Ah, toddlerhood! You can see the pleasure on your child’s face as they relish in their new found capabilities. But this time can also bring challenges. I hear it all the time…my squirmy toddler won’t get into the stroller! My advice? Grown-ups need to have a bag of tricks. Early walkers and toddlers hoping for some independence often arch, kick and cry to avoid the stroller because they’d like to be walking on their own. You can try offering your child a couple of things to hold in his or her hands. Perhaps maracas or a bubble container would grab their attention. Often, the distraction and excitement about something different can help. You might try swinging him or her and making it a game to “land” in the stroller. Giving children a 5 minute warning before they are going in to the stroller is helpful because they know what is coming. When your children do go in without a fuss, make a big deal about it. Kiss and praise them so that they feel happy and competent. Specific praise will reinforce that they have done something positive. All that being said, for this phase of your child’s life, there are going to be times when you are wrestling them in to the stroller. Rest assured, it’s just that, a phase. Try to occasionally set aside extra time so that your toddler can walk beside you. Teach them to hold your hand as you walk down the block. The extra time it takes to get somewhere, will mean nothing compared to the sheer joy your child experiences!