Can you still be considered an attachment parent if you use a stroller?

I often wonder when it comes to parenting styles; do you have to choose one way or the other? Can you still be considered an ap parent if you occasionally drift over into mainstream parenting practices?
For the most part, my parenting style seems to be in line with attachment parenting. I have always been very attentive and responsive to my daughter’s needs which has included breastfeeding, co-sleeping and frequent carrying her in a sling. But I have to admit there were times when using a stroller was the only option for me. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved carrying my daughter in a sling or Mei Tai. In fact most days, you could be sure to find her snuggled up next to me in one or the other. But there were some days it just didn’t seem to work with our plans for the day.


The days when I was most likely to turn to my stroller were days when I was exhausted, but needed to get out of the house to run errands. Or days when we went on day long family outings to the zoo or a festival where a stroller can come in handy. Sometimes I would even take the stroller with us for the mere convenience of using it as a shopping cart when my daughter wasn’t in it (she’d be in the sling and shopping bags were in the stroller).
So if an ap parent branches out into the mainstream realm of parenting practices, which type of stroller is the best option to choose? A rear facing stroller that allows the child and parent to interact the entire time? Or a forward facing stroller that gives the child a chance to see what is going on in the world around them?
If you choose to use a rear facing stroller, you can continue to be responsive and nurturing toward your child while he is in the stroller. Some experts and parents feel rear facing strollers are better for a child’s development since parents are more likely to talk and interact with their child while in the stroller. They even say that the children tend to laugh more when riding in a rear facing stroller.

Stroller Parking

On the other hand, some feel that a forward facing stroller gives a child the opportunity to take in all the excitement that is going on around him without having his attention focused on mom or dad. I think it all depends on the child, the parent and the current situation. Some kids will take to a stroller easier than others while may not want to have a thing to do with it. If your child seems uneasy about riding in a stroller, you can try a rear facing model to make the transition from carrier to stroller easier for everyone.
When my daughter was younger, I used a travel system that allowed her to face me (this was partly because the idea of not being able to have my eyes on her at all times freaked me out). But once she out grew the infant car seat, we moved onto the forward facing seat of the stroller.
So do you think it’s possible to be an attachment, breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping parent, but still rely on your trusty stroller to help you out from time to time? Are they strictly off limits? Or are we too caught up in the labeling parenting styles and just need to focus on doing what works best for our families?


This article was contributed by Elizabeth, a mother and author for Strollers Direct.

8 comments on “Can you still be considered an attachment parent if you use a stroller?

  1. Of course you can use a stroller and still be AP. Attachment Parenting is a general parenting philosophy, not a strict set of rules that you must follow or you will be kicked out of the group. Just like all parents, Attachment Parents cross a wide spectrum.

  2. I certainly hope so, as I look at my new stroller, just waiting for the baby to be born! I have 3 different types of slings and our stroller (bugaboo) can face us, so hopefully that will create more bonding. I agree with Michelle, AP is a philosophy not a bunch of rules. And because our baby is born via gestational surrogate and I cannot induce lactation, our baby will be (gasp!) formula feed, and I still consider myself very much an AP mama.

  3. Don’t get too hung up on labels. It will make you crazy! You can follow a general philosophy, but to try to do things that don’t work for your family, just so you can adhere to that philosophy, who are you benefiting? I don’t think the Attachment Parenting Police will come and rip your stroller out of your hands or anything. ;->

  4. I consider myself quite AP but use the stroller when I need to! Especially if I will need to have a way to carry stuff, or if I am tired after wearing my 22 pound baby for a few hours.
    I use a outward facing stroller and he really enjoys it!
    AP is a set of ideas, not a doctrine – and one of the points is “balance”. All things in moderation!

  5. No Absolutely not!!! Ok I Jest. I’m sure there is some hardcore AP advocate who would suggest such but I don’t think choosing to use a stroller makes you any less of any kind of parent whatever label you choose to call your style.

  6. I honestly used to think that you couldn’t be AP and use a stroller. My first son was/is high needs. We bought a stroller before he was born, and from the beginning that kid had a major case of stroller-itis. If we sat him in it even for a second he just screamed his little baby head off. Same with the crib or carseat.
    We ended up becoming AP out of self-defense. (Still wasn’t anything we could do about the carseat, sorry kid!) I wore him in slings until he got so big and I used a wrap carrier. I carried him until he was two and a half and I was a few months along with my second son. So, during this time, I became kind of smug and self-righteous. I didn’t ever say anything to anyone else about their choices, but I felt like what had worked for me, with this one kid, was The One True Way.
    Enter my second child. Totally mellow. I wore him all the time, although by a couple of months I had discovered I had true love for the mei tai. (I made eight of them!) Now I was trying to lug a diaper bag full of supplies for two kids (and this was a BIG diaper bag and had to have room for a Baby Bjorn Little Potty because we were doing EC), water for me and the oldest, keep the oldest from running into traffic, and wear the baby.
    OMG! It was awful.
    We tried to find a stroller that would work. First we tried one of the sit and stand types. Awful. I was never 100% sure if the baby was screaming because he was stressed out that he couldn’t see Mom, or if it was just because big brother was sitting behind him trying to twist his head from side to side. We opted for a reversible one, Contours Options by Kolcraft $160, because he did seem freaked out by not being able to find me.
    Once we had that, it was awesome. I’ve used it as a shopping cart. I’ve worn the baby and thrown the big kid in it when he was too tired. There’s room for all our crap we need when we go to the zoo. We didn’t reverse it routinely until the baby was about eighteen months old, but now he loves facing out. I’ve had to mentally apologize to all the women that I’ve judged for their choices and it makes me really glad that I kept my pompous attitude to myself!
    I even went and got a Hartan double stroller so I could go to the lake and take a walk with my headphones on and not have to worry about what the kids are getting into every minute.

  7. I would really want to meet the Imagination Movers because I really want meet Mover Scott because I want to talk to him in private about something personal. Tell Mover Scott I really would like to talk to him because he is a cutie. I think he is a hunk because he really is nice guy. I really want to be talking to him alone about something serious. I really do care about him. Because I want a pair of Wobble Goggles.
    Deborah
    Higdon

  8. Well…the fact that you are pushing the stroller means you are attached to the stroller…..you’re kid is in the stroller so you are attached in a way to your kid in the stroller!!!!! problem solved…….the fact that you are even worrying about this means that you are so in love with your child….chill out…..you’re doing fine…..in fact you’re doing great!!!!!!!!!!

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