Stroller Etiquette

by Cindy Post Senning on March 6, 2012

This post originally appeared at my parenting blog The Gift of Good Manners. I will be cross posting some of my favorite content from that blog here at the Etiquette Daily periodically. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Last week I received a request to do an interview on stroller etiquette. What a great topic! The interview gave me an opportunity to think through the issues that come up when people pushing strollers encounter tight spaces and crowded places and the manners that can help navigate them. It’s clear that there is etiquette to be found on both sides of the stroller. As with so many of our manners, stroller manners emerge from those three basic principles that form the foundation of all our etiquette advice at The Emily Post Institute. Stroller etiquette seems to be rooted primarily in the principle of consideration. Angela Hill, who wrote the article for MercuryNews.com, describes with humor and accuracy the potential situations that can arise: triple wides on a narrow sidewalk – strollers on public transportation at rush hour – what to do with a stroller in a restaurant while you eat – strollers so loaded with “stuff” the child has to walk anyway – and more! At the end of the article Angela shares my list of stroller manners. I love the title she created for the list:

How to keep
the peace

Parents

  • Consider whether a location is “family friendly.”
  • In restaurants, place child in high chair, then move stroller out of the way to a coat check area or lobby.
  • Have a back-up lightweight collapsible model for travel, public transit
  • Be considerate. Don’t block others when avoidable. Say please and thank you

Everyone else

  • Be patient. Caring for small children isn’t easy
  • Expect crowds of kids at amusement parks.
  • Open doors to help the parent.
  • If you’re blocked, ask politely for the stroller to be moved.
  • Be considerate. Go around. Say please and thank you.

I’m so glad Angela prompted my attention to this particular set of everyday manners! Thanks…

When a stroller meets the crowds

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather March 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Thank you! I try to carry my son in a carrier whenever possible, but sometimes we just have to use a stroller. I GREATLY appreciate someone holding a door open for me, as it is remarkably hard to reach around the stroller, prop a door open, and push the stroller through without it closing on you. I have newfound respect for people who use wheelchairs!!

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Eugenie Harrison August 31, 2013 at 2:37 pm

After a single woman rudely commented as I passed by her with my twins in their City Select back/front stroller “Emily Post says vier to the right!” Now, I love EP and have my grandmother’s edition, but I’m sorry it’s a lot harder for me to push 150+ lb. around her so she didn’t have to move, also in keeping with safely children should stay on the inside, you never know when a car is going to hop the curb (we live in NYC). And how rude was it for her to make such a remark. What are your thoughts?

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