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Toddlers: do you hold them when they want you to, or do you make them walk?

Do you think it "inhibits a child's development" when you hold them all the time?

A lot of people said I would have a 5 year old who couldn't sleep by himself because I rocked him to sleep every night. But guess what? By the age of 13 months, he started falling asleep on his own!!

I'm just wondering what other parents think?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:19 AM on Jun. 22, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • I always held my child. They do grow out of the need. There's no such thing as a teenager who can't walk cause their mom still carries them or can't sleep without their parents every night. These milestones can't be stopped. I don't see why people rush them. It's not like making a toddler walk more or sleeping alone makes kids any healthier or happier. They're much happier being comforted close to their parents. My 2&1/2 yr old is sometimes carried, sometimes in a carrier, sometimes in a stroller, and sometimes walks. Depends on her mood that day. She also spends the majority of most nights in her bed but also sleeps with us if she wants. These are gradual transistions that will be done when she's ready. I don't have to push for independence since it's coming no matter what. I feel sad when I see little ones ask to be held and their mom says they're too old. If they were too old, they wouldn't be asking.

    Answer by jus1jess at 7:16 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • I think the best way is to deal with the fallout in the beginning. If she/he can walk, split the time up give the opportunity to be carried, but when mommy needs to put her down... put her down. nurture the independance it will foster, and be firm when you must... It won't get easier if you wait.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:30 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • Well, my granddaughter is 2 1/2. She wants to be held by her momma all the time. Grandma, however, has a bad back. So, it's something we are working on. It's just so easy to pick her up and go when we are in a hurry. I guess it would be in her best interest if we just make her walk and mine as well! LOL!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:30 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • tthis mommy right here is 35 weeks pregnant... i also have a 4 year old AND a 2 year old. i can't hold them both, all the time. they mostly walk. if they ask, i tend to try to get them to walk a little bit more, or we take a little break. i may carry them for a minute or 2, or, while we're taking a break, they can sit in my lap. one asks, the other wants up too. thats how it goes. now, if they start having a tantrum, they DEFINITELY will not be picked up.

    Answer by gracefulsky at 1:05 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • Well, seeing as my toddler is over 40 lbs, I try my best to not carry him too much, lol. I want to still have a good back when I'm 40. A lot of times if he asks for up though, I'll pick him up long enough for a good hug. As for rocking to sleep, I never had one that liked that. But I still nurse my 10 month old to sleep all the time.

    Answer by tyrelsmom at 1:43 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • My son is almost 2. When he needs some extra attention at home and asks to be picked up, I instead meet him down on the floor and snuggle him there or on the couch for a little while.
    If we are out doing alot of walking (like at the mall) and he gets tired I will carry him or bring the stroller. I dont want to make him walk when his body is telling him not to. I know how hard it is for me (5'3") to keep up with my husband (6'1") so I can only imagine our sons little legs trying to keep up.
    I try to let him walk elsewhere (he always asks "I walk?" at the but he gets buckled in the cart if he misbehaves or sometimes I will carry him through the parking lot if I am in a hurry.

    Answer by jenellemarie at 1:44 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • Oh and the rocking, I rocked my son to sleep and now we still have to lie down next to him until he is asleep but he sleeps all night alone in his bed in his room. :)

    Answer by jenellemarie at 1:46 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • @ jus1jess--
    My 11 year old will still ask me to carry him. I say 'no' because he is almost as tall as I am. IMHO, 11 is too old, even though he is asking.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:43 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • It never inhibits a child to feel close to a loved one and secure. Don't you enjoy when your SO holds you? Don't you sleep better when he puts his arms around you while spooning so that you feel safe? I'm sure he doesn't carry you all the time but toddlers are smaller! Sometimes they get tired. Sometimes they want to see life from high up instead of from their perspective down lower to the ground. Sometimes they just want to snuggle up to you and hear your heart beat. How can that be a bad thing? They don't stay toddlers forever but the good feeling that you give them holding them during this time will last a lifetime.

    Answer by admckenzie at 7:52 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

  • I don't think anyone carries their toddler 'all the time', but I do think you should put them down sometimes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:50 AM on Jun. 22, 2010