I'd like to think I'm pretty good about cleaning my kid's highchair and bath tub on the regular. But the stroller? Eh, not so much. I've turned a blind eye to, shall we say, "stroller hygiene," so it's safe to say some rogue Cheerios have lingered. I don't know why I dread cleaning the stroller so much, but the struggle is real. Turns out, there are more than a few signs that you're not cleaning your baby's stroller enough, because let's be honest: no one really is.
My family's old, weathered doublewide stroller has been through a lot. It's been man-handled through baggage checks, heaved in and out of the backseat of our car, and run through every imaginable weather. My two girls have spilled their sippy cups, smooshed peanut butter and jellies, and squirted yogurt, ketchup, and any number of pouches. I have forgotten soiled clothing and wet swaddles in the bottom of the stroller basin. Yet the moment when our stroller really went down hill (pun intended!) was when I spilled an entire latte in one of the back flap pouches and just sort of wiped it down with a towel. That was the moment when I should have been stripping off the fabric for a deep clean... but that moment passed!
Is it any wonder that I'm eying this beautiful, lightweight doublewide as a much-needed replacement ($200, MyBabiie)? If the idea of buying a new stroller is more appealing than rolling up your sleeves and cleaning your current one, then this list is for you.
1. It Has An Unplaceable Smell
You know you have a problem when you catch a whiff of something just a little off as you approach your stroller. It's that apple sauce meets old milk meets rain water smell that you just can't replicate.
2. You Regularly Ask, "How Long Has That Been In There?"
Strollers have so many storage flaps and compartments that it's just too easy to leave something behind. They're basically black holes. If you reach into a flap a pull out a banana peel, or wet socks, or a soggy toy, and immediately ask yourself, "How long has that been in there?" you might need to make an appointment at the nearest stroller spa.
3. You Find All The Crumbs
It has to be a law of nature that at least half of the snacks you pack for your toddler will end up somewhere crushed in their seat. I regularly catch my toddler sneaking something in her mouth when I pop her in the stroller, and I don't entirely know if it's new or really, really old. But that's good for her immune system, right?
4. You Find All of the Cheerios
I'm a big fan of Cheerios as easy, on-the-go snacks. I'm less of a fan of how they end up literally everywhere. If your stroller doesn't have at least one stray Cheerio in it, you are living the dream (and please teach me your ways!)
5. It's a Just Little Bit Sticky
Whether you're doling out Go-Gurts, popsicles, or berries, there's going to be some stickiness, and even if you do your best to wipe off surfaces, that stick just won't quite!
6. A Diaper Was Left Behind
When you're rolling with your whole family in tow, it's easy to assume that your partner is on diaper duty, or vice versa. When a dirty diaper gets left overnight in the stroller, well, let's just say tensions run high. Very high.
7. There's Been Some Spit-Ups
A little spit-up on the stroller isn't the end of the world. You dab it off and off you go. But a year's worth of spit-up? Yeah, it might be time to bite the bullet and clean that stroller!