Baby carriers are not only for newborns. If you have the right kind of carrier then it will accommodate your little one for many years to come. While strollers are great for larger babies, there are certain situations where your baby carrier will be a lifesaver right up until your child reaches the toddler years.
While it’s true that toddlers are natural explorers and they love to walk or run even, they do get tired and get cranky at times. They still need to be cuddled and rest those tired little feet, and that’s when baby carriers will come in handy.
In This Post:
Why Use Carriers For Toddlers?
Closely Monitor Your Toddler
Carrying your toddler can help you to closely monitor them and their activities. There will times when carrying them is the only way to keep them safe. Just like when you go for a hike or walking in a busy street.
Comfort Toddler with Temper Tantrums
We’ve all been there – temper tantrums and sometimes carrying them is the only way to soothe and comfort them. But then, as mothers, we have tons of things to do and using a toddler carrier allows us to do what’s needed to be done while comforting our little ones.
A Great Travelling Companion
Toddler carrier is very useful when you are planning to tag your toddler along. You can easily navigate public transportation while keeping your child safe.
Toddlers are like a sponge, they learn fast and observe everything that’s happening around them. Carrying them close can help facilitate this.
The two of you can explore your surroundings and learn about the people and the things around them.
Versatile/ Soft Structured Carriers
These are the most common carriers that you will see in the market today. The soft structure of the carrier is able to handle the additional stress that a toddler will cause to the carrier compared to a lighter newborn.
You get excellent versatility with these carriers and they support a number of toddler suitable positions – frontal inward, frontal outward, and even backpack.
Unlike the ring slings, these carriers have more support for you and your baby and are more versatile as well. Since most are now ergonomically designed, you can use it while carrying your toddler for a few hours or so.
Each type of carrier has its own set of features, but in general these type of carriers have the following features:
These carriers have wide shoulder straps with thick padding to avoid shoulder pains. It also has wide and thick waist straps that can help with equal weight distribution thus the occurrence of low back pain is lesser.
For added security, these carriers have harnesses and straps to prevent any accidents.
Most carriers are lined with breathable fabric to make sure that there’s proper air ventilation. This feature is important especially if you are leaving in a place with hot climate. Your child is going to be comfortable even when you keep them inside the carrier for a long time.
They will not be able to squirm too much, but will remain comfortable while strapped in.
This carrier comes with the guidance that it is suitable for use form 0-48 months. So you will get great milage out of this carrier!
Backpack carriers are very useful for families who enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities such as long walks in the park.
These types of carriers are made up of durable materials and suit more heavy duty use – steel frame, all-weather fabrics, heavy stiches and durable straps.
All are features that improve the strength of the carrier and allow for large toddlers to be accommodated easily.
Suspension Support/System. Ladder suspension that can be adjusted to the height and width of the torso.
This is the area where your child will sit inside the carrier. The cockpit area needs to have the following:
- A well-padded, wide and comfortable seat
- A five-point harness to help secure your child.
- Adjustable height for back support.
Usually made of metal, a kickstand allows you to load and unload your child easily and safely. The carrier can basically stand on its own because of the kickstand.
Since a backpack carrier is basically an “adventure” carrier, it has an ample space and compartments for storage. Some carriers have a removable daypack for snacks, diapers, small toys and water bottle for your child.
Aside from a daypack, a backpack carrier also has mesh and pockets for small items such as your phones, credit cards and keys.
A backpack carrier is usually used outdoors. A hood or a canopy is necessary to protect your child against the elements – sun, wind, or even light drizzle.
This is a necessary feature to assure the proper weight distribution of your child around the hip, waist and pelvic area. It is usually padded and adjustable. Backpack carriers are ergonomically designed to avoid weight on shoulders and low back area.
Best Suited For
- Best for moms who loves taking a hike or walking along trails.
- Best for outdoorsy-type family
The canopy provides protection when out and about, and the cockpit area is comfortable enough for them to doze off when on the move.
Hipseat carriers is quite handy to have around the house, especially during those days when nothing works to calm your little one but you carrying him or her.
- Non-slip. The seats in a hipseat carrier are generally non-slip to ensure the safety of your child.
- Breathable. It is usually covered with air mesh or other breathable fabric.
- Well-Padded Waist Band. The waist band is generally wide with memory foams to assure proper fit.
- No complicated Belt and Harnesses. Just lift, position your baby and carry.
Best Suited For
Moms that are looking for a quick relieve from carrying their child for a long time. No more noodle arms.
You can separate the frame form the hip seat so you can prop up the little in more casual settings when not on the move. A great saver for your arms.
Carrier Types Less Suitable for Toddlers
Sometimes, you just need something that’s quick and easy to put on, especially if you’re just running short errands to the mall or to the groceries. The Ring Sling is simple, long piece of fabric that has two rings attached on one end of the fabric.
While you can use a ring sling for a toddler, it may not be as suitable as the other options mentioned above. The structure is less secure for an active toddler and it would not have the same strength as a carrier that is stitched together.
The weight distribution is also not as even. This can be a challenge for the wearer if it is for a long period of time. It can lead to fatigue and back/shoulder pain.
It can be a good option for quick and easy use.
Similar to the ring sling, a Wrap can be used for a Toddler but may not be the most suitable option.
A spandex and cotton blended wrap could become loose if a toddler does get a bit squirmish. The wrap is only as good as how it is tied and unless it is done well there is a risk that the toddler could move around as they are stronger than an infant.
Pure cotton wraps can be more suitable for toddlers as the fabric does not have the same level of stretchiness. These can feel bulkier though.
For those who love the closeness of a baby wrap then this is a viable option, but we would not recommend it as the best option for the average mom.
Toddlers are known explorers. They want to learn new things and enjoy their new surroundings. Carrying them can be helpful to guide them. Aside from that, carriers can be a total lifesaver for us mothers, especially when they are tired and having a tantrum.
Choosing the right one for you will really depend on why and how you intend to use the carrier. Just keep in mind these three things when you are buying a carrier – safety, comfort and lifestyle.
For general everyday use, you will find that a good quality soft structured carrier gets the balance right between comfort, ease of use, practicality, and cost.