s in Florida; I still haven’t given up the BOB), but we really stopped using it for day-to-day outings. At the store, we either got a double cart, put one in front and one in the back/basket part, or we walked. LOTS of practice holding hands, standing on the lines in the parking lot (great for when I’m getting kid #2 out of their seat), etc. Some outings were hairier than others, of course, but we really have not used a stroller on a regular basis for more than a year.

  13. Yes on what Liz said. We started doing more and more outings without the stroller and by 3 used it only rarely—-maybe at the airport or the Franklin Park zoo or on a long walk around the lake. I tend to take them errand running one at a time on the weekends, or use a cart—one kid in the back and one in the front. We did a lot of practicing about staying right with Mommy, like in Starbucks, or holding each other’s hand. It’s liberating to be rid of the stroller, although I haven’t yet sold the double BOB. With #3 coming, it’s really about time.

  14. My kids are 3.5, and we have been walking for a while. But during that in-between transition time, we used a single umbrella stroller. We rotated who would be the walker and who would be the rider. My main criteria was having a way that I could BOLT, if needed, and I knew I couldn’t carry two 33-35lbs toddlers out of the mall by myself. But I could carry 1 and push 1.

  15. For their 1st birthday, and mere weeks after I spent nearly $300 on a Maclaren double stroller, my daughters received a Radio Flyer wagon. The Maclaren has been used maybe 20 times in the past year. The girls are 2 now. I use the wagon very often for walks around the neighborhood and the jogging stroller for visiting parks, but the Maclaren goes unused in the trunk of my car. Occasionally I will take one daughter with me on a Saturday morning trip to the grocery store, and that serves as one-on-one time. But 99% of the time, I go solo, while the girls are with DH or a babysitter. I always have about 9 hours of childcare per week and use that time to do freelance work and errands.

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