Do You Need A Carrier For your Toddler?
Do you require a child carrier? Since infant carrier firms began offering carriers particularly for toddlers, parents who wear their children have been debating whether or not they should acquire one, and if so, when. Here are some questions and suggestions to assist you in making your choice.
With your kid slung on your back, a baby carrier is the greatest alternative (or addition) to a stroller and the most convenient method to navigate busy malls and airports. What about putting your child in a carrier?
If you don’t have a toddler, a standard- or “baby-” sized carrier will fit your child right now.
When purchasing a carrier, do not “size up” in the hopes that your child will “grow into it.”
Wearing your child in a carrier that is too big for them can be unpleasant and perhaps dangerous for both you and your child.
Many of us who fit carriers for families have discovered that “toddler” carriers are actually more like “small kid” carriers, despite the term.
Children should wear at least a size 2T in trousers before being placed in a toddler carrier, according to several manufacturers and educators; for certain children, waiting until they are in a 3T is even preferable.
Congratulations if you already have a carrier and use it to carry your child. You already have a toddler carrier in your possession. Really!
It makes no difference what the carrier model is called by the manufacturer. It makes no difference if it’s a ring sling, a wrap, a buckle carrier, or something else else. You’ve got everything you need if it works for you and carries your child.
- What if you don’t yet have a carrier?
- How do you determine if your child’s carrier is too small?
- What if your pals tell you that a toddler carrier will transform your life forever?
- What if your carrier isn’t up to the task?
(This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here)
Who Uses A Toddler Carrier
Toddler carriers are slightly larger and stronger, with heavier and more durable materials designed for older and larger children.
The best toddler carriers, such as the Baby Tula and the Lillebaby Carryon Airflow, can carry toddlers weighing up to 60 pounds, just so you know what we’re talking about.
But hold on a second. Once a child reaches 20 pounds, they begin to feel too heavy to wear. In fact, many parents feel that their weight becomes intolerable once they reach 30-35 pounds. So, why would you want to babywear a three-year-old toddler or a five-year-old preschooler who can walk independently at this age? Depending on your family needs, this might be something you require.
Toting a toddler who is capable of walking, like extended nursing, isn’t something most people are used to in today’s environment.
So, in addition to the benefits we’ll discuss, expect to get some strange and judgemental stares, as well as praise from jealous parents and fathers, if you decide to baby wear your child.
Mild stresses are seen as a predator by children with a toddler tantrum which initiates the fight, flight, or freeze response.
While there are various methods to deal with meltdowns, a carrier provides a safe haven to withdraw to when things get too much. But the regular interaction with their most loved attachment figures — the parent/caregiver – is more essential to them.
If you have a child that becomes too stimulated in places like the zoo or museum, putting them in a carrier might be quite beneficial.
The deep relationship that parents form with their newborns, known as bonding, is a crucial tool for children’s social and emotional development.
According to Sanghag Kim, a psychology researcher at the University of Iowa, the first two years are the most important for establishing a strong relationship with the kid.
Of course, the mother’s connection begins right away, first throughout pregnancy and later while breastfeeding.
On the other hand, while most fathers grow emotionally attached to their children from the moment they are born, others take a little longer. That is, however, totally natural.
For dads, grandparents, and babysitters who enter the baby’s life later in childhood, cuddling up the toddler in a carrier is often advised as a good bonding strategy.
Similarly, the finest toddler carriers may aid parents who were separated from their children shortly after birth in forming a loving bond afterward.
There are several strategies to avoid losing your child in Disneyworld or when shopping at the mall. The most important rule is to never leave your child alone.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, particularly if you have an older child who enjoys sprinting exercises whenever an opportunity arises.
Get a carrier for your preschooler if you can’t maintain control of them and don’t want to shout their name all through the airport. It will save your sanity, as well as the sanity of your children!
This is the primary reason I purchased carriers for my preschoolers, and I must confess that they have made walks much faster when I require them to be.
It’s quite hard to persuade your children that when passing through airports, they should walk a little quicker. After all, a two- or three-year-old can’t walk that fast.
Carriers for older children are an excellent option for active parents who like lengthy excursions in the woods, hiking, and trekking. On a mountain route, a 3- or 4-year-old can’t walk by himself, but in a toddler carrier? After all, why not?
Keep in mind that there are specific carriers for long-distance hikes and hiking. They offer a larger seat for the infant that is comfy for extended periods of time.
Toddler Carrier Benefits
The term “toddler” is most commonly used when discussing buckle carriers, thus that will be the subject of this article.
(Some ring sling and wrap companies do create wider variants for larger children, often with more durable or heavyweight materials, but these are not widespread.)
The size of the panel is the major difference between “normal” and “toddler” buckle carriers.
Taller panels can accommodate a larger child’s torso, allowing them to ride with their arms within the panel.
Wider panels support a longer-legged child’s thighs more effectively, allowing them to relax with their knees closer to their bottoms rather than dangling down.
A higher and broader panel helps support more of a kid against their caregiver’s body, allowing for more effective weight transfer.
For the wearer, a larger carrier that properly supports the kid may be more comfortable. However, an excessively big panel is feasible.
Choosing The Best Toddler Carrier
Choosing the best carrier for your toddler boils down to two factors: your comfort (both of you) and your child’s safety. These two factors fluctuate between manufacturers and models, therefore there is no such thing as the ideal toddler carrier for everyone.
The goal is to get a model that your passenger will like riding in while also not weighing you down.
To that end, here are a few pointers to keep in mind when shopping for a toddler carrier:
How Should A Buckle Carrier Fit
The panel of a buckle carrier should be tall enough to support the majority of the child’s back while remaining short enough to allow the child’s face to be seen from the outside.
It should be just broad enough to hold the kid’s legs in a spread squat or “M” posture, with the knees at or above the bum, while enabling the child to freely swing their legs from the knees down.
Some parents choose a carrier with a broader “base,” or bottom edge, so that their kid may sit with extra support below their thighs (the cloth covering the child’s legs is “knee to knee”), and their knees are at or above their buttocks.
Many people feel that this is the “ideal” position, and we do recommend it since it is more efficient for most caregivers and more pleasant for most infants.
We also think that narrow-based carriers that allow a child’s legs to hang downward are safe, and we don’t have any strong data to back this up.
Manufactuer Weight Restrictions
The first step in finding a carrier that you and your child will like is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for weight and age. This guarantees that the carrier provides the necessary support for your passenger while still being easy on your shoulders and back.
Weight Of Carrier Itself
We can’t talk about the carrier’s comfort without mentioning its overall weight. The weight of a carrier is usually influenced by its design and the quantity of padding it contains. My advice is to get a well-designed, light carrier that won’t be too heavy to carry on its own.
Remember that hiking carriers are heavier, but they are designed to carry even an older child and give comfort for a few hours of trekking.
Fabric and Materials
Make sure the textiles chosen for the carrier are gentle on your child’s delicate skin. Soft and non-toxic materials should be used. Make sure they are breathable, especially if you reside in or will be visiting hotter climates.
Possible Carrying Positions
Most baby carriers allow you to wear your infant in three different positions: front, hip, and back. The latter is the best carrying posture for toddlers because they are rather heavy at this age and it is impossible to wear them on your front.
A toddler is also ready to ride on your back in a more upright position, unlike in their early days when they must retain an M-shape position of the legs and a rounded back. Furthermore, the back carry posture satisfies your toddler’s growing need for independence and heightened curiosity about his or her environment.
Safety Tips For Using A Toddler Carrier
Put on the waist belt and clasp it around your hips to keep it in place. You should have the body panel behind you.
Allow the passenger to leap onto your back with his or her hands on your shoulders as you squat.
One by one, wrap the shoulder straps across your shoulders.
Adjust the shoulder straps until they are comfortable and fasten the chest straps across your chest.
Make sure the kid is seated in the centre of the body panel, with no excess material folded under the buttocks.
Common Carrier Issues To Watch Out For
Check for common fit concerns before purchasing a new carrier or choosing whether or not you require a toddler carrier.
When you use the carrier, is there a section of the panel caught between your body and the child’s body?
If this is the case, consider repositioning your child’s seat in the carrier such that their bottom rests at the panel’s base, or bottom edge (where it attaches to the waistband). More of the panel’s height is now available to support your child’s bottom and back.
Have you adjusted the shoulder straps such that they press against your armpits?
If this is the case, relax the shoulder straps and use the chest or sternum strap to have the shoulder strap loops follow a broader route, allowing your arms to move more freely.
When you’re carrying your infant on your front, does the sternum strap come close to your neck?
If that’s the case, try lowering it (you may need to partially or completely remove the carrier to do this, or ask another person for help). Many caregivers find it pleasant to wear their straps such that the bottoms of their shoulder blades are in contact with the straps. You may also experiment with the strap’s tightness to locate a sweet spot.
Have you been wearing your carrier waistband flat to your body, above your hips?
If the waistband on your carrier is at a steep angle, slanted, or folds away, you may be able to enhance the comfort of your carrier by changing where the waistband is placed on your body and how tight you make it.
The cushioned section of the waistband should at least slightly overhang your hip bones (iliac crests) and be snug enough that the belt sits flat against your body once the child’s weight is in the carrier.
How to Figure Out Which Size Carrier To Get
Although many vendors recommend that a kid be in 2T trousers as a minimum size before using their toddler carriers, this is not always the case.
Measuring the breadth of your child’s straddle is one method to get a better idea of what carrier will fit your baby.
Straddle width is a phrase we’ve used to describe the space between one knee and the other while a kid is sitting against your body.
Please keep in mind that carrier panels frequently have subtle curves and darts and vary by brand, so this is only an estimate. We believe it may still be beneficial.
Here’s how to go about it.
- Bring your baby and anything that can be used to measure a curved distance together (this could be a soft tape measure, a piece of string, or ribbon plus a ruler). You could also wish to hire a personal assistant.
- Pick up your child and place them on your body like they’re in a baby carrier. Even if you plan to carry your kid on your back, we encourage attempting this with them on your front.
- Place one end of the measuring tape or string against your body, closest to the inside of one of your child’s knees.
- With the tape, trace the distance across your stomach (loose but not too tight) until you reach the point where the inside of the child’s opposite knee comes close to your torso.
- Check the length using the tape, or use the ruler to find the length by holding your location on the string. For the sake of this essay, it is your child’s straddle width.
- Compare that distance to the panel width provided for the carrier you’re considering purchasing. Choose a carrier with a panel width that is equal to or less than the straddle width of your child. If no carrier is thin enough, an adjustable width carrier or one with an infant insert may be required.
When To Not Buy A Toddler Carrier
You have a newborn and want to save money by purchasing a carrier that will grow with the child. Right now, the carrier you’re using should fit your infant. A carrier that is too big for your child will be unpleasant and may be dangerous for both of you. The majority of newborn carriers can be used or modified to fit much larger children. If you’re having trouble getting comfortable in the carrier, give some of the suggestions above a try before giving up!
Someone you don’t know informed you that carrying your child in a carrier was the best and only option. Many babywearers are passionate about the solutions that worked for them, but just because they did doesn’t imply their solution is right for you or that you need a toddler carrier. We think you’ll be OK if you trust yourself and keep receptive to your child’s feedback on how they like what’s going on.
Do You Need A Toddler Carrier?
The caregiver and the passenger both benefit from babywearing a toddler. Unfortunately, no matter how enthusiastic you are about carrying your infant, keep in mind that the child may not share your enthusiasm.
You might need to use a toddler carrier if:
- You’ve been effectively using a carrier, but you’ve suddenly realised that your back or neck is in greater discomfort or strain than before.
- Your child’s head, shoulders, and a good portion of their thighs stretch considerably over the carrier’s panel.
- Your kid can lean back so much that they put themselves in danger of falling or throw you off balance.
- Your baby complains of pain or is unable to relax in the previously pleasant carrier.
- If the panel can hold the majority of your child’s weight and they are within the manufacturer’s suggested height and weight, your current carrier could still function for you.
- If your child isn’t at ease in the carrier at first, try a few different types and make sure you’re using it properly. You may always seek expert assistance – look for a local babywearing specialist.
- If you’ve tried everything and nothing works, it’s possible that a carrier isn’t for your child. But that’s fine; each child is unique and has distinct tastes.
Standard carriers, in most cases, can accommodate even bigger children.
If your current carrier is no longer working for you due to your child’s growth and weight, it’s worth looking to see if there are any modifications you can make to how you use it before purchasing a new one.
Changes in your and your child’s body may need a shift in how you use your carrier in order to maintain it as comfortable as possible.
Check whether any of these typical fit concerns apply before purchasing a new carrier.