When Can Baby Sit In A Stroller? Safety Measures And Tips

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Taking your baby out for the first time is a special experience. But you need to ensure that your baby is safe and sound and away from possible hotspots of germs or infections. This is where strollers come into action.

A baby stroller is an essential travel system for most would-be or new parents and a must-have item on their baby registry. But the looming question is, when can the baby sit in a stroller? This post will help you answer that question.

Read on to know when a baby can sit in a stroller, how to use it, and the safety tips to consider before buying one.

When Can A Baby Sit In A Stroller?

Often, babies can start moving around in a stroller at around four months or when they have sufficient head control or can sit upright for extended periods. However, the period varies among babies.

If you intend to take your newborn in a stroller before they can lift their head, ensure that the stroller seat can recline completely to support their head and neck muscles. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends against putting your baby to sleep in a stroller if they are younger than four months to reduce the risk of suffocation (1).

Consult your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns regarding using a stroller for your baby.

When Can You Transition The Baby To A Regular Stroller Seat?

Once your baby can lift their head without help and keep it upright for a certain period, you can turn the reclined seat of the stroller to a seating position. It is important to help your baby develop their gross motor skills to reach these milestones.

What Should You Consider When Buying A Stroller?

Some strollers can recline completely and come with attachments such as an infant-only car seat or a bassinet. A few other things to check when buying a stroller are as follows (2) (3):

  • A solid frame and an easy steering mechanism
  • It has a five-point harness, multiple recline positions, and a wide base.
  • Carry and lift the stroller when opened and folded to ensure it is sturdy but portable.
  • Check the brakes and the locking system of each wheel and whether the handles are comfortable for you to operate.
  • A large enough storage basket and trunk space
  • Attachments such as an infant car seat or a reversible seat to attach with the stroller when required.
  • The maneuverability of the stroller, both with and without extra weight
  • Ensure that it complies with the US government’s safety standards.
  • The warranty and return policy of the product

Check the product description, manufacturer’s instructions, and product details to ensure the stroller suits your baby’s height, weight, and age.

What Are The Safety Measures To Consider While Using A Stroller?

Various types of strollers are available in the market, including jogging strollers, umbrella strollers, and double strollers. However, no matter which stroller you choose, you need to take certain precautions to ensure their safety. Some of these precautions are as follows (4) (5) :

  • Do not leave your baby alone and unsupervised in a stroller.
  • Do not overload the storage space of the stroller.
  • Always ensure you strap in the five-point safety harness.
  • Ensure that the folding mechanisms are locked securely and the stroller is sturdy when moved.
  • Do not hang baskets or bags on the stroller’s handles, as it may cause it to tip over.
  • Do not place extra pillows or blankets in the carriage space to reduce the risk of suffocation.
  • Ensure that the wheel brakes are on whenever you stop the stroller.
  • Always place the tether strap around your waist.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are strollers bad for babies?

No, controlled use of strollers is safe for babies. The key is to balance their time in the stroller and otherwise. Spending too much time in a stroller may reduce their time for other physical activities, interaction with caregivers, etc.

2. What is the purpose of strollers?

Strollers are useful for the following purposes (6):

  • Easy transportation
  • Storage of goods
  • Safely carrying the baby when in parking lots or traffic
  • Handling the baby while the caregiver walks or jogs

A stroller can come in handy if you wish to take your baby out for a stroll. However, it is important to choose a stroller that meets all recommended safety guidelines. So, before buying a stroller, you must check all features and user reviews on different e-commerce platforms to make sure you are investing in a good stroller. Also, ensure using a stroller appropriate for your child’s age to avoid any mishaps. Moreover, maintain your stroller regularly and discontinue using it if any major part is malfunctioning or damaged.

Key Pointers

  • Babies can move around on strollers by the age of four months if they develop reasonable head control or can sit upright for a longer time.
  • To ensure the safety and comfort of your infant, you should purchase a stroller with sufficient support, reclining choices, and sterling control.
  • Baby safety in strollers can be ensured by never leaving a baby unattended, avoiding excessive storage space, hanging bags or covers, and frequently inspecting stroller wheel breaks.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Safety tips help protect children from stroller injuries.
    https://publications.aap.org/aapnews/news/13463?autologincheck=redirected
  2. How to Buy a Safe Stroller.
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/How-to-Buy-a-Safe-Stroller.aspx
  3. Stroller Buying Guide.
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/strollers/buying-guide/index.htm
  4. Prams and strollers: safety guide.
    https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/safety/equipment-furniture/pram-stroller-safety
  5. Carriages and strollers business guidance and small entity compliance guide.
    https://www.cpsc.gov/Business–Manufacturing/Business-Education/Business-Guidance/Carriages-and-Strollers
  6. Catherine S. Birken et al.; (2015); Parents’ perception of stroller use in young children: a qualitative study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4546049/
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Sanjana Bhattacharjee

Sanjana did her post graduation in Applied Microbiology from Vellore Institute of Technology, India. Her interest in science and health, combined with her passion to write made her convert from a scientist to a writer. She believes her role at MomJunction combines the best of both worlds as she writes health-based content based on scientific evidence. Sanjana is trained in classical... more

Dr. Jessica Madden

(MD, FAAP, IBCLC)
Jessica Madden is a pediatrician, neonatologist, lactation consultant, and mother of four, who has been taking care of newborns since 2001. She works as a neonatologist in the NICU at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and founded Primrose Newborn Care, a newborn medicine and “4th trimester” home-visiting and telemedicine practice, in 2018.  Dr. Madden is a Fellow... more