After they come into the world, not much can compare to holding your child in your arms for the first time. It facilitates a bond that produces a strong emotional and physical connection. For most of their early years, you continue to hold them and carry them around.
But as they grow, carrying your child everywhere begins to get more difficult and less practical as they get bigger. Many parents wonder-around what age a child should stop being carried? But the answer to this question isn’t so simple. It depends on a variety of factors, such as when they learn how to walk and how fast they grow. It also depends on your personal situation as well.
After They Have Been Walking on Their Own for Awhile
One popular perspective out there on when is the right time for a child to stop being carried has to do with those iconic first steps every parent can’t wait to see. Many parenting sites and resources say that a good time for a child to stop being carried is after they have been walking on their own for a while. As newly walking toddlers, you may still want to scoop them up from time to time, especially since their little legs can’t always keep pace with yours.
But once they have a year or two of solid walking under their belt, they should be experts at getting from point A to point B without much assistance. Refraining from carrying them too much after they learn to walk will also help to reduce the “carry-me” syndrome that a lot of small children experience. They like being held by mom and dad and might whine or cry about being carried until they get what they want. Reducing how often you carry them can help promote more self-sufficiency in them.
When They Get Too Heavy to Carry
One of the really interesting things about kids is they grow…and grow… and grow. They almost always grow too quickly and you wonder where all the time went. They get taller and heavier as a result of that growth, and one day you realize they are a little too big for you to carry them around like you used to.
This is another common marker for when your child should probably stop being carried. If you can’t lift them up anymore, it might be time for a change. However, even after this transitional point, it is always fun to offer them piggyback rides or something like that while they are small enough for that kind adventure at least.
You May Want to Consider Using a Carrier
If you aren’t quite ready to disregard carrying you child altogether, using a carrier is one possible alternative to consider. When your child is able to walk independently but gets tired on long distance journeys, a carrier makes them much easier to hold.
They are great when it comes to transporting your young one in certain settings when needed while also helping to still give them that sense of closeness and security that being carried by mom or dad provides. Baby carriers can be used for very young children as well as toddlers and slightly older. You can look online and in stores for the best carrier for toddler or infant use.
Carriers offer a wide range of benefits, such as:
- Comfort. Not only is it comfortable for your child, but quality carriers are designed and made with materials that also make them comfortable for a parent to wear around for long periods of time.
- Mobility. When using a traditional stroller, sometimes it is difficult to take it out within certain terrains or layouts.
- Convenience. Because they’re made of soft fabric materials, they are typically easy to transport and easy to use.
The Decision is Up to You
No, there is no magic age at which you should stop carrying your child. But if you consider the developmental factors listed above, you’ll know when it’s time to give your arms a rest and let them explore the world on their own two feet.