Parents are often impatient as they would like to see their child grow faster. It is especially true for fathers who find it challenging to look after newborns.
However, parenthood is especially enjoyable once the child is older than six months, becomes more active, starts interacting, seeking attention, producing sounds, and is more playful.
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One of the issues with newborn babies is that their neck is too weak to support the weight of the head. This is because the size of a child’s head is relatively big compared to the body.
However, neck muscles are quite delicate and weak. Thus, the baby needs time to grow up before neck muscles become strong enough to hold the weight of the head.
When to put a baby in a stroller without a car seat?
As already mentioned, the primary concern for such a transition is the strength of the neck. The neck is too weak during the first three months of age. It is moderately strong between three to six months.
However, it is a good idea not to hurry too much. Even if a child is able to hold the neck by four or five months, it is not strong enough. Most babies would be able to hold their necks while sitting from the age of six months and more. Thus, consider putting the baby in a stroller without a car seat only after six months of age.
However, one should keep certain things in mind. There are no golden rules here. The truth is that there are substantial individual differences between the children. Some children may take much longer to hold their neck in an upright position confidently, while others may much earlier.
Additionally, it is worth understanding that there are gender differences, too. Usually, a girl child would be able to hold their head up much earlier than a boy child.
It also depends on the design of a stroller
As already stated, that there are no hard and fast rules here. A lot would depend on the kind of stroller or its design. Transitioning to a stroller after 4 to 6 months is suitable if a child can only sit in an upright position in a stroller.
However, if the stroller can fully recline, things are quite different. A reclining stroller can be used even if a child is not able to hold the neck. It is because, in such strollers, a child does not essentially need to sit. Such strollers may also have additional paddings and support to ensure that a child is secure.
Additionally, some strollers have head support. In such cases, one can put a baby in a stroller without a car seat much earlier. Perhaps as soon as the child can hold their head upright. Since the head is supported, one does not need to wait until the neck becomes fully strong. Moreover, one can still keep the position reclined a bit to ensure proper support to the head.
Further, for those with an active lifestyle, it is a good idea to buy a stroller that can attach a bassinet. There is no need to wait when a child is four- or six-month-old in such a case.
Baby can lie flat in a bassinet. Bassinet can be used in most strollers that recline. It means that one can use such strollers with bassinets, even for a newborn.
Choose your stroller model according to your lifestyle
Strollers come in numerous models. Some focus on lots of functionality, but they might be heavier. On the other hand, there are lighter strollers, but then functionality is compromised a bit.
Umbrella or lightweight models are suitable when a child can hold the head. They are ideal for travelling as they are lightweight. Most such strollers can recline a bit, though only some can recline fully. Some may provide head support, and others not. These strollers are generally for a child older than four to six months of age.
Then there are fully functional and reclining and yet compact strollers. These strollers can be used from birth. However, they are generally much bulkier and heavier. Thus, they might not be as good for those with an active lifestyle.
There are also travel systems sold these days. These are convertible strollers. They can be converted to a car seat and attached. At the same time, they convert to a fully reclining stroller. Such a model may be a perfect choice for those travelling by car frequently.
There are even jogger strollers with three-wheel designs. As the name suggests, they are made for rough terrain with suspension. Of course, they would also have wrist straps, hand brakes, and much more.
Follow some rules to keep your baby safe in the stroller
Strollers provide much-needed mobility to parents. Using strollers mean that parents can spend more time outside. It is good in many ways. It may even promote a child’s growth. However, one should also learn to take certain precautions.
It is worth remembering that stroller is not a shopping cart. Thus, use it carefully. Do not hang shopping bags on the handles of strollers. Some strollers have shopping baskets for such a purpose.
When folding and unfolding, make sure that the baby’s fingers are near the specific parts of the stroller. Remember that children grow pretty fast. Thus, as they become more active, greater is the need to keep an eye on them.
Additionally, it is good to buy strollers with some safety features like seat belts, brakes, wheels that can be locked, and so on.
Finally, check the stability of the stroller. Some strollers might look quite good and functional, but they may have specific manufacturing defects.
To conclude, although one can use strollers from day one, it is good to start using strollers more frequently once the child is older than three months of age.
However, it is vital to remember that each child is unique. If there are any doubts, it is a good idea to consult an experienced pediatrician.