Toddlerwearing: Why I Still Do It
How much longer can I carry her anyway? So I'm doing it now while I still can...
“Are you still toddlerwearing!?”
“You’re too big to be carried my dear!”
These are just some of the things I hear every time I carry my toddler.
“Wow, your toddler is really sticky!” one would comment.
Ever thought maybe I’m the one who is sticky? Yeah, try that one. If toddlerwearing enables me to get through my day, enables me to share my attention with everyone, finish my chores, etc., why wouldn’t I want to do it?
It keeps her safe from traffic and out of reach from random strangers(more so if I wear her in front) when we’re out.
Head out with her to the nearby pasar malam on my own? No problem! Crowds? Not even an issue and I can get from point A to B without worrying that people would bump into her or that I’d lose her in the crowd.
“You could always use a stroller you know?” some might say.
Yes, you are right. I could, and I have absolutely nothing against using strollers. But being out on my own a lot in KL, whether running chores or just killing time in the malls, I find wearing my toddler so much safer and I’ll explain why. Imagine a scenario where I have groceries to load into the car and I’m on my own with the kids. Any streetwise person would tell you that if you didn’t manage to park nearest to the entrance, you should try to get into your car as quick as you can and lock the doors.
If I had the stroller with me, I would have to load the kids, load the groceries, collapse the stroller and load it in the back of the car. By wearing the younger of two of my kids allow me to get into the car immediately groceries and all, and lock the car: 1 hand guiding the older child away from traffic, the other hand holding the groceries. I can easily take my toddler out of the carrier inside the car safely and take my time.
I remember our family trip to Legoland last year and we were taking our then preschooler for a treat. There was no way we could have covered the whole place if we had let our toddler walk most of the way, mainly because she would have been a lot slower.
Aside from that, not all places in Malaysia are stroller friendly either. Stairs, escalators, the lack of ramps are just some of the problems stroller dotting parents would face.
In every crowded mall you will see very abled people taking lifts and not giving way to parents with strollers who want to get on. As a result some parents have to resort to balancing their strollers down the escalators which is really very unsafe.
Some of our best conversations were done over my shoulder. She would touch my face to get my attention and her tiny fingers would gesture to something she was curious about. We would discuss the weather, the flowers we saw on our walks, have conversations about the fishes we fed at the pond earlier.
On really bad days, be it hers or mine, toddlerwearing is a welcome thing. The bond and the closeness keeps me grounded, sometimes I don’t know who’s comforting who more.
If you’ve had to wean a child off breastfeeding before then you would know exactly what I mean. It is a whole other soap opera on it’s own. The tears, the tantrums, the inconsolable crying, refusing to nap and wanting to be carried all the time can sometimes be a really difficult phase to go through.
Giving up something which is a norm for them, something that they find solace in, is no easy task for someone so small. Sometimes this is even harder on us mums!
Cuddles and comforting reassurances can really help to make it more bearable for them. At least even if they may not be nursing anymore, they can still cuddle up to the source and find comfort in that.
In no time at all your toddler would have grown into a preschooler. I know some parents still carry preschoolers, but my shoulders can only withstand so much weight.
Meaning, wearing your kids is not forever. Babywearing journeys do end (and all husbands collectively sigh a sense of relief).
And this is the biggest reason why I choose to toddlerwear still. How much longer can I carry her anyway? So I’m doing it now while I still can.