How long can children be carried?

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I’m often asked how long you can use a baby carrier. I noticed many parents think of a baby carrier as an item used mainly during the first few months. If their baby is not a newborn anymore, they sometimes think it is too late to start carrying him “because he’s not used to it” or because it’s no use spending money on something that will be useful for only a short while- or so they think.

Actually, I know many toddlers who are quite content to be carried around at 1, 2, 3 and even 4 years old. I just spoke this morning with a friend whose 18 months old son still lives on her back, in her Ergo carrier, while she’s doing house chores, goes for walks etc. Another friend used a similar carrier- the Yamo- to put her 2.5 years old to sleep during daytime, until her younger sister inherited it.

Of course this is not true for all children. There are those more energetic children who prefer walking or even crawling once they’re able to (I’m not referring to children who always refuse being carried, but to those who like it only when very tired or need comforting). If you have such a child the carrier may not be used on a daily basis after a certain age, yet may still come in handy very often. I myself still take my pouch sling everywhere, even though my 2.5 years old usually walks or sits in the stroller, because I never know when I’ll need it- and I often do.

As for weight limit, most good carriers are fit to carry very big children with little or no reference to their weight. If a carrier has a weight limit of less that 35 pounds, I wouldn’t buy it, because there is no use buying a carrier you may have to stop using before you choose to.

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