I get asked this quite a lot. And I don’t mind being asked 🙂 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 got a baby of my own, who grew into a toddler, who turned 2…..
….and then I got it. At 2 my son (and now my daughter) could happily walk, but not for longer than about an hour. And even then he needed to be in a good 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.
And then there’s the times when we’d be out all day and he just couldn’t keep up, or he needed to sleep, or needed lifting to see the exhibits/animals at the museum/farm/aquarium. Or when he was a bit ill and feeling snuggly. Or had just fallen over and grazed a knee, or bumped his head or got his finger trodden on or got barked at by a scarey dog. These things can all prevent the ability to walk when you’re 2.
And some children just need more reassurance than others at the end of a long day of learning and socialising at nursery or playgroup or with friends. 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 4) year olds more than they ever imagined. Luckily there are lots of 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 expect I’ll still be occasionally using carriers with her for the next year or so. Feel free to comment to add your own! And if you’ve got a picture to email, then so much the better! (Please send any photos to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reason Number 1: Naps when out for the day
Number 2: To get from A to B whilst going in the right direction and at a reasonable pace
Number 3: To get an extra hand free (that would otherwise be holding hands/reins)
Number 4: For snuggles at the end of a long, tiring day of running, climbing and learning
Number 5: For that great view you get from Mum/Dad’s back
Number 6: Because when you’re 2 you shouldn’t be expected walk when you have a scratch on your arm
Number 7: To keep them out of puddles and mud when you’ve forgotten wellies, raincoats or any way of protecting the car.
Number 8: Because otherwise it’s not easy to appreciate all those lovely walks and sights on holiday when you’re dragging a reluctant small person
Number 9: Because a sling is much easier to carry about ‘just in case’ than a buggy is
Number 10: Because they don’t want to feel left out
Number 11: Because carrying a 2 year old in your arms or on your shoulders for a long time without support can really hurt!
Number 12: So she can carry HER ‘babies’!
Number 13: Because toddlers don’t walk fast enough when you’re running late for school
Number 14: Because there’s some things you want to do that they just can’t manage…
Number 15: …but they always want to be able to do what you can do, however small
Number 16: Because today they didn’t ever want to leave the house/playgroup/sand pit
Number 17: Because you can also use a sling as an indoor swing
Number 18: …. and as a snuggly blanket
Number 19: Because sometimes it’s just lovely to bask in how much they love you (for the short moments they want to show you)
Number 20: It’s easier to have a conversation when they’re facing you and at your level
Number 21: Because however much SHE’D like to, you really don’t want her running off in here….
Number 22: …or here…
Number 23: …. or here!
Number 24: At the end of a long day for everyone, sometimes it’s the only way for everyone to stay happy get fed without a melt down