When Can Babies Sit in The Stroller Without a Car Seat?
The stroller system with a car seat is one of the most popular travel system gears among parents. In fact, it is one of the decisions some parents make beforehand when they are expectant. As with any baby gear, you know that your baby’s safety would have to be prioritized.
Besides the comfort, snug fit, your budget, weight, and stroller styling, you need a stroller that your baby will grow into. At first, the baby will have to use a car seat when on the stroller. After a while, you’ll have to ditch the seat.
It is this transition that most parents are unsure of. But when can babies sit in the stroller without a car seat? In this post, I will try to answer this question so that you can always ditch the car seat without compromising on the baby’s safety.
How important is the Stroller-Car Seat Combination?
There are certain stroller options that are only meant for use by a certain age. On the other hand, there are others which can be adapted onto your baby as she grows. Babies below six months are unable to lift their heads. Therefore, they need to be in a fully reclined position when in a stroller.
It is for this purpose that parents look for an option that can be used alongside the infant car seat. This travel system provides parents and caregivers with a convenient way of transitioning the sleeping baby from the car to their stroller.
In this system, you can conveniently carry your baby from the car to the stroller, to the store, and then back to the car without waking her up in the process. You also don’t have to lift her up from the seat in the first place.
Before the baby reaches the age of sitting on the stroller seat itself, an infant seat comes in handy. However, after a while, your child will outgrow the seat then you can swap it for the regular stroller seat. An infant seat is, therefore, an essential baby gear, provided you do not overuse it.
When to Swap the Infant Car Seat for a Stroller Seat
After your child has outgrown the infant seat, it would be time to make the step up and use the stroller instead. The worry for most parents is the chances of the baby slipping out of the stroller when you use it too soon. You, therefore, want to ensure that you make the right decision.
The truth is, there is no specific age or time which is appropriate to make the swap. It all depends on how comfortable the baby still is while in the infant seat. At times, it’s even up to your comfort levels with your baby sitting on the stroller seat.
Some parents tend to freak out when they don’t use the infant seat as the baby might look like they may slip out the next minute. However, there seems to be some kind of golden rule when it comes to the infant car seat use. Once the baby can sit upright in the seat with the seat straps level with or slightly below the shoulder level, then you can make ditch the infant seat.
Once the baby starts to sit on her own and is stable, say around 5 to 8 months then she is ready. At times, you might even feel that she has completely outgrown the infant seat. She would look too large to comfortably sit in it in the first place.
At this point, the writing would be already on the wall. In addition, you need to ensure the baby snug fits inside the stroller and the harnesses strap over her smoothly. In this way, unnecessary movements while you walk her are avoided.
Precautions to Take When Switching from an Infant Seat
When using an infant seat, you need to control its use or make the transition to a stroller as soon as possible. There are certain risks associated with excessive use of these seats. I know you always let your baby finish her naps on the seat when traveling.
This should be discouraged as it exposes her to certain risks. Sitting in the seat for extended periods leads to the development of flat spots at the back of the baby’s head. It makes the baby more susceptible to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). On occasions, it also affects her breathing.
While an infant seat provides you great convenience whether in the car or when strapped onto a stroller, it limits their ability to implore and explore their surroundings. You should also swap it when the baby no longer needs it. Therefore, you might want to have these precautions in place while changing from using one in order to prevent accidents.
Keep an Eye on Things
Always stay close to the baby at all times. Do not leave him/her unattended to whenever you are using the stroller.
When taking the baby for a stroller ride (or at any time she is inside the stroller), have her buckled up. Before getting used to the new surroundings, she might slip if you do not buckle all the harnesses and seat belts in place.
Engage the Brakes During Stops
All strollers must have functioning brakes on them at any given time. These must be engaged so that she doesn’t start rolling down the street by accident.
Securely Fasten Toys
There are those of you who hang toys on the stroller bumper to entertain the baby during rides. If you do, then securely fasten these on to the bumper. Any loose toys present a choking/strangling risk to the baby.
Remove Objects Hanging from the Stroller
Other items apart from baby toys should be stored elsewhere, not the handlebar. Objects such as a bag on the handlebar might topple over the stroller if you don’t watch out.
Watch out for Hinges when Folding
I have experienced this at some point. The baby’s cute little hands got caught in between the stroller hinges as I tried to fold it. Fortunately, I realized and stopped before she could get hurt. Before the baby goes into the stroller, have it fully locked open to prevent any mishap of the hinges.
Do not Let the Stroller Sit in the Sun for too Long
A stroller has plastic and metallic parts that get hot when exposed to heat. These pieces can get hot enough to cause burns to the baby. Therefore, do not let the stroller stay in the sun more than it is necessary.
So, when can babies sit in the stroller without a car seat? When it comes to changing from an infant to a stroller seat, there is no specific age in which to do it. As soon as you notice the baby outgrow her infant seat, then it’s the right time to make a change. Otherwise, as long as she can sit stably upright on her own and can snugly fit in the stroller seat, then you are good to go.