Ladies and Gents, today we are going to discuss toddler wearing and even preschool wearing. It may surprise you to learn that this does happen all around Hampton Roads, Va.
What is toddler wearing? Toddler wearing is still babywearing but now you are at a different stage in your child’s age. Toddler, as defined, is a young child just beginning to walk (thank you Google). Per Wikipedia, a toddler is a child between the ages of 1 and 3 years of age. Toddlers are worn differently then babies and do require a lot of ups and downs so they can explore the world. However, they still need a caregiver there to carry them when their legs just can’t do the job anymore.
There are a lot of carriers on the market these days that are geared towards toddler and preschool wearing. This is where it goes into what you prefer to wear: woven wraps; SSCs (soft-structure carriers); MTs (Mei Tai); or RS (Ring Slings). You will need to check with the manufacturers and research the tested weight bearing limits for whichever carrier you would like to try.
Here is weight limit information for just a few of the available SSCs & MTs:
Ergobaby: Birth (with insert)-45lbs
NuzzleMe Creations: up to 45lbs
Tula: 20kg= 44.0925lbs
Butterfly: 7- 45lbs
Onya Baby Carriers: 15- 45lbs
Connecta: 3.5- 16kg= 7.7-35lbs)
Action Baby Carrier: Infants- 40lbs
Oh Snap: 15-45lbs
What is preschool wearing? It’s the same concept of babywearing and toddler wearing. Again, it’s just a different phase and different technique to be used to help balance the weight and make sure the legs are still in the traditional “M” shape. There is no rule about when you have to stop carrying or wearing your child. It does get to the point where you have to ask yourself are you and the child both being supported and nothing is hurting while wearing. I get asked ALL the time when I carry my 3 1/2 year old, “Isn’t he heavy? You still carry him? Doesn’t that hurt you?” The questions could go on and on.
My answers every time are the same:
Yes, I still wear him; no, I’m not in pain; no, he isn’t in pain; would you like to chase him through the store; if he is on my back then he will not run into traffic or take off in the parking lot of the store; do your legs get tired? So do his after he plays at the playground and we need to walk a mile back to the car.
Then I just smile and walk peacefully away.
A few helpful tips to remember:
~When you can, try the carrier on before you buy. All of these have different measurements that fit different body types. This is your best bet to find that perfect fit for both you and baby. Try on as many as you can.
~What worked in the infant/baby stage may not be a comfortable choice for where you are now in the toddler or preschool phase.
~Always, ALWAYS, buy from a reputable vendor/manufacturer. Safety is first, no matter the age or stage. DO YOUR RESEARCH FOR WEIGHT LIMITS!!!!!
~Check your carriers over each time you use them for wear and tear. This is very important as you will be putting more weight into your carriers with a toddler or preschooler.
~Don’t forget you can still use wraps and ring You just have to look for fabrics that would be more supportive for the weight of a toddler/preschooler. Any of our VBEs can help guide you in the right direction.
In closing, it’s not just babywearing anymore. It’s also toddler wearing and preschool wearing!! Go out and show off those carriers, show off those snuggles you share with your bigger kids and don’t forgot to snap a picture doing so to share with all of us.