At one of our first zoo trips this spring, I wore my baby and put my toddler — he’s 3 — in the stroller.
This worked out okay until the baby got fussy (the stinker will not sleep in the carrier anymore) and the toddler got tired and wanted to run off. (Gee, imagine that…tired toddlers like to run and are unpredictable!) I decided the best plan was to stick the baby in the stroller and put the toddler on my back.
All I had was my Beco, which is great, but only works up to 35 lbs. That’s how big the toddler is. I put him in the carrier and strapped him to my back. He was thrilled.
Only, this carrier didn’t fit him right. He kept sucking in his stomach and squirming, and eventually said it was hurting him. I switched him around to my front (because he would.not.walk and the baby had fallen asleep in the stroller), which was super uncomfortable, but got us out to the parking lot.
I immediately knew we needed a bigger carrier.
5 Reasons You Should Wear Your Toddler
It might be *easier* to say, “Just don’t wear the toddler!” But, not so practical. If he won’t stay in the stroller, or the younger one needs to use it, and he won’t walk or stay with me, the safest thing to do is to put him in a carrier. Which brings me to…the 5 reasons you should wear your toddler!
#1) Keeps Them Safe
For real — this matters. Sometimes toddlers are feeling ornery and they simply will not stay out of trouble. Some even know how to undo stroller straps or slip out of them. When they’re on your back, they can’t just get out and go somewhere, and if they try, you’re going to know!
#2) A Chance to Connect
Toddlers are busy, and it’s sometimes hard to get a quick hug as they run by. Wearing them gives you a chance to re-connect with them, and for them to feel close to you and secure.
#3) Easier If They’re Tired
Some kids do just fine…until they get tired. Then, they’re a total mess, falling apart, refusing to walk, wanting to be carried. Carrying a toddler in your arms is hard after awhile because they are so heavy (and long, and wiggly…). Wearing them allows you to spread their weight out and leaves your arms free!
(This is the main reason that my husband insists we have a carrier with us when we go to places where we’ll do a lot of walking. He doesn’t want to have to carry the littles; he would rather wear them! Bonus reason — babywearing daddies!)
#4) Easier to Explore
We have a really neat place somewhat near us, called Hocking Hills. Locals probably know it. There are tons of trails and caves and things to explore. A few are stroller-friendly, but most aren’t. Babywearing means that you can explore these places, toddler in tow, without risking said toddler running away, falling, etc. — or having to forego exploration altogether.
#5) They Won’t Be Little Long
Bottom line, toddlers are still small people, but they will not be small for very long. They will soon grow into confident, independent children who want to do more on their own than with you — and who are too big to be worn or carried. Wear them while you can!
He is totally thrilled to finally have “his” carrier! He insisted on getting in immediately.
The Importance of Toddler-Sized Carriers
I mentioned that the carrier I had was just not comfortable for my toddler, because it was too small for him. Most people are familiar with carriers sized for babies 8 – 35 lbs., because most people wear their babies when they are small.
However, there are carriers out there that go up to 45 – 50 lbs! Carriers that fit toddlers and even preschoolers well, and make it easier on parents to wear them.
I got a toddler-sized mei tai carrier from BaBySaBye. It’s a very basic carrier, and it’s plenty big enough to wear my toddler comfortably. It’s also very adjustable. I used it to wear both my 20-lb. 11-month-old and 35-lb. 3-year-old with no problem. My husband can wear either of them, too.
And, it’s so adjustable that my 8-year-old was able to wear my 11-month-old in it! She has been begging to have a carrier to wear him in for months, and this finally worked.
She’s thrilled. The baby, not so much. He’s very tired and was mad I asked her to stop walking long enough to take a picture.
The carrier folds up pretty small and came in its own drawstring carrying bag, so we can tuck it into the stroller if we don’t want it right away, or hang it from the handles. We only have to carry the one, because like I said — it fits all the people who can do the wearing, and both of the children who need to be worn.
A toddler-sized carrier is going to be more comfortable for both you and the toddler — so definitely get one if your toddler needs to be worn!
Check out BaBySaBye. They have tons of cute designs. I went with the cream/blue one!
Do you wear your toddler? What benefits have you noticed?
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