The joys of toddler wearing

A selfie of me carrying the Popple in the baby carrier

Baby wearing has a sort of sweetness to it. The baby is snuggled against your chest, the place where the feel the most safe. They are so attached to you as to almost feel like a part of you, their chest rising and falling with yours.

I loved baby wearing. When the Popple was angry, I’d put her in the baby carrier and she would fall asleep within minutes. At least, that’s how it worked when she was a newborn. As she got older, she needed a bit more persuading. Music was used, mostly U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer and Let it Go from Frozen. There was a lot of swaying. Dummies were inserted into mouths and spit back out again. It could take ages, but once she was asleep, I still got that warm, fuzzy feeling when I looked down at her squashed, sleeping face and her half-open mouth.

Baby wearing is a beautiful, cuddly thing.

Toddler wearing is a whole other matter.

The Popple refuses to sit in her pushchair and her tiny toddler legs can’t walk for long distances, so I often end up wearing her. If you were to run into me on my morning commute or out and about on the weekend, you’d see the Popple strapped to my chest, facing out, her legs kicking wildly.

That’s the big difference between baby wearing and toddler wearing. The baby is a more or less passive passenger, while the toddler is very much active. They are squirming around and pulling your hair. They are reaching for things and asking for snacks. They are desperate to get down, although as soon as you put them down, they want to get back up again.

People will stare at the two of you, which is hardly surprising, because there’s a clear struggle going on between wearer and wearee. They will watch your child hurl themselves backwards and bash you in the throat, asking themselves why anyone would willingly append a toddler to their torso.

It’s a fair question.

In an ideal world, the Popple would sit happily in her pushchair for the entire the time that it took us to get from point A to point B. My back wouldn’t hurt from carrying her extra weight, and my hair wouldn’t look like it had just been through a hurricane (which has nothing to do with toddler wearing, but this is my ideal world, and I’m done with frizzy hair, thanks).

But I don’t live in an ideal world. I live in a world where if I want to leave the house, I need to strap my child to my body and hope for the best. It’s better than the alternative – being stuck indoors all day with a toddler who has just learned that she can control THE VOLUME OF HER VOICE.


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36 Replies to “The joys of toddler wearing”

  1. I have tried babywearing twice and I just can’t get into it. My back ends up aching. I can’t imagine what it’d be like trying to wear a toddler! #chucklemums

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      It’s hard on your back, especially if you have scoliosis like I do. At least she’s a small toddler (13 months and petite), but she’s very wiggly!

  2. I wanted to baby wear/toddler wear but my two refused. I can’t imagine how you do it with a toddler, although at least they are contained! My threenager is going through a bolt from me stage!! #dreamteam

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      It’s only going to get harder once she gets older – I imagine a three-year-old is even harder to travel with!

  3. We’re massive babywearing fans, my mummy started off with a stretchy then onto a Mei Tai Pouchsling which she loved. I’m really big now and she wears me less frequently, only back carries in the Tula xx So many positives of baby wearing – we’d recommend it! xx #DreamTeam xx

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I was never able to manage a stretchy carrier – well done to your mum!

  4. I haven’t carried the toddler for a few months now – he miraculously decided the pushchair wasn’t so bad after all – although I have friends who wear their toddlers loads – the trick is to get them on your back so they can drive you by your hair and ears. Looks lots of fun! I still have my carriers in case of emergency so you never know 😉 #chucklemums

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I’m holding out hope that the Popple will one day decide that she’s into the pushchair again. She sat happily in the pram for 12 months, but as soon as she turned one, she was having none of it.

  5. I second Fran’s comment that toddler wearing looks easier if you pop them on your back – I have a carrier that should last a while yet and you can do back carries with it so that’s my next job to learn! He’s still ok on the front for now although I only tend to wear him when he’s clingy and sleepy. It’s a bit hot at the moment though. This did make me chuckle, people always stare at baby/toddler-wearing parents I think! Maybe she will decide she likes the pushchair one day…#chucklemums

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I need to figure out the back carrier too! It totally baffles me.

  6. Toddler wearing is definitely more challenging! Would recommend back carries though as they are so much more comfortable – I don’t think I could carry either of my girls on my front now but I can still carry them in the Tula on my back – it’s still fairly comfortable even with Jessica in at nearly 5! #triballove

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      My carrier converts to a back carrier – I just haven’t worked out how to do it yet. How am I supposed to get her in there on my own? I know it must be possible, but I can’t figure out the logistics.

  7. Oh you really make me laugh – I can just picture the scene – legs kicking and you all hot and bothered – this heat though – how do you manage it? Oh yes of course – she’s found out that she can control the volume of her voice – enough said!

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      The voice thing is new – she loves practicing her yelling now. It’s lots of fun when we’re on a crowded bus or in a busy shop.

  8. I loved the idea of babywearing but both boys (Daddy and Son) scuppered me by refusing – the boy just cried and Daddy refused to look “like a stupid kangaroo” Right then…#chucklemums

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Hahaha – stupid kangaroo! Love it! The Popple’s daddy users the carrier a lot too – she hasn’t given us much of a choice.

  9. I can imagine how it would be the quicker option to toddler wear…Emma is forever running away from me as I try to put a top on her to leave the house! It did make me chuckle, the image of you two having a tussle while walking down the street – very funny indeed 😉 Thanks for linking up to the #dreamteam Great to have you! x

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      It’s hard once the get mobile, isn’t it! The Popple is always running away from me too – strapping her to me is the only way to get her to stay kind of still!

  10. I love baby wearing! We went out for a walk today around our local park and I had baby girl in a carrier at the front. My carrier is a really cheap one but works well. I’m not very good at driving a pram so baby carrying is my thing. It’s especially good going in and out shops. Nothing gets run over or dragged out!
    #triballove xx

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I agree that baby wearing is great for walks – but I miss the pram for shopping because then I at least had somewhere to put my shopping rather than on my shoulder.

  11. I love the feeling! But I don’t do much of it as Baba is quite heavy 8.5kg. It’s killing my back. But Grumpy Boyfriend does it all the time as he is super muscly. Just kidding! You are so right, babies are quite and easy to handle but toddlers are just fidgeting so much! Baba is only 6 months and he won’t stay still. Exhausting. I can’t wait for him to crawl or maybe not? #StayClassyMama & #ablogginggoodtime

  12. I never really did this with one other than when they were tiny because I had a lot of lower back problems caused by pregnancy. I used to look at the columns at school with their kids in those big stretchy bandage things and be jealous as they seemed so bonded with their baby. We did have loads of different buggies though!!! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  13. Your last line made me laugh! I did baby wearing for my son until he was around 6 months and love it. Now, he loves the pushchair and just wants to see everything around him. Miss the baby wearing days! #stayclassymama

  14. My ten month old is like this. She’s so wriggly. You must have a string (or sore) back. Great that you do it to ensure you get out though, nothing worse than being stuck in! #ablogginggoodtime

  15. Ah wow, toddler wearing…strong bean! I loved baby wearing and then my back started to hurt and I tried a few different slings and carriers (Only back ones though for the toddler) and enjoyed it but just couldn’t do it for very long at all. I was lucky that my son was OK in his pushchair though. I love the imagery you present and your ideal world sounds fab…non frizzy hair? I’m there! #stayclassymama

  16. I love baby wearing bit he’s already getting a bit heavy for it at 5 months so no idea how your back is holding out with the toddler wearing. As a mum you gotta do what you gotta do though. It’s especially handy with baby when shopping, again not sure I’d manage a squirmy toddler – watch this space 😉

  17. Sorry forgot to add #ablogginggoodtime to my comment. #TotalAmatuerHere

  18. I do love baby wearing. Toddler wearing is a challenge. Thankfully my little girl doesn’t mind it too much! Thanks for posting on ablogginggoodtime.

  19. We’re currently going through a stage of having to hold hands whilst I’m pushing him in the buggy which really isn’t easy to steer with one hand! But if I don’r hold his hand all hell breaks loose! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

  20. I couldn’t live without my Ergo baby carrier – that’s brilliant for toddler wearing #coolmumclub

  21. Sorry I meant #ablogginggoodtime!!

  22. Oh I wanted to baby wear but I could never really get the hang of it, that and I do really like the pushchair, I don’t think I ever had the right carrier either. That being said with two so small it would have been so handy as I might not have needed my expensive double pram and would have more hands! But then I guess you get to toddlerhood and encounter the problems you have talked about here. My little one is two next week and she walks everywhere now, so it may not be long until yours is doing the same xx #ablogginggoodtime

  23. Have you tried a back pack? Dave carries R on his back when we go walking. I have mastered the woven wrap on the back and he is really comfy back there. I’m waiting for the bubble to burst and him to want down. When he starts walking properly maybe! #triballove

  24. I think I am just starting to understand the difference between baby and toddler wearing. Although I’m still at that stage where he maybe, JUST maybe will fall asleep in the carrier. I can imagine how wiggly they could be at the toddler stage, mine is already trying to jump out of my arms and he’s 7 months yikes. Side note: I love love love the new logo, that is SO perfect, ever since reading your post about how Popple would grab your hair during the nap time routine I thought it was hilarious and definitely a quirk that you and your little one have, amazing! Thanks for the laugh and sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  25. I couldn’t even get into baby wearing – never attempted toddler wearing! Though this memo did not reach my nearly two year old, who is a fan of forcing me to wear her by just clinging on!

    Thanks so much for linking up with #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time!

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