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How far/for how long does your 3 year-old walk on an average day?

(15 Posts)
pozzled Sun 21-Aug-11 16:19:41

My DD1 has just turned 3 and I still use her pushchair a fair bit. I get the impression from other threads that this is generally considered a bad thing. And I want to get her out of the pushchair habit as I will soon need it for DD2 (2 months, at the moment I have her in a sling).

But I'm daunted by the thought of getting DD1 to walk everywhere, because of the time it will take and the cries of 'I'm tired!'. To get to my local shops it's about a mile and a half each way. The swimming pool is in the same place, so to go swimming she would need to do a 3 mile walk as well as the swim. To go out somewhere a bit more interesting would be a mile walk to the station, and obviously the same on the way back, having been out perhaps all day.

So, my question is whether your 3 year-old could manage those kind of distances on a regular basis? And if so, what tips you have for encouraging them to walk reasonably quickly, and dealing with tiredness.

notcitrus Sun 21-Aug-11 16:41:31

No advice here, just hoping for tips! Ds is 3 next month and while he can walk a long way, getting him to do it without a sit-down protest or a lie-down one is tough, even just the quarter-mile to the playground or half-mile to the station or bit longer to nursery. He still naps, usually in the pushchair, though, so I'm going to have it for a while.
I've got one of those Little Life rucksacks with a leash and handle included which a lot of parents here have. It sort of works in the sense that ds hates it so I can say 'hold my hand and walk nicely or you have to have the backpack on'! But have had quite a few trips to the pool (couple hundred yards to the bus stop at each end) where I've had to drag him along to ensure he doesn't lie down in the middle of crossing a road.

He's just got a mini micro scooter - my hope is soon he'll be good with it so can go on it as far as nursery and I won't need the pushchair. But so far it's taken half an hour to go a few hundred yards... It works for some of his friends at nursery though so might help you? Now we've cracked potty training (touch wood), I might try bribery to get him to walk places.

Also the people who get rid of pushchairs early tend to be the ones who drive everywhere so the kid never has to walk much anyway. Or who can carry the child if need be - I physically can't so if ds might refuse to walk, then I need to take the pushchair with me.

ragged Sun 21-Aug-11 16:53:35

I bring the pushchair & encourage as much walking as we both can stand. DS is 3.5yo & doesn't have the road sense to be out of pushchair a lot on his own (and using reins turns into a complete faff). Relying a scooter means that I end up carrying it and child ends up with bruises & whinging loads (although apparently all the problems we've ever had with scooters magically disappear if it's a very expensive micro-scooter, including the discomforts of travelling very slowly in awful weather confused).

pozzled Sun 21-Aug-11 17:04:01

Thanks, at least she's not the only 3 year-old still in a pushchair. I think you're right notcitrus that car drivers tend to give up the pushchair earlier.

DD is quite sensible on the road and I've never yet had a sit-down protest, that will be interesting to look forward to! We got her a scooter for her birthday but she's not that confident yet, I've tried taking it a couple of times and I ended up carrying it for a lot of the way- but I'm hoping that once she's had more practise this will help.

hophophippidtyhop Sun 21-Aug-11 18:50:37

Are you happy to bribe? Maybe you could walk to the shops, with the promise of something if she walks all the way there, and use the pushchair on the way back. Once she's good at this, you could do the same, but witholding the treat til she gets back home?

VaginaPuddleduck Sun 21-Aug-11 18:53:36

DD1 just turned three and hasn't used a pushchair since January.

BUT we live in a town where we pretty much have to drive everywhere. We walk the dog together for about half and hour a day but she normally stands on the buggy board and I push her.

I would keel over with shock if she walked a mile and a half without whining, begging to be carried and generally being a pain in the butt.

twentypoundsover Sun 21-Aug-11 19:07:24

I evicted both the DSs from the pushchair shortly before they turned 2. Because I'm evil. I had to put up with a lot of slow walking, whining, and episodes of carrying but I'm fairly tolerant of that, and by three both were up to walking a couple of miles. By three and a half they could do it without whining or bribery. DS2 has just turned 4 and can happily go for a 6-mile hike without any problems. DS1, on the other hand, lacks stamina and would start asking "are we nearly there yet?", "is it lunch time?" and "when will it stop being boring" after about 10 minutes of said hike.

BornToFolk Sun 21-Aug-11 19:08:19

DS is 3.10 and hasn't used a buggy since he turned 3. I don't drive so if we go anywhere, we walk or take the bus.

I have a no-carrying rule. It's easier to say no all the time than carry him sometimes. I've found he whinges less to be carried now that he knows there's no chance. On days out with DP, he'll sometimes get a shoulder carry from him.

When DS is tired, I talk a lot! If he's not talkative, I just whitter on about anything to try and distract him from the fact he's walking. We do a bit of imaginative stuff, for example if he says he's tired, I'll say "yeah, what we need is a big motorbike to drive home" and then we can spend a few mins talking about motorbikes.

We also play games, either things like counting how many yellow cars you can see, or pretending to be trains and pulling each other up the hill.

If all else fails, bribery works a treat. Usually the promise of a sticker, or some TV when we get in.

The scooter does sometimes work but often I'll end up carrying it and then it's just a pain to manage the scooter and holding DS's hand and carrying anything else.

DS has good road sense and is not a runner. He's more than happy to hold my hand, which can be annoying sometimes (i.e. if I'm carrying the scooter in one hand, shopping in the other and DS is still trying to hold on!) but it's generally a good thing.

iskra Sun 21-Aug-11 19:37:36

Oh, us too. DD is 3.2 & reading other threads recently I have felt disapproved of! We don't have a car & we do a lot of outings, & she is always in the buggy. I'm inclined to leave her to grow out of it herself although I have been encouraging her recently.

pozzled Sun 21-Aug-11 19:49:32

Thanks all, your replies make me a lot less worried that we're still using it. Some good tips, too. I think I will try the bribery technique for getting to the shops, and try to build up stamina from there. I also like the idea of using distraction.

Iskra I wouldn't be pushing it either if it weren't for DD2, but she's already getting heavy for the sling. DD1 will simply have to be evicted from the buggy soon!

iskra Sun 21-Aug-11 20:37:52

Well pozzled, I might be in the same situation in a few months! Vaguely hoping that when DC2 makes an appearance in the next month it encourages DD to walk more...

hophophippidtyhop Sun 21-Aug-11 20:52:02

Another good distraction if you walk past houses is to look for certain colour doors, look at the house numbers, who can spy a red car, find a cat,etc. Singing old macdonald with every animal/noise. I also agree about being firm with not carrying - I said no once dd1 was too heavy for me, Dp has never said no, and despite being a good walker with me as soon as we all go somewhere, she whinges for a carry from him!

nearlytherenow Sun 21-Aug-11 21:18:55

DS1 (3.0) will walk quite a long way (up to about 2/3 miles in one go without too much protest -we do use distraction a bit, as others have suggested). He point blank refused to go in a buggy after the age of about 2.3. I never carry him, as I usually have DS2 in a sling or have a buggy to push. However he absolutely loves his balance bike, and will go a really long way on this - he will happily go the 3 miles to the next village and back, for example. The main problem when he's on his bike is him going too fast for me to keep up! I have had to train him to stop and wait periodically (he also has quite good road sense - knows to stop at junctions etc - but I had to bang on about that a lot in the early days). I'd definitely recommend trying out a balance bike if you can get your hands on one.

An0therName Sun 21-Aug-11 21:28:29

another one whose DS wouldn't walk that far at that age but would go miles on his balance bike - or buggy boards work well for that age
but he was in his buggy on and off untill he was 4

Firawla Sun 21-Aug-11 21:34:49

my 3 yr old could walk 1.5 mile and does it sometimes but personally i think thats quite far for them to be walking daily, as it will take ages? we go that distance each day but i tend to always get the bus. until i had ds3 i used to let ds1 (3 yr) hop into the back of the buggy whenever he wanted really as it makes life easier, but now as theres no space for him i have to make him walk and luckily he is getting on with it okay so far, as i was quite worried it would be a real pain but as he can see there is no space there for him he doesnt ask, so hopefully your dd will be the same

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