Your child has turned one or one-and-a half years old, perhaps even two or three. His/her physical activity has increased: (s)he walks, runs, climbs onto a variety of surfaces to reach something (s)he fancies. (S)he gets curious about everything around. More than ever, your child interacts with the outside world: now (s)he chooses where to go, who to communicate with and what games to play.
Surely, you have already purchased a light-weight stroller to get around town or the playground. Does this mean it is time to stop carrying your child in a sling? Not at all! Do not be in a rush to sell your pre-loved and well-used sling; in fact, you can even consider buying another sling, a sturdier one, able to provide adequate support to your grown-up and heavier child.
Why would your toddler need a sling?
– Your child is still young, (s)he needs to feel the proximity and warmth of your body. Many children continue to be breastfed. Even though there is no more need to breastfeed in public places as often as before, a mother’s breast still brings the feeling of satisfaction and comfort to the child. Using the sling, you will find it easier to stay away from the prying eyes.
– More often than before, you start taking your child along when going out for shopping and to other crowded places; you may use public transport as well. Carrying your child in a sling while in a crowed place is safer and more convenient than taking him/her around in a stroller.
– If you have not yet mastered carrying your child on your back, it is time to try! Children are delighted when they are carried behind, because they get a great overview, and for them, it feels like being on the same level with parents. Many dads like the idea of wrapping a child around their back, so do not hesitate to ask your husband to use a sling. The feeling of togetherness will further strengthen the bond between the father and the child!
– Do not deny yourself travelling – be it an overseas journey or a day trip out of town. Whenever a stroller may not be a good idea, a sling will always come to your rescue and be handy in any situation – you cannot expect a small child to be able to walk for a long time.
So, what kind of sling is suitable for a toddler?
A woven sling wrap. Its length can vary, but many prefer to use shorter sling wraps for toddlers. You may also want to go for a different fabric composition: cotton scarves with the addition of flax, hemp, or home-spun cotton threads are more toddler-worthy. It is time to give up knitted slings, as they sag under the child’s weight and cut into your shoulders.
Do not get rid of a ring sling as yet – it can be handy for short walks and in those cases when you have to wrap or unwrap your child quickly. However, carrying your child in a ring sling will be getting harder due to the uneven weight distribution.
Perhaps the most suitable option for a toddler would be a Mei Tai wrap with wide straps (for example, a Mei Tai BaBy SaBye sling with headrest made of home-spun fabric). Firstly, it is compact and fits in your bag easily. Secondly, not many children can wait patiently while the mother wraps them in several layers of fabric, then adjusts the cloth, and carefully spreads all folds. Mei Tai sling is quick and easy to wear in any situation; its wide shoulder straps made of the most suitable fabric distribute the weight just as the layers of a long sling wrap would do.
And the last, but nonetheless important, point is the Mei Tai size selection. It is crucial to choose the right width of the back panel as well as the straps’ length. BaBy SaBye offers a wide range of Mei Tai sizes. For a medium-sized child of 1.5-2 years old a standard size would do. A bigger child will require a “toddler” size with a larger back panel. If you yourself wear a plus size, or have a chubby and heavy child, you will need a model with longer straps (+ XL).
Enjoy carrying your bundle of joy for as long as possible!