Should I still be carrying my toddler?

As your little one grows up, you’ll ask yourself many questions about what they are now “too big” to do. Can they still take their favorite toy with them everywhere? Can they still crawl into bed with you? Can they still order off the kid’s menu?

These questions will find you eventually, and they won’t always be easy to deal with. (Emotionally, that is. Restaurants usually have pretty cut-and-dry rules for kid’s menu ages.) Answers about what Baby is too big or too old to do are difficult, which is why you should go easy on yourself when you can, including in the case of whether to carry your little one around. If it makes you and Baby happy, why not? Letting Baby sleep in your bed when they are a little older than “normal” doesn’t mean you’ll still wake up next to them 10 years from now, and carrying them now doesn’t mean you’ll be benching 150 pounds anytime soon.

It might feel like Baby is big right now – they are the biggest they have ever been, after all – but they are still pretty tiny in the grand scheme of things. Carrying your child isn’t likely to earn you a second glance until they are much bigger, and even then, second glances aren’t in charge of your parenting decisions.  

The benefits of carrying your child are many. You get where you’re going a little faster, you can’t lose track of them, you get extra bonding time, you can talk more easily, etc. The only potential downside is that Baby might not get as much practice walking or exploring, but that’s unlikely to be a real problem because you’re unlikely to be carrying them 24/7. If having them walk on their own is an easy alternative to carrying them, then maybe it’s a good idea, but if it’s not, don’t sweat it.

There’s going to come a day when they are actually too big for you to physically carry them, and you won’t look back on this time and wish you’d carried Baby less. If you’re in a crowded place, if Baby is tired, if you’re in a hurry, if Baby wants a little love, or you just feel like carrying them, then pick that nugget up! Concerns about babying them are misplaced, so as long as Baby wants to be carried, you’re good to go. The moments you spend carrying them around your neighborhood or into your home from the car are beautiful, and you’ll continue to cherish them when Baby is too big for you to even lift. You’ll both be grateful for the times you carried them, the times you let them explore on their own, and everything in between. 

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