Why I carry my toddler {Babywearing Photographer Colchester}

I guess the first reason why is because I want to, but that’d be a pretty boring and short read wouldn’t it?! Toddler wearing or carrying a toddler in a sling/carrier is not for everyone just as natural term breastfeeding isn’t but that’s completely OK! After all we all parent differently, those differences should be respected always. I couldn’t tell you how much longer I’ll be carrying April for (she’s currently 2.5 years old) but right now it’s quite a big part of our every day lives, though small at the same time.

People will see her being carried everyday on the school run, whether that’s in our connecta or in one of our many wraps. This doesn’t mean that I carry her all the time and I never do at home – unless I’m practising using a new wrap! She walks and runs on days out when we’re all together or when it’s just the two of us. The school run is a busy place, mornings are crazy and of course we have to get there on time! If I carry her I know she’s safe, I know my two boys are safe too. I can hold both their hands to cross the road, I can pop into their classrooms easily and we chat away about what we can see – spotting cats, birds and other parents. Truth is that yes it does make my life easier, less stressful and I see nothing wrong with that. My children get to enjoy a more chilled Mummy! Simply it’s just an alternative to using a pushchair really, a way to get somewhere, somewhere to be safe and warm. If you babywear then you’ll understand that it’s so much more, for parent and child. ¬†I love that we can chat on the way home from school.

I do tend to bring a carrier on days out too incase she gets tired little legs keeping up with her big brothers! She also gets the best view at the zoo and has the best time chatting away about all the animals she can see. Equally if she’s walking I don’t have to push an empty pushchair whilst holding her hand. Carrying her is just part of our lives and slowly as she grows older I can see how it will one day be a fond memory.

Doesn’t it hurt your back?

Maybe you’ll be surprised to hear that no it doesn’t. What does hurt my back and arms is carrying her without a carrier! Her weight is distributed evenly across my body and provided she’s high/tight enough I’m perfectly comfortable. If anything I’d say that my back is so much stronger since having and carrying her. I definitely stand straighter than I ever did before. I guess I’ve not really noticed her get heavier just as we don’t overly notice our own children changing in looks as we’re with them every single day.

There are so many times when carrying her has helped me. Recently my 5 year old fell over on the way home from school, ended up with a nose bleed! Having her in the carrier meant I could deal with his injury whilst knowing she was safe and wouldn’t be running into the road. Traveling to my mums house on the bus and train during the holidays is another time that springs to mind – she was safe on the platforms, could nap without me disturbing her and I could ensure my boys were safe too. We’ve also taken them all to London, having her close to me on the underground is the only reason I considered our trip.

I discovered babywearing with April 2.5 years ago, I know plenty of parents cope with three children just fine without it. (My own mum included!) All I know is that it’s assisted me in so many situations, not just for safety or convenience, also for some times when she was very poorly. I know that it makes me calmer, especially when I’m out with all three of them on my own. I compare how I feel now to when I just had two children and I’m so much more confident to be out with them now – I wish I’d carried my boys! Third time around it’s been my best most helpful parenting tool and I really have no negative things to say about it at all. One day it’ll be over, the carriers will be sold and she’ll walk all the time. For now though we’ll enjoy our snuggly school runs, chatting away face to face.

I’m forever grateful for the beautiful babywearing images fellow photographer Kirsty captured for me last year, I will treasure them always. We explored the sand dunes in Cornwall – something that would have been harder without babywearing! Credit – Schoolhouse Photography.

These reasons along with many more are why I love to work with babywearing parents to capture this incredibly important and special time in their lives. Because like many things, one day these moments will be a distant memory. Beautiful images mean we can be reminded and show them when they are all grown up – just as we love to look back on images of our own childhoods and share our memories with the ones we love.

We have some amazing sling libraries locally. They can help you find the right carrier for you. They’ll get you in the best possible position to ensure you are both well supported and comfortable.

Take me to Chelmsford Sling Library

Take me to Colchester Sling Library 

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