Mama Life Hacks {#10}: The Magical Stroller Ledge

I don’t remember using a stroller that much with my first three kids. Weird, right? I mean, I’m sure I used one when I went to the mall (no shopping carts) or to the park, but I sure didn’t keep mine stashed in the back of my van like I do these days.

A single stroller just seemed like a lot of trouble to haul out and unfold/refold all the time for just one kid. And a double stroller seemed like a whole other level of inconvenient to me.

That is, until I had the twins. At which point, I bought a like-new Graco double-stroller from Craigslist and never looked back.

And by “never looked back,” I mean that I used that bad boy ALL. THE. TIME.

Our gym has an incredibly awkward entrance (think: 3 flights of stairs up to the main door and then 2 more to get back down to the area where you exercise). But there is a ground level entrance that the staff will let you into if you buzz them (worth the hassle for sure, and these days I just get one of the boys to open it for me), but it’s a little awkward too because it winds through the dark cinema room, and really, what mama wants her babies wandering through the dark when she can’t see what’s going on?

So…why the gym tangent? Well, it was/is the #1 place that my kids and I consistently go, so when the twins were old enough to come to the gym nursery, my new BFF–the double stroller–and I were suddenly suuuuper tight. Because as much as I like working on my fitness, hauling a car seat on each arm up 3 flights of stairs while herding three other little kids is a little extreme, even for me (not that I didn’t do it a time or 50).

Problem was, Della was only 2 when the twins were born, which meant that, most of the time, I had to figured out how to carry her and steer a monster stroller at the same time.

Which is when I discovered the magic of that little ledge near the handle of almost every stroller.

Wait, what ledge?

stroller1watermark

THAT one.

On practically every stroller I’ve owned, it’s the perfect size to perch a small child so that you can add a “seat” to your stroller without actually having to size up.

That little ledge saved me, since it allowed me to haul all three of my little girls in and out of the gym (and plenty of other places), quickly and conveniently.

And now for a little disclaimer.

My husband warned me when I mentioned writing this post that I might get some flack from the safety-police, and I acknowledged that I had already thought of that.

So, please understand that I do NOT recommend this if a) you plan on placing your child on the ledge of your stroller without anything to weight the lower portion or b) you plan on leaving them unattended or c) you’re letting a child do the pushing or d) insert any other unsafe behavior that a conscientious mama just wouldn’t do.

If, however, you need a fast, easy, safe way to transport your toddler without adding a seat to your current stroller, take it from a mama who couldn’t believe she didn’t figure this one out sooner and has been happily using it for the last 2 1/2 years: this one’s golden.

Of course, sometimes, the little girls get tired of walking, and we get even more creative and turn a single stroller into a triple.  stroller1

{Obviously, this wouldn’t work with bigger kids, but reclining the stroller back and stacking little girls in the seat works pretty well in a pinch}

It works great for street fairs…

stroller

{Anybody else think the photo-bombing dude in the trucker hat has his head cocked like that because he just counted all the kids in this picture?}

It EVEN works for hikes up a mountain.

stroller2

My girls are so used to it by this point that it’s just understood that, when we pull out the stroller, at least one of them will be sitting pretty on the stroller ledge (just as often, Theo is in the main part in his car seat, one twin is riding on the ledge, and the other is perched on the foot-rest, holding onto Theo’s car seat handle. We’re all about the stroller hacks around here).

What about you guys? Are you big stroller-buffs? Have you also discovered the “magic ledge?”

P.S. In case you’re wondering about the rather fantastic backdrop in that last picture, I’ll be sharing more about it soon. 🙂

0 thoughts on “Mama Life Hacks {#10}: The Magical Stroller Ledge

  1. Hmm, I feel like the odd guy. I always own a couple of strollers, but I’ve never owned one with “the ledge”, only skinny little handles that only a bird would be comfortable on.. The closest I come to this is to have one twin in the shopping cart seat, and one standing on the back edge, hanging on to the handle, between me and the cart. No more fights over who has to sit in the basket, and we move a lot faster. : )

  2. YES! Been there done that! 🙂 I have a Sit and Stand stroller which is great (but not in tight areas). I’ve piled like 4+ kids in that thing easily and even use the handle seat on that too. I have 7 kiddos. The oldest is almost 11 now, so she pushes another stroller if needed now… but back in the day (before my sit and stand) I remember having one strapped on to me, one on my SHOULDERS, on the handlebar, the seat, and one on the front wheel guard of my jogger stroller occasionally!!! #reallifecrossfit

  3. My mom had 4 kids under the age of 4 by the time she was 24 – I was the eldest, then along came my twin sisters when I was 20 months old and 2 years later (the day after the twin’s 2nd birthday) my brother arrived. This was the very early 1970’s and my parents had a big white vinyl and chrome side by side twin pram. I used to sit on the front footrest, my sisters in their seats and our baby brother in a bassinet that fit in behind the seats. They used to get all the rude comments like “don’t you own a television”? etc, but the worst was when my mom’s younger 14 year old sister was visiting and she was standing by the pram with my dad while mom was shopping. A lady who knew my dad’s family but had never met my mom walked up, took one look at my teenage aunt Jacquie, then at the overflowing pram and then said to my dad ” I had heard she was younger than you, but this is just disgusting”!

  4. I only have one kiddo (another due soon) so I haven’t had occasion to use the stroller ledge but can totally see myself doing that! Here recently my daughter has been extra clingy, I assume it’s a mixture of being almost 2 & knowing things are about to change even if she doesn’t understand exactly what. Anyway, in the grocery store I’ve been using the cart handle like a stroller ledge. She wants to be carried & refuses to sit in the cart seat (I’ve loaned out my carrier) & I just can’t do a lot of carrying with my big ol’ belly these days so I half carry her while her hiney is on the cart handle supporting her weight. I get lots of goofy looks but better than the death glares I’d be getting if I was allowing her to scream bloody murder in the cart seat!

  5. I LOVE this hack! We have a double stroller and a single, but now that my youngest is 2 and middle child is 3, I don’t always need the double. So I’ll keep this in my back pocket. thank you for sharing!!! Also, I love that white tank top in the first photo and the hat. Mind sharing where you got them?

  6. Haha, the safety police are coming! 😉
    My husband discovered the ledge with our Evie and I was all “Why didn’t I think of that?!?” And to not use a stroller until the 4th/5th children is pretty amazing!

  7. Amen! We totally used the ledge on the stroller when we had three little kids to cart through multiple airports after adopting from Ethiopia. My sweet sister wrangled all our luggage and I maneuvered toddlers/preschooler in their sweet ride. 🙂 (My husband, i.e. the actual muscle, was home with the other kids).

I love hearing from you guys!