Anyone who babywears long enough will inevitably hear criticism. Sometimes it seems that the criticism becomes stronger or more frequent the older the child is. There are many reasons why parents and caregivers would find babywearing into the toddler and preschool years to be beneficial. But honestly, no one needs to defend or rationalize babywearing. It’s a parenting tool that is beneficial for as long as the child and wearer want to practice it.
Nonetheless, here are a few situations that may make babywearing into the preschool years or beyond a little easier:
Any child with mobility or sensory processing issues
Children who have problems with bonding
Children who run away or present parents with safety concerns
Children of parents who have disabilities such as impaired vision/hearing or mobility
Children with delayed language or social skill development
Reprinted from March, 2014: There are a few types of baby carriers that work for children from toddlerhood up to the elementary school years. Woven wraps are the most versatile type of carrier and do not have a size or weight limit. Their drawback is a longer learning curve so I typically recommend soft structured carriers (SSC) for parents who do not already babywear. Ergobaby makes the most well-known SSC. The lower panel width (where the child sits) is 14 inches. If carrying a larger toddler or preschooler is uncomfortable in the Ergo, or if the child is over the weight limit of 45 pounds, the preschool Kinderpack has a panel width of 20 inches, is 20 inches in height and has a weight limit of 50 pounds. The Kanga XTP is weighted up to 60 pounds with a panel width of 18 inches and 18 inches in height. The Kanga also has a larger head rest and hood. Kangas can be more difficult to obtain but used Kangas could possibly be easier to find, and just as valuable. The newest option is the recently released Beco Toddler carrier with a width of 18 inches and height of 19.5 inches. Another option, and my favorite idea, is to purchase Tula extenders to use with an SSC that you already own. These extenders fit on Ergos and Kinderpacks. You can order them from the Tula website, http://www.tulababycarriers.com/products/free-to-grow-converts-into-a-toddler-carrier or if you’d rather, you can order on-line from this small business in Oklahoma City. http://www.thechangingtableok.com/ Dearest Diapers has a great table on comparisons here: https://www.facebook.com/164148330328834/posts/567638496646480&sa=U&ei=D5M1U54tx7rbBe2dgZAF&ved=0CDUQFjAE&usg=AFQjCNFt6xQm4SpFsolB8P0RFwLA1d20jA and another helpful comparison site is here: http://thehappyhippiehomemaker.blogspot.com/2013/05/ergo-vs-boba-vs-tula-carrier-comparison.html It is always helpful to get some hands-on advice and even try carriers on before you buy. Babywearing International chapters offer free meetings, advice and hands-on help. You can find a local chapter here: http://babywearinginternational.org/pages/chapters.php