Trevor Robinson was spotted putting the £4 magazine into his bag in WH Smiths, on May 24, while pushing the pram, containing toys.
Ian Pridham, mitigating, said the concern was that Robinson would perform a sexual act while hiding behind the pram.
The court heard he was subject to a crown court ASBO in 2014, forbidding him from pushing a pram with toys.
In 2016, at Mansfield Magistrates Court, he was given a suspended sentence for breaching the order, and received a further suspended sentence for breaching it again, at Lincoln Magistrates Court, in November 2016.
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Robinson, 71, of Martin Close, Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire, admitted theft when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.
Mr Pridham said: “Even the threat of a prison sentence hasn’t been able to change this addictive behaviour that stems from his past and a sense of well-being from a previous relationship.
“The sexualised behaviour has appeared to have been resolved. There is no suggestion that he was doing anything in relation to the pram.
“This man is unwell and has an addictive behaviour which appears to be treatable. He has had three sessions of treatment so far.”
The court heard Robinson had struggled to find treatment, as experts had not been able to identify a “definitive mental health problem.”
District judge Jonathan Taaffe took “the unusual step” of deferring sentence, and adjourned the case until February 14, “because of the exceptional nature of the offence”, on condition Robinson doesn’t re-offend, and continues to receive treatment on a regular basis.