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Our newborn child is 2 weeks old and we have taken him out in the stroller a couple of times already. Unsurprisingly, he seems a lot more comfortable and less fidgety when carried in a skin to skin baby sling. This is also a more pleasant (if more tiring) way for us as parents to carry him around, and so we are considering buying a baby carrier that enables longer times/distances than the sling, with good comfort for both parent and child.

There is of course a long list of pros and cons for each of the two alternatives, which are described at length elsewhere. We would ideally like to have and use both the stroller and a baby carrier in their respective situations for which they are ideal, however my worry is the following.

How likely is it that, once our child becomes used to being carried around as a main means of transportation, he will be less and less accepting of being walked around in a stroller? Given everything we know about the need for physical proximity for children younger than one year, this seems exceedingly plausible.

Else, what might be a good pattern of mixing stroller and baby carrier usage, that increases the chance the baby feels comfortable in either one?

I'm not sure if the question is well posed, since sharing of personal experiences (of which I found surprisingly few while googling for this specific topic) will be more helpful than an authoritative answer. Still, it will be very helpful to hear some of these experiences. Thanks!

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I would say that in practice mixing carrying and stroller usage is difficult. If both are on offer most infants will develop a preference and that is usually being carried. In the streets I often see the combination of a mum pushing an empty stroller and carrying her baby in some carrier at the same time. To me this looks like a failed attempt to use a stroller (there may be other valid reasons for this combination as well).

Early on, babies mostly want physical contact to their mum or hopefully to either parent and they should get it. Starting at around 12 months, observing the environment gets a lot more exciting and a stroller works much better for that. Babies can definitely get used to a stroller and their is no harm in it but that is much easier if being carried (while outside for longer distances/ times) is the exception. This worked out great for both of my kids.

If you want to aim for some kind of 50/50 mix be aware there is a good chance it will end up being carrying plus pushing an empty stroller most of the time.

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  • Excellent answer, thank you!
    – z8080
    Jun 22 at 13:56
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First, congratulations on your new arrival! Being a new parent presents you with a huge number of challenges and questions like this. You'll probably find that the answer to most "well I could do this or I could do that" questions is, "It doesn't matter".

Babies love being carried. They also sleep a lot. If your son prefers not to be in the stroller as much, then use it when he's asleep. If he really doesn't want to be in the stroller, he'll let you know (though he is probably a bit young at this point to have that kind of preference). If he wants to be closer to you, put him in the sling. If he's happy in the stroller and you're happy pushing, then leave him there.

For my two kids, although we had a stroller we ended up not using it much. There were certainly times when it was useful, but it was a larger model and annoying to carry around in the car. Our preference was a front/back carrier (we used the "Tula" brand) which was easy to carry around and very versatile. I would definitely recommend a carrier where the child faces the parent (for front wearing), rather than facing forward. It's way easier for them to snuggle in facing you.

I loved carrying my girls around and did it whenever the opportunity presented itself. My youngest is now getting a bit too big (she's 5) and yet we last used the Tula a couple of months ago. I think it's finally time to retire it though. The stroller was gone years ago.

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  • >although we had a stroller we ended up not using it much. My experience too. We used it... twice? We had a soft front carrier for infants, and a framed back carrier for hikes/walks for toddlers. It also means that there is no stroller -> walking transition, since we never used the stroller my daughter just got accustomed to walking herself everywhere.
    – stan
    Jun 21 at 6:36
  • Thanks so much for this helpful answer! :-)
    – z8080
    Jun 22 at 13:54

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