*This is a guest post
I love pushing my children in their pram. I find that when I first chose their pram, I was looking at all the right choices for me when I should have been choosing a pram for my children.
It was a stressful time changing my thinking from: “I need cup holders for my water bottle, and a basket underneath for storing things I buy.” The thought process of: “My kids will need a place to put their bottles and cups and snacks, and the basket can hold their toys and diaper bags. Do the wheels’ lock for their safety?” had to take over.
When I was trying to decide on when the right time was to stop using a pram, it was not an easy answer. I was finding all the questions about it in blogs and on forums, but no one was telling me when it was the right time.
After thinking it over, I came to the realization that there was no clear answer.
That is what I want to share with you today. I want to share helpful tips on when to know if your child is ready to stop using a pram.
When Is It the Right Time?
I cannot honestly tell you at what age your child should stop using a pram, or when they will want to. What I can help you with is at what time your child may be telling you that they are ready and what signs to look for in your child.
I will share with you the technical details of most prams, but for the majority, I will be sharing about your child’s development, how they handle certain walking distances, and how to slowly begin weaning your child from the use of a pram.
Age, Height, and Weight Restrictions
Most prams do not suggest an age limit for their use. They will suggest what ages are appropriate for their prams. You can find prams with seats the fully recline, which are safe for newborns to three months. You can find prams that will carry children from 18 to 24 months. After that age limit, the number of prams that suggest an age of two years or older may be harder to find.
Height can become a problem with prams and your growing child. Some kids grow differently than the growth charts state. Each child is different, but some prams do not work well with this, and your taller children may find that they are growing out of their pram.
Weight is not a fair judgment on when your child should stop using a pram, but due to regulations for safety, they create maximum and minimum weight limits on prams. Most prams have a 5-pound minimum weight limit. Prams vary in the weight they can carry; small prams can usually carry up to 30 pounds, while double prams and larger prams can carry more than 50 lbs.
Your child’s development is also a big part to consider. While your child might be tall and look older than most 2-year old’s, they are not as skilled in walking as a 5-year-old is. Your child should be able to walk properly without falling too much and becoming winded when they are weaning off a pram.
Prams provide children a place to sit while you get exercise or a pram to relax in when they tire of walking beside you or playing. Prams are kid’s safety zone; they feel safe in prams and around them.
You kids should be able to and want to, walk beside you rather than being in a pram. This behaviour is one of the things to look for when you want to get rid of a pram. Some children are not comfortable with this idea until they are between the ages of four and five.
Your Child’s Needs and Wants
Your child may want to walk beside you. They may be slow and easily distracted by beautiful things, but they might also enjoy walking next to you because they feel independent and proud doing what you are doing.
Take note of this behaviour. If your child would rather walk beside you than ride in a pram, they are telling you they are ready. However, at this point, if your child becomes tired or winded and they need to sit in the pram, then they are not ready.
You can choose to take shorter walks with your child to encourage their independence and to stop using the pram, or you can keep the pram handy until they can complete the entire walk without having to rest or sit in the pram.
Children in prams may also fuss when they do not want to use them anymore. Since children have a hard time articulating their thoughts into words, they become irritable and frustrated. This behaviour is typical, and your child is not having a fit, they are trying to communicate the best way they know how, by showing it.
Moving on From the Pram
Weaning off the pram can be scary for you as a parent, but it is okay. You are not alone in this journey. Every parent is happy to watch their child become independent and self-reliant, but now they are walking. They may be walking with you, but they are picking things up, touching things they find, eating things, and playing outside of their pram.
Moving on from the pram also means loosening the reigns a little. Allowing your child to explore their surroundings can enable them to build their social skills, their cognitive development speeds up, and they can touch and sense new items in their life.
When It is Right
You will know, as a parent, when it is the right time for your child to stop using a pram. Their behaviours and attitudes towards walking and exploring change. Your child may refuse the pram the first part of the outing but will end up in the pram sometime throughout the trip. It takes patience to build up their confidence and the trust in a new environment.
How are some of the ways your child wanted to be without the pram? How old were they? I remember when my little one wanted to walk everywhere, but her little feet could not keep up, so we always had to bring the pram. Does your little one insist on walking even though they cannot make the entire trek? I want to hear from you about your experiences and how you tried to help your child stop using a pram!
I’m Alanta who the mother of two wonderful children. I have been writing informational blog posts for parents for a few years now. I hope I can help you with your questions and concerns with parenting. You can visit her blog at TopTenPrams,