buggy board

One thing is becoming increasingly apparent in the last few years (especially since having a second child with whom I can compare all my former parenting experiences) – I have a lazy preschooler.

Arlo has never really been one to run wild, or throw tantrums because he wanted to get out of his buggy. Arlo is a champion dawdler. And really not very fond of walking at all.

He’s been this way since his very first steps – always preferring to be carried, or to be pushed in a buggy. Never straying far from my side when he did walk.

Whereas Rory is constantly begging to be free of the confines of the pushchair, Arlo doesn’t miss a beat in clambering in as soon as Rory has vacated the seat.

On our recent trip to London (which I blogged about, and quite a few people thought we did it buggy-free, which would have been CRAZY), Rory walked for about a mile in total, whilst Arlo happily languished in the reclined position of the pushchair as I wheeled him around in a manner reminiscent of a sedan chair / servant set up.

too old for bugyy board

Living in London, we do a fair bit of walking and journeys on public transport. It IS a big ask for an almost-four year old to be on foot for the full duration of a busy London outing. But, then again, London is really not the place to take a double buggy.

Our buggy board has been the ideal ‘best of both worlds’ solution, but after 16 months of this set up, I worry that we are still very far from waving goodbye to the buggy board and progressing to full time walking.

I was asked to write this post about our transportation situation, and my ideal pushchair scenario for navigating London solo with two young children would be for Arlo to be on foot, and to have a foldable, lightweight stroller that can be collapsed and slung over my shoulder whilst I carry Rory when going on tube escalators/stairs, etc. I’ve seen the Babyzen YoyYo in action on the tube, and I’ve found it a really intriguing concept that certainly looks like it makes London life with a baby that bit easier.

But because of my reluctant walker, I am finding it hard to imagine an end to the buggy board days.

I start each journey with the buggy board up, encouraging Arlo to walk as far as he can, all the while re-enforcing the message that big boys and girls don’t use buggies or buggy boards, and reminding him of his friends that have just been to London all day without using a buggy at all. But he never lasts long without pulling the board down himself and climbing on.

I guess there is no real rush to graduate from the buggy board. He’ll do it when he’s ready, etc. But I have written before that there are certain aspects of a buggy board set-up that I don’t like, and I have to say that frequent use of a buggy board with an older child has taken it’s toll on the frame of our pushchair – which is now slightly wonky after over a year of extra strain on the handle when turning left or right.

I’m not brave enough to dismantle the board, even though I know it would be simpler in some ways to remove the option completely. I know I’d end up carrying him and pushing Rory in the buggy. Which is far too much work to think about.

I know he won’t walk. On the occasions that I have left him with no option, he lies down on the floor and refuses to move. Which is very helpful.

My own patience levels also play a part in our reliance on the buggy board. “OH, I’VE GOT PINS AND NEEDLES. I CAN’T WALK. I FEEL DIZZY. I’VE GOT TIRED LEGS. I’M GOING TO FALL DOWN”. I don’t care if it sounds bad to say this, but Arlo moaning is such a constant part of every day that it really does bring me down. If I can cut down the moaning in this one area, it makes the rest that little bit more bearable.

I do wonder if we will EVER mange to get rid of our buggy board, but for now, life is easier with it.

Have you had experience with a reluctant walker? Do you have any tips for encouraging less buggy board use and more walking? When did you first brave the move from buggy to no buggy or buggy board with your preschooler?

9 comments

  1. I’m finding the whole buggy board/child not quite of walking age but can walk difficult. That first 3 year age gap between the eldest two was much easier. Oli had just said goodbye to needing anything like a buggy board when Dylan was born but I did find myself pulling him along to pre-school on his scooter. Charlotte isnt a fan of being in her babycarrier so she’s always in the pram but I hate using the double so we find ourselves using two prams if we are both out with them. Sometimes the buggy board but he likes to run off or we will carry him which he likes. I miss the days where I just had it straight forward with one child in the pram!

  2. I have over the years working with children and now my own found that the easiest way to get your child to do something, is to take away their most loved toy. Sounds hard maybe but they will very quickly learn they’ll get it back when they do what we know they can. It being walking, going to the toilet, eat peas, fish you name it…. No telling off just tell them if they can walk with no moaning they’ll get their toy back. It’s the other way around reward and I find it works. Also his moaning will stop if you at home (can’t do it out of course) gently remove him from the room and tell him he is welcome back when he stops moaning. I helped us very quickly to ‘cure’ our daughter’s talking in a baby voice. Children don’t like to be the boss even though it seems like it, they want told be told what to do some in a way so they think they came up with the idea. Also give him 2 and just 2 options or get no crisps (or what ever he loves) later – he will choose walking and he will feel he made the choice. If he moans whilst walking let him no he will get no crisps later. It will only take one time not getting them for him to understand. I have never had to use more than a week to change a bad habbit in a child. Keep that in mind when you try:) Hope he’ll walk for you soon:)

  3. I have the exact same problem! We live in Bristol and we walk every where or use public transport! Last week we ventured out without the buggy board and it was the worst day I have experienced since having two children! Temper tantrums, tears, moaning, more tears and in the end I put my three year old in the buggy and carried my 18 month old as I just needed to get home before I started crying myself! I have no answers or advice so if you find the answer I BEG you to please share 🙂

  4. We have the opposite problem now, LP refuses to use the buggy board. She’s literally only just three and doesn’t have the stamina to walk very far. The school run is now interesting… Most of the time she ends up sitting in the pushchair basket!! If we have a pushchair with a tiny basket then she’ll sit on the floor until I carry her, piggy back, or sit on my shoulders. whilst I push the pushchair.
    This phase is hard work and I’m hoping she’ll walk better by Christmas. Please, by New Year!! x

  5. I think we are going to be in a similar place, although since Dylan started preschool this month, he has been so much better. He is a bit of a lazy one, and he still naps a lot as well, so we have to take a double if we are out all day. When he does walk he is painstakingly slow though. He only turned 3 in August but I have visions of me bringing him home from school on a buggy board! Mostly he wants to sit down though, whereas Archie is desperate to walk everywhere (albeit not the same places as us!). The problem with Dylan is his size, as he is way way above the weight limit for a buggy and probably getting there for a buggy board too at nearly 20kg, and also with a third baby due when he is only 3.5 I can’t imagine pushing a double and buggy board, or sling, single and buggy board so we need to get him out for good!

  6. Freddie sounds so similar to Arlo in this respect! We still have the buggy board for our Bugaboo, and it’s SO useful – I can imagine it being used for a long time to come! Freddie can manage a trip around our local shops without it no problem now, but there’s no way I’d go out for a day in central London without it. Sasha is a buggy refuser and likes to walk loads, so if F is getting tired I just swap them around, although as a very tall 3.7 year old, he looks rather ridiculous in a buggy now! You’re not alone, and I think a buggy board is fine, especially if you are out/walking for a long period of time xx

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