A toddler, a term which refers to a child between one and four years old, is a beautiful, mobile little creature. Named for their toddling manner of walking, these growing babies possesses an immense curiosity about the world. Toddlers want to explore everything. Even the simplest trip to your local park is an exciting outing for a toddler. However, this curiosity and passion for investigating anything and everything can be challenging for parents needing to complete daily tasks with toddler in tow.
In certain situations, a stroller is a great way to carry and transport your toddler. For example, a stroller is an ideal form of toddler transport at the mall. However, if you as the parent need or want your arms free or wish to hike or walk on uneven surfaces, a stroller is not the best option. For those times when you want to hold your baby close and keep your arms mobile, a baby carrier is the perfect choice. Toddlers can also instantly decide they are tired of toddling so having a baby carrier on hand is a great way to be able to carry a baby that no longer wants to walk or is in need of a nap! Not only useful for transportation purposes, a baby carrier creates a bonding experience for carrier and child. Being held close to a mother or father’s body can soothe a fussy toddler quickly.
There are multiple styles of baby carriers including wraps, slings, mei tais and structured. Wraps and slings are made of fabric while structured carriers are generally made of nylon and look more like backpacks, although many can be worn on either the front or back. Mei tais are a bit of a cross between fabric and structure styles.
Slings and wraps can be challenging because their lack of structure makes it more difficult to evenly distribute the child’s weight which may cause back or shoulder pain for the person doing the carrying. Learning how to effectively wrap and manage all that fabric may also take some time although there are many youtube videos which can help provide instruction. For older, larger toddlers weighing 35 or more pounds most parents agree structured carriers are the best bet. Many structured carriers can be adjusted for continuous use as a child grows in size and weight and can therefore be used for infants and toddlers alike. A few require a special insert when using to carry an infant.
Front and back baby carriers
Experts recommend not carrying a baby on your back until the child is one year old or older. Many carriers are flexible and can be worn either in the front or on the back. Here are some of our favorite carriers suitable for toddlers.
1. Ergobaby OMNI 360 Baby Carrier All-in-One
Considered the best carrier on the market today by many parents, this versatile carrier can be used for babies weighing from seven to 33 pounds. It also can worn on the front with baby facing either in or out and can also be worn on the back or on the side.
2. Tula Ergonomic Baby Carrier
Designed for use with older babies, this sleek carrier provides a soft ride for babies weighing up to sixty pounds. Baby can be carried in front facing the parent or on the back.
3. Onya Baby Outback Baby Carrier
What a product! This carrier comes complete with a sun and rain hood and also doubles as a toddler seat when attached to an adult size chair. This carrier can hold an infant (when a sold separately booster is purchased) and can also hold children weighing as much as 45 pounds. We love this carrier for hiking, camping and other baby inclusive outdoor activities.
4. BabyBjorn Carrier One
From the most well-known company in baby carriers, BabyBjorn, this carrier has been redesigned for 2019. It allows for four carrying positions and is suitable for babies weighing up to 33 pounds. All BabyBjorn carriers are made from 100% non-toxic baby safe materials.
Carriers worn on the back only are perfect for older, heavier babies. There are two types, those with frames and those without. Framed carriers have metal pieces allowing for more structure and less pressure on the back of the person carrying. A toddler will sit up higher in a framed carrier than in one without frames. Framed carriers are generally more expensive than their unframed counterparts.
5. Poco AG Plus
Perfect for hiking, this framed carrier can safely hold a child weighing up to 48.5 pounds. The carrier provides comfort for both adult and child as the aluminum frame helps keep the child stable. This carrier also contains a bunch of handy pockets and compartments.
Baby wraps for big toddlers
There are some wrap style carriers that work well for big toddlers. Some parents prefer a sling to a structured carrier as they feel it increases closeness and bonding. Wrap carriers are also generally less expensive than structured carriers.
1. KeaBabies Baby Wrap Carrier
Suitable for a toddler weighing up to 35 pounds, this wrap carrier is sturdy and is made of a spandex blend material to help keep baby and parent cool while carrying.
2. Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling Baby Carrier
The ring element makes this sling carrier straightforward and easy to use and extra padding helps keep mom or dad’s shoulders from getting sore. This carrier can hold a baby weighing from eight to 35 pounds.
Toddler carriers with cute designs
1. Cute Girl Mei Tai, Girl Baby Carrier Babytrage
We found this super cute handmade mei tai style carrier for sale on the unique e-commerce website Etsy at a shop named Malishastik. It can be worn on the front, back and side and can support babies weighing up to 50 pounds. Other designs including a special mei tai which can carry twins are also featured on the website.
2. LILLEbaby Jubilee All Seasons Baby Carrier
This colorful carrier is available on the Nordstrom website. We love the cute pattern. The carrier can be worn in six positions and can hold a baby weighing up to 45 pounds. It contains zippers to help with temperature control and provides back support for the wearer.
Available in a wide range of adorable colors and patterns, the BobaX line accommodates babies weighing from seven to 45 pounds. Of all the choices available we can’t keep our eyes off of the funky and cool Oceana print (pictured.)
Using a baby carrier can provide many benefits to parents and babies alike. From the time a baby is a newborn, a carrier allows the child to be held close to the parent which can be soothing and can allow for parent child bonding.
When using a carrier, parents are also able to be much more active so activities like hiking, walking and shopping are easier and less stressful for both parent and child. Toddlers who can quickly grow tired of walking and exploring can be easily popped into a carrier for a nap or some bonding time with mom or dad.
When choosing a carrier consider these questions. How old is the baby and how long might you want to use the carrier? Many carriers are flexible and can be used for infants to toddlers. Where will you use the carrier? If the carrier is mostly for hiking or outdoor walks, there are many equipped with added features like storage pockets and sun shades. Is the carrier comfortable? Everyone is different but parents must avoid a carrier that puts undo stress on the neck or back. Also, consider the fabric of the carrier as sometimes carrying a child close in hot weather can cause both the child and parents to feel too warm.