It's Another Blue's Clues Day. On the Couch. Winning Mother of the Year.
Wow. So. Okay.

I am not your 28-pound monkey.

I am not your monkey because I am not here to entertain you today, but rather to seek ur knowledge and drink ur branes. You are MY MONKEY today. Answer my query, monkeys! And try to keep the feces-flinging to a minimum.

QUESTION: How old were your kids when they stopped insisting on being carried everywhere? Did you indulge this insistence until they got over it themselves or did you ever just put your foot down and make them walk places on their own? And if you did that, how did you deal with the boneless-floor-puddle-thing? Leashes? Shoulder-socket transplants? Games of chicken on the Capital Beltway?

Noah wants to be carried EVERYWHERE. I cannot get him to hold my hand and walk to the car or the mailbox or even just stand there by the ATM while I dig around for my wallet. This is particularly true in wide open and unfamiliar places, but he'll still pitch fits at the top of the stairs in our house because he wants me to carry him. "Up?" he asks, over and over, until it is NO LONGER A REQUEST, WOMAN. UUUUUPPPPP.

A long time ago a certain occupational therapist was vaguely horrified to hear that we carry Noah out in public most of the time. She said this was absolutely unacceptable at Noah's age and we had to insist on Walking Like A Big Boy. I nodded and pretended to care and thought about ponies instead. I sure do like ponies.

But today at the Mock Preschool For Kids Who Can't Talk Good And Want To Learn How To Do Other Stuff Good Too I noticed that I was the only parent carrying my kid across the parking lot and through the hallways and into the classroom. In fact, most of the kids insisted on walking themselves, while Noah started to protest the instant I slid him down past my hipbone. "No wok! UP!"

It's not that we haven't tried -- but seriously, I'm not about to get into a battle of wills when we're just trying to go to the post office, or let him collapse out in the crosswalk while I lecture him about acceptable Big Boy Behavior and how he is gunning for a life alone and living in our basement because he wants his mama to carry him at 28 months old, the goddamn pansy. He can walk and run and leave me in the dust at the playground; he just chooses not to most of the time. And in the end, he still just seems...like my baby. And you carry your babies. Yes? No? Uh...ponies?

Anyway. I'm really asking because I'm just curious -- not because I'm worried or looking for something new to be worried about. Honest! All my worry spots are completely booked right now anyway, I can't even THINK about taking on a new neurosis until AT LEAST April.


Comments

Laura

First?

Kristin

It's amazing how quickly we forget! My son is 4 and a half I really don't remember how the walking vs carrying was at 28 months. I know that will still every now and then ask me to carry him a bit and I do because soon he wont want me to anymore. Maybe Noah seeing the other kids walking at his daycare might make him want to, but I'm sure that he won't be having you carry him to his prom so don't sweat it!

Maria

I figure, as long as it's working for you, go with it. My son went through a phase around 2 where he too wanted to be carried/didn't want to walk. If I couldn't carry him, I put him in the stroller. I stopped carrying him when he got too heavy for me to do it comfortably, probably around 2.5, though every now and then I'd carry him if he was feeling particularly weepy about something or another. Now he's four and won't even snuggle me on the couch, the stinker.

Brenda

I have 3 girls. 9 months to 7 years. If I could, I would still carry them everywhere. They are my babies no matter what age.

If you are not sick of carrying him, then don't stop. One your arm becomes unhinged at the shoulder then maybe consider it gently. Small changes are huge to small people.

The Muse

Okay, to start, are we really doing that "first!>!(*&#R$" thing on this blog? SERIOUSLY? In my humble opinion, that is not a comment that actually contributes to what the wonderful Amalah has written for us to read...

Ahem.

Anyway. Amalah.

I don't have kids yet. However, seeing as my sister is 10 years younger than I am, I certainly remember going through this phase with her. I think by the time she was about 2.5, she got over the carrying-thing. She, too, walked on her tiptoes when she started (which at first we thought was cute until she stubbed her toes on EVERYTHING), and then insisted on being carried everywhere.

When she was in unfamiliar environments, in particular, it was almost as if there were too many things for her to see, so she got overwhelmed and just wanted to be comforted. (Sidenote, she's now 17 and was recently diagnosed with ADD, so it turns out that she likely WAS overwhelmed at that age. My parents as much as I love them, simply wanted to insist that she just didn't have a natural talent at schoolwork like I did.)

Anywho, hope that assures you a bit - at least you are insisting that Noah get taken care of immediately, vs. 17 years of frustration down the road.

liza

My sense is that you're noticing it now... so now seems about the right time to act on it. I mean that in the most non-judgmental way possible. Like when we're ready to see something then we do. But, pick your battles. If your already taking him to the class which is helping promote change in his reactions to his surrounds maybe make it a new thing that you walk to class too? I know as an adult change seems to work best for me when it’s lumped in with other things that are different too.

Brenda

It should be once, not one...slippery fingers

Leigh

My son is almost 3 - in April - just within the last couple of months - like maybe 3 months - he has decided he wants to do EVERYTHING HIMSELF- that includes walking. Before that I carried him and his baby brother EVERYWHERE! Now his brother 16months old - walking- but wants to be held all the time. I wouldn't worry - pretty soon he won't want you to help him or carry him!

jennchez

i still carry my daughter and she is 4. she is my baby and i love the snuggles. i'll stop when she is too heavy or she does want it anymore. i know a lot of people have strong opinions on this, but to each their own eh?


ps- i'm also an OT and i find NOTHING horrifying about it at all!

ssheers

Child #1: 22 months because that was when child #2 was born and I couldn't carry them both.

Child #2: Around five. Some time when she was in kindergarten, I hurt my back (temporarily), and she got used to not being carried because of my back.

Laura

I guess I should say more than "first," but I don't have any munchkins of my own yet. The first is baking as we speak. Sorry, no advice!

Suzanne

I had the opposite problem with my second. He refused to be carried in situations where it was safest for all involved, so I can't offer suggestions on how to stop it.

However, if you are not the walking wounded at the end of the day from this, I wouldn't sweat it too much.

Marlo

My 32 month old does this sometimes...usually when she's tired or just in a "need mommy" stage. But the rest of the time it's "NOOOOO! ME do it! You no help me!" So...walking on her own is one of the ways she demonstrates her 2 yr. old independence. If the teachers are surprised that he still wants to be held so much, see if they have any ideas. I know little things like "I'll race you" or skipping, etc...wouldn't work everywhere, but it's worth a shot. You're a pretty creative gal, and you know him better than anyone. Maybe even the promise of stickers for each time he walks by himself somewhere?

Jessica (aka Rose)

My daughter started insisting on walking about 6 months ago when she was turning 2ish. But we were never big carriers, we've always been big strollerers. (I can too make up words Mr. Typepad. So there :-P)
My hunch is that he's playing you, and who wouldn't? I'd love to be carried everywhere.
Maybe you could always make sure you have too many things in your arms to pick him up. I bet he'd get over it pretty fast... but then again, he is your baby, and he won't let you carry him into kindergarten... so maybe you could go on enjoying it and let people think what they will.

mizburd

I am absolutely not qualified to give advice about this, but I don't think I'd take seriously *anything* an OT who called my son a brat might say. Go with your instincts, do what you feel is right for your situation, and don't worry about it.

Oriana

I have a son almost exactly Noah's age. (He looks a lot like Noah too.) He's currently struggling with a syndrome where all his bones completely turn to much any time he is crossed in any way, shape or form. In safe places (read: not a parking lot) I deal with his refusal to walk by cheerfully telling him I am going this way and then *going* that way. I usually get about two steps before I hear "Wait! Wait for me!"

I'm not sure what I'll do once he calls my bluff, but I'm hoping he'll be in the habit of walking with me by then.

Amy

My youngest was the worst. He wanted to be carried A LOT. Sometimes I fought it and made him walk, other times I caved because I couldn't deal with the sudden onslaught of jello child syndrome in the grocery store. He was well into his 3s by the time he started insisting that he walk, instead of being carried. I'm not saying you shouldn't make him walk sometimes if for nothing else other than to give your hips a break from carrying him, but my monkey out grew it eventually. I hope yours does too!

Kim

Well, I've heard your story before so I made him walk the moment he LEARNED how to walk. My son was 10 months old when he started walking and at that point I made him walk or at least tried. He walked to his class in daycare. I had heard of your same story before and to avoid that I was going to MAKE him walk. So after he built up his leg muscles a little better, and his length he could walk it's was an easy transition. After that when he asked to be carried, NO WAY! God gave you legs to use, use them. Harsh I know, but a doctor bill is a lot more than a tantum! Good luck. I say let him throw the fit, he will eventually come to realize that you aren't going to carry him, and if he is going to get anywhere in life he is going to have to walk. He'll catch on eventually you just have to push him towards it.

jodi

Michael used to want to be carried everywhere. And so we used the stroller, a lot. I still use the strollers in malls and airports and anywhere I know he can bolt, fast. In the past two months or so, it has been all about walking like a big boy. The only time he wants to be carried is on the stairs. And he made Doug carry him all over club med. He refused to walk there.

One thing that works is to race. If we are all together Doug will way Race to Mommy. He loves that. Obviously we don't do that in parking lots or anywhere he does not have to hold a hand.

Michael will want to walk places i don't want him to and want to be carried when I have an armful of groceries, I think they just know what you want them to do and they do the opposite.

Shari

Maybe try making a big, happy fuss over him when he walks alone... like, try telling him, "Oooo... I'm going to take a picture of you walking like a big boy, and then we'll send it to Daddy at work to show him what a great big boy you are now!" Ya know... bribes like that. :0)

Now, obviously you're not going to have time do this while you are running for an appointment, but maybe on those trips out to the mailbox. Make it a fun game... and ask him to imitate you and do silly walks with you. This one always worked for me... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wippooDL6WE

(FYI...I've more than done my share of highly embarassing things for the sake of teaching my kids something) :0)

vanna

#1, about 2.5 - when baby #2 got squiggly and it wasn't safe to carry them both. she still gets startled in parking lots and cries for me to carry her, but it's too much to juggle them both and we clammor and struggle to get everyone to a sidewalk where she'll stop her freakout.

#2 is almost 18 months, and she has started insisting to walk just this week. *ugh*

bluepaintred

My youngest son is going to be four in June. He is TINY - just 27 lbs - I prefer to have me or my husband carry him whenever we are in public (that or a stroller/cart) one reason is that he is SLOW and the second is that I LIKE holding him, feeling his we hands cure around my neck, listening to him yabber in my ear. It's really hard to give that sort of thing up.

My older boys, eight and so close to six it doesn't make sense to say he is five, walk.

However, both of them were carried until the birth of their next sibling. Seeing as I had my tubes tied after the last one was born, I highly doubt he will be walking alone until the birth of my first grandchild.

And you know what? I don't mind. It makes both of us happy, if it bugs some random stranger, they can go eff themselves!

cls

It sounds to me from what you say that you still like carrying Noah *sometimes*, but the fact that he insists on it always whenever you're outside the house is starting to be a problem. So, maybe you can begin encouraging him incrementally to do more of his own walking -- not cutting him off cold turkey, but getting him to try it out so that habits don't calcify.

Fwiw I don't have kids, but my parents tell me that as a child I liked to walk on my own and be independent until age two, when we moved to West Africa and suddenly everything was very, very different and scary to me. I insisted on being carried everywhere outdoors that we went for about 3 months. And then gradually -- especially when there were things that I was excited to run towards faster than my boring parents and do -- I transitioned back to doing my own walking.

I also have pretty clear memories of wanting to be picked up and being told I was too heavy -- or it was only for special occasions, not all the time - a bit like weaning!

It will probably help Noah seem more like a peer and playmate to the other kids if he is doing more of his own walking, like them, and is down at their eye-level.

Cassandra

I would maybe think about it (in April), but I wouldn't worry about it too terribly... I had a phase at five where I wanted to be carried everywhere (don't make fun!!) and I don't live in the basement, or am impaired in any way socially (besides the crazy).

Missie

I don't remember how it was with my now 12yo son, but my 2.5yo daughter wants to walk everywhere herself. I usually carry her if we are in a parking lot or somewhere it's not safe for her to walk, but the rest of the time I let her walk.

Noah is so busy tackling other stuff right now, that I don't think this is all that big of a deal, in my opinion. If he is into helping you, maybe you could say something like, "Can you help Mama and carry this into the store (down the stairs, out to the garage) for me? Mama needs Noah's help." The help thing always worked well with my kids.

But he is so flippin adorable that I would have a hard time putting him down, too.

amber

My four year old wouldn't walk till he was almost three and we too got all sorts of crap from other people. What worked for us is letting him race us in safe areas. Park, store isle, etc. Public but closed in. Also we would give him smarties to eat while walking and we would hold onto the back of his shirt to keep him from falling while grubbing. Good luck!

Lindsay

I can provide no ass-vice, but I can commiserate. My 21-month-old is suddenly very into being carried everywhere but he only insists that I constantly pick him up and carry him--my husband who is bigger and stronger, and not 7 1/2 months pregnant, will not suffice.

I suck at putting my foot down and so I oblige because carrying around 30 lbs. is often easier than dragging a 30-lb. limp noodle by the arm.

If you figure out what works at getting Noah to walk on his own, please do share.

obabe

so my first son was 18 months(ish) when i got pregnant again. right away my OB said to try to ease off carrying him and letting him try to get himself in the carseat and out of so i wouldnt have to. so that worked, i guess (ok, i dont have the best memory anymore). my younger son who is exactly noah's age - one month, refuses to be carried anywhere (mostly, i think to be like his older brother) and thankfully is great about hand holding. he has recently developed a FEAR of our stairs from the first floor to second (but not the ones to the basement) and will throw a tantrum if we dont carry him down then. if i have the time, i let him cry it out and eventually he crawls on his belly down. if i dont have the time, i just grab him and tell him "you can walk down all by yourself..blah blah blah".
so thats my story. nothing too life altering.

you will not carry noah to college, nor will he be wearing diapers there either. itll work itself out. rock on for the three word sentence though!!!

Another Laura

I come from a reluctant attachment-parenting perspective (my 19 month old still sleeps with us and *gasp* we are glad)...but I've sort of learned something about babies (and Noah totally still counts as a baby) through my first. They let you know when they need "mommy contact" - some kids need it more than others and most kids need it especially when they are going through big changes in life (like trying to learn big new things!). Noah may just be trying to get an extra (needed) dose of physical closeness with you. It doesn't mean you're not giving him enough at other times of the day, but he just might feel like he needs more right now.
I'd say that as far as all the things you're working on these days, this is not the hill to die on. Soon enough, he'll be wanting run all by himself and you'll be having massive heart failure chasing him through traffic. If your back can take it, maybe let this stage wear itself out. If it really feels like a problem to you, just try to wean him off it slowly. Big sudden changes are really hard for little people (I think someone else said this too) so do it gradually - which means you probably won't ruin your progress if you don't debate the issue in the middle of the crosswalk. :-) And maybe try (if he'll let you) to get a little extra snuggling or holding time at other times during the day - like at home during nap time or something.

Jen

You mean kids don't want their mommy's to carry them when they're 3? Hmmm. My 1st was addicted to playing with my hair, so yeah, around 3 yrs old. My 2nd was a blanket and thumb girl, so around 3 yrs old. And well my 3rd is only 22 months old and wants nothing to do with mom in public but at home is a total carry-me-aholic.
Don't concern yourself with this. Seriously!

jive turkey

Well, I have no kids, and therefore no advice, but DAMN woman - you must have some super-hot arm muscles from carrying Noah all the time.

Stacey

Go with your instincts and ignore "what everyone else does". That's the advice you'll be giving him 10 years from now, and it's good advice. If you feel like carrying him, carry him, if you don't, don't. Seriously, he won't want you to carry him to middle school. This will pass. My five year old still tries to get us to carry her. When we can, we do, when we can't we don't. She gets over it. In retrospect, you will be amazed at how fast he will grow up and move on from these things. I love your blog. You seem like a great mom.

Emily

I don't have kids, but I know my boyfriend's sister's child still sometimes wanted to be carried around 2/2.5 years. Not all the time, but I wouldn't think it means anything *bad* that Noah still wants to be carried place. Personally, I'd stop just because around that age, they start getting too heavy for me! But I'm weak. :)

Tamara

as a mom of a sensory kid, here's my assvice: don't worry about it. If it's not detrimental to you or him, carrying is fine.

A specialist that I see (for my son) sums it up like this: for sensory kids, it's so hard to know what that they are experiencing, and it's so Not useful to compare and contrast with typical peers... that really, pick the things that really matter to have power struggles over. Let (relatively) small things slide. Hope that makes sense.

(example: all my son's peers are taking swimming lessons, so isn't it time to sign him up? only, he HATES everything to do with swimming pools on a sensory level, and every 'lesson' exhausts the whole family. And he doesn't even get into the water, much less his swimsuit. So, why fight it right now? Is it really necessary for swim lessons right now? Answer: no)

Andrea

Still having the "carry me" battle at 3.5 years old.

Henry likes to be carried, because people might, ya know, look at him.

Cassandra

I went through the same thing with my son, who is now 11 years old. It was really tough breaking my son of this "habit" but once I decided that enough was enough it didn't take long. Sure your son is going to scream and shout and throw horrendous tantrums but as long as you know that you are in a safe environment (i.e home, friend's house, etc)and he is not in any pain... HE WILL BE FINE! Not carrying him EVERYWHERE in no way diminishes the fact that he is your baby and always will be!

Judy

My first was about 18 months, because that's when she became a big sister and I couldn't carry both. The second took a lot longer. The third...

Look at all the pictures of people like Angelina Jolie, she's toting that big six year old around.

It doesn't matter. At some point Noah will decide he is too big to be carried and he will then walk everywhere. And your heart will break because he doesn't need you for that any more. Enjoy the snuggling while you have it. He'll grow up all on his own soon enough.

Amy W

Delurking to say I wish my 2 year old would let me carry her. It sure as heck would be faster some days...

If it's a battle you are willing to take on, then try to get him to walk (which would mean a few puddles of crying messes on the ground). Bribes maybe? If not, I wouldn't sweat it. I mean, he won't be 18 and you carrying him across the stage to graduate.

erin

My daughter is 4 1/2 and she often asks her Daddy to carry her (she knows I won't). Half the time she asks, he will oblige. But she's so big and heavy to carry far, that we basically make her walk. And yes, if that means dragging her in the Walmart parking lot, then I do it.

Her little sister, however, pretty much is carried everywhere. She's 23mos and is light as a feather and gets carried a lot of the time. But we also make her walk, even through the melting-into-a-puddle phase. Most of the time? I carry my youngest because I walk WAY faster holding her than letting her walk.

You know what? I'm betting you won't be carrying him around when he's a teenager! You know he can walk, you're not hurting him by carrying him--enjoy it while you can.

heels

My son is the opposite. Pretty early on, he started DEMANDING to be allowed to walk. I usually let him, but sometimes I just want to GO without all of the toddler dawdling that him walking represents, and so I don't let him. Besides, he's still my baby and how else am I supposed to keep these bitchin' arm muscles it's taken almost 2.5 years to build?

pamalamadingdong

I say enjoy it while you can. Because soon enough he won't want to be seen in public with you (or at least let you kiss him when the bus comes to whisk him off to kindergarten).
You know he CAN do it...just wants to be held right now.
When he asks you to carry him to deliver his valedictorian speech THEN I would worry. (maybe)

Helen

Elijah started full time school this month, I took his stroller to the tip this week, we used it right til he started school! I never was a carry them sort of mum though, as soon as they start that leaning back and making me feel like I will snap crap, they get put in a stroller, I think they knew it was walk or stroller, walking was more fun maybe.
Noah IS a baby, hell just blow a raspberry to anyone that tries to tell you how to raise your boy.
People want kids to grow up too fast, why back in the day of my dad's baby hood they strapped them on their backs to stop them trying to sit up and damage their fragile backs until they were a year old ( or was that just my mean Nana?) 50 years ago Noah would still be in long frocks being wheeled in a perambulator, let him be a baby a bit longer if YOU want.

jayandgel

This is so funny you are asking this question as I swear I just had this discussion with my 3 almost 4 yr old this morning. Can you carry me mommy?
Um honey, mommies arm may fall off if I do that.
No mommy, you can carry me. You are strong.
Well will you carry me? I'm tired too.
No mommy you are tooooo heavy.

Ok so needless to say my almost 4 year old STILL asks more often than not but I will say the boneless-floor-puddle-thing has subsided some unless she is napless and well then no rules apply. So honestly I think it's dependent on the child because my now 7 yr old I swear was asking to walk herself by age 2, but my younger one I think would have me carry her everywhere, anytime if I was agreeable, or if my arms could manage it. And no I'm not admitting that I just MAY occassionally SOMETIMES pick her up as she is my last baby.

D-Rock

Godzilla (30 months) still likes for me to carry him everywhere, and I oblige regularly out of guilt - I am hardly ever home. He does not expect his other 2 primary caregivers (grandparents) to carry him, at all, ever. (Well most of the time, anyway.) They had put their collective feet down due to pragmatism - Godzilla is nearly 40 lbs, and both of them are not in weightlifting shape. If you're good at doing the foot-put-down thing, I suggest that- it works. If not, as other posters have suggested, he'll outgrow it.

Paranoid

M's 26 months, and tends to want to walk everywhere unless I'm loaded down with other things or it's a hundred degrees out, then she loses the ability to use her legs.

If we're in a situation where it's important for me not to carry her, I immediately start making an idiot of myself: "ok, you don't want to walk. Let's HOP!" (or march or stomp or dance, etc.) That tends to work pretty well. Or I'll tell her we're in a parade and she needs to march while I sing a silly song. Or I sing the walk and stop song ("Oh, well you walk and you walk and you walk and you STOP!", etc. ad infinitum).

Come to think of it, M's more agreeable anytime I look like a moron.

Tina Ericson

Your back will endure what your heart demands. Your back will win the fight once he hits 45 lbs. I can't carry my 8 year old anymore, and my 5 year old says: 'pick me!' about 5 times a day. My back is starting to win, but my heart thinks we still have another 5 lbs until it gets ugly.

Jomama

My son is a month younger than yours, so I can't answer the question. He still likes to be picked up a lot and he stands at the top (or bottom) of the steps whining or throwing a tantrum if I don't pick him up. I don't see a reason why anyone would be horrified by a two year old wanting to be carried. He's still a baby (I'll probably be saying that until he's in high school though). My son is definitely getting too heavy and squirmy for me to carry (especially in the winter with a thick, heavy coat on), but I will probably still do it for at least a few more months. I know I'll miss it when he really gets too big (and too easily embarrassed) to carry.

Kyla

KayTar is about to be 3 and I still do a great deal of carrying. Of course, she has poor balance and fatigues easily and can only walk at one pace "Sleeping Turtle", so it is easier for everyone if I carry her a bit.

KimAZ

Carry him until he won't let you anymore. He's got his whole durn life to walk.

Missing the babyness today, I am.

Annemie

I haven't read through everything everyone has said, but in case it hasn't been mentioned, the "one, two, three, wheeeee!" thing works well if you've got Jason or another friend handy. Even if it's just me and Oliver, he likes walking on the off chance I might be able to somehow swing him up in the air. He likes the racing bit, too. Really, though, I would think this is mostly about your convenience, not about it signifying some underlying issue.

SarahO

Well, Emma is two days younger than Noah and she wants me to totally carry her everywhere. My logic is that it will happen soon enough that she won't want to be carried anymore. So, until then? I'll carry her. And I like it. And it's a good arm workout.

Cassandra

Been a lurker until I saw this post. Hmm. My son has a bit of OCD (I think, there is no diagnosis) and he is really resistant to change. That said the more I let him get away with something the harder it becomes to break him of the habit.

He used to insist that I come get him out of his bed - even after I got him the big boy bed - but one day I decided enough is enough is enough. So I said, nope, you can walk out of the room. And do you think he would? He stayed in his room from morning until night and would not come out. I brought him food and drinks and he would try to get me to pick him up. He cried. I cried. But I was determined. I think it actually took 2 days. The first day I let him walk beside me and he finally came out.

The second day he did this really weird thing. He had a giant orange ball. And he took it and rolled himself out of the room on it. Kind of like a turtle walk thing. It was so weird. And he did that for quite a while.

So what is my suggestion? I guess don't let Noah be the boss because it might just get worse. You don't want to be carrying him when he is 15...

all things bd

My girls were both 20 pounds by the time they were 5 months old, and they just kept going. By 18 months, I had them walking everywhere, or else they were in the stroller. My hips couldn't take all that weight.

The thing that ALWAYS works with mine? Turn walking into a race. The most Jello-y legs in the world can't resist running like the wind.

Mamaebeth

we give our 32 month old choices. do you want to walk or ride in the buggy? walk or ride on mama's back? walk or daddy carry you? cause seriously, he is getting really heavy. i have started making him put his head down when i carry him too, mostly to help keep his weight as centered as much as possible. he would probably like to be carried most of the time by me, but he's just getting to heavy. so, basically to sum up, as he got heavier, i started putting more restrictions on when and how i would carry him, and we slowly worked into walking while holding hands. (and i was still carrying him in a sling at 24 months.) hope that helps.

The Other Dawn

The only thing that mitigated my 36 pound two year old from wanting to be carried all the time was the fact that I had another baby to carry. And most of the time he didn't care about that, but it was a physical impossibility to carry them both and the diaper bag and my purse and a toy and... you get the point. Necessity moved him forward.

I still carry him around at almost 4, but he only asks now when he's feeling all feel-y.

Jen

I have three boys, and my first two weren't near as clingy as my third. He wants to be carried EVERYWHERE, and he's 3-almost-4 and, ahem, inherited his daddy's linebacker genes. That kid is heavy! Anyway, I've worried about the same thing, but I'm just banking that this is a phase that will pass before he actually becomes a teenage linebacker *fingers crossed*.

I can remember being deathly worried about my middle son not eating. At 2, he ate little more than a grub worm and was small for his age. But low and behold, he grew out of it! And now he eats everything in sight. Had you asked me back then about it, I would have hopelessly answered, "He will surely wither away."

This is an extremely long and painful way to say, in my experience only, most things fix themselves and they just eventually grow out of it.

Hope that helps?

Miss Britt

My daughter will be three in March. If she had her way, I'd still carry her everywhere.

Except, of course, when She Can Walk All By Her SELF! THANK YOU!

I carry her in parking lots because she is little and I don't want her to get run over.

I can't remember when my son started walking everywhere, but I know it was long before he would have chosen that.

In other words - I am useless.

liz

Oh, sister. I have long wondered what would finally prompt me to comment. My 30-lb, 2-year-old boy expects to be carried EVERYWHERE except where he could possibly be run over by a car. Then he wants to waaaaaalllllk and beeeee freeeee! I just carry him because he's my likely my only child and I will indulge him until his future wife stabs me in the eye.

OldMama

I love your blogs....even tho' I am getting older & now have a grandbaby & another on the way. Take it from me....there will come a time when you will want all the snuggles and carry-time back again. My advice: be who you are & do what you feel is right for you. In the big scheme of things, does it really matter how long you carry him? Well, yea - sure, if you start to hunch over from the weight....but things will work themselves out & one day you will say, "What happened to that little boy I used to carry all over the place?"

Mrs Pop

My baby is 4. I carried him as much as I could and still do. He can walk just fine. He gradually became more interested in walking than being carried, though, because he discovered the freedom of being able to run away from us at high rates of speed in crowded areas.

Don't worry.

cagey

I am still carrying Arun quite frequently. It is a mixed bag - sometimes he wants to walk, other times he does not. Often, he will refuse to walk if we are leaving someplace he does not want to leave. At that point, he will do his Limp Noodle Move and then I am forced to carry him. And, I should mention, his 6 month old sister at the SAME TIME. Let's just say I do not dread sleeveless shirts this summer because my arms KICK ASS these days.

Anyone trying to "enforce" what is the appropriate age limit for carrying one's child can STUFF IT.

Type (little) a

I probably still carried my daughter 85% of the time when she was Noah's age, because I've got myself a runner. So it was as much a safety issue as a "mama's-only-child-for-the-foreseeable-fucking-future
coddling technique.

I think I finally put my foot down about the carrying at around 3 years old. (she's 3.5 now)

You could start with making him walk in places where he feels safe. I think all of Sabrina's walking started by walking into/out of preschool.

Alissa

Pretty sure this is the effect of being the first and (sore subject? sorry!) so far, only child.

My only advice would be to try to make it fun for him to walk... "Noah... do you want to walk? or do you want to RUN!?" Give him a choice that doesn't involve you carrying him around. Kids love having control, you just need to direct it... "should we hop? or just walk across the street?" Or whatever.

Of course, if you LIKE carrying him, then who cares, but I get so tired of dragging their heavy selves around.

Big Mama

I have a 4 year old and while she walks most every where we go now, she still likes me to pick her up and carry her on occasion. And I do because someday she'll be in high school and probably won't let me carry her to prom.

I'd say go with what feels right to you and don't worry what other people say.

Lori

The Beaner is 3 years, 2 months, and he still wants to be picked up/carried a lot. Sometimes I make him walk, sometimes I carry him. Depends on whether I'm feeling generous, whether my hands are empty, and whether I have the energy. Lately I've been encouraging him to walk more because we're going to Disney World in a couple months, and if he doesn't build up his stamina now, he'll never make it across a single park.

kelsi

Do you mind carrying him? If not, then who cares what other people think? At some point, he won't want to be carried and as long as you don't mind doing it, then I wouldn't stop.

Delurker #70790879

Mine is five and I prefer to carry (or strap her in a cart) her when possible. She runs, far, far away. She does not care if I am not with her. Life is her bowl of cherries. We have the discussions about the possible horrific outcomes. We have had a Target lock-down. I have had many disapproving looks while I generally lose it after finding her across a grocery store. Encourage Noah to venture out, just be careful of what you wish for.

LVGurl

I carried my oldest most of the time until she was 23 months. She started walking on foot more out of necessity, because her little sister arrived to join the party. My oldest is now 3 1/2, and I still carry her now and then. Simply because she wants to be my baby sometimes, I because I like holding her.

(I'm kinda tired of "professionals" telling us how our kids need to be, by the way...)

Kris

My little guy will be 3 in April and he asks to be carried all the time. The minute I say "time to go" he asks to be carried to the car. He will even ask to go "bare feet" a few times just so I will have to carry him. I usually laugh (because it just comes out) then tell him that he still needs to wear shoes even if I carry him. Just in case he actually has to walk. Of course there are also the times that he'll do it "all by myself" and have non of this carry me stuff. My 5 year old actually will ask me periodically to pick him up or carry him but he's way to heavy so that's pretty much a no go.

amy

I started to stop carrying my son Ethan when he was about 18 months, and I was 6 months pregnant. I knew that I wouldn't be able to carry him in a few short months, and wanted to get that worked out before baby arrived. My daughter, I stopped carrying pretty early (before 2) because she INSISTED on walking (like her brother) - and also, she was (and is) huge. It was too much to haul a 35 lb kid around while watching out for the Older Sibling Who Likes To Run Behind Parked Cars. Easier to make everyone walk and install a 'hold my hand! HOLD MY HAND!" rule instead.

On a slightly related note, when we started daycare/preschool, one good tip I heard was having the child WALK IN themselves rather than being carried in, made the goodbye moment a lot easier. It makes sense, as they if they're walking themselves, they're more like their own person.. you know? Already somewhat detached from the parent. Whereas if you're carrying them, they are more of an extension of you.. and then seeing you go is that much harder. Maybe the therapist's views came from something along those lines?

However, I miss carrying them. I would probably not do anything different, but they're so big so fast (daughter soon to be 4 and son will be 6 in may) *sniff* They're both still snuggly bugs though. We could hang out snuggling on the couch all night, so it's all good.

Liz

Lilia is a few weeks younger than Noah and we have this same problem. Lucky for me she probably only weighs 22 pounds. Anyway, I find that it helps if she has a job. I'll give her something to carry from the car to the elevator in our building and her bones solidify right up.

HeatherK

Mine don't ask to be carried, but my second I always put in a sling because she was an escape artist. Could just be part of the SPD stuff and unpredictable environments. No, no...not trying to id another problem, just saying. I guarantee he'll grow out of it and you won't be carrying him around a college campus.

Burgh Baby's Mom

My 24-month old? Wants to walk when I need to carry her (traffic, large crowds, herds of elephants). When I want her to walk because I'm balancing the weight of the world in my hands while trying to pry open a door, the very idea of putting her feet on the ground causes her to go into convulsions. Dang kids and their stupid opinions . . .

Tiffani

My daughter is 4 and my son is 2 and I still carry both of them (usually at the same time) a lot. I did not even know this was probably a bad thing until I read all the comments. It never occured to me to even question it. lol. When I was pregnant with my son my daughter was 18 months. ANd I used to make her walk as much as possible. Only because I could not carry her after 8 months pregnancy. But, I prefer to carry them becaue they walk so freakin slow. And I am a fast walker. It drives me nuts when they want to walk and I just want to hurry up and go.

Erin

I loved the comment about "if you are noticing it now, it is probably time to address it." Seriously, that is some great wisdom that makes total sense in parenting, and something after nearly 3 years, I still don't figure out. (Think about it - it applies to everything! When to move up on diaper sizes! When to upgrade to the next clothing size! When to cut back on the same dinner for 20 nights in a row! Brilliance.)

In any case, my nearly 3yo still wants to be carried, not constantly, but in certain situations. I am 8+ months pregnant, so I have been claming that I have a "booboo on my back" (because you aren't supposed to blame the baby for anything you can't do so it doesn't give them more fodder to want to kick it once it is born) and that has worked - but it took time. My husband still carries him up the stairs - and I wish we were both consistent about it. But the booboo thing has been effective - tell him you can't and see what happens. And be firm. And based on the stories above, be prepared for a day-long battle.

I still will pick him up in a scary or unfamiliar situation - even at 8+ months pregnant. I don't think it is a cold turkey thing, but I think walking across a parking lot, to the ATM, etc. is a reasonable expectation.

And I agree on the whole "make it a race up the stairs" "swing them by the arms" strategy. I actually play a game on the steps where I will touch the step and say "I got this one" and my son LOVES it - who ever "gets" the top step first is the "big winner." (And I am the "second big winner" since, you know, life shouldn't be about winning and losing.)

After reading this, I fear for my sanity...

Lindsey

My son is 3 and we still carry him across the parking lots. I'm a paraniod impatient woman and I just cannot handle the thought of A) it taking me 20 minutes to get across the Target parking lot in 30 degree weather and B) Hellooo crazy college kid drivers. So, we carry. Now once inside the store he has ZERO interest in me or a basket. We're working on that.

Vaguely Urban

I would carry him because it's snuggly and because it would keep my arms toned and I am vain.

You know I have no professional experience with kids nor any kids of my own, right?

Sundry

My kid wants to be carried everywhere too. This has been especially wonderful in during the Massive Lumbering Land-Whale stage of pregnancy. It's actually easier than *chasing* him, though, so . . . Hey, maybe we should just strap our kids to a hand cart, Hannibal-Lecter-style, and wheel them from Point A to Point B. That would RULE.

lyn

As a mother of four children (oldest 28, youngest 7)(mad- I know), I have to say that I really can't remember at all what age they were when I stopped carrying them around,although I'm sure it was older than 2+.
My most sensitive child wanted to be carried around all the time, he was very late with his speech and *learning* developement at school, blah blah... and now he is a very lovely 19 year old talented musician who loves his Mum a lot.
You are his Mummy- you know best.
I love your blog by the way.

Jen

I carried my son until he was about 5 and a half, about 2 weeks before my daughter was born. Mostly because he just still seemed like a baby to me before that. I stopped carrying my daughter everywhere shortly before she turned 2. She just seemed ready earlier.

A

I would think that if he CAN walk places by himself and DOES walk some places by himself and if you are starting to feel like she SHOULD walk other places himself then it might be time.

The point I wanted to make was that he is probably going to protest and put up a fight no matter when you do it if he's the kind of kid who wants to be carried everywhere (Hell, if I could find someone to do it, *I* would LOVE to be carried everywhere). At some point you have to be willing (even in the crosswalk on the way to the post office) to fight that battle and win. I think the insisting you carry him and you giving in at some point could start to be the issue (I'm not saying now, you would know that best).

You're his Mommy and you know him best. If you feel like it might be best for him (and you) to start walking, then go for it. It's plainly obvious you're a great Mom... go with your gut.

Zoot

I am not lying to you when I tell you I just came in from carrying my daughter in one arm and the garbage in the other out to the garbage can because she MUST BE IN MY ARMS AT ALL TIMES.

So, um, I'm scared to read the comments.

tina

I had to stop carrying son #1 around 24 months because I was pregnant and he was too heavy. I tried to make it into a game. We'd sing the "We are the Dinosaurs" song by Laurie Berkner and we'd "march" along. That worked some of the time to get him to come along when he'd try to insist on "uppie". Son #2 WANTS to walk, but is a runner so he gets carried when he starts to run off! :-)

wordnerd

Let me begin by saying I scrolled thru most of the comments without reading all of them, so if this has already been said, my apologies. But I remember my kids wanting to be carried at different times, and particularly when they were feeling a little more needy than other times. Since Noah's being introduced to other outside experiences -- therapy, preschool, etc. -- maybe he's just a little more 'clingy' with you. It's a security thing, I think, and he'll grow out of it. In the meantime, enjoy the closeness (and shift from side to side so as to tone the muscles in BOTH arms!!!).

Leslie

My sister just went through this battle because she carried her first kid everywhere until he was nearly 4. He now has some catching-up to do on the playground, because he's honestly kind of unsure how to handle being on his own two feet. It's kind of sad to see, in a way. I'm sure he'll figure it out. Her second son is 2 and she spent about 3-4 weeks just saying "no" when he wanted to be picked up and carried, and after those 3-4 weeks of crying and whining, he one day just stopped asking and is now having the time of his life running, jumping, hopping, and so on. So, maybe it's gotta be cold turkey, and just endure the pain for that short period of time.

Steph

My son just turned two and likes to be carried as well. I think they just like that closeness. The way I look at is I have never seen a teenager being carried around by his Mom.

Jenn

As soon as mine could walk safely I let them walk whenever possible. Mostly out of necessity though. With two of them, I just can't carry them around with me. Now the one that will reliably hold my hand will walk and I'll occasionally carry the other one if he's trying to run away.

They just learned how to say up though, so that all may change.

Joelle L. Beach

From the Mom that just watched my "Baby" get on a plane to boot camp, I say carry him as long as he will let you. Believe me you will wish you could snatch him up and carry him later.

Jennifer

I stopped carrying my oldest when she was 3 because that's when her twin sisters were born and I had only 2 arms and they won. Then I stopped carrying them when they were too heavy for me to pick them both up, because if you carry one, you gotta carry the other. I still carry each of them (one at a time) every once in awhile, when they'll let me. Until my back gives out.

divrchk

I say that he should be walking most of the time now. It will suck at first trying to get him to walk and hold his hand but he'll figure it out. It's sort of like potty training... it takes a lot of work and is not fun but the end result is so worth it.

Korie B.

Excuse me while I pop a couple more ibuprofen to deal with my back pain from carrying my 30 month old daughter through Bed, Bath & Beyond, Cost Plus and Best Buy today.
I assure you that you're not the only one getting dirty looks from old ladies at Target as you try to maneuver a shopping cart with one hand and carry your kid WHO WILL NOT SIT IN THE FRICKIN' SHOPPING CART.
If girl shoes weren't so cute, I wouldn't bother to put them on her. They won't touch the ground....

Lola

Mine is going on 14, so the memories are a bit faded, but I can most cetainly recall bitching to a co-worker about carrying a child who's feet damn near touched mine when I held her. She wan't a cuddler as a baby, so being the puddle I am, I took most opportunities to snuggle with her. Well, till her shoe size was bigger than mine, and she had a good two inches of height on me..Time goes so fast, drink up all of the good you can. Puberty will be here quicker than you think..

Heidi T

My husband, sweet though he is, indulged my now nearly 5 year old with always carrying her because he didn't want the fight and she still wants to be carried by him in her 45 lb glory. He has since learned with our 30 month old and he doesn't beg to be carried unless he is particularly tired or scared.

I, on the other hand, never carried either of them if they could walk holding my hand (because I was usually carrying lots of other things, anyway). Neither of them ask me much to carry them either, unless the aforementioned tired or scared thing, when I obviously oblige willingly. There was never a fight for long. You either walk with me or stay in the spot you are. I am much more stubborn than any 2 year old.

That said, they are also much more clingy when out in public with my husband, but much more outgoing when I am around, but they might be modeling our behaviours as my sweet british husband is very introverted and I am a loud raucous new yorker who hasn't found a person that I can't make friends with.

becks

I haven't read any of the other comments, but my kid is two months younger than Noah. He walks everywhere (well, like about 95% of the time). This is mostly due to the fact that his sister is 16 months younger than him, so around the time when he was about 14 months I just didn't have the space on my body to carry him. So he had to walk. So I told him repeatedly "Mummy can't carry you, you have to walk please."
He still sometimes wants me to carry him, like if we're walking to school for example, but I learned early on to always bring the double stroller even if he insists he wants to walk because you can only walk up hill pushing an infant in a stroller while your toddler rides on your stroller so many times before you learn that it's better to walk around with an empty stroller seat than a toddler hanging off your body.
Also, I find that giving him something to carry, like a very light grocery bag or (cringe) my purse, and saying, "Can you carry this bag for me?" kinda helps.

sarah

I stopped carrying my daughter when she was 2, she was perfectly capable of walking on her own, and after about three weeks of mini temper tantrums she realized that mom had no problem taking a breather on the curb for 20 minutes while she thrashed around and acted like a general idiot. She still throws tantrums every once in awhile and I still have no problem letting her act like an idiot until she gets it out of her system, except of course if the abusive language starts up. She is 4 now, but is more at the intelligence level of a 7 yr old. Her behavioral level is still at 4 however, i sure wish they matched up.

Roz

delurking again...because I think this is important. You truly need to trust your instincts. Mine are grown now...2 boys that were both big. One never wanted to be carried and the other would still let me carry him and he is almost 21! When I noticed that I seemed to be the only one still carrying my kid, I started trying to figure out the best way to stop, and like everything else, we used the carrot and stick method. If we COULD make it a game, offer an incentive, have a talk, or do ANYTHING positive to achieve getting him to walk, we did. If we couldn't, we just refused to carry him. Having said that, I tried to avoid putting my kids in situations where they were over tired, over stressed, etc, but sometimes you can't, and during those times we made allowances and just carried him. Also, there were times when I was the one that was over tired and over stressed and just couldn't handle the battle and gave and in and went on. Again, trust your own instincts to do what is right at the time and place that is right and know that you will never be perfect. I always only half jokingly said "When you're a teenager, I will provide you the name of a good therapist to undo all the damage I've done"!

shelley

Seems like other cultures are so much more comfortable with the carrying thing. My oldest son was did the boneless thing to get down all the time, but when I had the twins, they loved to be carried. My in-laws always rolled their eyes about it. They still as teens love to snuggle (even the oldest). Noah will get down when he's ready.

Linda

Just to add something totally constructive, since I don't have kids -- Brad and Angelina are always carrying their kids. I wonder what they'll do? I think I only recently saw a picture of Zara (is that her name -- I'm blanking) standing/walking on her own.

Robin

OK. If you're truly concerned about it and want him to walk you can go crazy and do a behavior plan - stickers or something rewarding when he walks somewhere on his own.

But realistically. Who cares if he still gets carried. I don't think you have to worry about him still wanting to be carried when he's an adult because you do when he is 28 months.

Something to observe, though, because of sensory issues is why he wants to be carried. Is the outside environment overwhelming in one of the sensories for him that he wants your physical protection? Could be with stairs too - they can look pretty scary when you think of the size he is.

I can't remember when I stopped carrying my son. I think it was just over time. Over time he wanted more independence and over time he got it. That and there were some times it was more appropriate for him to walk independently and others it wasn't possible.

joan

My kiddo had serious(and frustratingly unexplained) motor dealys and did not walk until the age of 28 months. I got so in the habit of carrying her everywhere that I would do it automatically even after she miraculously started walking. I remember getting publicly scolded at her preschool for carrying her up the stairs instead of making her walk. I can honestly say that being carried around has not scarred her for life and my back has not been permanently damaged. Pick your battles, I say, because all phases come to an end - hallelujah!!

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