What To Consider When Traveling With A Stroller
Thereâ€™s no denying that strollers are some of the most helpful baby-related accessories youâ€™ll buy, but they also become an absolute nuisance sometimes. If youâ€™ve ever seen a woman try to bring one on a plane, you certainly know the struggle. When shopping for the best stroller to travel with, youâ€™ll need to consider your daily lifestyle and any sort of vacations you plan to take while your baby is young. Then, think about how a stroller will affect your travel plans.
Hereâ€™s what city moms, suburban moms and vacationing moms should consider when traveling with a stroller:
If you live in the city
City living is all about maneuverability. Whether youâ€™re awkwardly getting around tourists, shoving yourself onto a packed train or trying to avoid a speeding car, you need to be able to stay quick on your feet.
Thatâ€™s why the best strollers for living in the city are lightweight and foldable. Theyâ€™re easy to push around and, once your little one is able to stand on her own, can be folded up to fit in a smaller space. This is incredibly convenient for when youâ€™re traveling on the bus or the train â€“ especially during rush hour as you get your toddler home from daycare. Look for strollers made of aluminum, which is much lighter than steel.
If you live in the suburbs or country
Public transportation and crowded sidewalks probably arenâ€™t a problem where you live. In fact, youâ€™ll probably be doing most of your transportation by car â€“ and youâ€™ll need a stroller to fit.
Many driving parents swear by travel systems: strollers that convert to car seats and, in some cases, carrycots. The car seatÂ detaches from your vehicle and snaps on to a lightweight frame, turning it into a stroller. This way, you donâ€™t have to continuously buckle and unbuckleÂ your toddler every time you get in and out of the car.
Keep in mind, however, that you donâ€™t want to leave your little one in the car seat for too long. The constant pressure from sitting with her head flat against the back can lead to plagiocephaly, otherwise known as flat head syndrome. Make sure she gets some tummy time every few hours, both for her head and her upper body strength and motor skills. Studies show babies who donâ€™t spend enough time on their bellies tend to have delayed motor functions.
If youâ€™re going on vacation
Planes, trains and busses have certain methods regarding traveling with a stroller, and itâ€™s best to be aware of them.
Each airlineÂ determines its own stroller rules, and they all differ slightly. To get the full scoop, check the website of your carrier. But, while youâ€™re at it, here are some general recommendations compiled from consumer advisory website TSA Travel Tips:
- Try to bring only one stroller. Some airlines only allow one per customer on the plane, while others let you bring more for an additional fee.
- If you want to bring a stroller on board with you, make sure it can fold up to the size of a standard carry-on bag.
- Larger strollers must be checked either curbside, at the check-in counter or at the gate.
- Note that a lot of airlines â€“ but not all of them â€“ include a disclaimer saying that any damage to checked strollers wonâ€™t be covered.
Similarly, different train stations have their own stroller rules. Amtrak, the biggest, lets you bring a stroller for free if youâ€™re traveling with a child under 2 years old. The stroller doesnâ€™t count against your carry-on limit.
Meanwhile, Greyhound busses let you bring strollers and car seats onboard. Some busses have lap and shoulder harnesses which allow you to attach your car seat with them.
Easy traveling with a stroller
Bringing baby along for the ride doesnâ€™t have to be a nightmare. As long as you have the right stroller for the occasion and understand child-related travel rules, you should have no trouble at all.
Just remember to bring plenty of snacks and toys for when your little one puts up a fuss!
Autumn Green is an artist-turned-writer who traded the sweet tea of the south for the deep dish pizza of Chicago. Her favorite subjects include art, culture, design, small business/entrepreneurship and healthful living.