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Buggy shaming left us isolated

(361 Posts)
Halloweenrainbow Sat 14-Nov-20 08:13:27

I'm a single parent to 4.5 year old with no car. We live on a new estate slightly outside of town with no direct bus route to shops, leisure centre etc and it's just too far for my daugter to walk there and back. We have a tricycle but she can't go far on it. There's nowhere to put her feet because she's too big for the toddler foot rest and she gets caught-up/hurt with her feet on the peddles with me pushing. She can ride a bike but only for about 100ft. I've given her a push along trolly to distract and motivate her but last time she gave up half way and I ended up carrying her plus trolly, shopping, and bag all the way home - I could hardly use my arms for two days after and swore never to risk that again! I've read previous posts and news articles on the issue that all seem to have a negative view of parents who still use a buggy for older kids. What's the alternative? When I out and about all I can hear in my head is "what a lazy mother", "no wonder kids are fat these days" to the extent that we don't go out much anymore.

OP’s posts: |
JohnLapsleyParlabane Sat 14-Nov-20 08:16:59

Buggy with buggy board but out the shopping in the seat?
Some people will judge *anything*. Let them crack on.

Sirzy Sat 14-Nov-20 08:17:30

Would she use a scooter for some trips?

But realistically if you need to use a buggy then do. It’s a handy shopping bag holder when she is happy to walk anyway.

I bet those neighbours with a car put their child into the car to do the same journey so why shouldn’t you also ease the trip for your daughter? As she gets older she will be able to walk more and more of the trip

WomenAndVulvas Sat 14-Nov-20 08:19:58

Many parents don't have a car, or live in cities where it's often easier to use public transport which means kids need to walk a lot. All it takes is practice. If she doesn't get the opportunity to walk a lot, she will find even short distances tiring. You need to ditch the buggy completely and start by walking short-ish distances and gradually walk longer and longer distances. It just takes some practice (and a lot of patience on your part because there will be loads of whining).

Moondust001 Sat 14-Nov-20 08:21:15

Has anyone actually said anything, or is this in your head? If anyone has said something, ignore them for the idiots they are. If it's in your head, that's harder to deal with, but you need to understand that what is possible for others may not be possible for everyone. You need to do what is best for you and your child.

Debradoyourecall Sat 14-Nov-20 08:22:01

I’ve seen some trikes which the kids sit on while the parents push with a handle, slightly more grown up than a buggy perhaps?

But I think those judgy parents drive everywhere, they have no idea what it’s like trying to get a small child to walk longer distances.

Passthecake30 Sat 14-Nov-20 08:22:15

A scooter that has an adjustable rod (like the maxi micro) that you can extend, and pull her along without straining your back once she’s unable to scoot anymore.
It’s a hard one. I’ve got 2 kids, one would walk for miles, the other was less willing, made such fuss, and as a result we were the sort that jumped into the car a lot more for shorter trips.

Constance1 Sat 14-Nov-20 08:23:52

A scooter sounds like what you need and you can get a strap to pull it along if it's too far for her to scoot. 4.5 is quite old to be in a buggy if there are no special needs but I understand you need it to get out and about so you'll just have ignore any judgemental remarks from people who are poking their nose into your choices!

Moondust001 Sat 14-Nov-20 08:25:14

WomenAndVulvas

Many parents don't have a car, or live in cities where it's often easier to use public transport which means kids need to walk a lot. All it takes is practice. If she doesn't get the opportunity to walk a lot, she will find even short distances tiring. You need to ditch the buggy completely and start by walking short-ish distances and gradually walk longer and longer distances. It just takes some practice (and a lot of patience on your part because there will be loads of whining).

And in the meantime what the hell is she supposed to do for shopping - starve? I honestly didn't think that the OP was right about people thinking such a daft thing, but I see I am wrong. There is no evidence that that she or the toddler are lazy or not walking - but that does not mean that a small child can walk everywhere. Perhaps next time her toddler decides that she can't walk because the distance is too far, mum should leave her behind? That's learn her.

lockdownbreakdown Sat 14-Nov-20 08:25:16

We live in a rural small town. We ditched the buggy at 2.5 and got my child walking the 30 mins into town and back from that age. He moaned to begin with and wanted to be carried but he soon got used to it and can now walk for hours without bring carried, even up mountains and he is 4. He will now scoot to town and back. It's just about bring firm and ignoring the whining.

TotoroPotoro Sat 14-Nov-20 08:25:27

Scooter is the way forward here. Also how far will they have to walk to school when they start? They wont want to be using a pushchair by then I promise you, but most kids I know will go for miles on a scooter

Cam2020 Sat 14-Nov-20 08:26:16

I do this too with my 3 year old, although we walk one way and she has to get in the buggy the other. We'll gradually extend it. I also take her out for lots of walks/scooter rides at non time pressured times to increase her stamina.

Try not to feel shamed - there are children (and adults) who use cars for a 10 minute trip and no-one bats an eyelid!

happylittlechick Sat 14-Nov-20 08:26:19

How far are we talking? My two year old walks his sister two miles to school and back each day. I would expect a school aged child to be able to walk a fair distance unless they have additional needs. Especially if you are in no rush. Try and encourage her to walk a little further each time.

slipperywhensparticus Sat 14-Nov-20 08:26:21

What I've seen is a push along granny trolly with a piece of wood on the top child walks a little child sits a little and build up from there

Magicbabywaves Sat 14-Nov-20 08:26:25

I don’t drive so I have used a buggy with my second child for a lot longer than others (who drive or use a bike box). People won’t give what you’re doing more than a fleeting thought. Take the pushchair with you and she can sit in it some of the way and you can put the shopping in it too. Inlet my five year old ride home in the pushchair yesterday from school as she was tired and the toddler was at home.

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 14-Nov-20 08:27:33

WomenAndVulvas

Many parents don't have a car, or live in cities where it's often easier to use public transport which means kids need to walk a lot. All it takes is practice. If she doesn't get the opportunity to walk a lot, she will find even short distances tiring. You need to ditch the buggy completely and start by walking short-ish distances and gradually walk longer and longer distances. It just takes some practice (and a lot of patience on your part because there will be loads of whining).

I agree with this

Halloweenrainbow Sat 14-Nov-20 08:27:33

JohnLapsleyParlabane

Buggy with buggy board but out the shopping in the seat?
Some people will judge *anything*. Let them crack on.

That's a good idea - thank you!

OP’s posts: |
FundamentallyFucked Sat 14-Nov-20 08:28:49

Buggy shaming?

No. Just use whatever method works for you. If that's a buggy then so be it. Sod what other people have to say. A scooter is a good idea,
Or walk one way and taxi home when she is tired and you have your shopping?

adagio Sat 14-Nov-20 08:29:54

A) don’t overthink - it to be honest (and I mean this kindly) it’s quite unlikely anyone notices or cares; everyone tends to have their own sh*t to deal with. As an aside, most people are really rubbish at guessing other kids ages anyway!
B) more practically, if you do ditch the buggy then a 3 wheel microscooter style (so 2 at the front 1 at the back, lightweight so easy to use) with a ‘lead’ to tow them when tired are fab for the too far/too slow stage.

If and when you ditch the buggy, I would also recommend a granny shopping trolley for your shopping- so much easier than heavy bags.

Sirzy Sat 14-Nov-20 08:30:00

I don’t think the “well my child climbed Mount Everest at 12 months old” type comments help at all. Every child is different and it is perfectly clear from the opening post that the OP is trying as many different ways as she can think of to her her daughter to walk further. But they still need to eat so some sort of alternative while they work on increasing the distance is needed

Fluandseptember Sat 14-Nov-20 08:32:26

Oh this sort of situation is so awful - I totally feel for you. You and your child ought to be able to cycle these distances happily - charting, riding side by side, safe from cars. Just think how that would transform your life! But I bet the roads are way too scary for that to seem possible. Would you ride a bike yourself? If so, how about a child seat on the back? Just a basic rack seat not a big one. I found that amazing for short journeys till mine were a lot older than yours. Or scooter for child and shopping trolley for you?

Pipapple Sat 14-Nov-20 08:33:27

What about a hiking backpack? We use this when taking our 3.5 year old on long walks.

ChateauMargaux Sat 14-Nov-20 08:34:49

The judging voices are based on you reading things, please ignore these. They are not real and they are not judging you.

It is very difficult to do shopping on foot without a car or a decent bus route with a child in tow.

She has probably grown out of her tricycle. Would a scooter work? Can you do the shopping when she is at nursery or at school? I remember these days well and it was very difficult. We had a combination of a buggy board, three wheeled scooter and a bike with stabilizers. None of which was ideal. I also used to carry my 4.5 year old in a back carrier when she got tired but that wouldn't work with shopping and is not easy to carry anything else unless you have a buggy.

What about a scooter as someone else mentioned with an extendable handle that she can use and when she gets too tired, you can use it while she stands on it at the same time or you can tow her.. neither ideal by the way!!

It will get easier as she gets stronger but it's not easy.

Magpiecomplex Sat 14-Nov-20 08:35:57

@Moondust001 The child is four and a half, I wouldn't call that a toddler!

OP, I used a scooter in a similar situation. But a buggy board would work also.

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Sat 14-Nov-20 08:36:29

Ignore the mountain climbers and those who are on here to preen about their kids wonderfullness. That isn't what you asked about.

A scooter is definitely the way forward. Do shopping while she is at nursery/school, but go out on walks/scootering for fun as well, rather than just to get somewhere to do a chore. Good luck op, it isn't easy.

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