Bringing your newborn home is a joyous occasion, and taking them outdoors for fresh air and walks provides a welcome break from indoor confinement. It's an ideal opportunity for bonding with your baby. However, as they grow older, you may be eager to transition them to an upright sitting position, allowing them to explore the world alongside you in their stroller.
This guide is designed to help you determine when your baby is ready for safe upright sitting in their stroller, ensuring proper head and neck control. It also provides insights into choosing the right stroller for your baby's age, considerations when making a purchase, and other safety tips to keep in mind.
If you've ever held a baby, you understand the importance of supporting their head and neck. Newborns lack the strength to lift their heads independently, as their neck muscles are not yet sufficiently developed. Without proper support, their heads may flop due to the lack of neck muscle strength.
Typically, new babies can tilt their heads from side to side but can’t do much else until their muscles grow stronger. Due to this, newborns should only be placed in infant baby strollers where their neck is fully supported, such as a stroller with bassinet, a fully reclining seat with harness, or an infant car seat.
While babies can use a stroller from the day they are born when paired with an infant car seat or a model designed for infants (such as a bassinet stroller), the ability to sit up in a stroller conventionally depends on their head and neck control. Crucially, your baby must be capable of supporting their head independently before being directly placed in a stroller. This milestone typically begins around 6 months of age, though individual variations may occur. In addition to head and neck control, it's essential that your baby can sit without assistance to prevent any forward falls.
As you'll be pushing your baby from behind, it's crucial to ensure that they won't tip their head too far forward, potentially compromising their airway. To prevent this, make certain that the seat harness is correctly adjusted and that the baby is securely fastened in their seat. Additionally, adjust the seat recline to a comfortable position for added safety and comfort.
Versatile options like our Shimaotong Strollers can easily transform into lightweight frame strollers by removing the toddler seats and using an infant car seat. This allows your baby to ride comfortably in either a forward-facing or parent-facing position, depending on their preference. As your baby grows, transitioning them to the stroller seat becomes seamless when they are ready.
It's important to note that allowing any infant to sleep in their stroller is not recommended, as it could pose a suffocation risk if they twist into a certain position. Additionally, strollers come with weight or age limits, so be sure to thoroughly review the product's usage guidelines for the specific stroller you choose. Before progressing to sitting in a stroller, consult with your baby's pediatrician to address any concerns you may have.
Before eagerly purchasing a stroller, ensure it's the right fit for both you and your baby by considering the following factors. This will provide a solid starting point in selecting the perfect stroller for your little one.
Every baby stroller comes with weight limits, and some provide recommendations concerning when babies can safely support their own head and neck—typically around 6 months of age. Consider these limitations to determine the appropriateness for your child. If your baby is under 6 months or lacks sufficient head and neck strength, opt for a stroller that accommodates an infant car seat, bassinet, or a fully reclining seat with a harness. Travel systems, which include an infant car seat, base, and stroller, offer seamless transitions from the car to the stroller with a simple click.
Since you'll be taking your baby on numerous adventures. A stroller with substantial weight may pose challenges when folding and navigating tight spaces like restaurants or stores. Opt for a lightweight stroller if you anticipate navigating stairs or prefer a more agile option for daily outings. Alternatively, a frame stroller, compatible with an infant car seat, offers a lightweight solution for quickly getting your child in and out of the car without the bulk of a fully-loaded stroller.
For parents with both a newborn and an older child, a double stroller proves convenient. Look for a one-hand smart fold design, available in many of our strollers like our Multi-Function 3 In 1 Baby Stroller, to accommodate your full hands and simplify the folding process.
While all strollers must meet federal brake test standards, there are various brake options to explore. Foot pedal brakes can be convenient when your hands are full, while hand-operated parking brakes are user-friendly, especially with open-toe shoes. Test both options to determine which one suits your preferences.
Different strollers come with wheels designed for specific purposes. Everyday strollers often feature treaded tires for a smooth ride and stability. If you're venturing off the beaten path, jogging strollers typically have larger rubber wheels to adapt to varied terrain. In general, opt for a stroller with front wheels that can be locked straight, providing convenience for trips to the doctor or the grocery store.
When choosing a stroller for your baby, take your overall lifestyle into account. If you lead an active life, regularly use public transportation, are always on the move, and anticipate frequent travels with your stroller, tailor your choice to align with your needs. Ensure the stroller you select can effortlessly fold up, fit in the back of your trunk, or adeptly handle diverse terrains you may encounter. Your stroller should complement and enhance your lifestyle, not the other way around.
Now that you know a little bit more about when your baby can safely sit in a stroller, we hope you feel more knowledgeable about the type of stroller you and your child will be most comfortable in and when it’s the appropriate time for them to move to an upright sitting position. Remember, your newborn needs to develop muscle and neck control and meet the proper occupant requirements of any stroller they use. Get started shopping for strollers or check out our shopping guide to pick the best stroller.
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