Umbrella or Bucket?

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Just an observation: It seems that we have a new generation of “bucket babies”, babies carried around in their infant seats. While this is probably the safest way to transport them from one place to another, it seems like added stress for parents…imagine having to carry your baby AND his/her car seat every where you go! Even though their little ones may weigh only eight pounds, it must feel like carrying 50 pounds around. It ties up one hand, leaving the remaining hand to juggling car keys, diaper bag, purse, cell phone and iced coffee.

“In my day” (just like a grandmother would say,) I used umbrella strollers. They were exceptionally light and freeing, and the little one would hunker down comfy and safe while I pushed him/her around. Everywhere. Especially shopping where I would gleefully use the back of the stroller as my own personal shopping rack. Of course, when the children were infants, I could only hang a few things on the back. When they were toddlers and their weight balanced out my potential purchases, a lot more items would fit! (Thus my expanding shopping budget…)

I no longer carry little ones around, and my children have long outgrown the umbrella stroller, which is fading into extinction. Too bad…

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Comments on: "Umbrella or Bucket?" (32)

  1. Coincidentally, we have more babies whose heads are flat in the back and need to wear a helmet to reshape their skull…

    • That, and now babies are put to sleep on their backs. My little ones always slept on their stomachs, (the thought was they would burp and aspirate on their formula if they were on their backs.) My, how times change!

  2. I addition to the weight, I never really trusted the handles, so I would end up carrying the whole thing in both arms instead of by the handle. Then you REALLY can’t carry anything else (I did also have an umbrella stroller and yes, it was the best!)

  3. Those things are so HEAVY! I gave carrying mine a long time ago, would only do it if Bubs was asleep. It absolutely killed my back! Also, we got lots of advice that those seats are good for the babies’ posture. Though, like most advice, I took it with a pinch of salt!

  4. I absolutely loved my umbrella stroller. I’ve never understood the need for a “limo-stroller”. They are always so big and cumbersome. My infant/child car seat stayed in the car and was always ready. The umbrella stroller was so easy to transport, unfold and it fit babies and toddlers as well. I’m sad to see them go out of style.

  5. I still see the umbrella strollers, but more and more, the larger, fold-down flat type. When mine was very little, I actually used a backboard carrier. When she could sit and hold on, her father’s shoulders. The car seat never left the car, unless to be transferred into one of her grandparent’s…or the plane.

  6. Well…when my children were little there were no safety car seats and mothers’ quickly learned the “hand” of safety. Has your mother or grandmother ever stuck out their arm in front of you when you were sitting in the front passenger seat? That was me too: the automatic arm safety device. Haha!

    • Ah, yes…the safety hand.
      I actually grew up laying across the top bunk of a VW bus, looking out the front window. If my dad had stopped short, I would have been a missile through the front window!

  7. just imagine the muscles developed carrying the buckets around!

  8. I hated this type of car seat when my daughter was really little, especially when I was still recovering from my c-section. It was nearly impossible to lug that thing around with no upper arm strength and a lower abdomen healing from major surgery. I pulled several muscles! Until she was happy being carried in the Ergo, then I never used that thing again (except in the car of course!)

  9. Stephanie Wilkins said:

    I’m with you. Why would you want to carry the extra weight? I loved my umbrella stroller and I loved carrying them around when they weren’t in them!

  10. Those car seats look really awkward to carry and, as you say, heavy. I can understand why a parent might leave an infant in the car briefly. It is so much time and trouble to take the baby along. My children travelling in umbrella strollers which were really easy to use and pratical.

  11. We have yet to get our first foster baby placement, but our baby car seat can’t go in and out, bought for that reason. We have an umbrella stroller ready to go.
    I couldn’t imagine for a second why you’d carry baby in the bucket. You can’t do anything with it. The grocery shopping would be impossible but you’re right, I see it all the time.

  12. I was car seat all the way. Only because my son was born in October and we usually have a lot of snow and ice from November to March. I felt better having him in the car seat in the chance I slipped and fell while going from the house to the car and then the car to the store.

  13. Agreed! Car seats are so heavy! I tend to wear my babies everywhere in my sling. So much easier. It also turns shopping into an added cuddle treat. 🙂

    • When my babies were infants, I, too, wore them. At that time (my youngest is 31 today) I was told to have them facing out as they would grow up smarter. It made sense to me. They got to see a little more of the world than my chest. One grew up to be his school’s valedictorian, the other was in the top 5%. They both have good careers in technology. Hmmmm, I wonder if that made all the difference…something to think about.

  14. Things have certainly changed since I had my babies! Some good and some not so good.

  15. My baby is in an umbrella stroller by order of our family physician. He’s so heavy I was throwing my back out trying to carry him, so for both our sakes the doctor said to get him in a light stroller! 🙂

  16. My daughter is now out of the infant seat.. But boy oh boy are you right! It weighed about 50 pounds … Or at least that’s what it felt like 🙂 we’ll see what I end up doing with the next one!

  17. Baby wrap when he was small enough, and now he is big enough, he can carry some of the shopping himself!!

    And when we finally got rid of the stroller, son was very concerned – “but how will we get everything down to the Charity Shop?!” (aka Goodwill, I believe)

  18. Not to mention the fact that car seats and strollers now cost more than I paid for a 1958 Ford Fairlane in 1964!

  19. I babywear with this baby – mostly ring slings, but we use an Ergo (front-facing soft backpack) as well. It has been incredibly bonding. I carried the heavy car seat or bulky stroller with my first two babies and learned better with the third one!

  20. Garrie Madison Stoutimore said:

    I used an umbrella stroller until I realized all my kids could see was the bottom half of the clothes racks, so I switched to a backpack. This worked well, especially when I had 3 kids under the age of 4 to juggle. I could hold two hands and tote the smallest on my back. The only real disadvantage to this is that the baby learned to shoplift. Once I caught her trying to chew a slice of bread through a plastic bag. I never knew she had swiped it off the shelf…

  21. When our first son was a baby, we used to eat breakfast at a Perkins restaurant every Monday morning on my husband’s day off. We were very obedient new parents and always had our son in the car seat, carrying the giant thing into the restaurant to have a place for him to sit in the booth. One day as my husband tried to hold the car seat and open the door, he dropped the top part of the car seat, which swung upside down from his other hand with our son strapped in. I was behind and couldn’t do anything, but I could sure see all the waitresses through the glass window–standing there with their mouths rounded in horror! The seat swung back and forth several times as someone ran to grab the door and my husband was able to get the car seat back in two hands and upright our son, who was none the worse for the wear. And that was the only crisis in which he ever needed the safety of his car seat! 😀

  22. I think I have used them all: Proper original coach-built classic pram, Mother Care box shaped folding pram, umbrella strollers facing forward, some facing back, a double buggy with a flat board zip up baby carrier on the middle handle, slings (one homemade) and just arms. For each has merits and pitfalls, some because of my needs and some due to the needs or temperament of the child/children (a back facing buggy and a smile can soothe a troubled child). The more support a parent gets to do things as kindly as they can themselves, the better. Each child is different, each parent, each life and parents muddle along as best they can, with all sorts of challenges. Bless them when ever you can.

  23. I don’t know how anyone does that!? You have to hold it like a foot away from you, and it weighs 50lbs. Strollers are definitely the way to go. …. Well I do a baby carrier and a double jogging stroller.

  24. My daughter rides in her bucket seat… She’s almost 17 pounds now, so it is getting a little heavy these days… And while I cringe when I see someone put a car seat on the top of a shopping cart (SO unsafe!) or leave the baby strapped in during a social function (like church or a family gathering), I am thankful for the bucket seat very often. Because at nine months, Tessa (who has Down syndrome) doesn’t have the muscle tone to sit, so if we go to a restaurant, she needs a place to perch that isn’t a high chair. She can’t hold her own bottle unsupported, but the bucket supports her elbows enough that she is learning to do it. It has been a small blessing to us.

    • Oh, yes, in her instance, sitting in a umbrella stroller would not work. I was able to get a therapeutic umbrella stroller with my son’s medical insurance, but I had to fight a little bit because the insurance kept denying me. Eventually, we were able to get one that last well into his toddler years..

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