Here’s How to Put More Miles on Your Stroller — and Get More Bang for Your Buck

Walking, running, and other ideas for making the most of your stroller.

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When it comes to getting a decent ROI out of your high-end stroller, I’m guessing urban mamas probably tend to get theirs more quickly. Some of that I’m basing on personal experience. When my son was an infant, I had a daily ritual of walking from my apartment door to a city cafe and produce market nearly every day, and would often store all of my purchases in the stroller’s undercarriage.

But if you’re finding that your stroller is spending more time in your trunk or garage than out on the pavement, consider these ideas for putting your wheels to work:

Trick out your stroller with accessories that will make it do what you need it to do. Do you need a slimmed down diaper changing kit that will fit easily under your stroller? Or a ride along board so your big kid can tag along with ease? Or just a good wipe-down that will make you feel better about putting your baby in it?

Find your path — seek out stroller-friendly walking paths that will entertain you and your baby. Google for stroller walks alongside the name of your state or regional parks if you’re a nature girl. Head for a downtown area where public buildings and museums will offer people-watching, if that’s your thing.

Pack your earbuds. If “going for a walk” sounds like a hobby you were planning to adopt closer to your 60s, make it interesting with audio companionship. I’m a huge fan of podcasts, but music or a long-distance phone call to a friend can also make the blocks fly by.

Make it a workout. Motivate yourself by tracking your steps with a pedometer or distance with an app like MapMyRun. Or take a stroller fitness class with Fit4Mom.

Plan a weekly date. Rally a group of moms who will enjoy a long stroll. Help get a brand-new mom out of the house by initiating her into the world of pushing a stroller with a friendly invitation for a walk.

On a recent Freakonomics episode (that’s one my fave podcasts), there was a discussion of “bundled motivation” which refers to the pairing of two activities together so that you can only access one while doing the other. For example, select a really compelling audio book, and only listen to it while you are walking.

Does your stroller get as much use as you planned?