There are parents who are fans of stroller, there are also those who love babywearing and think that the stroller is unnecessary for them. Are you wondering what will be more useful in your case: a stroller or a baby carrier? In this article you will find out what are the pros and cons of both products, when they are useful and which one is worth buying (or maybe both are?).
On the forums for moms you can find many questions about the comparison between stroller and baby carrier. Which one is better and more useful? Is it worth investing in both, or can one replace the other? What is more convenient and easier to travel with: a stroller or a carrier? And if you travel by plane, should you bring a stroller or carrier with you?
Are you curious what are the limitations and advantages of the stroller and what are the limitations and advantages of the baby carrier? There are quite a lot of them. And they all make sense!
In this article I will do my best to cover everything in the subject: “baby stroller vs baby carrier”.
Generally speaking I assume that there are situations when the stroller is useful or even irreplaceable, but there are also times when the stroller fails and then it is worth having an alternative solution – baby carrier (or baby wrap).
The selection of strollers is huge (many types, dozens of brands, hundreds of models), the choice of baby carriers and wraps is also vast (different types, materials, brands, models, different wearing positions), but what you need to do first, before you decide on one of them, is to think about situations when each of them will be most handy.
Especially when you travel a lot with your child, it turns out that there are many situations when the stroller and the baby carrier complement each other very well, but usually one cannot fully replace the other one.
- Stroller – Pros & Cons
- Baby Carrier – Pros & Cons
- Having both the stroller & the carrier
- Baby carrier INSTEAD of a stroller?
- What you should keep in mind if you want to travel with baby carrier or stroller
- Is it more convenient to travel with a stroller or baby carrier?
- 9 reasons why baby carrier makes travel with baby easier
- Using a stroller vs baby carrier in Disneyland
- What is better for daily use: baby carrier or stroller?
Stroller – Pros & Cons
Let’s start from the beginning. At first let’s focus on strollers – what are their advantages, when they are most helpful and useful, what are their disadvantages and when the stroller may let you down?
Baby Strollers - The Good Things
+ During long walks and for long distances the stroller is the most comfortable option (bassinet is the most convenient for newborns, because this position is best their spine, for an older child the sitting position will be the most comfortable, best if the seat is forward-facing, because curious toddlers can look around and see everything).
+ Even if the stroller is quite heavy and a large child sits in it, it's easier to push such a stroller than to carry the child on your back or chest. If you choose a buggy with large wheels and good suspension, you can easily push it with one hand.
+ If you have a back pain, pushing a stroller will be most likely less challenging and fatiguing than carrying the baby.
+ Most strollers are suitable and useful from birth, until the child is a few years old, even for older children it may be still helpful - on longer distances when the child gets tired.
+ Walking with a stroller have many benefits for the health of the child and the mother (for the mother it's an opportunity to go out, as well as to lose weight after the delivery, while the child can nap in the stroller during the walk).
+ Convertible strollers allow you to attach the infant car seat, which is a very useful option because it allows you to quickly transfer the child from the car to the stroller - this is an advantage for those who often ride in a car with their kiddos before walking.
+ The choice is vast and there are many types of strollers for different occasions, different kinds of terrain. Some buggies can handle pretty much any type of surface, there are even strollers for running, hiking, walk on rough terrains, you can use such a stroller for exercising as a way of getting your body back after the pregnancy.
+ If the stroller has a large shopping basket, it will fit grocery bags, and your belongings for day trips to the forest, to the zoo, etc., so you don't have to carry an additional backpack.
+ The stroller is useful in places where we have to move around quickly and the child walks too slowly and can't keep up with us.
+ Lightweight strollers are awesome solution for traveling with kids, a few of them offer such a compact fold you can even take them as carry-on and fit in the overhead compartment on airplane.
+ Usually using a stroller doesn't require a lot of practice or getting used to it. Majority of strollers are user-friendly, the only thing that you may need to practice is folding and unfolding, but other than that everything is very intuitive.
Baby Strollers - What To Keep In Mind|
- It's very unlikely that one stroller will work in all situations, therefore majority of parents decide to buy two (or even more) stroller: one for daily activity, one for travel, sometimes another one for jogging. This means the cost quickly adds up. The problem is that if you decide to get a lightweight, small stroller, it won't handle bumpy terrain. On the other hand, if you get an all-terrain stroller, it will be too bulky to fly with it. So you need to compromise and give up some activities (for example: no travels until the child can walk on their own) or you will have to buy two strollers. Most of the parents do the latter thing anyway.
- Most of the strollers takes up a lot of space when they are folded down (maybe except for the lightweight type). They take up most of the space in the car trunk. When the stroller is open, it takes up space in your hallway. If you have more than just one buggy, you will need even more free space at home to store them.
- There are a lot of places where the stroller feels too bulky - especially in crowded, tight places. It may be difficult to get through the airport, move around in Disneyland or your small grocery store with a full-sized stroller.
- Traveling or doing shopping with a stroller may be annoying, if you need to carry it down to the car, fold it, load it in the trunk, and then take it out and unfold it in the parking lot. It they be challenging if have to do it on your own, especially soon after the delivery.
- Apart from lightweight strollers, frequent carrying and loading stroller to the car trunk is tiring.
- Traveling with a stroller may be tiring too, because it is an extra luggage to carry. If it doesn't fit in the overhead bin on airplane, you need to gate check it and it may get damaged during the flight.
- Not all parents like the idea of exercising with a stroller (I mean hiking or walking in the woods), therefore they look for other solutions how to include their little one in their physical activity. In those cases, baby carrier may turn out to be a great alternative.
- Usually strollers don't include accessories and you need to pay extra even for basic things like cup holder or child snack tray.
Baby Carrier – Pros & Cons
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a baby carrier? When it’s most useful?
Baby Carriers - The Good Things
+ For many parents babywearing works perfect for soothing their babies, reduces crying (sometimes it's the only thing that works!), especially in newborns and infants. It's also a great way to put the baby to sleep. There are babies who nap only while being carried in a wrap or carrier.
+ Babywearing is a fantastic opportunity for snuggles and for bonding.
+ If you start babywearing with your newborn baby, it may be very pleasant for them, because in the wrap or baby carrier they feel similar to the way they felt in the womb - it's snuggly, warm, and they can feel their mommy which gives them sense of security.
+ You can also practice babywearing with older kids or toddlers who have "carry me" phase. Obviously it's difficult to hold a large and heavy child in your hands for longer period, however baby carrier makes it possible! If you pick comfortable, ergonomic and highly-adjustable one, it will be also comfy to wear for you because it will spread baby's weight evenly across your body. There are baby carrier and wraps that are comfortable to wear even for a few hours at a time.
+ Infant or toddler carrier is very handy in crowded places, where it's difficult to get through with a stroller. It may be a great alternative to stroller for daily walks too.
+ Baby carrier is very helpful especially during travels, when you plan a say trip or long distance and the stroller won't work because you will be walking on bumpy terrain, walk up and down the stairs a lot, and even though your child can walk, he/she will get tired at some point for sure. In that case baby carrier is better choice, because you can store it in your bag or backpack and use when needed, in contrast to a stroller that would take up more space and would be more difficult to carry. Climbing the stairs is still easier when you carry a child in a wrap or baby carrier than carrying a stroller on your shoulder while holding the child in other hand.
+ It's more convenient to move around, use public transportation, go shipping with a carrier - you don't have to worry about loading and unloading the stroller to and from the trunk.
+ Baby carrier that offers multiple carrying positions is a fantastic option because it provides cozy place for infant's nap, and for older child comfy place (on parent's back) to observe the world - ideal solution for curious toddlers.
+ Usually baby carrier doesn't strain family budget as much as a stroller, and it doesn't require accessories.
+ Most baby carriers are breastfeeding-friendly and allow you to nurse without taking the baby out, therefore you can nurse more discreetly.
+ Babywearing may help with digestive problems, relieved colicky baby, helps too regulate baby's body temperature.
+ When not in use, baby carrier doesn't takes up a lot of space. At home you can easily store it in a wardrobe. Small size and lightweight design make it also a good solution for older child. When you're out and about with your toddler or preschooler and he/she gets tired after a while, you can use the carrier - it's easy to keep it always at hand, because it fits in a bag or backpack and carrying it is effortless, in contrast to carrying a stroller.
+ You can travel with it seamlessly - it won't take up a lot of space in your luggage and it will make board much easier.
Baby Carriers - What To Keep In Mind
- It requires some practice and you need to learn how to use it - how to adjust the carrier straps, how to position the baby, and if you're using a wrap - how to tie it securely.
- Even the most comfortable carrier will strain your shoulders, back and hips after a few hours, if your child is heavy. Using it for longer periods may be tiring.
- Not all older kiddos like being carried, because it may be … to boring for them. Even if you wear your child on your back, he/she has limited view and may start to wriggle after a while.
- On longer distances infant carrier or toddler carrier may be less comfortable for both sides and may cause sweating (there are just a few baby carriers and wraps made of a truly breathable fabric).
- Babywearing is not a good choice for a person with back pain, problems with posture etc.
Having both the stroller & the carrier
If you have a baby stroller and baby carrier, you are well prepared for any type of a situation and you can enjoy the benefits of both! Both items complement each other and you are able to use one when the other doesn’t work. Basically this means that all the disadvantages I mentioned above disappear! Maybe except for one…
Buying both the stroller AND the baby carrier means that you will spend more money and you’ll need a more flexible budget. Besides, both items take up more space and you’ll not always be able to travel with both of them.
Baby carrier INSTEAD of a stroller?
I know there are moms who would say “yes!” without any hesitation. I think it’s quite possible to use only the carrier instead of a stroller, because right now we have lots of amazing, ergonomic, comfortable and cute baby carriers. Many moms who have been practicing babywearing for a long time may say they can “survive” without the stroller.
However, for most mothers at some stage, in some situations, the stroller will be necessary. If you plan to use both, it’s best to consider the type of the stroller thoughtfully so that it is the best addition to the baby carrier, in terms of features and usefulness, without straining your budget too much.
If you decide on babywearing only, then choose a carrier that is the most versatile one, that you could use from birth and carry the baby in different positions as your child grows, and will serve you a few years.
If you decide to get just the stroller, remember that it may turn out that for everyday use you will need a different one than for travel (if you plan to travel with baby).
In my opinion, however, currently there no so many moms yet who would choose the baby carrier instead of a stroller (although I’m not saying that it’s a bad solution, maybe I will try it with my next child, if I ever decide to have fourth one LOL). So now we will focus mainly on comparing the usefulness of both things when you’re traveling with a baby, what are their similarities, differences and what to keep in mind when you try to pick one.
What you should keep in mind if you want to travel with baby carrier or stroller
|Destination – are you traveling to warm or cold place? What will be the weather when you get there? If you’re visiting a country in a hot and humid climate, you should consider choosing a carrier made of a breathable fabric that won’t make you and the baby that much sweaty. You should also take for you and the baby proper clothing. Remember that baby carrier or baby wrap is at least one more additional layer of clothing. Similarly, if you want to take the stroller with you to a warm place, it should provide proper sun (and overheating) protection for the baby (large canopy, mesh windows, airy fabrics). If you’re traveling during winter, consider adding a footmuff for the baby stroller, take some additional blankets and warm clothes for your little traveller.|
|Length of the journey and your trip – how long will be the flight/train or bus ride? Does your child tolerate long flights? Are you traveling with carry-on luggage only? In those cases it may be better to choose the baby carrier, because it takes up less space in the suitcase, and it may be helpful for soothing the baby during the journey. For many parents (and kids) it’s easier to board with the carrier than a stroller too. On the other hand, if you’re going on a long trip, you will visit a lot of places (lots of walking, different types of terrain), then a stroller may be a better option, but I would recommend you to consider taking both things with use (for example during a monthly trip there may be plenty occasion to use the stroller and the baby carrier).|
|On-site conditions – you should also consider where you’ll be staying (hotel, camping), how you’ll be moving around (by car, by public transportation or on foot), and what places you’ll visit (cities with lots of sidewalks, old town with cobbled streets, narrow and steep roads or country side with unbeaten roads and trails). This will help you to decide when the carrier will be most useful or when the stroller will be more convenient to use (and which type of a stroller you should bring)|
Is it more convenient to travel with a stroller or baby carrier?
All depends on your preferences, whether it’s easier for you to travel with a lightweight stroller or baby carrier. In my opinion they complement each other really well. There are situations, especially during trips, when a stroller won’t work or you cannot use it, and then the baby carrier will be a brilliant addition.
if you’re traveling with older child, if the trip is rather short and you’ll visiting one type of places, you can decide on just one piece of baby gear: the stroller or the carrier. All depends on what’s more comfortable for you. Check all the pros & cons I mention in this article, consider all the situations when you’ll need a stroller or carrier. What seems to be more convenient.
Travel with the stroller only
- Stroller will be more comfy if you plan long strolls on fairly flat terrain that a lightweight stroller with small wheels can handle, and there won’t be large crowds so you will move around easily.
- If your baby still naps during the day and don’t like sleeping in a baby carrier, then a stroller is must-have.
Travel with the baby carrier only
- If you have a full-size stroller and wonder what to buy for a trip: lightweight stroller or baby carrier, it’s good to consider your budget. You can find a good-quality, ergonomic, hip-healthy baby carrier under $100, but it unlikely to find a good stroller at this price.
- Baby carrier is better choice during day trips, when you’ll be walking on uneven terrain or climb many stairs and a stroller wouldn’t work anyway.
- If you cannot travel with your all-terrain stroller, and you only bring your lightweight stroller with you, but want to go to the beach or hike, baby carrier is a must-have, because lightweight stroller won’t handle those types of terrain. Baby carrier is necessary if you can’t or don’t want to fly with your all-terrain stroller, unless you’re okay with gate checking it.
- If you’re going to ride in a car or use (crowded) public transportation a lot during this trip, it may turn out the baby carrier is more convenient solution.
Travel with both the stroller and the baby carrier
- If your baby likes both things – that’s the first criterion!
- If you travel with a baby who doesn’t walk yet or just have started walking so he/she won’t keep up with you during sightseeing and strolls
- If you’ll be moving on different types of terrain and visiting various places (cities, beaches, hills)
- If the flight is long
- If you’ll be traveling for a few weeks or months
Nevertheless, I assume that nowadays most mothers, even those who practice babywearing occasionally, would choose a stroller for travel if they had to take just one thing. However, moms who have travel with baby carrier at least once, understand how useful it is and they often say that during the next trip they will definitely bring the carrier with them, and maybe even skip the stroller.
9 reasons why baby carrier makes travel with baby easier
- It takes up less space in luggage – it will even fit in your carry-on luggage, with your other things. On the other hand, if you decide to bring even the smallest stroller, it will take up more space in your luggage and you will (most likely) need a separate suitcase for it.
- You don’t have to pay extra for flying with the carrier – and it doesn’t matter if you fit it in your bag or wear while boarding. On the other hand, some airlines have additional fees for the stroller, and if your stroller is bigger than carry-on luggage, you will have to gate check it and pray that it won’t be damaged during the flight.
- It helps to calm and sooth the baby – for many children being so close to parent is soothing, help to reduce crying, relieves colicky baby and helps them to fall asleep. You may also use it to calm down the baby in situation when you wouldn’t be able to use the stroller (in an airplane, train, bus etc.). Baby carrier may help your infant (or toddler) to feel better during a long flight.
- It makes transportation easier – when you’re already at the destination, it’s easier to move around with a carrier – using public transportation, getting through narrow doorways, subway gates, going up and down the stairs or climbing steep streets (which are very common in old European cities and towns).
- It’s a convenient solution for going to the beach – it’s easier and more pleasant to walk on the beach while babywearing than trying too push the stroller through the sand (unless you have a large all-terrain stroller with big pumped wheels that won’t suck in the deep sand, but I guessing you rather won’t be traveling with such a large stroller).
- Babywearing makes your hands free – while carrying the baby in the carrier, you can simultaneously pull your suitcase along, take pictures with your camera or comfort the other child.
- Babywearing may help to reduce stress level in your baby when you’re in a new place – during babywearing the child is close to parent, feels safe and secure and this way their anxiety or stress caused by being in a strange place is reduced.
- Ergonomic baby carrier provides comfy place for a baby for naps – which is important especially in situations when you cannot take the stroller with you.
- Baby carrier allows you to travel more lightly – and if you ever need a stroller you will most likely find a stroller rental at your destination (check it before the trip).
Using a stroller vs baby carrier in Disneyland
In this case your preferences and your comfort matter even more. You can bring a full-size or all-terrain stroller to Disney, but it may be hard to get through the crowd with it, on the other hand it will be more comfortable for the younger baby and for naps on-the-go. But keep in mind that you may need to fold it down a few times and carry it sometimes.
Of course you have other option – bringing a lightweight stroller. In many ways this it will be more convenient: it’s easier to fold and more compact so carrying it won’t be a huge problem. Lightweight strollers are quite slim and small so moving around even in a crowd is doable. However, this type of a stroller handles less types of terrain (or rather handles only flat terrain like pavement) and the seat may be less comfy for the nap time.
Your third option is to bring a baby carrier to Disneyland. In many ways it is the most convenient solution: it’s the easiest item to store and carry while not in use (you don’t even have to store it in a backpack, you can leave it buckled around your waist), it’s easier to get through the crowd while wearing a baby. However not all kiddos, especially older ones, can nap in it. Besides, the older the child, the more exhausting the carrying will be for the parent.
What is better for daily use: baby carrier or stroller?
In the last paragraphs I showed you that sometimes traveling with a stroller is more convenient, but there are situations when bringing a carrier makes more sense. How about your daily activity? In which situations stroller is more usable than carrier and vice versa? Could you imagine using just one of them?
First of all, there are babies that don’t like strollers. They just can’t stand sitting in a stroller for longer period, get fussy, start crying or screaming. For such kids baby carrier may be a breast alternative and the only solution for you to bring the baby with you when you’re going out.
Of course there are also babies that can’t stand being wrapped in a carrier (or wrap) and hate being carried in it. Instead of soothing, baby carrier makes them angry, the child don’t like nap in it and starts wiggling in it after few minutes. Then you will most likely need a stroller.
However, most of the kids like both things (most of the time) and don’t mind being carrier in a baby carrier or pushed in a baby stroller. Sometimes it depends on a situation and baby mood. Those parents are probably in the best situation because they can decide whether they prefer baby stroller or baby carrier. I also think it’s good to try both thing with the baby and see which way the baby prefers to be transported.
Nevertheless, it’s important to notice that both items have their advantages and disadvantages – which make them more or less usable and convenient during daily use. Here are some examples of situations when stroller and carrier may suit you better. I hope this list will help you to narrow down your choice.
Running everyday errands
According to many parents who have been babywearing for a while now, agree that dealing with daily chores and running errands is easier when you use baby carrier. Many of them say it’s more convenient than a stroller is some situations, because babywearing keeps your hands free.
Why baby carrier is better: It’s very convenient to baby-wear while doing shopping, because it’s easier to keep an eye on the baby when you keep them closer to you and do the groceries, than keep an eye on the baby in a stroller (especially when the baby is a bit older and wants to grab everything from the shelves).
Why stroller is better: If you do shopping without a car and have a few grocery bags, it’s easier to load them into storage basket under the stroller seat than carry them all the way to your apartment, while carrying a baby. Of course assuming that your stroller has spacious basket!
Some parents prefer to go for a stroll and keep the baby in a carrier, while other can’t imagine going for a walk without a stroller. I would say it depends on baby’s age.
Why baby carrier is better: It’s lighter therefore it will be easier to carry when it’s not in use, if you have a child who can already walk and spend at least part of the stroll on his own feet.
Why stroller is better: If you have a toddler who doesn’t want to spend the whole stroll in a stroller/carrier and is eager to walk on foot, it’s easier to take the baby in and out of the stroller than a carrier. It just takes less time, than unbuckling and readjusting the carrier. Moreover, if you go for a long walk you can load all your necessities in the storage basket: your diaper bag, bottle of water, some snacks, extra clothes, blanket, baby carrier and even your jacket.
It’s hard to decide whether baby carrier or baby stroller is better for hiking (and generally speaking handling rough terrain). It really depends on your preferences. For getting through bumpy terrain like rocky trails or sand you will need a large all-terrain stroller which is bulky and weighs a lot. Pushing it uphill won’t be the easiest job for sure. On the other hand hiking with a child on your front or back will be also tiring and you will definitely FEEL your baby’s weight. But if you want to hike with your baby I’m assuming you’re not afraid of getting sweaty, you’re aware that both options will require some strength, and they both have some disadvantages. But which one is better?
Why baby carrier is better: Getting a baby carrier for hiking, even a special one like the Deuter Kid Comfort, will cost you less than getting high-quality jogging stroller suitable for jogging. Lots of kids also enjoy “riding” on their parent’s back and observing surroundings. Baby carrier may be the only option if you want to hike on your trip, because you (most likely) won’t take your jogging stroller with you, and a small travel lightweight stroller won’t handle rocky or grassy terrain.
Why stroller is better: Once again, you can pack all your stuff in the stroller basket even for a daily trip – jogging strollers usually have awesome, large baskets. Moreover, for some kids its will feel more comfortable to sit in a stroller while their parents are getting through bumpy terrain, than sitting in a carrier.
Lots of babywearing fans agree that using public transportation and getting trough stations is so much easier if you have your baby in a carrier, not a stroller. Why? It’s pretty simple – because of crowds, narrow doorways and gates, slow and small lifts and escalators, and of course little space inside the metro/bus/train. Even if you have a small stroller that fold up quickly and fits under the train seat with ease, it will still require you to deal with the fold and unfold while holding a baby and that’s just too much hassle. Of course when you’re getting through crowds at the metro or train station you need to be careful, because people are usually in a hurry and may bump into you.. and your baby. But it’s the same case with a stroller – if you’re on your own and need to carry the stroller and hold your baby in other hand, getting through crowd will be even more difficult. That’s why I think in this category baby carrier is undeniable winner.
Why baby carrier is better: You can get through the crowd more quickly, you won’t have any problems with getting through metro gates and you won’t have to worry how to fit your stroller is a small bus, and try to fold it and unfold it while holding your baby. Parents who practice babywearing also rave about baby carrier because they give the baby more privacy and keep them away from curious looks from strangers. Oh, and one more thing: to get through the metro station you need to use stairs (it will be heavy to drag your stroller up and down), escalators (you rather won’t be able to get your stroller on this thing) or lift (which often means long waiting), with baby carrier is so much easier.
Why stroller is better: I didn’t find any reasons why using a stroller on public transportation would be better than using baby carrier. Maybe you have some arguments? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve already mentioned this above and this won’t be a surprise – baby carrier makes you more mobile than a stroller and stairs are the strongest proof for that.
Why baby carrier is better: It’s easier to walk up and down the stairs while keeping your baby in a carrier, because it’s lighter and more comfortable than carrying the stroller and the baby. Besides, you don’t have to struggle with stroller folding and unfolding or look for elevator. And of course if you’re getting through large crowd you will (probably) sweat a lot with the baby carrier, but its would be worse if you were carrying the stroller AND the baby.
If you like day road trips or you often drive a car, you may wonder what will be more useful and convenient to bring with you: stroller or baby carrier. If you have a big car trunk then taking a stroller won’t be a problem, if you don’t mind folding it down, unfolding it, carrying, loading to the trunk etc. However, if you have a small car and little space in the trunk, it may turn our that baby carrier is the only option.
Why baby carrier is better: It takes little space. Besides, it’s very useful if you go out of the city where roads are unbeaten or sandy, and your stroller wouldn’t handle them. Generally speaking, carrier will come in handy where the paths are not stroller-friendly and if you don’t have an all-terrain stroller. And even if you’re in a city center it may be easier to move around with a baby carrier (cobbled streets, cracked pavement, high curbs, stairs).
Why stroller is better: If you’re going on a trip to another city (with paths suitable for strollers) it will be convenient to walk with the baby in the stroller. Generally speaking if you’re going on a day trip to relax and rest a bit and take a walk, then a stroller is definitely more comfortable solution.
Visiting ZOO, museum or theme parks
Not all museums are stroller-friendly, you would have to be very careful not to bump into anything (or anyone). With ZOOs and theme parks it’s easier – most of them allow you to stroll around with a stroller, however if any of those places are popular and crowded (like Dinseyland) it may be better to move around with a baby carrier than baby stroller. Moreover, you may not be able to go into all attractions with a stroller (even at Disney) which would require to fold the stroller and carry it or leave it outside the building which not all parents like to do.
Why baby carrier is better: It’s more convenient to move around with the carrier, especially in popular places which are usually very crowded. With a baby carrier you don’t have to worry about “architectural barriers” like stairs, escalators, uneven sidewalks or curbs. Carrier is also better option if you’re sightseeing and driving from one museum to another – stroller would be too much hassle (folding, unfolding, taking it in and out of the car trunk multiple times a day would be annoying).
Why stroller is better: It may be more convenient for a tired child to take a nap (not all kids like napping in a carrier, especially when they are older). Moreover, stroller is great solution for bigger kids and preschoolers, who sometimes need a break from walking to rest a bit, and it’s easier to put them in a stroller than carry them.
Parents who have been babywearing and using baby stroller will probably say that both things have their advantages and disadvantages when you use them in winter. One issue is proper clothing – we don’t want our baby to be freezing or get overheated. It’s hard to choose right clothes. But the bigger issue is that if there is snow and it’s slippery, it may be dangerous to carry the baby, because if you fall down, your baby will fall down with you. It takes a lot of practice and it may be hard to find well-cleared paths. That’s why for most parents during winter stroller will be better solution.
Why baby carrier is better: If the child is closer to you, it may be easier to control his temperature.
Why stroller is better: In most cases it’s just a safer solution for winter strolls, but it does require you to get a proper stroller with large wheels (best if the tires have tread) that can handle snow and make the stroller sturdy.
Parents’ opinions are divided. Some prefer stroller, while other prefer baby carrier for warm weather. It all depends on the quality and features of both. If you have a stroller with large canopy, lots of mesh vents that provide good air circulation in the seat, then it may be a good solution for summer strolls. If you have a light carrier (or wrap) made of a breathable, airy fabric you may prefer babywearing than using a stroller in summer. Whatever you choose, make sure to dress your baby properly, choose light clothing for yourself as well, use sunscreen for you and the baby, monitor baby’s temperature and always make sure the baby doesn’t get sweaty and overheated.
Why baby carrier is better: It may be easier for you to control baby’s temperature when you keep the baby on your chest. There are a few baby carrier suitable for warm weather (made of a mesh fabric) and awesome baby wrap (Solly Baby Wrap) made of a very light fabric that wicks the moisture away keeping you and the baby cool.
Why stroller is better: It’s easier to push the stroller (if you have an agile model) than carry the baby on your chest or back. Besides, you don’t have to worry that your body temperature additionally warms the baby.
As you can see – there is no clear answer to the question: “stroller or baby carrier”. Each of them has pros and cons, so all you have to do is to consider all the circumstances I described above (and maybe even more, depending on your specific situation) and choose your own solution – best for your family.
I think that when you travel with your child, baby carrier may be more useful than a stroller in some circumstances and can be an amazing alternative. But it most daily activities it’s most convenient if the baby carrier and the stroller complement each other.
The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care.