Baby wearing for toddlers and preschoolers: child carriers for kids up to 45 lbs

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Mama and Jacob try the Ergo

When I started researching baby wearing while pregnant four years ago, I never looked up carriers beyond what I thought I would use during my child’s infancy. It seemed to me that once my kid started walking, he’d… you know, walk everywhere on his own. Now that I’m a parent of a three and a half-year-old who has been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy, I’ve realized that what you think will happen isn’t always what actually happens. Enter my new obsession: child carriers designed for kids above 20 lbs.

It turns out there are a LOT of carriers for preschoolers — and they run up and down the budget scale. Here are a few that I found:

Ergo

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This is the one everybody talks about for a reason, of course! Safe up to 45 pounds, and sturdy as heck. So many great options, and definitely a reader favorite.

Boba Air

Boba Air: $65

The Boba Air is one of my favorite options — kids can be safely carried up to 45 lbs and the carrier itself is $65. You can sometimes score a deal on the carrier at The Portable Baby.

Boba Classic: $120

The Boba Classic is made by the same folks, and the main difference I can spot is that the Classic can be used from the time your baby hits 7 lbs until he or she is 45 — which is generally a long time. It comes with foot straps for when your kid’s feet need a break. This is actually the carrier we ended up going with — the foot straps help keep our son’s feet at a 90 degree angle AND I found the carrier itself for $65 on eBay. WIN.

Beco Baby Gemini Carrier: $129

The Beco Baby Gemini Carrier is a 4-in-1 option: you can wear a baby facing in, facing out, on your back, or on your hip. As your child gets older the way you wear him or her will change, and the Gemini can accommodate a kid up to 35 lbs.

Beco Butterfly: $139

Last on the list is the Beco Butterfly, which is similar to the Gemini but only allows for front and back carry. The customer reviews on Amazon are all stellar, and the carrier holds kids between 7 and 45 lbs.

Those are my favorites — what options are fellow toddler-and-preschooler wearing parents using?

Comments on Baby wearing for toddlers and preschoolers: child carriers for kids up to 45 lbs

  1. I’d love to find a carrier that goes into pre-school. My daughter is 4 and 40 lbs. She and I both LOVED LOVED LOVED when I’d wear her in the ergo. It felt like a giant hug. I was so sad to put it away last summer… I thought the ergo only went up to 35 lbs, but maybe I’ll give it another try. I don’t consider myself particularly strong or athletic, but carrying her – even at 30-35lbs – for longish hikes (1-2 hrs) was doable and quite rewarding. Definitely one of the young-childhood moments I miss the most! 🙂

  2. You mentioned being able to have a facing out option. When we were looking for carriers that was a super important point for us, that our kidlet be able to face out. When I asked someone with an Ergo if it had that option she said no, because that’s not healthy for the kids. I looked it up and there’s all this research online about how facing out is bad for kids’ spines and can cause hip displaysia. The Ergo is good because it supports their thighs higher than their hips, which is important. We’re planning on getting an Ergo asap.

    • My understanding of the hip displaysia issue is that it can result from carriers like the Baby Bjorn which don’t support the legs or hips – that’s why people call them “crotch danglers.” From the research I’ve done (I’m not a doctor or expert or whatever, though), the Beco Gemini is okay because it supports the thigh, which allows the baby to be in a comfortable seated position.

    • The reason that you don’t want kids facing out doesn’t have to do with the hips and spine. I believe (and I also am not a doctor) that it’s so that the kids have someplace to “go” if they get over-stimulated. They can’t look away if they’re facing out. I’m learning though, that some kids LOVE to face out, so it really depends on the kiddo.

      • Facing out also puts an unnatural curve in baby’s back and I’ve yet to see a carrier that can face out and not crotch dangle.

  3. Another big wrap fan over here! Started out with a sling, then moved to a stretchy wrap and now using a woven wrap on my almost 14 month old. I love the versatility & flexibility of it.

  4. I would warn against buying new carriers online. People sell knockoff ERGOs and Bobas all the time. The materials and craftsmanship are often inferior leaving you with an unsafe carrier and no customer support.

  5. We started with the Ergo and now own a Kinderpack Toddler and Tula Toddler. The Tula is amazingly comfortable and fits my much larger husband well. The Tula was worth every penny. My kiddo is 40 pounds. We also bought the extenders to make the seat wider if he needs it. The weight limit is 50 pounds on the Tula.

  6. I would love to read your reviews on some other non main-stream carriers. Tula, Kinderpack and Bamberoo come to mind. I believe all three not only have infant and standard sizing but move up to toddler and preschool.

    I myself am in love with my Kinderpack.

  7. Hi! I just came across this today my 3 1/2 year old has mild CP too and we are just getting into wearing her and her little sister we have the preschool kinderpack, love love love!

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