12 reasons why you may still need a carrier for your toddler

Couple in woodland laughing with child in a toddler carrier

Do i need a carrier for my toddler?

“How old is she… Two? Why do you still need a carrier for her then?”

When my daughter was a toddler I used to get asked this sort of question quite a lot. And it’s understandable that people would wonder.  When I was first pregnant the idea of carrying or needing to carry such a large (and surely walking) child seemed rather silly and unnecessary. But then I had a baby of my own, who grew into a toddler, who turned 2…..

….and then I got it.

At age 2 my kids could happily walk, but not for longer than about an hour. And even then they needed to be in a well-rested and cooperative mood to not be constantly trying to run off into the road, or to look at an interesting stick, or to get back to playgroup. Or to actually move anywhere without having a tantrum (the Terrible Twos are a real thing)!

And then there’s the times when we’d be out all day and my toddler just couldn’t keep up, or they needed to sleep, or lifting up to get a better view at the museum/farm/aquarium. Or when they were a bit ill and feeling snuggly. Or had just fallen over and grazed a knee, or got barked at by a scary dog. These things can prevent the ability to walk when you’re two.

And some children need more reassurance than others at the end of a long day of learning and socialising at nursery or playgroup or with fr iends.  I know I like a hug when I’ve had a big day at work.  And I’d definitely love to be carried home!

So all in all it’s not really surprising that people find they end up carrying their 2 (and 3 and sometimes even 4) year olds far more than they ever imagined. Luckily there are lots of toddler-suitable slings and carriers that will help you do this in a way that’s comfortable and supportive for you both

So here’s a list of some of my reasons for still needing carriers and slings for my 2 year old, and why I was still occasionally using carriers up to age 3 and 4.

  1. Naps when out for the day.
  2. To get from A to B whilst going in the right direction and at a reasonable pace!
  3. For reassuring snuggles at the end of a long, tiring day of running, climbing and learning.
  4. For that great view they get when you lift them up.
  5. Because there’s some things you want to do that they just can’t manage yet, and it’s not easy to appreciate all those lovely walks and sights on holiday when you’re dragging a reluctant small person
  6. Because a carrier is easier to have with you ‘just in case’ than a buggy.
  7. Because they want to feel included and keep up with older siblings
  8. Because even if it’s only for a short time, carrying a growing toddler year old in your arms or on your shoulders without support can really hurt!
  9. It’s easier to have a conversation when they’re facing you and at your level
  10. Because however much your toddler would like to, you really don’t want them running off in Ikea, or at the supermarket, or car park, or festival.
  11. At the end of a long fun day out, sometimes it’s the only way for everyone to get home without a melt down.
  12. Because sometimes it’s just lovely to bask in how much they really love you (for the short moments they want to show you).


Do you still find times when you need a carrier for your ‘big kid’?  We’d love to hear your reasons for needing a toddler carrier; and if you’ve got a picture to share, then so much the better!

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