Since we have been on a stroller kick at Babes in Disneyland lately, why not keep the ball rolling? There is one more stroller question I’ve received (and been asking myself), and that is:
Question: When can I stop bringing a stroller for my babe and what can I do to help with the transition away from it?
Answer: The prime age to transition out of a stroller is somewhere between 5-6, Kindergarten or First Grade age.
That said, there are some things to keep in mind when making this decision:
- age of the child
- the child’s nap schedule
- the child’s energy level
- how long will we be in the Parks
- are we walking to and from a hotel
- will we have a Park hopper (ie. more walking)
Thinking back a few years, it seemed like the last time my son used a stroller was when we has in Kindergarten (evidenced by an epic pic of him awkwardly sleeping in it in Disney California Adventure). Currently my youngest is 5, a preschooler, we don’t take strollers to the mall or zoo for her anymore, she has an average amount of energy, she doesn’t take naps at home, but she does take a nap in the stroller every time we go to Disneyland. I will also say that we spend the entire day in the Parks, we are there before open, and will stay as late as we can manage to get out of the kids – usually fireworks is the limit, we walk a lot, and we go hard on Disney days. Whether we have a Park Hopper or not we walk. a. lot., and we go fast! If any of this were different – if we were just going for part of one day, and planning to go slow and take it easy, I’d probably leave the stroller behind a lot sooner.
When transitioning out of the stroller here is my motto: You got it, but you don’t flaunt it! In other words – bring it, but keep it out of sight (and out of mind) by parking it in a designation stroller parking section first thing, until you truly do need it later in the day.
If the stroller is right there with you, your babe is bound to want to use it. Take advantage of your kiddo’s early morning energy and let them explore Disneyland on their own two feet, they will love it! Usually by the time they start to wear down it’s lunch time and then you can take a rest while you eat, and put off the stroller for a bit longer. By late to mid-afternoon, they’ll probably be ready for a stroller ride (and possibly a stroller nap) – but if not, then leave it – just don’t forget it before you leave! Before you know it, you’ll notice that your child needing the stroller later and later, and less and less. And that’s when you can leave it altogether!
It does take some trust to leave your stroller somewhere for most of the day, but if you mark it as yours (write your name on it, or tie a colorful ribbon), use a stroller lock, and don’t leave anything valuable in it – you should be good. This is also why I like using older / second hand strollers at Disneyland – if it goes missing, I won’t be totally heartbroken.