Babywearing. So sweet. So cuddly. So precious. Just for babies. Right?
Our babies are our babies forever but “babywearing” isn’t just for babies. Wearing can continue as long as you and your wearee are interested and have a need (and want!) for wearing.
World’s Best Hug
Ruckin’ It At the Mall!
[4.8 second GIF of two repeating images of a tan 2.5 year old toddler making silly faces at the camera while being worn on her amused, white mom’s back while Black Friday shopping. She’s being worn in a coral and cream wrap over her mom’s olive green coat. The wrap is a West of 4th wrap from the library. There are pink and blue clothes at the store in the background.]
Tandemwearing for the Win!
For those caring for more than one, being able to wear two children simultaneously can be a life saver! Wearing the younger one some times results in older siblings feeling left out. Big kids benefit from snuggles too.
OK, so all these cute kids up in carriers. But once baby turns 1, it means a “toddler carrier” is needed because all other ones are now too small right?
Nope. Not exactly.
Babies come in different weights and heights and builds. Some outgrow some carriers sooner than others. Plus, the key here is fit and finding the best carrier for you and your wearee. More details on that below!
Toddlers and preschoolers are learning to explore and test the limits of their independence but there are also times they need to take a break (or times that caregivers need to keep them in a safe place). In addition, wearing can be such a helpful tool for those big feelings that come with growing up (and for containing those who you’d otherwise be chasing down grocery store aisles or touching all the lamps that shouldn’t have been displayed at child’s height in the first place).
Moving on to Safety
You may find you prefer certain carries or carriers for a newborn but not a toddler or vice versa. You may find it easier or harder to wear a newborn or a toddler or vice versa! Either way, the same “ABCs” apply for any age of wearing!
Note, “optimal” and “safe” are not equivalent. A child may be carried safely without being in “optimal” position. For example, a child may be worn safely in a soft-structured buckle carrier without legs in an “M” position where knees are higher than bum.
Break it Down!
Below we have broken down toddler and preschool wearing into a few carrier categories. Scroll to the one of interest or read them all!
Bei Dais/Meh Dais
A carrier that doesn’t necessarily label itself as “standard” or “toddler” or “preschooler” type of carrier are bei dais/meh dais. Some have “wrap style” shoulder straps giving one the option to “extend” the seat beyond the panel width when wrapping, if desired. Doing so makes the seat knee to knee if a child’s legs are longer. Panel height varies from brand to brand so make sure to check specifications!
Below is a chart (not comprehensive list but all are available in our lending library!) of several brands of bei dais/meh dais with their manufacturer weight recommendations and tallest panel height measurements (measured from top of the waistband to tallest point on panel).
|Brand-Carrier||Weight Range Recommendation (pounds/kilograms)||Tallest Panel Height (inches/centimeters)
Measured from top of waistband
|Babyhawk/Moby||8 – 40 lbs / 3.6 – 18 kg||16” / 41 cm|
|Babylonia||5.5 – 44 lbs / 2.5 – 20 kg||20.5” / 52 cm|
|Fidella ‘new size’||7.5 – 33 lbs / 3.5 – 15 kg||19” / 48 cm|
|Fidella ‘toddler’||22 – 66 lbs / 10 – 30 kg||19” / 48 cm|
|Infantino||8 – 36 lbs / 3.6 – 16.3 kg||15” / 38 cm|
|Kol Kol||7 – 33 / 3 – 15 kg||19.5” / 49cm|
|Lenny Lamb – ‘mini’||maximum weight 40 lb / 18 kg||14” / 35 cm|
|Lenny Lamb – toddler||maximum weight 44 lb / 20 kg||18” / 45 cm|
|Soul||15-40 lbs / 7-18 kg||16” / 41 cm|
Ring slings can be great for quick ups and downs for bigger kids. Running into the store. Just in case the shopping cart isn’t fun anymore. Etc. Ring slings don’t come in age-specific categories. However, some are narrower in width and some are longer than others. Some brands offer different lengths. Wearers may prefer fabrics similar to what they would look for in a “toddler-worthy” woven wrap (more on that below!).
“Standard” is all but that! Not all carriers labeled “standard” or “toddler” mean the same thing. Make sure to look at the weight/height recommendations and panel sizing, etc. to look for in determine if a carrier is the best fit for you and your wearee. For example, a carrier may be labeled as “standard” but the minimum weight recommendation may start at 15 pounds and even then your child may or may not fit comfortably in it because height makes a difference too! Also, when fitting for a soft-structured buckle carrier, it isn’t necessary for a child to be in the “M” position where the knees are higher than the bum. If the child’s knees may extend past the edge of the panel and that’s OK! It isn’t unsafe though for the child or wearer’s comfort, you may prefer a panel that’s wider to go knee to knee.
Visual on panel height safety:
Below is a chart (not comprehensive list but most are available in our lending library!) of several brands of soft-structured carriers with their manufacturer weight recommendations and tallest panel height measurements (measured from top of the waistband to tallest point on panel).
|Brand-Carrier||Weight Range Recommendation (pounds/kilograms)||Tallest Panel Height (inches/centimeters); measured from top of waistband|
|Babylonia Flexia||7 – 45 lbs / 3 – 20 kg||15.25” / 38cm|
|Beco 8||7 – 45 lbs / 3 – 20 kg||18” / 46 cm|
|Beco – toddler||20 – 60 lbs / 9 – 27 kg||19.5” / 49 cm|
|Beco Soleil||7 – 45 lbs / 3 – 20 kg||17” / 43 cm|
|Chimparoo Trek||7 – 45 lbs / 3 – 20 kg||16” / 40 cm|
|Easy Feel Full Buckle-Standard||15 – 50 lbs / 7 – 22 kg||15” / 38 cm|
|Easy Feel Full Buckle-Toddler||24 – 46 lbs / 11 – 22 kg||18” / 46cm|
|Easy Feel Full Buckle-Preschool||35 – 57 / 16 – 26 kg||22” / 56cm|
|Ergo-Ventus||7 – 45 lbs / 3 – 20 kg||14.5” / 37 cm|
|Lenny Lamb-Standard||13 – 44 lbs / 6 – 20kg||15” / 38cm|
|Lenny Lamb-Toddler||13 – 44 lbs / 6 – 20 kg||19”/ 48 cm|
|Lillebaby Carry On||20 – 60 lbs / 9 – 27 kg||20” / 50cm|
|Lillebaby – Complete||7 – 45 lbs / 3 – 20 kg||18.5” / 47 cm|
|Olives and Applesauce||8 – 50 lbs / 3.6 – 23 kg||18” / 46 cm|
|Soul-Full Buckle-Standard||15 – 40 lbs / 7 – 18 kg||17” / 43 cm|
|Soul-Full Buckle-Toddler||25 – 50 lbs / 11 – 22 kg||18.5” / 47 cm|
|Soul-AnoonA||7 – 45 lbs / 3 – 20 kg||16” / 40 cm|
|Tula-Free To Grow||7 – 45 lbs / 3 – 20 kg||17” / 43 cm|
|Tula-Standard||15 – 45 lbs / 7 – 20 kg||15.5” / 39 cm|
|Tula-Toddler||25 – 60 lbs / 11 – 27 kg||17.5” / 44 cm|
If you prefer woven wraps, people refer to some as “perfect for a squish” versus “toddler-worthy.” What does that even mean?? Typically people are looking for particular wrapping or fiber qualities that are more comfortable with wearing a “big kid” (versus an itty bitty squishy compliant newborn). Below are some descriptors of what people look for, but keep in mind it’s subjective.
- texture (not super smooth or soft)
- ANYTHING THAT CONTAINS A TODDLER
All images have image descriptions in the alternative text visible to screen readers.