Best Baby Carriers for Toddlers 18 to 36 months old
Eighteen months to 3 years old toddlers are a busy bunch. They seems to have endless amount of energy to explore and play all day long. Most of the time, they will be running from point to point, looking for new things to play. Although they still need a lot more sleep than adults, very often kids of this age would be fighting to stay awake just to play a while longer.
As they do not quite follow instructions very well at this age, carrying them is one of the only way to keep them from running all over and hurting themselves or to help them get the nap that they need. For this, a good ergonomic baby carrier can be a life saver for parents especially those with back problems.
At 18 months, most kids would be weighing between 9 to 14kgs. By the time they are 3 years old, their weight would be going up to between 12 to 18kgs. That is definitely not an easy weight to be carrying around using just your arms for long periods of time.
The key features to look out for for toddlers of this age when it comes to baby carriers are their weight distribution efficiency and the height of the carrier panel. An ergonomic baby carrier with an efficient weight distribution system should allow a babywearer to carry a toddler easily over 15kgs without straining their back at all. The height of the carrier panel is important as toddler start to grow taller and inadequate coverage of their back when they are in the carrier can be dangerous as the child can arch their way out the baby carrier. This is particularly crucial when the child is carried in the back carry position because the babywearer would not be able to see what is happening and react in time.
The ergonomic backpack carriers would be most suitable for carrying kids from 18 months to 3 years old. Their ergonomic structure ensures efficient weight distribution and depending on the back panel length, can safely carry toddlers from 2.5years old to 6 years old (This age guideline is based on the average size Asian child). Although most ring slings and pouch slings can still be used safely with toddlers of this age range for short period of carrying or for purpose such as discreet breastfeeding, we do not recommend any slings if you expect to carry your toddler for longer periods, e.g., more than 30mins. That said, using a sling still beats not have any carrier at all but keep in mind that structurally they are not designed for such weights.
The following baby carrier comparison table summarizes the different types of baby carriers that can be use with toddlers between 18 months to 3 years old:-