Best Baby Carrier for Toddlers
Parenting toddlers are both rewarding and difficult. Parents that take advantage of gear that has been created for toddlers will make the difficult parts of raising children a little easier. Choosing the best baby carrier for toddlers will make going places with your toddler much easier.
Active parents, traveling families and just busy families will all benefit from choosing the best baby carrier for toddlers. This article will cover advantages, types of carriers and the features you should look for when you are looking for the best baby carrier for toddlers and for you. This article also highlights the physical safety for toddlers and parents when using a toddler carrier.
Why you need the best baby carrier for Toddlers
Parents who live an active lifestyle and spend time outside in nature will greatly benefit from using a toddler carrier. Strollers don’t work well for hiking and camping. The best baby carrier for toddlers will keep them close to you and provide them with the best view! The carrier can be useful around the house for lawn mowing, gardening and neighborhood walks.
Toddlers stay close to you when you are wearing them in a carrier or backpack. There is no worry about them darting in front of traffic or running away from you when your hands are full. Securely fasten the carrier to your and you toddler is with you at all times.
Navigating with a stroller in grocery stores or farmers markets can be a challenge. Crowds of people can make using a stroller awkward and cumbersome to move around. Using the carrier allows your hands to be free to push a shopping cart, pick up a few items and walk back home.
Selecting the best baby carrier for toddlers will allow you some welcome exercise. Purchase the carrier that is the best fit for your comfort and you toddlers comfort. The weight of the carrier, plus the weight of your baby will provide a great workout for the parent doing the carrying. You are spending quality time with your toddler and getting a workout at the same time. That is a winning combination.
Will a Toddler Carrier Physically harm Toddlers or Parents?
Physical Risk for Toddlers
Critics of toddler carriers have concerns for hip dysplasia, harm to the baby’s spine and excess pressure on the genitalia. Dr. Amanda Weiss Kelly has researched and used baby and toddler carriers to look for physical concerns in children. Dr. Kelly and others have concluded from their research, there is no direct risk to toddlers physical development with regular use of a toddler carrier. You can read more about Dr. Amanda Weis Kelly’s findings here.
It is important that the carrier is fitted correctly to the child’s size and weight for their comfort rather than preventing the risk of injury. The doctors have encouraged the use of baby carriers for strong bonding with infants. They also encourage continued bonding and safety for toddlers with the use of toddler carriers.
Physical Risk for Parents
The major risks for parents are their shoulders and back. The type of carrier will be the most important factor for parents comfort and preventing injury. Parents that have a known medical risk of back pain will want to have a properly fitted toddler carrier that reduces the strain on their back. Proper lifting and unloading of the child will also be important to reduce back strain. Katherine Rosman suggests carrying position, weight distribution and carrier weight be considered for parents with back issues. Her full article can be read here.
A shoulder injury can also be a factor to consider when purchasing a toddler carrier. The main considerations are an even distribution of the toddler’s weight, the comfort of the straps and the positioning of the carrier on your body.
Types of Toddler Carriers
Front carriers are made from fabric. These carriers can be a simple sling or shaped and buckled to provide the most comfort for the toddler. Front carriers are for lighter weight toddlers up to 36 pounds.
The number one choice for toddlers up to age four. These carriers have a soft structure to them while providing the most comfortable padding for parents. They also provide a wider seat for the comfort and ease of toddlers. Storage is limited in many versions of the back carriers. Footrests are another feature you will find on many back carriers.
Hip carriers for many parents with back pain, are a great choice. This carrier allows for carrying your toddler at your hip. This position alleviates much of the strain on the back. The limitation with this carrier is the maximum weight recommendation. It is best used with lighter weight toddlers.
Backpack Frame Carriers
Parents who are very active will prefer the backpack carrier. It has an aluminum frame and style similar to a hikers backpack. This type of backpack allows for carrying older and heavier toddlers. It also provides comfort when carrying your child for a longer period of time. Very active families that spend time hiking and camping will prefer this carrier for their toddler. Additional features include a kickstand, integrated hydration bladder, ventilated fabric and storage.
Important Features to Consider
Ease of Use
New equipment requires time to learn all the features that are provided. Your toddler carrier should be easy to manage and secure in putting on and taking off. A simpler system is usually easier to learn and use.If more than one parent will use the carrier, purchase one that will easily adjust from one user to the other. The torso adjustment is an important consideration for multiple users.
When more than one parent will use the carrier, purchase one that will easily adjust from one user to the other. The torso adjustment is an important consideration for multiple users.
You, the parent, are the one taking on the load and will suffer the most strain. It is critical that the parent carrying the toddler has the correct fit for their body. Wide shoulder straps with good padding will distribute the weight and provide comfort to the shoulders. Adjustable straps and waistbelt will also allow for proper weight load on the hips and away from the shoulders. The weight load can exceed 40 pounds, so good adjustment is needed for proper fit. Good airflow might be something to consider if you will be using the backpack frequently in a warmer climate.
Your toddler is the one that you will be carrying. Their comfort is vital to the success of your toddler carrier experience. Frequently toddlers fall asleep while being carried in their toddler carrier. You want soft fabrics to surround them. Adequate padding will also allow for your toddler to be comfortable while riding in the carrier. If you choose a backpack carrier with an aluminum frame be sure the padding is thick enough to allow your child to be comfortable. A wide seat and footrests are a couple features that will distribute the toddler’s weight more evenly. This will allow them to be more comfortable while riding.
The amount of storage needed depends on the intended use of your toddler carrier. Some parents need storage for items that are normally carried in a diaper bag or purse. This makes navigating easier with fewer items to carry. Some parents will want to keep the load lighter and choose no storage. Toddler carriers also offer removable storage which allows for flexibility in the use of your toddler carrier. For parents that will use a backpack carrier for hiking with their toddler, look for water storage, attachment loops, and additional zipper pockets.
Safety is the most important concern with any equipment to use with your toddler. Look for JPMA certification. This certification is available for manufacturers of juvenile products.
The restraint system should be a five-point harness that will keep your toddler secure. Your toddler’s security will add to their comfort and yours. Fabrics used should be chemical free. Be sure the fabrics have not been treated with harsh chemicals that your toddler would breathe in or irritate their skin.
Consider sun and rain protection. A sunshade or visor are good accessories to have.
Final Review for the best baby carrier for your toddlers
Assess your family needs in a toddler carrier.
The toddler carrier you select will last for an extended period of time. Select the one that will match your family activities and lifestyle.
Try on the toddler carrier before purchasing.
How comfortable the carrier is for the parent and the toddler will determine your success in using the toddler carrier. This will also give you insight into how user-friendly it will be.
Follow all weight and height recommendations.
Toddler carriers are made for specific weight and height requirements. Follow Those recommendations for your child’s safety and your safety.
Read more about the best toddler carrier for you, in this Best Toddler Carrier Review.
Have you used a baby carrier for your toddler? What are some features that have made it very useful for you?
Share how using a baby carrier for your toddler has helped your family by leaving a comment below.