Rather than shelling out hundreds of dollars on a new stroller (we already had two), I carried my son in his front carrier or on my hip. During these 3 weeks, I missed my stroller and I considered buying or borrowing one (Babies R Us sells some for $20, what a bargain!). Strollers fix a boatload of problems: need to charge your phone on the go? There's a stroller for that. Walking at night? There's a stroller with lights. Sun in your baby's eyes? There's a stroller that swivels 360 degrees.
In the end, I decided not to buy a new stroller because I realized that my son stilled loved to be carried everywhere we went (and I still loved carrying him). Carrying him around was like bumping him up from economy to first class. Not only was my son taller when held in my arms (so he could see more of the world around him), but we also got to cuddle for the majority of the day (and I got to reminisce about the newborn skin-to-skin contact days).
I don't need to tell you that carrying your baby has countless benefits. The Bay Area is exceptional for the number of parents who wear their little ones. However, I'm always on the lookout on how to get the best of both worlds - and that happened last week.
Last week at the San Francisco Zoo, my friends and I, each with toddler and stroller in tow, carried our children for a significant portion of the trip. All three toddlers got oodles of joy from pushing their strollers around (of course with the help of mommy). One flew like superman in his mommy's arms and pushed the handle bar with delight. The other two decided that pushing the stroller at the base would be most efficient. The toddlers found it incredibly satisfying to push their own strollers around. Of course it took us much longer to arrive at our final destination, but what we experienced in the mean time was pure joy.
This is a joy that they wouldn't have experienced if they were always strapped in a stroller or front carrier. So before you strap your child in, take a moment to decide whether you have a few minutes to spare and can walk at a toddler's pace while he takes the reins and "helps" you push his stroller to your destination.