9 Months Old – Time For The Stroller?

Posted on Jan 5 2013 - 11:49am by megganmamma
Joshis first trip in the stroller

Joshi’s first trip in the stroller

Mammahood can be a real lesson in letting go.

For the past 9 months we’ve been carrying Joshi in the baby carrier whenever we walk anywhere – going to the shops, while gardening or taking out the compost, putting out the laundry, walking along the beach with our feet in the water, and going for our evening walks around the neighborhood. It’s felt really special and intimate, having him so close and snug, hugged up against our chests. And so easy. It’s also been really fantastic at public events, like satsangs, as a way of keeping him out of mischief. Because since he started crawling (at 5 months) and then standing (shortly after), he’s been into everything. If we let him loose at satsangs now he’d be grabbing hold of the microphone and  turning all those buttons on the amp. He’d be completely in his element.

Anyway, yesterday, after he’d been carrying Joshi for a good three solid hours during this crazy after-xmas-shopping-sales-spree, Simon didn’t feel up to carrying him again on our evening walk. And nor did I. My body needed a break. I’m not sure how much Joshi weighs now, but I’m guessing it’s around 12 kg’s. So we’re beginning to feel his weight a lot more, especially on long walks.

I’ve not been looking forward to the day when he’s too heavy or too big to carry in the baby carrier, because I’ve never liked the thought of using a stroller. However, I also realise that that day is inevitable. And of course, parenting is a journey of letting go. Joshi, like any child, is constantly changing and evolving, and I need to too. I can’t get attached to him being a certain way, or age or weight for that matter. Well, I could, but it won’t serve him, or me.

So today, we decided to give the ‘shopping trolley’ a go. By shopping trolley I really mean the stroller, but so far, since we bought it four months ago, I’ve only used it as a shopping trolley, mostly for carrying large numbers of fresh coconuts. So we hauled it out of the storeroom.

I was, much to my surprise, quite excited to try it out. Of course I wondered whether he’d take to it or whether he’d resist being strapped into this thing. Anyway, when we put him in it, he seemed pretty content. And during our evening walk, although he was physically much lower than he’d be in the baby carrier, I think he actually enjoyed being able to see everything with such ease. Hello panoramic views! He also had a big smile on his face when his mamma did a little dance for him …

Joshi smiling at his dancing mamma

Joshi smiling at his dancing mamma

While Joshi was happy enough, it was this mamma who had to adjust to the change. I found it really weird not being able to see his face. All I could see was the top of his little head. Secondly, it felt very strange having his body down there in the stroller instead of up against my chest. And thirdly, I felt like a complete novice when it came to navigating the trolley. Ooops, I mean stroller. Not only did it feel incredibly bizarre to be pushing my baby out into the road in front of me, I couldn’t just walk where ever I wanted to. During the last nine months of carrying Joshi I been able to easily nip up or down a flight of stairs, walk through the bush, walk with my feet in the ocean or over the rocks, squeeze through a crowd of people, etc. Getting around has been quick and easy – I’ve felt so freed up. But with the stroller I really had to get my new stroller brain on. Suddenly I had to look for the curbs, choose terrain that’s wasn’t too bumpy, make allowances for the extra space that was being taken up by this thing … and of course I no longer had hands-free like when I’m wearing him.

Well, at least he was ok in it. And on the plus side, we’ve had the joy of carrying him for the first nine months. And in the future, as he gets heavier, we’ll be able to resort to using the stroller whenever we need to. At least for now we can still mostly carry him and occasionally do a combo mix. Like yesterday, at the end of the walk when he was still wide awake, I put him in the baby carrier. Within five minutes he was fast asleep. I’m curious to see whether he’ll eventually sleep in the stroller. I guess once the novelty of it has worn off a bit, and if he’s really tired, then he will.

11 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Fox January 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm -

    Have you thought about a carrier that allows you to have him ride on your back for those times when a stroller is really too inconvenient? We’ve also primarily used our stroller as a grocery hauler, though my older son really adores riding around in it when we don’t have to load it up with groceries. The baby wants nothing to do with it, so I had to take to wearing him on my back whenever we go out because he’s just too heavy and straining on my chest. Just a thought I had while reading along and thought I might share.

    • megganmamma January 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm -

      Thanks for sharing and for the reminder about the back-carrying option. The baby carrier we have actually is one which allows him to ride on the back and we’ve used it that way quite a bit, mostly when vacumming our home because he loves to watch the vacuum cleaner doing it’s thing from that vantage point and it’s easier to vaccum with him there rather than in front. And you’re right – it really does reduce the impact of their weight, wearing them on the back, so I’ll give that a go next time we go on our evening walk. I do prefer wearing him on the front though, when we’re out, coz then I can see and read his face and know what’s going on. When I’m at home and wearing him on my back I can check him out in the mirror when I need to, but when I’m out alone with him on my back I can’t. I’ve also had no practice at taking him out of the back carrier when we’re out. It’s easy at home coz I just lie down on the couch and release the straps. Any tips for when you’re out and about and need to get them out fast?

      • curiosikat January 6, 2013 at 8:27 pm -

        Oh, tips for back carry release easily? I thought I’d never learn but it’s not as hard as it seems. I tend to lean over a bit, release the chest strap, then put my hand on his back and push away the carrier so it slides off my arm, then swap arms and slide him around me to the front. There are probably some awesome youtube videos that explain it better! The key is to practise while standing over somewhere soft, just in case, although even when practising I never dropped him. 🙂 Anything over about ten kg was just too heavy for front carrying for both of us. And you do get used to not being able to see his face well. Although if that’s really an issue, you can get little mirrors that clip on!

      • Fox January 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm -

        I’ve developed what the neighborhood kids call the “over the shoulder baby fling”. I loosen one strap enough to slide him out that side of the carrier. It’s taken a little practice. We use a BabyHawk carrier, so I’m sure different carriers have different results. The sling was definitely the easiest, but he got way too heavy for it way too fast. I’ll have to see if I can get a video of putting him in and taking him out. It took a bit of practice but I now feel confident enough to do it just about anywhere!

  2. curiosikat January 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm -

    Good to read of a similar experience! We were gifted a second hand pram for the little dude but after trying him in it a few times i just gave up. He cried after a few minutes and didnt sleep. So we used the ergo for his first 12 months. At about 7 months he was well over the 10kg mark so we just started back carrying, no worries. At 12 months, we decided it was time for the pram. And amazingly enough, he was cool with it! He even fell asleep on his maiden journey! Of course, he doesnt last as long as in the ergo (and i still sometimes carry him at nearly 20 months). But it took me ages to get used to the pram, it can be pretty restrictive. On the plus side, sometimes if he falls asleep in it on a walk i can leave him to sleep and get stuff done. I got half an hour of yoga in the other day, awesome! My tip? Take your carrier with you while youre still adjusting to the pram. I sometimes swapped over if the pram was annoying or if he wasnt liking it, and once when we got caught in the rain with no cover. That ergo hood was brilliant! 🙂

    • megganmamma January 7, 2013 at 10:56 am -

      That’s encouraging. And yes, it’s made a big difference to us too – being able to use both the ergo carrier and the stroller. We’ve used the stroller 3 times now… over the last 3 evenings, and every night we took the ergo with us just incase. We then put him in the stroller until he had enough and then carried him in the ergo. It was great having that option. I don’t know how it would have gone without the ergo (how I love that thing!) Almost as soon as we put him in the it he fell asleep. It was great being able to combine the two.

      Now I’m going to give back carrying more of a go. When you say you get mirrors that clip on … are you referring to the stroller or the ergo?

  3. breathe16 January 8, 2013 at 4:09 am -

    I’m still carrying my 12-month-old using an Ergo, mostly on the front when out, and on my back when at home and needing to do some chores, but he’s only 10kg now. I’ve had the same stroller-worries as you so I really enjoyed reading this. As he gets heavier I do think I’ll want to occasionally use a stroller. Whenever I see a tiny baby in a pram I can’t help thinking ‘Carry that baby now while he’s so light, I promise you’ll find it easier than using a stroller!!!’

    • megganmamma January 21, 2013 at 9:13 pm -

      I know what you mean … when I see other tiny babies not being carried I can’t help but think how that baby as well as the baby’s parents are missing out. Carrying Joshi is one of the best bits of being a mamma for me. Now that he’s 9 months old I feel that I’ve been a kangaroo for the last 18 months. Putting him in the stroller was like, “Hey, where’s my little roo gone?” It feels very giraffe like using the stroller. Being kangaroos is much more snuggy.

      • breathe16 January 27, 2013 at 7:12 am -

        Oh good I’m glad my comment didn’t sound judgmental of stroller-users. I honestly wish someone had said to me, when my little guy was a newborn and I was pushing him in a stroller, “Hey haven’t you heard of carrying your baby??” Babywearing didn’t happen for us until my baby was 2 months old and he began to protest going in the stroller. And I couldn’t be more thankful that he communicated that need to be carried to us. Just wish I’d known about babywearing earlier!

  4. megganmamma January 27, 2013 at 10:13 am -

    Ya, there are still so many people pushing their newborns around in strollers. I think babywearing will become heaps more popular as soon as mums realise how much easier it makes things and how massive the benefits are. When Joshi’s tired (and irritable because of it), for example, I just pop him in the carrier and he’s calm right away. There’s nothing I have to do to calm him. I then just carry on with whatever it is I want to do and he effortlessly falls asleep. Sometimes I keep him on me, but mostly I then lie him down on our bed to carry on sleeping. I’d happily let him sleep on me like that for up to 3 hours at a time, like I used to when he was just a couple of months old, but the reality is – he’s a baby and he keeps getting bigger and heavier!

  5. Karen February 20, 2014 at 2:49 am -

    At 8 months old, we just started using the stroller for our baby girl. Actually – the exact same City Mini GT in green! 🙂 We’ve used our Ergo or Moby up until now but now she likes to see things more. She’s taken to it quite well. We’re in the northeast so she’s all bundle up. I can’t wait until spring when I use the Ergo on my back to carry her again. When I front-wear her, I wear her under my coat for added warmth for both of us and that just doesn’t work with the back-wearing. She likes the stroller though, but I am glad that I waited this long.