We have yet to bring a stroller with us for our now 15 month old to any of the countries we have traveled with across South Asia, Africa, and South America. The main reason is because strollers are ridiculous things to bring to places without sidewalks; in fact, they’re hazardous. On our recent excursion to Mumbai this past week, I decided to take a short video clip (below) that I think explains more than I can in words just how ridiculous a stroller would have been.
Even in Juhu Beach, described as a “posh” neighborhood where I took this clip around 7pm walking back to our hotel from a restaurant just down the street, what sidewalks exist are filled with makeshift fruit and newspaper stands, built around a large tree, or is blocked with various parked cars. There are numerous large and deep potholes leading down to the sewer running below the streets that a baby in a stroller could easily be pushed in to. There are no curbs.
The roads in Mumbai are, of course an extreme example. It is here where traffic crawls in some sort of elegant jigsaw puzzle of trucks, buses, cars, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and vendors. My husband and I decided that the safest place for our curious toddler is strapped tightly to our chests in a baby wrap- not walking beside us, and most certainly not being pushed in front of us.
Mumbai can be an exciting and very stimulating environment to explore with a baby or toddler with sights, sounds, and smells galore, but I’d suggest leaving the stroller (and the car seat) at home.
The video clip below shows the back of my husband walking with my daughter strapped to his chest through the streets of Mumbai.