One of the most misunderstood parts of babywearing is toddlerwearing.The point when a baby has grown into a walking and running toddler, is the point that the judgmental looks and comments start coming:
“Aren’t they too big for that?”
“Can they not walk?”
“Don’t you want to break them from that?”
“Will you carry them in college?”
So, why is toddlerwearing, and even preschoolwearing, important and vital for some families, parents and caregivers to thrive?
Toddlerwearing is an incredibly practical way to keep toddlers safe in busy areas. Our independent little people are starting to navigate their way through city streets, and want to run through parking lots, subways and all the places we go.
Besides being practical, it also gives parents and caregivers another way to connect with our toddlers who don’t have a full vocabulary or the reasoning to understand why we are doing something. The same way babies can get over-stimulated and soothed by being worn also applies to toddlers and preschoolers! Just because they are bigger and can walk doesn’t mean the world is less scary and overwhelming.
So many people see toddlers having public melt-downs or tantrums, and then watch the parent or caregiver scramble to remove the hysterical toddler from the situation. I have been in this situation countless times, and the one thing that saved me is having a wrap on me. Wearing my toddler helped me calm them down, keep them safe and get out of wherever we were ASAP!
The beauty and soul of babywearing and toddlerwearing is that it takes us beyond just a physical connection - it connects us to our children in a mental and emotional way that is not often understood.
A lot of research has been done on the baby and toddler brain and that they don’t truly understand that they are a separate person from their caregiver till 18months -24months. What does this mean as far as toddlerwearing? It means they are finally ready to start embracing their independence - which is a beautiful thing! However all of it is a process and a journey. Their world has become so big that sometimes they need it to be small again, and share the same space, breath and light as you.
Kristen Rickloff-Williams is a Certified Babywearing Educator. You can find her on Instagram @Krickloff for other thoughts and tips on babywearing.