After I showed her how to do it, and how to unbuckle and rebuckle for later on, she mentioned she thought I might know because I wore Thatbaby so often when he was little. But really, even though he's two, I still wear him!
Thatbaby is 2 years old. He's hardly a baby anymore. Shouldn't he be walking? And in truth, he does walk, but he also asks to be held in situations where he's uncomfortable or when his little legs get tired. And now that he's over 30 lbs, it's hard on my to carry him in arm. A lot of people use strollers in these situations, and I'm not anti-stroller by any means, but a carrier is much less bulky and easier to throw in my bag than a stroller. Plus a carrier is still much easier in situations involving stairs or crowds.
We don't use the carrier nearly as often as we once did, mostly because of the walking thing. So the situations it comes out are those where I need 3 hands. Like when Thatboy's out of town and I need to take Thatdog on a long walk. Since you can't leave a 2 year old alone, and Thatbaby gets tired of walking, the carrier comes out when he doesn't want to walk any more, so I can walk Thatdog and pick up after him. Or when we go to the beach and I need to carry a beach bag and a tent and Thatbaby. Or when I'm bringing groceries across a parking lot and up 3 flights of stairs.
We stick to mostly the Ergo or the Babyhawk. I prefer the Babyhawk still, because it packs up much smaller to throw in my bag. But the Ergo is nice because it has a little more padding - which I appreciate when carrying a toddler. I know they make more toddler-specific carriers, and maybe one day I'll try one of those.
Thatbaby still prefers chest-to-chest, or a front carry, although I usually try to get up on my back first. It gives him a better view of the world. If he's just tired, he'll usually be okay with being on my back, but if he's feeling shy and wants to be held for that reason, he'll request a front carry.
5. How much longer?
??????? I honestly don't know the answer to this. Right now it's very easy to do, the pros outweigh any cons, and I don't have any back pain or problems. If either of us start getting uncomfortable, I'll probably look into the toddler carriers. When he doesn't want to be carried anymore, or when he is more trustworthy with walking nearby, we'll probably stop with the toddler-wearing.