How many times have you gone somewhere only to have a tired, emotional or slightly injured child need carrying on the long walk back to the car?
But what barriers could there be to continuing to carry your child? The idea of getting your child on your back safely being too scary to contemplate. Worries about back carrying being physically difficult or too uncomfortable. Concerns about what other people may think, or that it may be damaging your child’s development if you carry them rather than that they walk. And the cost of another carrier…All are valid considerations.
But a babywearing consultant can help with most things, possibly all. We can help you to adjust the carrier you have, or find a more comfortable, supportive solution that will suit your budget and your lifestyle. We can suggest several ways to get a child on your back (and off again!) safely, and we usually have weighted dolls to practice with until you feel like you have mastered that process. We can reassure you that no child has ever regressed and stopped walking because they were carried. The world is too interesting, there is too much to get on and do, after all!
Do you have to upgrade your carrier as they get bigger? Is it possible to create a hack option or just put up with a less comfortable carrier? I have heard and seen time and time again of someone who was pushing their smaller sized or smaller weight carrier out as long as they could before upgrading, and so using it less and less because it wasn’t very comfy anymore. And then as soon as they tried on a larger sized or weighted carrier, everything changed for them.
It is not just about the size of your child and whether their legs are still supported or if it goes far enough up their back. Going up to a toddler or a preschool sized carrier can change the way it sits on you – the wearer – and give you a comfortable carry again, rather than enduring occasional uncomfortable ones when you had to. I highly recommend trying on a larger size buckle carrier and seeing if it is time for an upgrade for YOU as well as your child. But don’t forget, for buckle carriers, what fits your friend may not sit well on you. You really need to try them all out, with a consultant or at a babywearing meet.
Sandy McGivern-Butler lives in Auckland, where she is mum to a busy 5 year old. This means that she has been practising babywearing for 5 years now and is an expert on carrying older children as well as babies and toddlers. Sandy enjoys helping parents discover what a difference the right carrier can make for both you and your child. She trained through both Slingababy (UK) and Je Porte Mon Bebe (France), and has developed SnugLove Babywearing as a mobile service, to take as much hassle out of reaching a babywearing consultant as possible. You can find her on her website and on Facebook.