Babywearing a toddler

Monday, 7 May 2012

I could bore you to tears with my evolution as a babywearer over the years an perhaps I will indeed do that, shortly.  However for now, I'm going to focus on wearing a Toddler as many high street carriers are only really designed to wear your baby until around 9 months, 12 if you have a tiddler.

The Toddler is now 24 months of age and has been in his pram perhaps 20 times (all of which occurred after he turned 20 months-ish)  I'm not some hardcore cruncher who weaves knickers out of lentils, far from it.  I just simply prefer to wear him.  Why wouldn't I?

In the right carrier (don't worry, try a few we're all different you will find the right one for you)  it's comfortable, practical and enjoyable.  No awkward manoeuvring of wheels through doorways, aisles, up and down kerbs and battling them onto buses. You get an absolute freedom.  Not only that but you burn calories and keep warm too, bonus.  Seriously though, The Toddler is simply happy being worn.  he loves being close to me.  he loves being at face level to interact with me, others and the world around him.  He gets an awesome view, he's away from car exhaust level etc, he has the comfort of being close to me and feeling secure.  He chats more, laughs more, sings more and shouts more when in a sling.  It's easier and more natural to communicate, for me,  with him when he's so close.  It's ideal when he's sleepy or poorly or when walking off-road so to speak. Not to mention that it's a life saver when home alone and I get the rare urge to actually clean, I know where he is, he's safe and he feels a part of what I'm doing.  If he's ever sleepy or poorly and only Mummy will do it enables me to cook etc hands free whilst still comforting him.

The Toddler has been 'worn' from birth so it never occurred to me to stop just because he's a certain age, it was merely a natural extension of what we already do, a bit like breastfeeding.  Now don't get me wrong I'm no masochist, despite popular belief it doesn't hurt, it isn't uncomfortable for if it was I wouldn't do it! Needless to say if The Toddler wasn't happy, we wouldn't do it.  It's a mutual thing. He's independent, secure, confident, took his first unaided steps at 8 months and 3 weeks of age so it's not prevented him from anything and in my eyes it's benefited him. 

In fact believe it or not but i find it incredibly hard pushing the pushchair home up the hill from the shops, yet find it second nature to walk up the same hill with him on my back.

I'm not saying it's for everyone and nor am I anti-prams (Thing One was mostly in  pram) Thing One and Thing Two adore pushing him in the pushchair and it's rather handy for holding shopping, yet I do believe there is  lack of awareness that you can carry a toddler, it isn't difficult (I have a bad back, M.E etc) it doesn't have to be uncomfortable and it's physically and emotionally beneficial to both Mum and Toddler.   It's all about finding the right sling for you that offers optimal position and comfort for you and your child.  My personal favourate is our Wompat.

It's never to late to babywear, should you want to.  It's such a wonderful experience, something to cherish.  Especially with the Summer coming up, leave the buggy at home, pop a sling in your changing bag and get set, go! You'll be surprised how much further you stray.

Google your local sling library and get a chance to try different carriers until you find one that suits and get advice on how to wear it etc.


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