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 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.



Ummm... I still carry my kid around and he's 32 months old. He will walk just fine on the occasions when I do put him down to "be a big boy," but I just find it easier to carry him. I don't really want the walk from the parking lot to the store entrance to take ten minutes, you know? So I don't know if I'm really qualified to answer this, but I will say that he started being capable of/willing to walk on his own at about, oh, 24 months? Somewhere around there. He might have been capable and willing sooner, but I honestly didn't even think to try it until around then.

Jamie AZ

Forgive me, I didn't read all the other comments, so someone may have already mentioned this, but I would LIE. LIE. LIE. You slept weird last night, didn't you? And your shoulder/back/hip is tweaked a bit and hurts when you pick Noah up? And you called the doctor to discuss it and he said you shouldn't carry anything until it feels better, right?

Yep, lie to the kid to get him to walk himself. :) But, if you're cool carrying him, that would be fine, too.


Confession: I carried my daughter around until she was almost FIVE YEARS OLD. Sometimes because she wanted me to, and sometimes? Because *I* wanted to. She's my last baby, you know?

Then I developed a back issue and when I went to the Extremely Expensive Orthopedist, he watched me walk and immediately asked me how old the child was that I was carrying around.

Stopped that then. Of course, now I carry her every once in a while, but it's getting harder since I only outweigh her by 80 pounds.


I won't read the previous 100 comments so someone might have said this already. Or, I may be the only bad mom who does this: bribery. "Hey, Noah, I'll give you an M&M if you walk from the car to your classroom today. An M&M!" :)


At 28 months I was most definitely still carrying my son around. He was a champion walker by then, but was slow as molasses when it came to actually getting any productive walking done.

At nearly four and a half there are still (many) times that he wants me to pick him up and I roll my eyes, right before I remember it won't be long that I won't be doing it at all. I probably pick him up more than most parents at this age do, but he's my baby, ya know? I don't see anything wrong with holding my baby.


I just wanted to stop in and say HI! You have many comments and I'm sure there is nothing new I could contribute at this point. I will say that, in a world that seems overwhelming and scary at times, your arms are most assuredly a safe place to view the world from. (Apparently I just repeated Robin without realizing it. See? Nothing new.) Maybe teach him to slide down the stairs on his bottom or tummy. Do it together as a game. But then what the hell do I know. I live in a one-story house.


I still carry my daughter sometimes, and she's six. There'll be plenty of time for walking, until then enjoy the fact that he'll still let you touch him in public. My 8-year old son refuses to do anything more than a high-five.


Oh. You mean kids are supposed to walk on their own?

Mine is 4.87 and has just started to walk on her own for fair distances.
I never really put my foot down, except on occassion when I just *couldn't* carry her another step... and, yeah... she just walks alone now.

(Incidentally I recently submitted a question to you regarding my child's neurosis, so her's is probably not a good example - surely I now hold the cause for all of her wordly-skittish-ness, my having held her too long.)


Oh. You mean kids are supposed to walk on their own?

Mine is 4.87 and has just started to walk on her own for fair distances.
I never really put my foot down, except on occassion when I just *couldn't* carry her another step... and, yeah... she just walks alone now.

(Incidentally I recently submitted a question to you regarding my child's neurosis, so her's is probably not a good example - surely I now hold the cause for all of her wordly-skittish-ness, my having held her too long.)


My girl was 2 (and HEAVY!) when we shifted from "carry everywhere" to "umbrella stroller everywhere." That was more necessity relative to my back (single mom-ness). She was at least 6 before the stroller gave out and she resigned herself to walking. She is not a fan of activity.... :-)


Well, my first got a rude awakening because once I was big pregnant with #2, I just COULDN'T carry her anymore. The only solution was just to take FOREVER to get anywhere.
But #2 is 2 years old now and still gets carried a lot of the time. He has times where he just INSISTS that I carry him up or down the stairs in our house even though he does it on his own all the time. Sure, fine, whatever... And when we're out and about I often carry him because I want to go more than 0.3 miles per hour and I just don't have the arm strength to drag his "boneless" body with one arm while holding my daughters hand with the other arm as we cross busy intersections! Besides, my son makes up for it by being "cuddly" in a way my daughter never was.

Liesel Elliott

I'm going to be honest here because let's face it, you don't know me. But seriously, my son who's 7 would still rather be carried than walk. He's way too big, and that was sort of our guideline. I know you're thinking I'm some sort of freak, but the oT tell me he's got "low tone" and a "weak core" which might mean he's a bad apple, or it could just be more of the other sensory stuff we deal with.
I got him used to walking by himself by playing chasing games with him. And if we were standing in line I let him sit on the floor, because even though the floor in the supermarket is gross and people look at you funny, it is way worse to have a total meltdown in the checkout lane.
But aside from all that? I think most kids will walk by themselves when they are around 3-ish


I don't remember having this issue with my boys, now 3 & 5, but I could've just blocked it out like I do many things! That being 3 year old does sometimes want to be carried when he is totally capable of walking so if he asks, I carry. No big deal and I actually love the closeness and am glad he's not running like a madman throught the store or wherever we are. I don't think there is anything wrong with carrying Noah at his age...I mean...he's not 12 and wanting to be carried! I'm sure he'll be walking more when he feels like it, just go with it!

Have a great weekend :)


My oldest is 21 months old and my youngest is almost 6 months old. Basically my oldest has to walk a lot because I am carrying his brother. He fussed about it for a while but I didn't have too many options so I couldn't do much about it. In time he will detatch a bit. Don't worry, you won't be carrying him down the aisle at his wedding or anything :)


I have a son who sounds very much like Noah at the same age (he's 11 now, gulp!). He also has sensory processing disorder and hated walking on anything wet or "dirty" such as dirt -- even with shoes on -- so it was a challenge to get him to walk on his own, even though he was capable of doing it physically. He would totally freak when I didn't carry him. I was kind of lax about it but I really regretted it when he was 3-1/2 and I was very pregnant... so my tip is to try to encourage more walking so it won't become a problem for you later on. He might freak but he it won't do it for long. Plus it's a good independent "big boy" skill for starting preschool and stuff.


Carry him until he's three; then maybe book a worry appt. Hey, it's exercise for you til then.
I think maybe he needs that security in a world that might still be a little too stimulating at times. You are his security blanket.

Another suggestion if you think that advice sucks...go buy cool, new, ONLY FOR WALKING special big boy shoes (with velcro for easy on and off-duh). If he won't walk, he should wear his everyday shoes [that isn't negotiable]. If he refuses for now, put the shoes somewhere where he can see them and know they're around, but can choose to use them when he's ready (his time for choices). It's amazing what they'll "choose" to do themselves if you set up the scene correctly :)


All three of omy boys have had a LOOOOOOONG please-carry-me-why-won't-you-carry-me tantrum at the bottom of the basement stairs - usually between one and a half and two years old. My boys are BIG, so it was time for ME to stop carrying them in order to save my poor back.

I think it's less about him being carried around and more about you feeling comfortable with his level of obedience and cooperation. If (when!) you have another child, Noah's ability and willingness to walk with you and hold your hand will become a safety issue - especially in parking lots etc.

It's like all other life skills we struggle to teach them - just keep trying until it works. You know him better than anyone - you'll figure out the best way and the right time. I keep telling myself this about potty training my youngest! ACK!

Good luck!

P.S. Definitely figure it out before going to Disney World! Carrying my gigantic 2-yr old around there was a PAIN and the strollers are EXPENSIVE!


I don't have any kids, so I guess I'm not really one for advice, but I've spent enough time with Noah to know he CAN walk. Seen him do it plenty. And he's fast, like a ninja. I know he can go up and down stairs, seen him do that too. In fact, I've asked him repeatedly to let me carry him when he insists on going down stairs with 3 trains clutched to his chest. Sometimes he lets me, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he asks me to carry him, but not often.

Personally, I've just never met a more affectionate kid and I think he just likes to love on you a lot. I think your former OT can shove it, because it's not like he CAN'T walk and you're stunting his development. So the kid wants to hug his mom. Maybe someone didn't hug your OT enough when she was a baby. Maybe's she's chronically constipated and the sight of someone so happy and freely affectionate chaps her ass. Maybe she's mad because Noah would never hug HER.


Mine did not want to be carried once they could walk on their own.(PUT ME DOWN MOMMY!) However, all kids are different. If this issue does take up a "worry spot" on your list, then ask a trusted professional - and NOT that twit of an O.T.


I still insist on my mom carrying me everywhere...and I'm 27 years old. I guess she's a push-over?


Ha! I carried my youngest around until his legs were long enough that his feet sometimes hit my knees. I think he was 4 or 5 when I finally had to stop.

Now he is a 17 year old, 6-foot tall lacrosse player who likes to pick me up and carry me around the house...just because he can.


My two cents, fwiw. My son is a month younger than Noah. In August, I had emergency surgery and could NOT pick him up. This was a cause of lots of melt-downs, yes. And lots of fun times for me, ... um, no. But eventually he got it. Still now, though, there are times when it's just faster to run in/out - or when we avoid a melt-down by carrying him.
Truly, though, if you're noticing it now and want to do something about it, start talking with some of the fun advice above (making up a funny walk just to go to the mailbox; small bribes in the pocket; lots of talk about how Daddy is walking and can Noah do that?; whatever works). But I wouldn't stress over it because... he'll get there soon enough.

Renee in Seattle

Just in case the 119 comments before me haven't thoroughly beat this subject to death, here is what I did (and do). My son absolutely insisted being carried all the live-long day waaayyy past an appropriate age, and so what I started doing is attempting to lift him, but only getting about an inch off the ground before I would drop him and say, 'oh honey, you are just too big for mommy!! She can't carry you any more! I would try-and fail again. Tip: Once you go with this, you must do it EVERY SINGLE TIME FROM THAT MOMENT UNTIL THE END OF YOUR DAYS so that the smart little *%$@ doesn't pick up on the fact that you are faking.

I still occasionally offer a piggy-back ride from the bed to the breakfast table for my son who hates to get up, so we can stay on schedule.


My son, Jack, is 30 months old and still asks to be held everywhere. "Hold you?" If we don't hold him, it becomes a horrible whine and he throws himself on the floor. And, then does the boneless-floor-puddle-thing. I hate that. So...I don't have any advice, but wanted to let you know that Noah's not the only one. And I don't know how to handle it either.


I do not get our society's obsession with our children being independent mere seconds after they shoot out of our uteruses (uteri?)

Seriously, he's still a baby. Soon enough he will be rolling his eyes at you and asking you to drop him off a block away from the mall or the movie theater or school because he doesn't want to be seen with his mom. Carry him while you can!


Amalah, my son also has SPD, and we've learned that the desire to be held is often related to some of his sensory issues. It makes a lot of sense given the fact that he rarely lets us hold him anywhere else (sitting on the couch, or cuddling, etc). The "hold me!" thing is only when we are outdoors, and he knows he needs to hold my hand and walk. It's been very difficult for him. Now, if I were to let go of his hand, that's another story! Whoosh! He'd be off like a flash and not looking back! So...we're working on it, the holding hands and walking thing. Man oh man is it easier to just pick the child up, but I've been trying so hard to push us through. Good luck.


I like what Liza up there said. If it has just now become something else different but not something you feel an urge to get worked up about, I say let it ride. Let's face it, eventually, your back will give out or you'll see some spurt of independence or you'll get pregnant or just sick of it, and it'll happen.

One of my most constant mantras with my delayed son has always been "No kid every went to kindergarden not doing (insert X thing I was freaking out about my son not doing yet.)"


I always ended up carrying my kids until the next one came along.

So...twenty months, twenty-six months...and I still carry the sixteen-month-old.

It is my experience that the "experts" are far too judgmental and have no clue as to what the reality of actually HAVING small children is all about.

Don't sweat it.


Will is a bit more than 2 - I carry him most places in public because it is faster than him walking - "hmm a puddle - water? water in the puddle? oh look a car cool big truck mama mama mama a dog in the window? going to Target? toys at Target? Kmart? where Kmart?" This dissertation is happening with the mouth at the speed of light and the feet at the speed of mud. So easier to carry, although not necessarily what he wants all the time. INRE: Noodle bones, if I need to do something/go somewhere and I get the noodle bones, I pick him up and carry him under my arm, kind of like a football would be carried. He haaaaaates it and will immediately ask to be put down so he can walk.
It occurred to me that the wanting to be carried could be something about his sensory issues as well. FINAL ANSWER: Don't worry about it.


One of my kids is 29 months old, and she gets carried virtually everywhere when out in public. We use an Ergo carrier, and she rides on my back. It's not uncomfortable for me, so I don't mind doing it, so it's a complete non-issue for us. Actually, it's much easier than on the occasions when she does want to be down - then I have to keep track of her.

However, I will say that I don't carry her around in the house very much. We snuggle, etc. But carry her from room to room? Not so much. If she says she wants to be carried while in the house, I usually say something like, "You can walk or you can stay where you are. It's up to you." Then I go about my business. I don't do this to be mean. It's because I find carrying kids in my arms to be physically uncomfortable (hence the Ergo), plus all the picking up and putting down... Like I said, if she wants to be held, that's fine, but I generally say, "Okay," then I find a place to sit, open up my arms, she walks to me, and then I hold her.

That's what works for us!


Oh my holy heck, you probably don't read this far down as I think I'm comment # 41,302 for this post... but in case you have insomnia and are really really bored here's my first comment on your blog.

My daughter stopped wanting to be held probably around 18-22 months. I give it a 4 month range, because I don't remember to well. But I know it was around her second birthday.

But you gotta understand, my daughter puts the h in hyper and wanted nothing to do with not moving. Although she still wants you to hold her if she's scared or tired or cranky. And if she wants to play horsey with me...


My kids are super huge now, (23,18,15) but if I recall,we stopped the carrying thing when it just didn't work for us as a team anymore. I do remember one day when my youngest was in pre- school (she would have been four) I came to get her and she said "uppy!" so I scooped her up. Her teacher (who knew me very well and respected my parenting abilities) said "you really shouldn't do that,you know?". So I said "But we want to." There is somethig so lovely about being able to cradle your child in your arms. Why would anyone stop before they absolutely had to? Cradle on sister, cradle on!!!


Ooh. I should probably add that my daughter is currently one of the most well adjusted 15 year old young women that you will ever meet. I don't think she was at all damaged by my willingness to carry her at the age of four.


Yeah so it's highly unlikely you are going to get to my comment WAAAAAAY the frak down here,but here goes:

My Little A is 2 and 31 lbs. He's fairly independent with his mobility. For instance, he likes to "do by self" the stairs in the house and he's pretty skilled at all the sets of stairs. But we've laid down some guidelines like no "doing by self" the front steps because they are brick and he could bust his face. No walking without holding hands in parking lots. Staying where mommy can see him. For the most part, he gets the picture.

But there are lots of times when he wants to be carried around, and not just when he's tired. Unfamiliar situations or people tend to draw him to my arms. I don't mind it for the most part, but damn he can get heavy.

We were never big stroller people and tend to use the stroller only in situations where Little A containment is necessary for Momma A's sanity or Little A's safety or for the safety of a store's inventory.

I don't think there is anything wrong with being firm about times when you just can't carry him, like at the ATM or a store's register. Or when mommy's arms are about to fall off. He is plenty old enough to understand when you have your limitations and start respecting that mommy can't always be his personal Sedgeway (sp?).

I'm lucky that my kiddo's not a huge fit-pitcher, but if your Little Man pulls a freak out when you are trying to pay for some socks at Macy's or something just state your case that "Mommy's paying and can't hold you now," and move on. Let the fit pitching commence if necessary until your transaction is done.

He's no dummy; eventually after enough times he'll get the picture that there are No Carry Times and Carry Times.


I'm not going to read all 100zillion comments, but I'll just tell you, as the parent of 2 middle schoolers (yes, some of us actually HAVE been there with little kids…sometimes even more than one) , you need to start having those battles of will. He's not going to say "Mommy, I think I'm ready to branch out and be a little more independent today" If he's a shy and kind of clingy kid, he’s going to stay right in his comfort zone until you kick him out. It’s not fun, and it’s not pleasant, but it has to be done. The cuddles are fun and it’s hard to see your baby slipping away, but being a parent is preparing them to live without you and be happy and confidant. That’s going to get harder and harder to do if you don’t start drawing some lines now. He’s old enough to walk most places and he MUST learn to hold your hand and stop when you tell him to. This is a safety issue. Non compliance should be met with absolute insistence and punishment if necessary (whatever it is you do…time out, no videos…doesn’t matter) When he’s 4 he’s going to be running thru parking lots and taking off in grocery stores, and you are going to really regret not having established the handholding rule with no exceptions…especially if you have another one in a baby carrier by then.

Something you learn as your kids get older is that hurt feelings and sadness will not kill them and it won’t kill you either…it’s part of life, and a parent who protects their children from them and never requires anything of them that they don’t want to do is not doing their child a favor. I have a friend with a disabled child, and one day she realized that every tantrum and every melt down was not the result of her disability…even kids with issues or delays can still sometimes be stubborn and unreasonable and need to be corrected. If you have no reason to think that his wanting to be carried is the result of his speech delay, and in fact, an OT (whether you liked her or not) actually told you that you need to stop, then you need to stop. No more ponies.


You still have a functioning back after carrying 28 pounds everywhere? Because I don't.

Not that I'm experiencing your specific problem, because my daughter is still <2, but I have started to "train" her to walk more on her own. It's a battle of wills. I find, when it comes to behaviors that must be changed, only the grit it out method is only thing that works. If you can square off 2 weeks of your life in which you tell Noah no more carrying and then patiently refuse to carry Noah anywhere (and avoiding circumstances in which it is not safe to melt to tears), all the while knowing that it will be painful and slow, it's somehow more do-able, and tends to work. Then of course, you have to stick to your guns after that. But it tends to be easier.

not supergirl

First kid - carried her all the time until the second kid made it difficult due to making my belly too large (she was a bit over two years old when she stopped getting carried quite so much).
Second kid - she's light, so I still carry her on rare occasions (and she's four years old) if she asks nicely.
Honestly, both were carried nearly as much as they wanted until some physical reason made it difficult to do it.

Dawn B

James who is 2... (26 months to be all annoyingly exact..LOL) likes to be held but he's also a wild man and will run away from us and won't think twice. Sometimes I wish I could carry him more. He usually loves to be carried when we're out and he's tired. I guess that sounds boring... LOL


I have 2.5 year old twins, and as much as I'd LOVE to carry them more, I can't. Physically, I just can't. But also, I seem to have bred the most independent type of child who can't stand to be cooped up in Mommy's arms AT ALL.

However, I have a friend whose twins are just days younger than mine, plus she has a 8-month old and she carries those kids EVERYWHERE.

So, hey. Every kid is different and unique. I just look at it as you can't hold 'em forever, so why not do it as much as you can now.


My son is 19 months and he goes back and forth on the walking on his own bit. In public he tends to want up when he is overwhelmed or scared. If I absolutely can't oblige, like at the ATM or while I am cashing out of a store, I make him walk. Otherwise I carry him on my shoulders to avoid back pain. He loves it up there and it's easier for me to deal with weight wise. I say carry him when you can. He'll grow out of it soon enough.


My youngest who is almost 6 (and weighs a whopping 67lbs!), still wants to be carried. I don't do it now simply because he is just too darn heavy! I carried him, or had him in a stroller, pretty much until he was almost 5. He has always been a mama's boy, but he also has pretty bad asthma, so I let him get away with being carried much more than his brother (who wanted to walk by himself most of the time anyway). We still took the stroller to amusement parks until he was about 5.5, but have finally figured out that he really can walk all that way by himself.


Howdy. My boys were really f-ing heavy and also (TG!) preferred to walk beside me. I insisted on the hand-holding thing, though. You just gotta pick your battles, make your own choices, and you and sweet little man will work out what works for you (plural "you"). It's not like he's going to be 16, insisting that you carry him. It'll work itself out. Plus, while carrying him may not exactly be reinforcing independence, it's not like you're letting him stick pins in his eyes. It won't make or break his existence :)


My daughter was an UP, UP kind of girl when she was little. I remember feeling so frustrated when she was insisting that she be carried everywhere. But to tell you the truth, in retrospect, I wish I would have carried her everywhere I could for as long as she would have let me because that time in her life went by so very fast and these days I'm not even cool enough to be seen in the same vehicle as she is. In the big scheme of things does it really matter if other people think he may be too old to be carried? He will definitely get to the point when he does not want to be carried anywhere, so enjoy it while he still does.

bethany actually

If it works for you and it's not negatively affecting anyone, then it's fine! If it stops working for you, then find a way to change it.

That's pretty much my parenthood motto.


My parents used to refer to Em as Maddox because I carried her a LOT until she was about 3 1/2. She walked at nine months, walked good enough for just hand holding by 1 year, but always seemed to want to be carried. But after she turned two I would not carry her through stores, it was either the cart or walking(and the cart was always easier). But parking lots and crossing streets? Yep, carried for a looong time. And I remember feeling like an ass a lot of the time, struggling and sweating but now (of course!) I look back with nostalgia on those days.

Let him be a hip baby. He can be a knee baby when the time comes.

And he's too little to be a big boy.


Chiming in again to say that I often carried both of my boys at the same time even when they were 4 and 5 years old. They are both perfectly capable of walking, running, and socializing with other children despite how much I babied them in this way. If it doesn't bother you to carry him, then why stop?


My 2 1/2 yr old (my 3rd boy) still wants to be carried everywhere, and he is pushing 40 pounds with fierce speed.

My 7 yr old wanted to be carried until he was pushing 4. He is only a few ounces lighter than his younger brother.

My nearly-9 yr old had to call it quits around 2 because his younger brother arrived.

Why mom's don't grow an additional set of arms with each kid remains a mystery to me.

Suzy Q

My experience from the other side of the arms: I don't remember my mother EVER carrying me anywhere, and my memories go back pretty far. My mom was no role model for motherhood. Parenting was all about HER convenience, and while some of that was good for me, a lot of it was not. I never felt secure, or wholly loved, or able to seek her out for comfort when I was scared. And, I didn't have the issues Noah has.

So, I don't see a problem. Yet.

You love Noah in a way that makes me wistful for what could have been, for me, had I been blessed with different parents. And there's nothing wrong with that.


My brother and his wife contend with this with my adorable and utterly intellectually and physically capable little niece Ellie--and she is SIX. Especially when I am around--Aunt Alice: carry me!!
Is a bit annoying, but good exercise; and whatever--who among us would not like to be carried sometimes??


Hi mama,

I am not overly concerned about small kids being clingy. It is what they do. They want security, and you are his security. If it is hard for you to carry him, try using a sling. I used a sling with my kids until they were nearly 3 years old. I know you may have a larger child, but the sling is very helpful until they can walk. Also, the backpack is another great way to care for your child while still doing what you need to do.

Good luck! : )


My 29 month old is too heavy for me to carry! Though I give in when we're in busy parking lots because the cars scare him. I say enjoy it. There will come a time when he'll be too embarrassed to even hug you.


Hmm....let me check the calendar let's see Lil'man was born in May so he's 3.5ish now....and he'd still prefer to be carried though he's getting better.

I started pressing the issue around 3 that's when the boys (I have two) both seemed to get way to heavy to constantly carry. When the noodle-puddle-on-floor happens and I don't have time/patience/eardrums to work through it I toss him up and march onward.


my son is almost 3 (early April) and he's big, and we still carry him- across streets, in most parking lots, in crowded places, pretty much anywhere there's a good chance he could get smushed, stepped on or worse....
I mean really, step back and look at how effing little a 3 year old is, seriously, compared to a car, or even just an absent minded grown up with a shopping cart in the grocery store. It's great to encourage independence in kids, but carrying little tiny children is what we're supposed to do! Don't worry, Noah will want to start walking when he feels like it's safe (like in safe places such as playgrounds) and the more time he spends around older kids. My son sometimes argues that he wants to walk when it's not safe (or to slow) and i have to say no, and then of course when I wish he'd walk down the hall to the apartment, he doesn't want to, sigh... puddle left in hallway with apt. door propped open. Trust your instincts, the most important thing is that your son trusts you, and eventually he'll start walking all the time with some help from you.


My little girl wanted to by carried everywhere, always, and I'd say it let up at about age 3. She's about 3 1/2 now. Starting preschool helped immensely. She wanted to walk in, like the other kids.

I'd say, don't push him on it. However, if you do see other moms and kids walking, point out his friends. Hey! There's Justin! Say hi to Justin, Noah! Etc. Or even more subtly, just walk closer to them (if you can). Sooner or later the "what the other kids are doing" thing will kick in. I wouldn't worry about it until he thinks that's a good idea on his own. So it gives him some comfort. That's fine. You probably won't be carrying him to freshman year in college.


OK, so Keely's comment needs to be deleted -- stupid trolls!

As for Amalah's question, I too have wondered the same thing. My son is 27 months old and loves to be carried when he enters a new environment or when he's tired. Personally, I find it easier than trying to chase him down through a parking lot, crowded room, shopping mall, etc. That makes me a nervous wreck and I feel carrying is much safer (unless I can get him to sit in one of the 4 different strollers we have, but good luck with that ... geez!).


OK, so Keely's comment needs to be deleted -- stupid trolls!

As for Amalah's question, I too have wondered the same thing. My son is 27 months old and loves to be carried when he enters a new environment or when he's tired. Personally, I find it easier than trying to chase him down through a parking lot, crowded room, shopping mall, etc. That makes me a nervous wreck and I feel carrying is much safer (unless I can get him to sit in one of the 4 different strollers we have, but good luck with that ... geez!).


I carried (still carry) my girls whenever I can and they want and my back isn't killing me yet that day. Someday they'll be teenagers and they won't let me snuggle them embarassingly in public. But there are days that I'm too tired or have too much else to carry, so I make them walk. Snuggly carrying isn't fun if mom is cranky. So that's where I draw the line.


I doubt you will be reading all of your comments, but I felt I should finally write. I have no children and no husband and am not really your target audience, yet I find myself drawn to your blog because you are so damn entertaining. I appreciate your blog because you are bold enough to be so honest about life while at the same time comedic. I love it! So thanks. I will continue to follow your trials and wish you all the best.

kim at allconsuming

Ok, so again, to lazy to read all the other comments. Lazy and jealous you have people leaving comments at all.
One word. For outside the home at least.
It becomes a choice - walk or stroller - see - up isn't even a choice here.
Then if he pitches a fit, does the miraculous loss of all bones in his body flop on the ground thing, at least he's in the stroller.

In the house thing?
Well, the stairs are all about the processing so that's hard - but again - choices - hold my hand or on his own - see, no up in that choice either.

And just brace yourself for the eleventy gagillion tantrums over it.
Because at first - he's going to be all 'but you are here for my beck and call and therefore thou shalt carry me and if thou shall not carry me I shall scream and wail and gnash my teeth as if you've stuck pins in my eyes and asked me to walk over hot coals'.
Don't worry, he'll get over it and not remember it at.all.


My son's also 28 months old and also pulling this crap. Not everywhere..because he still loves to ask to "hole han?? hole han, mama?? mama hole han?" yeah. But it's mostly in our house he does it. He'll follow me upstairs and then request I carry him down. Sometimes I do..but other times when my hands are full or I'm so irritated that he does that so much I'll say "No. You're a big walked UP the now you can walk DOWN". Sometimes he'll scream about it..other times he'll silently agree that yeah, he got himself into this mess..and he comes back down on his own.

I also have a 12 month old though so the bigger both of them get..the harder it is for me to carry both of them at the same time. So he gets pressured more, I guess, to be a big boy and walk on his own.


Well as someone with no kids (but I am a very dedicated auntie)I think you shouldn't take on too many battles at one time. He can walk, that's not a problem. Maybe he just needs extra security while he is going through all his other big changes, he can only multitask so much. My older brother was super independant, walking at 8 months and not a cuddler so my mom was really glad that I was the opposite. Enjoy these times cause he won't want it forever and the next one may be ready too soon for you.

If you are tired though, one trick I use with my older niece (because she is getting to heavy to carry for long) is that when she raises her arms up to be carried I grab her hands and swing her along in front of me. Still heavy, but don't have to do it as long and she forgets about being carried.


Since you know he can and does walk, personally, I would encourage him to walk, but I wouldn't stress about it. There's precious little time to carry them when they're small enough to do so and I don't know a single kid who's being carried by his parents at 14. Once he gets around the preschool kids and gets invested in being "big" like them, his need to be carried will probably dissipate. For now, it's probably more about feeling secure by being held by those he loves and trusts when he goes out in the big bad world than it is laziness or manipulativeness. Invest in a heavy duty stroller for your back in the meantime.


My son will be 3 in March. He is still carried about 50% of the time. 85% of the time when my husband is with us. He is light and it's just much easier that way. He will walk and I still carry him. So I say just carry that baby!!


Wow. There are already a hundred million comments, so I haven't read ANY of them...but I had to stop carrying our son everywhere because he is heav-eee. (He's 21 months now) Also, his PT said we need to be working on going up and down the stairs - and you have to plan extra TIME in the DAY to go downstairs now. 17 minutes yesterday. One step - MAMAAA! "Yes, I'm Mama." YI-YASSS. "Yes, your name is Elias." Da-DEEE! "Yes, Daddy is sleeping." Shhhhh! "Yes, we should shhh since Daddy is sleeping. Please take another step." BOB! Yes, the crab (Hermie) is downstairs, why don't we take 15 more steps down and go play with him!"

One more step.

It's maddening. On days that he didn't want to go to daycare - I let him walk the last few feet of the sidewalk and into the door on his own. For some reason, that distraction makes him forget that I'm not holding him, and am in fact about to leave him there for the day... It took time though. And some tears from both of us. Hang in there.


My two and a half year old would let me carry him everywhere if I let him. 30 lbs is a lot to carry around all day though, so a while back I started small by making walking down the front steps of our house a game, then walking to the post box "like big boys do", pretty soon he was asking to walk by himself most of the time. I think if you're noticing it, it's time to be strong with him, but I'd pick your battles. The line at the post office is not the time to put your foot down, I'd start small.


When I worked at a daycare while in college, I had the two year-olds. Most of them wanted to be carried by their parents at the end of the day. Most of the parents ended up struggling to get them to walk to the car.

One mother, however, carried hers without question every day. And she told me that soon enough she wouldn't be able to carry her, so she's soaking it up while she can. I always remembered that.

Now my Noah is 26 months, and I always insist on carrying him through parking lots and in areas where it's busy and crowded. He's a wild monkey, and I'm not going to risk losing him or having him hit by a car. I then have a free hand to hold onto my four year-old who never watches where he's going and runs into everything.

And, frankly, I don't give a rat's ass what anyone else thinks about it. I'm the mother, they're my kids, and I do what I think is best for all of us.

And you should, too!


We're seeing a psychologist to address some transition issues with our 3 year old son (Fragile X, is in special ed. preschool) and she declared last week that it is developmentally appropriate for a 3 year old to be carried so it is entirely up to us as to whether we *want* to do so or not. So that is my answer.

Sometimes it's just easier to not fight the battle but when we have the time we use bribes (er, rewards.) The kid gets an M&M for walking down each half of the stairs and then another for walking to the truck. So for the price of 3 M&Ms we get him to walk down the stairs and to the truck like a big boy and after a week there is not even any whining! Woot!

We'll increase the distances he needs to walk to get the reward over time and ultimately eliminate them.


Every chance I got not to carry him I didn't.I started off not carrying him around the house, and he protested at first but eventually he got used to it.

I used to make a joke "mommy's legs hurt this evening, can you help me up the stairs"?

Then I had him sit in the car seat himself, instead of putting him it it. I got fed up of banging my head when I struggled to put him in.

Then I took him on small trips to the store and constantly repeated myself in the car 4 or 5 times "don't forget, we're just running in the store, hold my hand, I can't carry you because I have other things to carry" I usually bought something small so he could carry it, made him feel useful. It's a battle, one I refused to lose. I started insisting he walked the summer he turned 3, and by the time he hit PreK he walked everywhere.

Even now, things I want him to do, and things I expect of him, I repeat in the car on the way to the destination.


So my boy is 34 months old, and I still carry him some places. Like from the car into daycare in the morning. And pretty much anywhere as long as it's only a short walk (the boy is big. like 35 pounds. and about 3 feet 4 inches.)
I'm pretty sure I carried him alot when he was Noah's age (it's sad that I can't remember 6 months ago). BUt I do remember that when I started making him walk more on his own, I would make it a race, or we'd see who could do the funniest walk. You know, make a game out of it.

mrs. q.

Try sticking him in a stroller when you go places. Once toddlers realize that it's ride or walk, they generally can't wait to break out...


Hi Amy

My daughter is now 22, and is an only child. She wanted me to carry her up and down the steps as well. God forbid she had a boo boo on her knee, then I had to carry her upstairs as if she was the princess that she was. Funny thing about kids, they grow up. There were times when I longed for the days that I was her main person. Soon boys came, and friends, and driving. Hold onto him Amy, enjoy his cuteness, his sweetness, and someday, he will walk on his own. Oh, don't feel so bad for me now, I have my grandson to schlepp around, he wants to be held all the time. He can't say up yet, but he down throw his arms up. I say carry his cuteness as long as you can.


Haven't time to read the comments, am at work. Apologies in advance if I'm repeating anything. Nice Zoolander reference. My son is 30 months and I almost never carry him - I'm six months pregnant and I just can't. He understands. My husband carries him sometimes - first thing in the morning out to the car, and to bed at night, seem to be the chief demands - but I'm no help to you because mostly he demands to walk. But we did start very small, and built up to this. And there are times and places to work on this. The middle of a crosswalk is not one of those times. Like so many things, he'll walk when he's ready and not one minute before.


Aw....he is still your baby. Just carry him, he just wants to feel safe and he probably still needs that somewhere in his developing brain. 28 months is still very, very young. It's okay for a baby to want the security of his mommy. I think it's sweet.


My son is 7 and he still would like me to carry him from time to time. I think little boys just are attached to their moms. My son was still being carried a lot at Noah's age. Don't worry!! Enjoy it while you can. I can not carry by baby anymore!


I have two kids, 1 and 3.
Daughter(3)never wanted to be carried. Son (20 months) always wants to be carried. I hear "Up!" constantly. Although he is a little younger than Noah, I think it is quite normal. Sometimes it takes them a while to understand they don't always need Mommy.
Besides, it's a nice feeling to be needed by your baby.
I say keep carrying him until he is too heavy...have you ever seen a Mother carry her son into high school? No! So don't worry, he will grow out of it soon enough.


I also meant to say that in many other cultures, children are carried around, nestled, snuggled, coddled, and sleep in the bed with their parents well into pre-adolescence. Developmental psychologists have found that the brain, especially at a mere 28 months, is still incredibly underdeveloped, and a child that is held and a child who feels safe will have different brain development than a child who is forced into too much independence too early.

In other words, what you are doing is good for his brain. You're being a good momma.


It's called displine. Until he knows who is the boss (not him) he will continue to run the pony show. :)Just food for thought.


Wow, lots of comments on this one (that I haven't read yet cuz I'm at work and just waiting for a postscript drawing dataset to finish appending to another file...never mind, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). My son is almost 14 now. I carried him a lot because I had working-mother's guilt. At some point, he just didn't want to be carried any more - can't remember when. I bet Noah will let you know when he wants to walk more than be carried.


Or, you could just tell everyone that you're royalty from Thailand and only living here incognito.......


Hey Amy!
I have 3 little girls...the youngest is 3 and she is definitely my baaaaaaaby! I carry her even when she doesn't want me too - lol - yeah, not kidding.

Sugared Harpy

No matter what you do, your boy will walk places on his own someday. You will not be carrying him to his college dorm.

So, I say, eh, don't worry about it.

If your back hurts, maybe haul out a sling to help out but I always had so many other things to worry about that this was never one of them.

Mine are 11 and 13 now, they might sometimes still sleep with me, but they DO walk and are extremely independent, confident kids.

You're a good mama, trust it!


My kids were huge Amazon children (yes, I ordered them over the internet) so their options from the moment they could walk on their own was either walk or go in the stroller. They mostly hated the stroller, so they walked.


I haven't read any of the comments so this may be a repeat but when our kid turned 2 we had to force her to walk and not be carried. She would throw an absolute fit where ever we were and mean as it sounds we had to simply state to her again that we were not carrying her, but she can hold one of our hands and then walk away. Sometimes she would throw herself on the floor for 10-20 minutes but we never came back to get her; just watched from the corner of our eyes within a few feet. She got the clue and after a week or so she got over it. :)

Noah may be a bit different though. I don't know how this would work with his sensory issues or if it would affect them at all.

Good luck!


I'd give anything to have my Daddy carry me on his big strong shoulders again...or to lay my cheek on his solid shoulder and go all floppy and melt into him while he carried me around.


Enjoy it while you can! Work on changing it when you need to.

Lisa M

Like so many have already said, treat it as a phase because he's going through some big changes right now. If you want to change the behavior at home, then refuse to carry him...but remember that the behavior you are trying to extinguish will get worse (crying and demanding to be carried) for a short time before it gets better. But understanding and gently sticking to your plan will win out! He'll be just fine!


I'm sort of with the attachment parent comment above. My daughter is 30 months old, and wavers between being carried and running around by herself. But there are times when I don't want to carry her and I ask her "Where are your feet?" and she'll point to them and agree to walk (it's like she forgets that she has them at times). Other times I convince her to walk by saying "We'll hold hands" instead. Then there are those times where she'll just cling like a koala and won't let go -- especially when she's about to be dropped off at daycare. She is much clingier (or attached, if you like that better) than other kids at daycare. So I'm probably not the best example of parenting anyway.

Silver Spring

Why is it that we moms always worry about these things and in the end they never matter? My baby slept in a swing until she was 6 months old & I freaked out the whole time. As my Dr. said, she's not going to college in a swing - and it all ended fine despite the naysayers. And I'd say the same: I doubt you'll be carrying him to his college dorm. Enjoy that he wants to be so close to you now. Every season of childhood is special in its own way.


My 11 month old weighs 26 pounds. I have freakishly big boys and I can't wait until he can walk for himself!!!


Our son will be 3 in April, and he's been walking on his own for the most part for a while, at least since he was 2. When we're at home, he often asks to be picked up, but not so much to be carried, more just for the cuddle.

I should also say that both my husband and I have or have had back problems, so we've been rather firm about our son walking on his own, just because he's really too heavy for us to carry for long without hurting ourselves. I'm not saying it was easy, though. Enjoy the carrying & cuddles while you still can!! :)


Usually if I was in a hurry, I carried him, but if we were just strolling along, I would make him walk.

My son will be eight years old on Monday and I would still carry him if I could.


So, I don't have kids yet, so no practical advice. But a thought occurred to me. What about giving him a job to do. While you're at the ATM for instance, setting him down and telling him that you need his help for a very special job...even if it's just holding your keys or cell phone for you. Or give him an apple or orange or banana from the grocery bag because you need help carrying the groceries to the car. This way, walking becomes an activity that you are still doing together (like when you carry him) but still gives him an incentive to walk by himself. Most kids like to be included in what other members of the family are doing. If he sees walking as a way to be included, he might want to do it more on his own.

LIke I said though, my first isn't due til the end of July, so I have not actual experience to back this up!!


My daughter is 24 months old, and she'll walk most places. She does still, of course, get overwhelmed, tired, etc. and want to cling to my legs or have me carry her. Being as I'm 32 weeks pregnant and I knew I wouldn't be able to carry her so much, I started insisting (at home) that she walk. I would encourage her to do things on her own, like a "big girl". It took time, but she got out of the habit of having me do everything for her, because she's a "big girl" now. Now when we're out, she's almost always either in the stroller or walking. If we're in a place that a stroller really isn't practical, I have this great puppy backpack harness leash thing that I picked up at Target. It's fabulous, because she can't get away and she loves her "woof-woof". Good luck!


OK, I didn't read ALL the posts, so this may be redundant.

Make it a game. IF you have the time. If you're in a hurry and just need to get it done without increasingly raising your voice while saying "Come on, sweetie. Come on. Come. On. COME. ON. COMEONCOMEONCOMEONPICKUPYOURFEETANDMOVERIGHTNOW!" then you should carry.

See who can walk without stepping on any cracks. Who can walk on tiptoes the longest. Walk backwards. Walk sideways. Just make it fun, and eventually, he'll stop asking.

Then, you'll be happy and sad all at the same time. But that's another column.


My almost 3 year old got to walking more sometime in the last few months. When I was insisting on it because I have a now almost one year old... and now that we're bundled in coats he's a slick 35 pound of kid so I don't carry him much.


I remember talking to my son very gently about the whole thing. When I made him understand that it hurt Mama's back and legs to carry him everywhere, that seemed to do the trick. He didn't want me to be hurt. And as Mamie, above, suggests, making a game out of it can be really helpful too--backwards, hopping, doing the Monty Python Silly Walk--whatever does the trick and gets us into the goddamn post office!


With my first child, I stopped carrying her at about age 2 and a half, because I was pregnant and couldn't do it any more. My son is now three and a half and STILL wants to be carried most of the time. He says "walking hurts my feeeeeet!", which is a lie, because a moment later a bird or flower or whatever catches his attention and he's off and running again. I'm trying to be firm and not carry him any more, I mean it's getting ridiculous, but having to distract him with "fun" walking is trying.


My son is 3 and I still carry him quite a bit. He does walk on his own and is OK most of the time. But he's still light enough that I can pick him up and carry him around depending on the situation. The boy would have seriously run away from me if I didn't carry him because the child was born WITHOUT FEAR.

So I carried him a goodly bit until he was probably about 2.5. Now that he's three I have to remember to put him down and let him walk on his own.

For Noah, I say, do what feels right. Gradually increase his opportunities to walk by himself and maybe Noah (and you) will get used to it. Maybe even take him, um, for walks? Even if it's down the block and back. You may end up carrying him home, but with repetition he'll get used to the idea, ya know? Maybe?


Hell, sometimes I still wish my parents would carry me places.


Love your blog - got turned on by Teo's mom Vickie. In any case, the only reason my toddler walks most places with me is because I seriously can no longer carry him. This was particularly true when I was preggers with his baby sister. So, I basically trained him to walk because I was always having to say "Sorry little dude, mama isn't strong enough to carry you very far", so he just got used to walking. But, around my husband, who is not a weak ass like myself, my toddler insists on being carried almost everywhere. I don't think it's a big deal. Love 'em while you can. I'm all about taking every snuggle opportunity you can - and if carrying him across the street is what he wants, what the hell? If I had the capacity to carry my little guy, he'd still be carried by me everywhere too.


I'm of the que sera sera school of motherhood. But reading over the comments made me think about the words I lived by while rearing my kids. Some child shrink on some TV talk show said it, and this reassured me through three children:

"Look around at a bunch of teenagers. If it is something they all seem to do reasonably well, then don't worry over it, because your child will do it too."

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