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What’s Stroller Gate? the Hot New Debate Parents Are Chiming in on

Have you ever felt judged based on your stroller choice? A new parenting debate ignited by TikTok explores whether strollers have become the new parenting status symbol.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published May 8, 2023
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Image: Miljan Zivkovic | Shutterstock

“When I had a baby, I stopped looking at people’s engagement rings and started looking at their strollers,” an editor at The Bump recalls hearing a friend say one day. While a humorous parenting take on the surface, this sentiment has sparked quite the discussion on Momtok and beyond. Nicknamed “Stroller Gate,” a viral TikTok video has ignited a great debate around whether we judge parents off their strollers and has millions of parents asking the question, “Are strollers the new parenting status symbol?”

Bay area mom Brooke got the conversation started after she posted a video of her enjoying a day out at the Oakland Zoo with her children. Amid kids and parents gawking at animals and exhibits, Brooke soon realized she had also become the subject of some stares. Her reasoning—other parents were judging her for her Graco stroller, a “budget brand” that typically retails for much less than luxury stroller brands.

“Every single stroller or baby device I see going by is an Uppa, or I keep seeing Uppa, Vista, Mockingbird, the Veer Cruiser, the WonderFold. And I am pushing my Graco, and I feel like people are judging me because of my Graco baby stroller!” Brooke said in the video captioned, “I didn’t realize my stroller would enable classist side eyes.”

Parents quickly sounded off in the comments about their stroller judgment experiences and how much they spent on their travel systems. And seemingly, the judgment goes both ways. “We shamelessly love Graco over here. No way I’m spending $1000+ on a stroller that functions the exact same as a $300 one,” noted Momtokker 2 Under 2 Mom. “I’m judging the people the spent the $$ on a Doona. My Graco lasts longer,” wrote one user. “I went to the park the other day with my Baby Trend stroller and I’m not kidding every single person had a Wonderfold and they weren’t friendly,” echoed another.

On the other end of the spectrum, parents argued that higher-end strollers were worth the investment. “Staying 100 here, the Uppa is worth every penny! The wheels, the ease, the style, the breakdown. It’s an investment,” noted one mom, “Sounds to me that you’re judging them for having the Uppa and WonderFold,” added another.

A quick search of Stroller Gate on social media reveals hundreds of parents responding with their opinions on what strollers are best, why they picked their stroller and whether they have felt judged or judged someone based on their stroller. After wading through all the debate, a common theme emerges, judgment or not, the most important thing when picking out baby gear is finding something that works for you and your family.

Just as other parenting trends and debates like silky vs. crunchy moms remind us that every parenting style deserves respect, so does every parenting decision. So next time you are tempted to snub a parent who has picked a different path than you, remember that there is no right or wrong way to do this thing called parenting—we are all figuring it out one stroller ride at a time.

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