When Can a Baby Sit in a Stroller Without a Car Seat?

When-Can-A-Baby-Sit-In-A-Stroller-Without-A-Carseat

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You’ve had your baby, you’re out of the most intense healing stage after giving birth, and you’re finally feeling ready to hit the pavement for a walk with your brand new baby.

Many new mothers are eager to go on their first walk with their infants. Being cooped up in the house isn’t good for anyone, especially after having a baby.

Walks are one gentle way to soothe the burning urge to be out and about again. Your mental health is one of the most important things when you have a baby under the age of one.

The safety of you and your newborn while out and about is even higher up on the scale of importance though.

New and experienced mothers alike will have many questions. One being when their baby can actually transition into a stroller without their infant car seat.

This isn’t just the case for new mothers though. Dads, grandparents, and caregivers all need to know the proper age to put little ones in a stroller without their infant car seat.

After all, knowledge is power, which brings safe practices for everyone involved.

Table of Contents

At What Age Can A Baby Sit Up Without Their Head Bobbing Sporadically Forward

When your baby is a newborn, they’ll have lots of tummy time, since they can’t yet sit on their own without toppling over. Newborns don’t have the strength or control to sit up without the help of an adult.

But at some point in year one, babies will hit a major developmental milestone: being capable of sitting up on their own. This time is not only big for parents.

It’s massive for babies too. Their world gets even broader when they can sit up by themselves. They get to explore in ways they never have before.

This is usually mastered at the earliest like 7 months of age and the latest could be about 9 months of age. Yet, around 4 months of age, babies can perform the tripod sitting stance, which helps them practice for the real deal.

How You Can Help Your Baby Sit Up Sooner

Bumbos are soft foamy baby seats to help babies practice sitting up. They’re made for babies between the ages of three and twelve months. This is the age that babies need lots of time practicing in order to do it on their own.

Once your baby shows signs they’re getting strong enough to sit up without anyone’s help, it’s your job to encourage them as much as possible. These are the best ways to encourage your little one to start sitting up on their own.

Mistakes Need To Happen For Them To Learn At All

Just as adults do, babies need to make mistakes to learn. No one will get anywhere if they’re not allowed the time necessary to grow. Learning comes through our biggest mistakes.

If your baby is able to make mistakes, they’ll be capable of sitting up in no time. Don’t be afraid if your baby topples over and falls on their sides.

This will teach them spatial awareness. They’ll learn to catch their falls with their arms soon enough. Just give them a nice padded area to practice sitting and falling over in.

The more floor time the better off they will be

Babies need space to practice, like a nice clean floor. The carpet will always be best for them to be able to practice on of course.

But, if you don’t have a carpet in your home. Don’t worry. Companies make play mats that babies can practice their newfound sitting skills.

Investing in one of these helps your baby out when a head bonk occurs on hardwood floors or linoleum. If they have a dedicated space of their own to try and sit up, the more time they can spend there without you having to stress about their safety.

The more space they have to roam, roll, and sit up, the sooner they’ll master sitting.

Sit with them and be their personal chair

Since your baby already loves to sit with you and on you, you can act as the chair that sits behind them.

Sit your baby right between your legs while sitting on the floor. You can show them a picture book, read to them, or color while they sit with you. This makes a good time for bonding with them while they learn to sit up.

Independence should be encouraged and will help in the long-run

Independence equals strength. You’ll find that the more you encourage your baby to be out of your arms, the faster they will make moves toward sitting.

If your baby is constantly being held, they’re missing out on a whole slew of opportunities to sit up.

One day at a time have your baby spend more time out of your arms, little by little. If they seem super attached to you and stressed when you put them down.

Lay with them on the floor, getting down to their level, and showing them you’re still near but don’t have to be holding them will show them there is no reason to be afraid.

kids playing on the floor

Talk to them clearly about the plans for them to sit up on their own. Even though they aren’t talking yet, speaking with them clearly about their goals is always encouraging to them.

They can hear your tone of voice, notice your body language, and feel the overall excitement about their new ability to sit up.

Tummy time build the muscles for sitting up

Some babies love tummy time, and some hate being on their belly. Either way, they need to be encouraged to be on their tummies. Tummy time is crucial for a baby legitimately being able to sit up one day.

The muscles in the back are being worked as your baby lies on their tummy. Think of those supermans you used to do in middle school PE – same concept.

The core back muscles are being strengthened every time they lift their head off the ground.

Place your baby in front of a mirror to look into while laying on their tummy. It’ll encourage them to stay on the floor for even longer.

You can also get down on your belly, face-to-face with them, talk to them in an encouraging tone about how well they’re doing.

Safety When Learning To Sit Up

Babies who are just starting to sit up will need to have adult supervision at all times.

Along with extra eyes on your baby at all times, there will be other safety measures that need to be taken into account to keep your baby safe from head bonks, tip-overs, and choking

Stay with your baby at all times when they are learning to sit up

When your baby is learning to sit up, you need to have a watchful eye on them at all times. They can’t be left unattended for even a few minutes.

Accidents happen quickly, and your baby learning to get around does too. One minute they’ll be propped up, the next they’ll be crawling toward the dog toy to chew on it.

Keep the area clear of all choking hazards

Little ones choke on things that they can fit in their mouth but block their airway from delivering oxygen to the lungs. These can be things of various shapes and sizes. It’s all about how it gets maneuvered into their passageway.

mother cleaning floor

It only takes a minute for a baby to get something in their mouth even if they weren’t able to do so the previous day.

Before setting your baby down to practice sitting, clean the ground thoroughly, ensuring that there is no chance of them choking on something tangible.

In addition, remove any poison and dangerous objects cords up off the floor area or out of lower cabinets.

If they sleep in a crib, you’ll want to lower it at this point

Along with your baby being able to sit up on their own on the living room floor. They will also be able to perform this new skill in their crib at night when you’re asleep. Be sure to adjust their crib as needed to avoid them falling out of it.

Fasten all safety belts and harness points on the seats your little Houdini will be sitting in

At this point in time, your little one will have become quite the little Houdini, hitting milestones at an all-time rate. They have the strength to climb out of cribs, high chairs, and other seats you put them in.

Make sure you fasten the seatbelts so they don’t crawl out while you’re grabbing their lunch.

Various Seating Options for a Baby in a Stroller

If you plan on going for a walk with your infant, then you have a few options for seating them properly.

The main concern with infants is that they can’t hold their heads up at all. Therefore if they’re sitting upright, they can get head and neck injuries from toppling forward.

Fully reclining stroller

A fully reclining stroller is a nice option featured on many of the convertible strollers sold on the market today. Most strollers that fully recline, give you the option to ride with or without an infant car seat during the very young ages, of just a few weeks old.

If you choose this option, you will probably want to cover them with a blanket if possible.

Infant car seat

If you just don’t feel safe riding without your baby in their infant car seat, you can opt for them to safely secured in their infant car seat.

This way of riding gives more coverage over the top of your baby. Without the infant car seat, your baby is open to strangers peeking at them, exhaust from vehicles driving by, and direct sunlight.

mother and baby in an infant car seat

Many parents feel the best riding this way with their little one, especially if they’re under 6-weeks old.

Bassinet attachment

Choosing a stroller with a bassinet attachment works perfectly for moms who walk their babies to sleep. It resembles their bassinet at home, allowing them to be comfortable and safe on walks around the neighborhood.

One of the biggest benefits of investing in a bassinet stroller is convenience. You don’t have any attachments to mess with.

Extended car seat time can be harmful, not helpful for your baby

On a side note, if your baby is sitting in a car seat for extended periods of time, it could lower their oxygen levels over time. Studies show that babies who sit in upright positions have compressed chests, reducing their oxygen flow.

At 6 Months, Your Baby Can Safely Sit Up In a Stroller Without Assistance

Once your baby reaches the age of 6-months-old, they will be stronger than ever, and able to sit up on their own.

This is the timeframe that you don’t have to worry at all if your baby has an extra support system in place, like an infant car seat or lying down flat in a bassinet style stroller.

You can go ahead, and just prop them up in any style of the stroller and head out. Before 6-months of age, you have to ensure you have the right type of stroller for your baby to sit without an infant car seat or bassinet to avoid injury to the neck or head.

This is an age where many milestones are being reached by little ones, but most importantly they will be stronger than ever. The neck, spine, and head are less prone to injury while on the move.

In addition, bumps on the sidewalk or on trails won’t disturb your baby, because they’re used to maneuvering throughout on walks.

Small babies can get over-stimulated and cry from bumps, scenery, or the sunshine without a safety seat or covering. Which is another reason some parents choose to strap babies younger than 6 months in an infant car seat or a bassinet.

Key Aspects To Think About When Searching For A Stroller

Every family has different needs so the real question is, what necessities does your family have?

From the nifty cup holders to the side pockets, it’s best to get a stroller that will suit your needs, then figure out down the road how much you wished you had certain features on your own stroller.

mother shopping baby strollers

There are so many strollers to choose from, so let’s go over the most obvious aspects to think about while you’re stroller shopping.

Think About the Reasons that You Need a Stroller

Will you be out running errands, taking walks to the park, or will you be doing other more strenuous activities like hiking on trails?

You’ll want to think about these things when you’re considering buying a stroller, they will make-up the key reasons you’re buying it in the first place.

For instance, strollers used for hiking will be equipped with suspension while an umbrella stroller will be more suitable for walks to the store.

There are strollers with a mix of heavy-duty and lightweight – making them perfect for the families who will be doing a mix of activities.

Three Most Popular Styles of Strollers Suitable For Babies

Jogging Stroller

A jogging stroller is designed with multiple reclining positions for the child to sit in. Most of the time they are also convertible, that way babies can sit in them in their infant car seats.

Once a baby graduates out of their infant car seat they can sit in the reclining seat. If your baby is under 6 months old, they should not sit in the seat without an infant car seat in a jogging stroller.

These strollers are great for active parents, and also parents that have other older siblings to their baby. There is usually plenty of storage space for extra belongings, snacks, and your belongings underneath.

Umbrella Stroller

Umbrella strollers are really just designed for easy walks, and mostly for babies over 1-year-old. They have a very thin backseat – you’ll have to be cautious while your baby is sitting in it to not bonk their head on the bars that cross in the back.

Even though these are not supposed to be suitable for the trials – I will admit – when I hiked into a gathering with my 1-year-old twins, I opted to have them in umbrella strollers.

It was great for the miles of hiking that I did, I simply turned the stroller around and pulled it behind me rather than pushing it forward.

If you’re ever in the situation of traveling and will go on a few hikes while out, an umbrella stroller works great in these situations. They are compact, easy to maneuver at destinations, and are great if you’ll be spending time sightseeing on your vacation.

Convertible Stroller

A convertible stroller is designed for parents who want one stroller over the long-haul of all their baby’s stroller years. Convertible strollers offer safe riding from the phase of infancy through to older childhood.

pink stroller in a park

Convertible strollers usually have a maximum weight limit of 40-50lbs. Depending on your child that could be reached at older ages like 7, 8, or 9 years old.

Though most kids can walk a lot further by the time they’re that old. If you have only one kid there might be an occasion you’d still use it at that age.

Convertible strollers allow your infant to ride safely in their car seat until you’re comfortable with them riding without a car seat altogether. Around 6 months of age baby’s gain enough strength and stability to ride without a car seat.

What Are the Dynamics of Your Family

Some strollers offer an attachment for an older child to ride along too, this might be of interest to you. If you have an older child who will be walking alongside the stroller with you on walks, this will be helpful.

Most of the time when your stroller has an attachment for an older child, it will also offer extra storage space for your family’s belongings.

It’s best to think about any items you might want to store in your stroller along for your rides.

When thinking about the dynamic of your own family, think about snacks you’ll have to pack, how many children you’ll have with you, and even your own height and abilities when pushing the stroller.

Some strollers are extra bulky and tall, while others are more compact and suitable for short people.

Strollers offer unique accessories which one would suit you best. If you know there are specific needs you have, you’ll want to keep that in mind when purchasing a stroller.

Some parents know they will be riding in a taxi service often, making a stroller-car seat the most suitable option.

Stroller Suggestions that Other Parents Love Using

Pockit Air All Terrain

gb Pockit Air All Terrain Ultra Compact Lightweight Travel Stroller with Breathable Fabric in Velvet Black

If your a family that needs compact comfort all-in-one the Pocket Air is the stroller for you. Your baby can start using this lightweight cruiser from 10lbs upward of 50lbs, making this a great choice for small babies or older children.

You don’t have to worry about space while you store it away in your vehicle, it completely folds down into the shape of a compact handbag.

The first of its kind in terms of the ultra-compact nature, it will save you space and the arm aches.

Take your baby in a super comfortable stroll through all the family road trips, summer camping trips, or simple walks to the park. It works for any occasion including airplane traveling.

Equipped with a 5-point harness to keep your baby safe over bumps, curbs, and escalators. Now you don’t have to choose between comfortable security and convenience – the Pocket Air truly provides it all.

Pros

  • The seatbelt system is designed so parents don’t have to stress when on the move
  • Equipped with a large sun visor
  • All-terrain wheels for bumps and trails
  • The backrest is perfect for hot summer days

Cons

  • Quite shaky if the pathway has numerous bumps like brick roads
Buy on Amazon

 

Baby Trend Sit n Stand

Baby Trend Sit n Stand Ultra Stroller, Morning Mist

So you have a new addition to the family, and your toddler is going to be sad to leave the stroller? You can provide all the space you need on trips to the park for all your children involved.

The Sit n Stand is designed to hold an infant car seat directly under your line of sight and your older sibling upfront, though the arrangement can be swapped if desired.

Designed to be ultra-comfortable and safe for every child along for the ride, equipped with a foot brake for smooth stopping. Carry along all of your belongings for the trip with extra room leftover. The undercarriage storage space is enough for big families.

With all this action going on, it’s not a surprise that the Baby Trend is equipped with a swing-away tray up-front – your toddler will be entertained endlessly on long walks.

Baby Trend definitely got it right for the busy parents, the one-hand release is something all strollers need to have!

Pros

  • The parent tray is perfect for keys and a cell phone
  • There are 2 cup holders up top
  • Accepts other brands of infant car seats outside of Baby Trend
  • Made from a breathable material

Cons

  • Even though it accepts other brands of car seats they might fit loosely
Buy on Amazon

 

The Doona

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base – Car Seat to Stroller – Nitro Black – US Version

We know parents get busy in the city, with traveling in ride services to and from work. That’s why one of our top recommendations will always be The Doona, it comes fully prepared for ride services.

The simple folding mechanism takes you from a car seat with an infant stroller to a cart seat with one smooth click of a button.

The wheels tuck right underneath the car seat for car rides, and once your back out on the sidewalk you simply pop it back up to a stroller. No need to bring along an extra stroller while your child is in the infant car seat.

You can car seat base in your vehicle for easy maneuvering and then strap it onto cabs during the workweek. Its jet black provides easy cleaning while being neutral for parents of boys or girls.

Pros

  • Easy to use in narrow and crowded spaces like an airport
  • Great for climbing stairs because you can carry it as an infant seat up them
  • Customers love having a stroller on hand with a simple click
  • It’s sturdy so you can use it for multiple kids

Cons

  • It’s heavier than a simple stroller or car seat alone
Buy on Amazon

 

How to Keep Your Baby Safe While Traveling In a Stroller

One thing that is common among parents is being on the move, parents get busy. You have to be somewhere when you do, and your travel situation might not always be leasurely.

Babies cry right before heading out the door in need of another feeding, sometimes we forget what we need making the trip more frantic than anticipated, and sometimes no one in the family is having their best day.

But, we deal with life as it comes, right? Yet, one thing that can’t be compromised is the safety of our families while out on walks or traveling.

Each parent will have their own set of guidelines they follow while out, but we could all learn a bit from the next parent, right?

Traveling with small babies in strollers will bring many surprises, and you will want to be prepared for those when they come. Here are the most popular tips from parents and manufacturers of strollers for parents on the move.

Keep your eyes on your surroundings at all times

So your baby starts to cry as you’re crossing the road, don’t look down and keep your eyes on the road.

mother and baby stroller in a park

Cars come flying around the corner unexpectedly, it might seem like it’s a mellow road but things change quickly while out on walks. You need to be on full alert, be a defensive stroller driver.

Ensure that your baby is strapped in before crossing any roads and that your items in the undercarriage are secure.

If something falls out, you don’t want to be fumbling to fix your belongings in the middle of the road. Before you leave the area check over your stroller making sure it’s as compact as it can be, and that your belongings are secure.

Make sure that your baby is away from the stroller when you fold it down

Fingers and hands can get pinched quite easily – the last thing you want after walking in the door from a trip is another trip to the hospital.

Strollers have all kinds of bars, closures, and areas that small body parts can get trapped in, keep a watchful eye on where your toddler is when you start to fold down your stroller.

Infants should be placed in a safe spot before you start to fold down the stroller.

If you live in an upstairs apartment or have to travel up the stairs to get your baby and the stroller inside. Take your baby up the stairs alone, and then head back down for the rest of your belongings.

If you’re alone, set your baby in a safe place and close your front door behind you while you go back out for your stroller.

Don’t try and be a Hulk-Parent and get everything at once, it is safest for your baby to be away from the stroller once they are not riding in it.

Strollers are not designed to have diaper bags hung on the handle-bar

While it’s easy and tempting to hang your diaper bag or grocery bags on the handle of the stroller – it’s not designed to do this.

The handlebar is for pushing the stroller, and the specified storage compartments are meant to hold your belongings. If you hang your bags(even if not that heavy) on the handlebar, the stroller will likely tip over the moment you take your hands off of it.

mother near a stroller with shopping bags

This can be quite unsafe, while also causing unnecessary damage to the material that covers the handlebar.

If you can’t fit everything in the storage compartment of the stroller consider leaving it behind, there are weight limits on strollers that you don’t want to go over or the stroller might not roll over bumps accurately.

In Conclusion

The truth is, that as a parent you can devise exactly when your baby is able to sit in the stroller without an infant car seat.

As long as you have a stroller that safely holds your baby without a car seat, and you feel comfortable taking them out without the enclosure of their infant car seat – then you’re ready to roll with the bulky car seat.

Of course, before having your infant it’s best to research, and then invest in a system that would be the most suitable for your family. Yet, a lot of parents are working with what they have or will be gifted a stroller and car seat from family.

Many first-time parents will end up questioning this after they have their baby, and are about to go on their first walk!

That is perfectly okay too, just be sure to look up the model of your stroller, and read the weight requirement for small babies before taking them on a walk without their infant car seat.

You wouldn’t want to risk having an infant in an umbrella stroller, because that would be unsafe. At that point, you could opt for the carrier on your chest for their first walk outside.

So you can decide what works best for you after looking up the specifics of the gear you have on hand.

Sources

How To Choose A Stroller: The Most Important Factors to Consider – Strolleria

When Can Babies Sit Up and How Can You Help a Baby Develop this Skill? – Healthline Parenthood

When Can My Baby Sit in A Stroller? – Maxi Cosi

What Is The Best Stroller For My Baby? – CanDo Kiddo

Best Convertible Strollers – What To Expect

Hello, I'm Mirisa. I'm a mother to five children, in which I aim to raise through a holistic-practical approach. My goal as a triathlete mom, health, and wellness enthusiast, and an avid entrepreneur - is to inspire other parents that it's completely possible to be a wholesome and loving parent while chasing down your own goals!

Hello, I'm Mirisa. I'm a mother to five children, in which I aim to raise through a holistic-practical approach. My goal as a triathlete mom, health, and wellness enthusiast, and an avid entrepreneur - is to inspire other parents that it's completely possible to be a wholesome and loving parent while chasing down your own goals!