I’ve often extolled the virtues of baby wearing. Did you know I also love toddler wearing? It’s how I survived having babies turning into toddlers who were only one year apart. When they were babies, it made life so much easier! You can nurse in a carrier, you can bottle feed in a carrier, you can chase your other kids around with your baby in a carrier, etc. Kid melting down? Carrier to the rescue! Traveling? Take that carrier! I’m here to help you find the best toddler carrier (for both travel and daily life) for you.
Why Wear a Toddler in a Toddler Carrier?
I wore my toddlers for many of the same reasons I wore my kids as babies. If they were melting down, I put them on my back. Using a carrier would keep them safe and close if we needed to be in a situation were running away could be dangerous. My kids also would take naps in the carrier during long days. My baby and toddler carriers have been handy tools.
I know baby and toddler wearing won’t work for everyone (really, is there anything that does?), however I do want to spread the babywearing love. Toddler carriers have pretty high weight limits, so even big kids can be safely worn. As always, you know your own body, strengths and weaknesses. Please wear responsibly.
I ended up wearing both my 4 year old and 5 year old (separately) during a recent trip to Guanajuato City. Really, having the carrier along saved us during that trip!
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Best Toddler Carriers Comparison Chart 2018
Always visually inspect carriers before use to make sure they don’t have holes, rips, or damage.
Best Baby Carrier for A Toddler (What Makes it the Best?)
The best carrier is the one that fits you and your child comfortably. It’s also important that your carrier fit the child you are wearing. Make sure your child can comfortably bend her knees. It’s called knee-to-knee. For walking toddlers, the fabric doesn’t need to be exactly knee to knee like it is with babies. It’s important that they have free movement and their legs aren’t over extended. Don’t buy a carrier that is too big for your child. Everyone will be uncomfortable.
Are you also looking for travel car seats? Check out my car seat guide my helpful travel car seat guide!
Do you need a carrier sent somewhere outside the US? Check out the Lillebaby Toddler Airflow, as they will ship to around 39 countries.
Beco Toddler Carriers
Some brands, like Tula and Ergo, get a lot of love. Beco carriers are lesser known, but are also fantastic carriers. If I have another baby, I would buy the Beco Gemini for my infant, it’s that good and easy to use. Full candor: I love baby carriers and I’d probably buy 2 or 3, since I baby wear a lot and with babies, blow-outs and vomit happen. I wish the Beco toddler carriers had also come out sooner, as they are comfortable, fantastic carriers.
The toddler sized version of the Beco carrier offers many of the same features of other Beco carriers, except bigger! It has a wide ergonomic seat and the back panel is much taller so it can support kids who are 18 months and up. It comes with a snap-on hood for sleeping and a zipper clutch. It’s also really soft, supportive, and easy to adjust. Check price of the Beco Toddler Carrier!
Kinderpacks are hands down my favorite carriers of all time. I didn’t discover them until I needed a toddler sized carrier. Kinderpacks come in four sizes: infant, standard, toddler, and preschool. Each size also comes in regular or plus-sized straps! The toddler size can comfortably fit a child up to 45 lbs (though the site says the weight limits are higher than that and the suggestion is based on the child’s comfort).
Another great feature of Kinderpacks (KPs) is that they are highly adjustable. Sometimes, a small strap adjustment is all you need to get the perfect fit.
Additionally, Kinderpacks come in full panel or with kool-knit (mesh). I personally prefer the KPs with the mesh, even in my colder climate (Ohio). They are slightly cooler for those humid, summer days. In the winter, I used a specially designed cover to keep my children warm, if necessary. It’s always been easier for me to add layers for warmth than to suffer in the heat and humidity.
I’ve tandem worn (one child in front and one on my back) using kinderpacks. It was comfortable. I still have both of my toddler sized KPs, just in case! I used them nearly daily until my daughter was around 4.5 years old. They do still get occasional use. I really wish I’d brought one when we visited Chichen Itza with children, ages 4 and 5 at the time of our trip.
Traveling with your Toddler Carrier
If you are newer to toddler wearing or are looking at a new carrier, it would be best to practice with the carrier before your trip. Babywearing uses different muscles and it’s worth it to work out and strengthen those muscles in advance.
If you are already wearing your child regularly, you will only need to familiarize yourself with your new carrier and break it in a little for you comfort.
Using your carrier doesn’t mean you need to take four hour hikes. It can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood or wearing while doing some housework.
Can I use the bathroom while wearing the carrier?
Yep. Moms are really adaptable. We get done what needs to get done, even on one hour of sleep. If you need to go to the restroom with a sleeping child on your front or back, it’s do-able.
Can I wear my toddler on my front or back?
Yes! However, keep in mind that with a heavy child, front carries can aggravate old back injuries or potentially cause them. At a certain point, front wearing a heavy child becomes extremely difficult.
Can I wear my toddler if I didn’t wear him or her as a baby?
Absolutely! However, your child is her own person and may protest at first. Your child will need practice as much as you will.
I love babywearing and I find it makes traveling so much easier. Tandem wearing improved my daily life when life was so much harder than it is now. When moms of babies and toddlers are struggling, I hope that wearing their children can do for them what wearing mine has done for me.
Go forth, travel, and wear all the toddlers!
What’s your favorite toddler carrier? How has baby-or-toddler-wearing helped you travel?