5 Reasons Why Babywearing is Not Just for Babies


“Can’t she walk?”

“You’ll spoil her if you carry her like that!”

“Doesn’t that hurt your back?”

These are just a few of the comments I or people I know have experienced when carrying our toddlers or pre-schoolers. We don’t look twice when we see a 4-year-old riding in a stroller or being given a piggy back, but when they’re being carried in something specifically designed for that purpose… it becomes weird. People are usually aware of the many benefits of babywearing, but the benefits of carrying older kids are often unknown or overlooked.

Here are 5 reasons why babywearing is not just for babies:

1. Bonding

Big kids are no different from little ones! They thrive when they’re physically close to you – getting hugs, cuddles and your loving touch. The ‘up up’ cries don’t miraculously stop when they start walking, in fact, they continue for a long time. 

2. Meltdown Recovery

All kids can quickly get overwhelmed in a crowded place or new environment, but this is especially true for those with autism or other spectrum conditions. Carrying them allows kids some physical separation from the overwhelm, whilst maintaining parental comfort and giving them the opportunity to assimilate at their own pace. My kiddos always calmed down quicker being cocooned and close to me.

3. Help with Sibling Jealousy

Carriers are often on a second-time parents ‘must have’ list for the new baby, but what about for the older sibling? Many baby carriers can be used for short periods all the way up to 2-years-old (just be sure to check the weight limit). You don’t necessarily need a specific toddler or pre-schooler carrier. 

4. Better for YOUR Body

Whenever I give my kids piggy backs, I find that all too often I’m counting the number of steps left. My arms ache and they’re usually pulling on my hair or strangling me in a choke hold. In a carrier or a wrap their weight is more evenly distributed, so I have both of my hands free. I can focus on chatting to them and enjoying the surroundings together, rather than putting all my energy into just carrying them (or making it back to the car!). 

5. It’s Fun!

I mean, let’s face it: I felt like a ninja-mom when I mastered how to single-handedly swing my kid onto my back, then use a 13ft piece of cloth to secure them in under 2 minutes. But you can get all the same benefits of carrying, by just clipping a carrier to your waist and asking them to hop on. A couple of faff-free clips later, you’ll both be chatting away – or, more likely, passing them snacks over your shoulder. 

One of my favorite memories occurred on a rainy morning in London. My eldest daughter Ada was having a meltdown about going to nursery (daycare). I suddenly spotted our wrap in the corner of the room and suggested I would carry her the 3 minutes walk on the way. She broke into a huge smile and ran to get the wrap. I covered both of us with a huge golf umbrella, and she chatted happily all the way there. She enjoyed the moment of bonding and the novelty of showing her friends once we got there. 

If you want to give it a try but need some help, come and see me! I run monthly babywearing meetups at Relief Parenting in Hampton on the second Monday of every month from 9:15-10am. The sessions are ‘pay what you can’ to make them accessible to all.


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