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Our daughter is currently 1, and we're contemplating a second child. We're not super happy with our current stroller and are thinking of getting a new one.

We're debating the utility/need of a tandem stroller. The idea is to have our second child when the first is 2 1/2 - 3, so the question comes to, "At what age can I expect my daughter to not need a stroller?"

I am of the opinion that my daughter, while able to walk, won't walk quickly, and will get tired, thus we'll need a stroller to accommodate her, but my wife isn't so sure.

Thanks

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5 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Not need a stroller: at around 2½ years of age.
As soon as your daughter can walk adequate distances, the stroller is no longer technically needed. But of course the acceptable distance grows shorter when she's tired or in a bad mood. Even for you it can be very convenient for bringing along small amounts of necessary luggage.

Not desire a stroller: at around 4 years of age?
Depending on how lazy she will become (or be allowed to become), and depending on other modes of carriage (tomjedrz's wagon suggestion), kids would of course love to be chauffeured around for as long as possible, until their curiosity and impatience makes them want to explore on their own.

As an alternative, consider carrying the new baby in a carrier while keeping the daughter in the stroller. Babies can be comfortably carried for at least a year, especially if you use suitable equipment.
I'm personally against the Baby Björn type of carriers because of inadequate leg support -- I'd recommend a sitting position like in the Manduca -- but these details are veering away from your question.

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I second carrying babies in slings or carriers. We love our Ergo. –  silves89 Nov 25 '11 at 9:29
    
The question is definitely might be different for each child personally. I was actually wondering, is there a US LAW which requires you to have a stroller, specially when you to mall!? –  jtanmay Aug 24 '13 at 22:07
    
I cannot imagine that any country has a law that demands that you have a stroller. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 25 '13 at 6:29
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As @tomjedrz said, they do go from being baby carriers to stuff carriers and are always useful in that regard.

That being said, all babies are very different. I have a one year old who has never been one for riding in a stroller much. He wants to be up where he can see things, and now that he's walking, wants to walk for himself. I still use mine occasionally, but for something like a trip to the mall, I'd just end up trying to hold his hand and push the stroller.

On the other hand, my Mom used her double stroller for my nieces pretty consistently until the older one was about 5. She'd get out and walk, but then she'd have a place to sit and rest when she got tired and the rest of us were still on the move.

I think even with as infrequently as we use the stroller, it is convenient enough when we do use it that I will get a double stroller when baby #2 is born. (Baby #1 will be 18 months then.)

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My little boy is 2 years old plus a few months, and since a while (3 months?) we don't use the trolley anymore. I could be a matter of life habits: we use our bikes when we go in the vicinity, and when we go further, by car, it is usually to places like lakes or mountains where trolleys are useless anyway, and then we bring a "baby-backpack". I also can carry him on my shoulder if needed. So I would say: buying a special "two-kids" trolley is probably a bad idea, as it is not necessary and probably not very convenient to use.

There is a comment I don't agree with: "Nothing ruins an afternoon out like an unhappy child". That is not my way to see this. I try to not let my kid, however unhappy, ruin any afternoons of mine, and anyway having or not a trolley should not be a reason for him or her to be unhappy.

This unhappiness thing is an interesting topic. In fact, I actually train my kid to be unhappy, by sometime randomly taking the thing he holds from his hands. He cries a bit, and then I do something else with him, playing with the sand on the streets, or finding another object for him to hold. I expect him to be less dramatically affected next time he is "unhappy".

I think being able to accept that things are not always going the way one like is of the highest importance and should be taught early, to everyone. (I can tell that this lesson has not been learned well, even by some very well-kwon adults!)

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I'm sure you mean you train your baby to cope with occasional unhappiness, but even so I reject the idea that artificially induced sadness is needed to bolster what life will bring them as a matter of course. –  Ed Guiness Dec 1 '11 at 9:44
    
Yes, "train your baby to cope with occasional unhappiness". And no, it is not some "artificially induced sadness", it is more that if something of no importance is about to happen and I know he will unduly get angry, I will sometime just let that happen, and let him be unhappy, for a short period of time. –  Guillaume Dec 16 '11 at 9:50
    
"Letting that happen" is a far cry from "taking the thing he holds". Which do you mean? –  Ed Guiness Dec 16 '11 at 20:25
    
Well, for example if he holds the toy of his friend and don't want to give it back, I may take it. –  Guillaume Dec 18 '11 at 9:01
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Up to about 4 - same as @Torben.

We ended up going through about 8 buggies/strollers with our 3 kids. There was one which had a full reclining position and sunshade which worked very well on holidays in the mediterranean when they were up to 4 years old - in the heat they got tired very quickly so having somewhere they could sleep was essential.

We also kept one just for travelling - very light, with a shoulder strap, so we could carry it through airports, just to make life easier.

To be fair though, we also had a Baby Bjorn (up to about 8 months), a sling (0 - 6 months) and 2 rucksack type carriers (up to 2 years) - and used them all.

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If you have the funds, get a stroller that can accommodate both kids. In theory, you do not "need" a stroller for a child who walks well enough to keep up with you. In practice, it doesn't work that way, because toddlers and preschoolers get tired, and bored, and consequently difficult. Nothing ruins an afternoon out like an unhappy child.

The common experience in my extended family, which has a dozen children now between 15 and 22, is that the strollers remained useful until the kids outgrew them. They gradually were used less and less as the children got more mobility and endurance, and migrated from person carriers to stuff carriers as the kids got older.

Basically, the stroller allows for outings to be extended and be more fun for all, because the tired kids can rest or sleep or tune out, and more things to keep kids amused can be brought along.

A brother-in-law got a large wagon that filled a similar purpose for the youngest kids until 7 or 8, and is still used for keeping stuff at outdoor events. We go borrow it for our annual pilgrimage to the LA County Fair!

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+1 for the idea of replacing the stroller with a multipurpose wagon. I'm considering the same. The only downside is that it doesn't collapse for easy transport in the car. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Nov 13 '11 at 17:47
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