Smiles From The Stroller

Mary Claire is adorable. I love seeing her and her mom, Megan stroll up to my class. Mary Claire is a sweet, toddling one year-old who loves her baby dolls. This was Mary Claire last week during Stroller Strides.

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Epic! I couldn't help but snicker at her scowls. She was having none of my antics in class. As toddlers do sometimes, they get fussy in the stroller. Megan couldn't do a single jumping jack out of Mary Claire's sight. It was just one of those days for poor Mary Claire. Megan felt like she had to apologize to me and the other moms. I assured her there was no need to apologize and that we had ALL been there! So I posed the question to our moms. "What do you do to keep your kids occupied in the stroller during class or if they're having a bad day in class?" Here are some of their answers:

  • "Snacks, Snacks and more snacks! Ha!"
  • "I didn't realize my baby was big enough to get out of the car seat, be strapped in the stroller and face out. She wanted to see what was going on! When I turned her around it helped so much!"
  • "I bring a couple of books or toys and some snacks. Colette likes to do seated versions of some exercises and of course the songs and games from class help. Especially ones with running back and forth and tickling. Pointing out interesting sights around is a great strategy."
  • "Trading toys with friends at class! Even the most 'boring' toy is fun when it's new."
  • "For older kids (ages 2+) I park my stroller near their friends and they trade toys and entertain each other. I also ask my big kids to pack their own toys for class so they bring something that will interest them... sometimes they surprise me by playing with a soup ladle the entire time. I never would have packed that in the toy bag!"
  • "Fussy babies like movement so when my babies fuss I take whatever exercise we're doing and involve a little stroller movement- or pop that little fusspot in a carrier and wear her for the duration of class. Seeing mommy's face is usually helpful too but there are definitely babies who do best when they don't see their mamas... whatever works to keep them happy and keep you moving is best! And whatever that is, is likely to change over and over as they grow!"
  • "With Sadler getting older there are times when he gets more 'vocal' than I would like. I sometimes bring a 'special' snack or two-something that won't be tossed aside, like a tiny bag of organic gummy bears or popcorn. He can't yell if his mouth is full."
  • "Car keys! They are always handy!"
  • "iPhone or the tablet. No shame. You gotta do what you gotta do. It's your workout time."
  • "When my baby could hold his own bottle, it was a game changer in class. I pumped a bottle of milk just before class to give to him during Stroller Strides."

As instructors we try to have lots of songs and things that engage the kids. We stash bubbles and extra toys in the stroller. The promise of a fun play group after class always helps too.

The great thing about Stroller Strides is that we all totally get it. If you need to stop and nurse your baby, do it! If you need to take a minute to have a chat with your unruly toddler, we understand. If you're lucky, you have a class when even your 3 year-old does this....

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