By the time your child has reached toddlerhood, you probably have the majority of their lives pretty well figured out. You know what sleep schedule is best from making them overtired in the morning, you know what foods they love and which ones they’re sure to spit back out, and you can tell the “right” pacifier from one that will have them in hysterics from a mile away.
However, there’s one thing even the most seasoned parents often find themselves struggling with: the best way to transport their toddler when they’re out and about.
Not every location is stroller friendly. It can be difficult to navigate through crowds, public transportation, and staircases while pushing your child in a stroller. Using a stroller at an airport means you’ll need to gate check it, giving you a long wait at the arrival gate post-flight, when everyone is ready to get moving.
And, if they get out of the stroller, you may have to park your wheels (and hope they don’t get stolen!). Or, you must keep track of your mobile, adventurous toddler while still pushing the empty stroller.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to the question of how to best get your young child from place to place: a toddler baby carrier.
That said, many parents don’t know what a toddler carrier is—or why they might need one.
That’s why we’ve broken down what’s so special about toddler carriers and why the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow might be the solution you never knew you needed.
What is a toddler carrier?
Many people have heard of baby carriers and babywearing, but far fewer caregivers are aware that there are highly useful, stylish, and comfortable toddler carriers on the market, too, like the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow carrier.
With the CarryOn Airflow carrier, the adult who’s wearing it has padded straps around their waist and shoulders that keep their kiddo both close to their body and comfortable. One of the carrier features, parents love.
Many people find that once they’ve tried a toddler carrier, they can’t imagine going back to a stroller.
“We bought this a year ago when our baby was 5 month as an alternative to always using a stroller. We have traveled the world with this amazing carrier! She sleeps in it on us during the airplane flights and she is always happy when we are trekking through new cities exploring the world with us.” says Saul from San Diego.
How does a toddler carrier differ from a baby carrier?
While many baby carriers and toddler carriers may look similar—and may have a number of things in common—there are some key differences parents should know before they purchase a toddler carrier of their own.
First and foremost, toddler carriers typically have higher weight limits than your average baby carrier.
While a typical baby carrier may have a weight limit in the 30-pound range, many toddler carriers can support children who are nearly twice that heavy. In the case of the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow carrier in particular, children up to 60 pounds can be comfortably and safely carried by their caregivers.
Despite appearing relatively similar to many baby carriers, toddler carriers have quite a few features that make them unique.
Toddler carriers typically have fabric that comes up higher to support a toddler; while fabric that comes up particularly high might completely cover a younger baby’s face or head, having higher fabric that covers your older child’s back is essential in a toddler carrier in terms of both safety and comfort.
Typically, toddler carriers have a bit more padding than their counterparts intended for use with younger babies. That extra padding makes it easier and more comfortable to wear a heavier child for prolonged periods of time.
The LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow carrier, includes comfortable lumbar support that provides extra stability for your back, while maintaining your posture throughout the day.
Another feature that separates toddler carriers from baby carriers is the number of positions you can comfortably and safely wear your little one in. While many carriers intended for newborns or younger children allow for only inward facing carrying positions, the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow carrier allows you multiple options.
While using the carrier, you can wear your little one in an inward facing position, a hip carrying position, and a back carrying position after the age of six months.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about these new positions putting added strain on either you or your toddler. You not only have an ideal distribution of your child's weight across the carrier, meaning neither your shoulders nor your back nor your waist will end up achy from having too much pressure on it, the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow carrier is also safe and comfortable for your kiddo’s growing body, no matter what position you choose to carry them in.
What are the benefits of using a toddler carrier?
They’re great for bonding with your child:
There are few things that make a parent feel as happy as when they get a hug or cuddle with their little one. And while it’s natural—and healthy—for toddlers to start exerting control about who they do or don’t hug, kiss, or otherwise show affection to and when, it can sometimes be a bit sad to find that your little one is on an all-out affection prohibition.
Luckily, when you wear your toddler in a toddler carrier, you still get that all-important physical bonding time without forcing them to be affectionate when they’ve already expressed a desire not to be. Allowing you to steal all their kisses in their early toddler years.
It gives them a great way to explore their world:
In order to make sure that your kid isn’t getting into things they shouldn’t be, caregivers have to put some limits on what they see, where they go, and what they touch.
While this could be limiting for some kids, toddlers who are carried in toddler carriers get an opportunity to see their world while being safely strapped in.
In fact, according to the same study published in Infancy, children who were transported in backpack carriers moved their heads more—a sign of them visually scanning their environment, according to researchers—than their peers who were typically pushed in strollers instead.
They keep your little one safe:
Even the most attentive parents can have those moments where their little one has suddenly gotten a little too far away from them in what seems like just seconds. Luckily, many parents find that using a toddler carrier is the easiest way to keep their little one from working on their escape artist act.
They’re great for storing essentials:
While toddler carriers may be slightly larger than those intended for babies, the larger size has a major benefit for caregivers: more room to store your stuff!
Whether you’re toting a favorite pacifier, wipes, diapers, or your wallet, the large, zippered cargo pocket on the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow means you can keep your essentials safe and leave your handbag at home.
They make it easier to go out with more than one kid in tow:
Parents with more than one kid know how difficult it can be to leave the house with multiple children. Especially if you’re a single parent or are venturing out on errands without your partner.
However, if you’re using a toddler carrier to transport one of your children, ensuring the safety of your other child or children is a significantly simpler proposition. Another bonus? If it's a hot day, the cool air mesh material will allow you to get more done without your child fussing.
They’re great for extended breastfeeding:
Parents who choose to continue breastfeeding their children into toddlerhood know that doing so isn’t always easy—and we’re not just talking about supply issues or easily distracted toddlers. Finding a comfortable place and position to nurse your toddler when you’re away from home can feel practically impossible for many nursing parents but wearing a supportive toddler carrier like the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow makes things a whole lot easier for both you and your kiddo.
They’re ideal for travel:
When you’re traveling, odds are the last thing you want to do is bring any cumbersome items if you can avoid doing so—meaning you’d definitely prefer to leave that bulky stroller at home if at all possible.
If you have a toddler carrier for your little one to venture out with you in, you can leave that heavy stroller at home and use your easily packed carrier on your travels instead.
While many aspects of raising children are hard, figuring out how you’re going to get them from place to place doesn’t have to be.
With padded shoulder straps, an ergonomic design for a toddler carrier like the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow, allows you to show your little one the world without worrying about their comfort and safety—or yours.