You’re getting ready for your Saturday morning walk, business as usual, prepping your little one and then IT happens. They refuse their stroller! They’ve been completely content with their stroller for forever, why the sudden change? Are the planets out of alignment? Is this Mercury’s fault? No matter how much begging you do, your stubborn little toddler will not get in the stroller, or if you get them loaded in the seat, they refuse to stop screaming (and no one likes being the proud parent of an emergency siren). In an attempt to solve your new struggle (and save the ears of everyone around you), here’s a few things to check when your stroller is suddenly made of lava.

Change Their Perspective

Your little one might be unhappy with their view of the world, or lack thereof. If your stroller is facing out, your toddler might be experiencing separation anxiety and want to be able to see you when riding in the stroller. Or on the flipside, they could be totally bored with you (sorry mama!) and want to see what the world has to offer. Changing the direction of the seat might help mitigate some of their stroller refusal.

Make Sure They’re Comfortable

We all know how terrible it is to sit in a seat that’s not comfortable, just think of airplane seats! Sometimes there’s a bar pressing uncomfortably, or the seat isn’t reclined at a good angle, or your little one has outgrown the stroller and you just haven’t noticed yet. Mess around with the different angles and adjustments you can make, but if nothing gives your little one any relief, it might be time to find a new stroller.

Get Their Energy Out

As we all know, toddlers somehow have enough energy to power a small city … and always at the most inopportune moments! Sometimes it’s just the fact that your keeping your little one cooped up for extended periods of time that makes them riot. Before you’re going to need them in the stroller, make sure to have them run in circles, do jumping jacks, or dance their wiggles out! Those five minutes of activity might get you some extra time with a calm kid in the stroller.


Reserve a toy or treat that your little one can only have when they’re in the stroller (and behaving well!). Remind them of the treat well before they reach the riot stage. No amount of fruit loops are going to save you when your toddler is already red from screaming their face off. Give them the incentive for proper behavior before you’ve put them into the stroller.

Use Your Words

You’re already asking your kid to use their words, so follow your own advice! Get to the root of the problem nice and quick by simply asking your toddler what’s making them act like getting in the stroller is as painful as walking across a floor covered in Legos. Ask your little one to tell you what about the stroller that they don’t like and see if it’s something that you can easily fix.

Sometimes the issue is that the stroller you have just isn’t comfortable for your little one. If that is the case for you, read our guide on finding the right stroller for both you and your baby’s lifestyle.