When do I need to get a Toddler or Preschool Carrier?
This question often comes up when you and your baby have fallen in love with babywearing and it has become a pivotal parenting tool but you notice that your baby is now a toddler and maybe it’s time to look at other options. Nowadays there are a lot of choice in terms of baby carriers including different sizes of baby, toddler and preschool but deciding whether you need to go up a size depends on a lot of factors. It is important to consider your current carrier and the reasons to go up a size or get a different carrier. Please note that a lot of carriers will last your whole babywearing journey and not every family feels the need to go up a size.
Things to consider:
- Does your current carrier still fit and is safe?
It is important to make sure that your current carrier is still suitable for your child as they grow. There are two main aspects – one is weight restrictions and the other is making sure your child is secure. Always check your carrier manufacture instructions in terms of weight restrictions as baby carriers can have restrictions from between 15kg to 20kg so it is crucial to follow these. The other aspect is to ensure that your child is secure while being worn, can the carrier can still be tightened effectively and the back panel needs to go to their armpits so they aren’t a falls risk? 📷 Kangatraining Australia
You will probably notice that the seat width doesn’t go from knee to knee as they grow, this isn’t really an issue in terms of safety but can be uncomfortable for the wearer and if your child isn’t walking yet, it means that they aren’t in the optimal position for their hip and spine development and muscle strength.
If you and your child feel that your babywearing days are coming to a close there may not be a need to get a new carrier. Sometimes as a baby learns to walk, they may be more focused on this and may not want to be worn as much. Or you have a child like mine, who still asks to be worn almost daily at 3.5 years old (and yes we still Kanga AND she still sleeps!) and an upgrade was a necessity.
- Are you and your baby comfortable?
This is often when you start considering going up a size as your carrier just doesn’t fit like it used to! In terms of comfort, often as your baby grows the straps don’t fit as well or your child no longer fits knee to knee in the seat of the carrier. When your child grows and their legs start to dangle as the seat is smaller, this can add additional weight for the wearer. While it’s not unsafe for you or your child to have a narrower seat, having the seat go knee to knee assists with their weight distribution and is a lot more comfortable for both the child and wearer.
- Is your carrier just not working for you anymore?
Sometimes you might find that a particular type of carrier just isn’t working for you and your child’s needs. For example they are no longer happy to wait until you finish wrapping and tying off in a woven wrap or you want an option that is quick to get on (and off) as your toddler wants to get up and down numerous times.
So those are the main areas to consider, now let’s check out your two options:
- Continue using your current baby carrier – check out our article Getting the most out of your current carrier with a toddler/preschooler
- Upgrade to a toddler or preschool carrier – check out our article My favourite Toddler and Preschool Carriers
If you have any questions about Toddler or Preschool carriers please pm me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For our current toddler and preschool carriers: Toddler and Preschool Carriers
Certified Babywearing Consultant