When you strap a baby in, you expect them to relax, stay calm, and just enjoy the ride. But this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, the toddler gets fussy and ruins what would otherwise be a nice stroll around the neighborhood. So how do you keep your baby entertained and happy while in the stroller? How do you get them to stop hating their stroller?
This post offers a bunch of little things any parent can do to keep the baby busy the whole time they’re sitting in a car seat or stroller.
7 Ways to Help Baby Stop Hating Stroller
The tips below not only help you to make your baby stop hating to ride in a stroller, but they’ll also help you get them to actually enjoy every stroll. Yes, you can entertain a toddler without a TV. You can keep that tot in their stroller and not have them scream and flail about the whole freaking time. They’ll start behaving like all those calm babies you see sitting in the stroller as mom and dad shop.
1.Understand That Toddlers Notice Things All the Time
Well, this tip won’t help you keep your toddler entertained in the stroller. But it’ll help put everything into a proper perspective. It’s hard to control toddlers, and they’ll want to look at and touch all sorts of things.
They’ve just learned that you can’t live in your mind forever. Now, they want to step out and explore the beautiful world they’ve suddenly discovered.
When you keep this understanding in mind, your tot’s bothersome behavior will start seeming normal (because it is). And you’ll fret less often and love your baby more. I mean, they’re growing up right in front of you. What a miracle!
2.Have that 16-month Toddler Walk, But Have the Stroller With You
One great way to deal with a stroller-hating toddler is to bring the buggy and but allow the kid to walk. Let them know they need to hold your hand all of the time. Let them understand that if they don’t want to hold your hand and stay close to you, they’ll have to sit in the stroller.
Here’s bad news: they won’t always obey your instructions. They’ll want to run off and be the big girl or boy that they really want to be. Except dad/mom keeps getting in the way. If and when this happens, run after them, grab them, and make them sit in the stroller again.
Be nice as you do this. Say something like, “Sorry Sweetheart, I really have to do this. You didn’t keep your word. All I’m trying to do is protect you and keep you safe.”Don’t be hard or all scold-y. Be nice and smooth and loving.
They might sulk or even throw tantrums for a while. Just let them be. But once they calm down and start behaving, pick them up and let them enjoy a bit of freedom again. Allow them to walk again but insist that they hold your hand. Chances are they’ll soon understand that good behavior gets rewarded and bad behavior gets them more stroller time.
3. Wear the Baby and Push the Stroller
Maybe your baby cries their little lungs out because they’d like the both of you to be closer and to bond better. And being in the stroller prevents this from happening.
If you have a sling or other carrier in the basket, take it out and wear the baby for some time while pushing the stroller. When you strap them back in, they likely will settle because they know you’re always there for them when they need you.
4. Talk to or Sing for Your Baby; Stay Engaged
Stroller time is supposed to be a great time to cement a lasting bond with your kiddo. Don’t waste any of these moments. Do everything possible to stay more visible to your child. And don’t just disappear into your head and push the stroller. Instead, talk to the tot. Sing nice baby songs for them. This isn’t hard at all, and it’s a great way to keep fussy babies nice and calm in the stroller.
5. Play With Baby at Home While They’re Still Trapped In
When you get home, leave baby strapped in their stroller. But don’t ignore. Play with them instead. There’s all sorts of ways to play with a baby, and they’ll probably link being strapped in with happiness, love, and daddy/mom being close to them.
6. Give Them Safe Toys to Stay Busy With
This one is a no-brainer. It may not work all of the time, but it sure does work some of the time. Some toys such as the Tiny Love Meadow Days Sunny Stroller Toy have features designed to keep little hands busy the whole time.
This toy offers 3 colorful, toy-friendly, hanging toys that stay within easy reach. This toy (and many other similar ones) even has lights and sounds that the stroller occupier can work/activate with the hands.
7. Sometimes, All They Need is a Snack or Drink
With a few easy hacks, you can upgrade even the cheapest baby stroller and make it really comfortable for your tot. Once change you can make is to attach a bottle sling to the hood. The bottle stays close enough to the mouth so that they can enjoy their drink anytime.
Keep snacks around, too. Which baby wouldn’t enjoy snacking on something delicious while sitting on a comfortable stroller seat and rolling around on big, shock-absorbing rubber wheels?
But Why Do Babies Hate Strollers?
There’s a bunch of reasons babies hate strollers. Here’s some of these reasons:
1. They Feel Lonely.
They’re used to you being close enough and holding or carrying them in a baby sling or baby carrier. But this isn’t the way things are in a stroller or car seat. They might be facing you, but there’s still a bit of distance separating the both of you.
2.They’re Naturally a Fussy Baby, Fussier Than Most Babies.
Truth be told: babies are individuals with different personalities. Some adults are complete jerks and other are born critics, and the same applies to babies. Some babies just happen to be fussier than others, and that’s a fact of life you need to accept as a loving parent. If nothing you do seems to make a difference, understand they’re a fussy tot and love them anyway.
3. They’re a Preemie or Colicky (According to Whattoexpect.com)
According to Whattoexpect.com, Colicky tots and preemies tend to be more sensitive than other toddlers to realities such as light, movement, and noise. Since the stroller is always rolling and there’s noise all around, the baby ends up associating being in a stroller with unpleasantness.
4. They’re Not Comfortable
It’s hard to be happy when you’re that young and sensitive and being restrained by snugly fastened safety devices in a stroller or car seat. Make sure to secure the straps properly. Definitely don’t secure them too tight that the straps starts digging into the baby’s soft skin.
Or maybe the baby needs fresh diapers because the ride got so smooth and they peed and wet their existing diapers? It’s always nice to have a few diapers around for situations like these.
5. Maybe They’re Feeling Stroller Sick
Some people get car sick or plane sick according to Cleveland Clinic. The proper name for this situation is motion sickness. And babies aren’t any different. If they’ve sat in the stroller for hours because it’s cushy all-terrain stroller and you did a really long ride, the baby might get fussy at some point.
Putting It Together
Some toddlers are naturally fussy, fussier than most. Others are troublesome because of some situation such as too much stroller time, discomfort, loneliness, and other issues. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take to make the ride more enjoyable and fun for you and your baby.
Please let’s know if you found any of the suggestions above helpful. Tell us about it in the comments box below.
I'm Esther Moni, a proud stay-at-home mom and a psychology graduate of the United States International University (USIU) . I hate it when anyone calls me a housewife, because what does housewife even mean? Being a mother of two babies and a pup, Bailey, as well as being Ricky's wife tires me to no end, but I still manage a smile at the end of it all. And when my boys aren't done doing mischief, I juggle writing a post on parenting or baby gear performance for this blog and running my little counselling office based out in Nairobi. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/esther.moni/">Visit my Facebook profile here</a>, and this is my <a href="https://ke.linkedin.com/in/esther-moni-3841b573/">LinkedIn profile</a>, and here's my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKcVb3NNDrURDH8C0KiAE1g/">nascent youtube channel.