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Never Too Big To Be Carried?

Never Too Big To Be Carried?

It's easy to spot the mom who jumps at her preschooler's every whim, who carries her (usually whining) kid way beyond toddler-hood. Check out her Michelle Obama biceps...and her herniated neck disc.

I know, because I have both the neck injury, and (I like to brag) the buff arms, the results of lugging around my own three at their every whimper. My right arm, where I carried them most of the time, looks particularly good in shortsleeves.

While caring for a six-month-old recently, I was reminded of my ability to simultaneously balance a baby on my hip, unpack groceries, and take a conference call. Wow, I thought, carrying my young kids everywhere as I went about my daily tasks is where I first learned the art of multitasking.

Now, when my three college-aged kids ask me to help haul their stuff at the beginning and end of every semester, I often wonder if I overdid the carrying. Should I be ignoring their text cries: "Mom, did you rent the U-Haul?" Maybe I should have let them cry it out way back when, too, instead of swooping them up.

That's why I have empathy for the many Circle of Moms members who are worried about whether or not their kids are too old to be carted about. And it's why I'm pretty sure Elizabeth R., whose "back is getting tired," knew she wouldn't be alone when she asked "Am I the only one still carrying my 4-year-old?" Not by a long shot, Elizabeth. Christina H., for one, says she carries her otherwise independent 4-year-old "everywhere we go." 

So how old is too old for us moms to be hauling our kids around? (For one particularly funny response, check out "Too Big for Stroller," which collects and captions hilarious snapshots of kids who are too big to be carried, much less strolled around, by their parents.) And more to the point, why do we feel we have to defend our propensity to do it, anyway? Moms like Dawn B. say there's no need to: "I still carry my 4-year-old man around sometimes: I love it! He is very independent but sometimes he just needs/wants mamma. I see nothing wrong with it. Before we know it they'll be way too big and not even want to be seen in public with their moms."

She may be glad to know that in 14 years her buff arms will come in handy again, only instead of hauling her son around, she'll be graciously carrying his futon and life belongings into his college dorm.

At what age will you stop carrying your child around?

Image Source: Malingering via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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LestariSuryandari LestariSuryandari 4 years
Gradually stop when he can walk in a good way @13 months. He was very heavy & strong. But he mostly on stroller if we went to the mall until 3,5. Now he walk everywhere. Sometimes ask to be carried just to be close to mommy . I granted it if possible
KassieSaili KassieSaili 5 years
My son is 3years 5months old now and I think he is big enough to walk on his own..Let go and let them explore..Teach them to be independent and all. But ONCE IN A WHILE it doesn't hurt to pick him up but not for long.
FayeCurtis96794 FayeCurtis96794 5 years
I think I will carry as long as they let me. Will it be everywhere? NO. But some extra moments of "I love you", or "I'm hurt" or "I'm tired" aren't too much to ask. Mine are only 2 and about 10 months, but I know there's going to be a time that they aren't going to want to be hugged! And they aren't attatched at my hips right now by any means. So as long as I don't see anything socially odd with my children. I'm gonna do what I feel is right. There are times to say no to your children, but a little extra love, in this case, I don't feel is one of them.
RenaHorton RenaHorton 5 years
NikkiHancox44991 NikkiHancox44991 5 years
I lived on the sane street as an Infant and Junior school 4-11 year olds) for 19 years and over the years I saw more and more Mums pushing their child to school in a pushchair and walking away from school with an empty push chair and vice versa when collecting their child from school. I feel that a school age child is too old for a pushchair/stroller. They are at school all day and I agree they get tired bit in many of the cases I know how far they live from school, max of 5 min walk (Childs speed not adult speed). My son stopped using his stroller at 2 1/2. It has not been used at all since then, if I'm out all day I allow more time and pit stops. We regually walk 6 miles to meet my husband at work when he finishes, just to get some exercise and we always take our time and he walks all the way.
carolinerowley carolinerowley 5 years
When they are too heavy to lift is my cry !! But Hubby still puts 4 and half year old on his shoulders
HeatherDaileyIverson HeatherDaileyIverson 5 years
I refuse to carry my almost 3 year old son, he knows how to walk. I believe if I am carrying my son i am depriving him of the opportunities such as, "look for cars," "walk don't run," and to learn what a safe distance is to be from Mom or Dad in public. My husband on the other hand refuses to let him walk anywhere. He carries him to his car seat, into the sitter or store, he will carry him om walks even!!! I think that it's true when you continue carrying beyond a young age it's going to foster that dependency later in life as well!
GenevieveCansanayCuevas GenevieveCansanayCuevas 5 years
i stopped carrying my 4 year old when he turned 2 though i still brought him in his stroller for the occassions when he falls asleep. he doesn't like to be carried except when he wants to be soothed as a result of some accident or another but he got the idea pretty early cause i soothe him sitting down lol
TracyMcLemore TracyMcLemore 5 years
I wish I could carry my 3 1/2 daughter around like i did the other 2 kids around. That may be why I have severe back pain not sure. I carried my son who at the time was in kindergarden at the time who is now 23 sometimes when he was not feeling well or just needed that mommie love. My 3 1/2 year old daughter because of her sensory issues does not like to be touched alot or carried only when she really needs it. So it is very hard. Isay as long as it's not hurting you to carry them and they needed ot by all means do so. Because they grow up so fast. Keep them as close to your heart as possible. My 23 yr old sometimes sit's on my lap of course I may not be able to move right away. But that's my only boy.
JillianHowie JillianHowie 5 years
Carrying one's children is a for of attachment parenting which is a very legitimate and healthy form of parenting for both mother (and father!) and child. My two year old was a carried baby and now he goes in my Boba organic backpack carrier when we go somewhere that might be too much for him to walk. He plays with my hair and peeks around my shoulders. It's very sweet and it's a great way to do errands while bonding with your child and not running madly around the store chasing him/her!
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