What's the deal with toddler carriers? Check out this handy FAQ to get all the information you need to know about carrying bigger kids.
When should I size up?
I often see people really concerned that they need to size up as soon their baby starts walking and becomes a “toddler”. I think this is a fair assumption, based on the name of the carrier, but it will end with your kiddo swimming in their bigger carrier. Toddler carriers are HUGE!
In my experience kids are usually ready to size up when they are comfortably in 3T clothing. I really wish that manufactures would stop calling them toddler carriers and call them kid carriers or preschool carriers. I think that would give you a more accurate picture in your head of the sheer size of these carriers.
Most toddler carriers on the market are not adjustable. This is one place that the Isara toddler carriers really shine. They feature a panel that is adjustable in both height and width so you can customize the fit to your baby. The panel shrinks to the size of a standard carrier and grows the size of a toddler carrier. It’s pretty amazing. I love that the height and width can be adjusted independently. This makes is a really great choice for parents of children with muscle tone challenges or other special needs.
The Chimparoo Evo is another great option if you are looking for something that will grow with your baby. Its great for newborns right through to a 65lb kiddo! This carrier will be a staple in your collection for years to come.
Do I need I really need one?
Yes and no. The answer to this question really depends on you.
Here are some questions that I find help to clarify if you really need a toddler carrier.
- What size clothing is your child wearing?
- Are you finding your current carrier is uncomfortable for you or your child?
- Do you use your carrier frequently?
- Does your child have low muscle tone or require additional body support?
If you answered yes to most of these questions and your child is in 3t or larger clothing a toddler carrier would likely be a great addition to your tool chest. If your child is in smaller clothing, and you answered yes to the above questions, consider and adjustable toddler carrier like Isara or Evo.
This is my personal experience with using a toddler carrier. My son is 3 now and he still loves to cuddle on my front. He is a very tall 3 year old, so I find when we walk his legs get in my way. When I put him in a toddler carrier it lifts his legs up and wraps them around my body so they hang more towards my hips, which is more comfortable on my body. I am also a big person so I like the feeling of the larger panel. When I wear him on by back I don't notice any difference in the feel from standard to toddler.
But what about knee to knee support?
Thats a really great question. Knee to knee support is recommended (although not required) for small babies because a they don't have the muscle mass in their glutes and thighs to support the weight of their legs. Knee to knee support allows their hips to relax and be supported in a comfortable position. Think about sitting on a narrow barstool for an hour vs your couch. Which is going to be more comfortable for your body?
As our babies grow they gain muscle mass which helps them walk and helps them support the weight of their legs, so knee to knee support becomes less critical for comfort. If you notice your kid is getting cranky in the carrier as they get bigger ask them how their legs feel. This help you decide if you kiddo needs a bigger carrier.
Is it really worth it to buy another carrier?
Toddler carriers are not cheap so it’s important to make sure that this tool fits your budget and will give you value. This really is a question only you can answer for yourself. Here are some things I would consider.
- How often are you using your carrier?
- Are you planning on using it for more than one kid?
- Do you have a friend or family member who may use it (and share the cost with you) when you are done?
A toddler carrier will often fit your child for 2-3 years, depending on their size. So even if you are not frequently carrying them you will still have lots of opportunity to use it. Check out the Isara adjustable carrier if you are looking for a carrier that will grow with your baby. Toddler Tula’s are another great choice. The Coast has a breathable mesh panel that will keep you both cool on the hottest days.
Do you have any more questions about toddler carriers? Drop the in the comments and I will answer them.