How to carry a large, clingy toddler

A few months ago, I wrote about how my toddler is breaking my back.

It’s no less broken now. If anything, it’s more broken. She’s bigger now but no less insistent on her ‘up’ time. In fact, she can actually say ‘up’ now.

And she does. Repeatedly.

She refuses to use her stroller or baby carrier anymore, and while she can walk perfectly well, her preferred method of transportation is in my arms. Her clinginess was kind of endearing when she was a baby, but it’s significantly less so now that she’s a 25lb toddler who can yell, “UP!” into my ear.

So when Hippychick offered to let me try their Hipseat, I was ready to give pretty much anything a go. It was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to carry her for much longer. I mean, I don’t even go to the gym anymore. I haven’t lifted weights in two years. MY BODY IS NOT BUILT FOR THIS.

The Hippychick Hipseat provides a firm shelf for babies/toddlers to support their weight from underneath, which means that the parent’s spine can stay straight instead of twisting.

Me carrying the Popple in a Hippychick Hipseat

And my spine is already twisted enough, thank you very much. Did I mention that I have scoliosis? Because I do. I’ve got a tiny little hunchback on my left side because of it. I’ve also spent the past 12 years leaning over a laptop for eight hours a day, so my back was already pretty messed up long before I ever had a baby.

When I first strapped on the Hipseat and plonked the Popple onto it, I could feel right away that there was less pressure on my spine, and that I wasn’t standing with my pelvis jutting forward like I normally do to compensate for her mahoosive weight. She cuddled into my chest and ran her fingers through my hair like she always does.

“This just might work,” I thought – but I knew the real test was yet to come.

The nursery run.

Our nursery run involves a train ride followed by a 15 minute walk from the train station to her nursery. That might not sound very long, but it is when you’re trying to carry a squirmy toddler. I always look out for other struggling toddler-carriers, but I only ever see parents calming pushing their well-behaved children in pushchairs. Meanwhile, the Popple yells, “UP UP UP!” at me.

“You are up,” I tell her.

“UP!” she demands, as though I’m somehow being lax in my carrying duties.

My arms ache. My back twinges. I try to shift her up higher. The nursery seems impossibly far.

I hate starting my days like this.

When I tried to nursery run with the Hipseat, the walk didn’t feel nearly as long – I’m guessing because her weight was supported by the support belt rather than my very un-muscular arms. It was nice to amble across city centre without feeling like someone was stabbing me repeatedly in the shoulder blades.

Would I prefer that my daughter sit in a pushchair like every other normal toddler out there? Yeah, that would be nice. But she is who she is, and she knows what she likes. If she’s going to insist on being carried, better for her to be balanced on a seat than draped over my very broken shoulders.

Hippychick very kindly sent me a Hipseat to try.

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Tammymum
Diary of an imperfect mum

16 Comment

  1. Oooh this looks amazing!! So glad you’ve got something which suits you. Luckily TM is normally ok in the pushchair although obviously I can’t use that around the house, where he often demands to be picked up. I tend to just use it as an excuse to sit down now though to be honest, I can’t be dealing with carrying him around for long!
    Ellen recently posted…Pregnancy #2 – 16 week updateMy Profile

  2. Oh this sounds amazing and brilliant. I could have done with this for Youngest. My back actually went once and I couldn’t move for days. What a great idea. #FamilyFun

  3. Well that’s cool! What a novel idea, I think I could do with that. I never knew such a thing existed. Your poor back must be in such need of some respite. Hope it continues to help. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun xx

  4. Great stuff popple. I’d not Heard of these before but definitely a good idea! Glad it’s working 😀
    Karen:TwoTinyHands recently posted…Exploring Creativity #FamilyFunLinkyMy Profile

  5. I need one of these. My toddler is so clingy and always ‘want up mama’ but I can’t carry her for longer than 5 to 10 minutes.. such a good invention.
    #familyfun

  6. These are such a great idea, I could have done with one of those a few months ago. Thankfully my squirmy toddler is walking further on her own now because I’m sure how much more my back could take x
    #FamilyFun
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…The Robots Have It In For Me: Meccano Micronoid ReviewMy Profile

  7. Love this idea. I had a large wrap that I used to sit little man in as I also had back problems due to an unstable pelvis. But a specially designed carrying thing sounds fab! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉
    Catie: An Imperfect Mum recently posted…#a blogging good time #34My Profile

  8. I saw a woman using one of these in a coffee shop once, I thought they are ingenious! My daughter gave up her pushchair early, but luckily for me she would walk most of the way, I only had to carry her for short bursts before she was recharged and ready again! But even that hurt! Can’t imagine how bad your back must be! Hope the little seat helps 🙂 #ablogginggoodtime

  9. I think this is a great idea. My little boy is nearly one, thankfully he’s still happy in his pushchair but the odd occasion I have to carry him and it’s like torture! I can see how this would be really helpful #ablogginggoodtime
    Becky recently posted…Guest Post – The Pregnancy Diaries week32My Profile

  10. I feel like this is a glimpse into my future … I don’t think Doll has broken 25lbs yet but she really does want to be carried all the time. And sitting down and holding her does not cut it! So she yells at me constantly because I either sit down to hold her or put her down all the time because, well, I lose my breath pretty easy at 32 weeks!

  11. Wow this is a great idea, I need one of those in my life! I have disc disease and carrying my girl leaves my crippled in pain but this looks like it would really help, going to check hippychick out!

    #ablogginggoodtime
    kerry recently posted…The bedtime TAG.My Profile

  12. Stopping by again with #ablogginggoodtime
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…The Robots Have It In For Me: Meccano Micronoid ReviewMy Profile

  13. I need this! Emmeline is 18 months and whilst she isn’t exactly big for her size, she’s starting to get so heavy. She wants Mumma (she even calls me “My mumma” to ensure her brother and sister don’t try and muscle in on her space!) all the time and I can feel my back and hips starting to deteriorate so perhaps I should try something like this. Thanks for the prompt xx #FamilyFun
    Alice Soule recently posted…Update on Jude’s social care situationMy Profile

  14. I’ve been thinking of getting one of these as my heavy toddler insists on being carried too #ablogginggoodtime
    Jenni recently posted…The ordinary moments #3My Profile

  15. This looks like a great idea and so good that it helps spread the weight to give your poor back a rest. I’ve never heard of these before xx #dreamteam

  16. Sounds a great idea. My toddler is breaking my back tooand doesn’t walk far. Maybe 50 yards then asks to get up. Myback is knackrred and I’m seeing a chiropractor so I may look into this! Xx #DreamTeam
    Susie – This is me now recently posted…Why I’m rocking motherhoodMy Profile

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