Every time you leave the house with your baby, do you feel like you take half your home with you? Babies need so many things. One of those things is a stroller.
And, strollers are heavy. And bulky. But, you’ve noticed the smaller umbrella stroller that parents use. When can you use one?
Find out when can a baby sit in an umbrella stroller. And, when you can look forward to buying one for your baby. The answer may not be as simple as you think it is.
Umbrella Strollers: Overview
What is an umbrella stroller? Umbrella strollers are known for their light weight and portability. They were originally called umbrella strollers because of their distinctive umbrella-like handles. Nowadays, the handles vary depending on the manufacturer. But, the lightness and portability remain the same.
They are also a great inexpensive alternative for parents. Many use it as their second stroller. And, they are especially handy for places where a full stroller is inconvenient.
Additionally, you may see umbrella strollers used in crowded areas like amusement parks. One reason is that the light and narrow design makes it easier for parents to navigate crowds. Another reason is that if you need to park it at the front of an attraction unattended, you wouldn’t worry about it getting stolen because it is a cheap stroller option.
Reasons for using an umbrella stroller:
- Lightweight and portability
- Easier to navigate in crowded environments
Appropriate Age for Umbrella Strollers
As handy as umbrella strollers are, though, it’s important that you don’t rush into using it. True, using an umbrella stroller would be convenient for you, but, it may be dangerous for your child if used too soon.
Many umbrella strollers have limited reclining support. Most are a semi-reclining sling design that do not provide sufficient support for babies that cannot sit up for themselves. If you can find an umbrella stroller that can fully recline, it may be safer for children who can’t sit up by themselves. However, they are rare.
Umbrella strollers also do not provide much head and neck support. For young babies, these strollers are not a great idea, especially since most umbrella strollers feature an aluminum frame.
Umbrella strollers also lack any type of molding to keep a seat shape. While this is ideal for it’s simple design, it is unsafe for young babies with limited head and neck control.
Finally, the lack of head, neck, and back support makes umbrella strollers unsafe for babies who cannot sit up by themselves or have limited head and neck control. Typically, you can use your best judgement as all babies learn at different rates. However, you can use a minimum 4 to 6-month benchmark to gauge your own child’s readiness.
Why you shouldn’t use an umbrella stroller prematurely
- Lack of adequate support for head, neck, and back
- No molded seats
- Hard aluminum frame
- Not padded
Umbrella Stroller Alternatives
So, you still need a dependable travel method for your baby. It needs to be light and portable. But, you can’t use a traditional umbrella stroller yet. These are some alternatives for baby transportation:
You probably already have one of these. A baby sling allows you to carry your child close to your body using a design consisting of heavy-duty fabric and straps. The sling usually has leg holes for you baby and some type of back support.
Baby slings are popular for being light and portable while still allowing you some hands-free mobility. However, they can wreak havoc on your own back if you use them for a long period of time.
Reclining Umbrella Strollers
I bet you thought these were rare. And, they are. At least a true umbrella stroller that fully reclines is rare. Many strollers that are sold as “reclining umbrella strollers” are really hybrids between traditional strollers and umbrella strollers.
Essentially, they are lighter and more compact versions of traditional strollers. This makes them popular with traveling parents. However, they are still heavy in comparison to traditional umbrella strollers.
Additionally, some of these strollers may not fully recline. And, they are not very cushioned and feature limited seat molding. Consequently, most reclining umbrella stroller manufacturers still recommend a minimum age of 6-months before using.
Finally, these types are not cheap, so, if you were looking for a quick wallet-friendly option this would not be it. But, if your baby is almost ready for an umbrella stroller and you have the money, you may as well spring for one that fully reclines; at least you child can grow into their new stroller.
So, when can a baby sit in an umbrella stroller? The answer largely depends on the development of your child. And, if they are not ready to use one, you can still try other options.