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How old should a child be to pick up and carry a baby .. not just hold them while sitting?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Just curious about thoughts on this. I know every child is different but thinking about a child who is good at following directions and is interested in the baby - at what age would you trust a child to lift an infant out of a bed or swing and hold the baby and carry them to another room. Not a newborn but maybe from two to three months and up?

post #2 of 19

5-7.  i just know lots of large infants and tiny children.

my oldest could do it by 8, but she wasnt around infants much before that.

post #3 of 19

I guess it totally depends. My DD is 6, but I would not allow her to carry the baby. She is allowed to move her, if she is rolling into something, kind of slide her over the floor, while taking care of her head.

 

Carrying - no. She is quite tiny but I am more concerned about her focus. i am afraid she would drop her if something happens.

post #4 of 19
I didn't allow my dd at 5 or 6 to carry her sister. She's small for her age too. She's 8 now, and if I had another baby, I'd be willing to let her try and see how she does. It always makes me nervous when I see kids carrying babies or other kids. I just can't help but think how bad the child would feel if he or she dropped the baby.
post #5 of 19
I let my 7 yo carry the baby (8 months) very short distances. Like from one part of the living room to another. But no more than that. And I didn't let her even do that when he was younger. I let my 10 yo carry the baby pretty much anywhere. She takes him up and down stairs, to the car, etc. She even wears him.
post #6 of 19
Ds is 5 but the size of 6/7 year old an he carries our housemate's one year old. We didn't let him until the baby could walk and he has to ask first and someone needs to be paying attention to him while he does it.

He mostly just lifts her under the arms and stuff he doesn't hold her on his hip or anything and they don't go from room to room.
post #7 of 19

I started letting my neice carry my son when she was 8? She probably would have been fine before that but it was my first child and I was paranoid. She's 11 now and she'll pick up my daughter and take her in the other room and play with her and I'm not worried at all about them. I think I'd be okay with an older sibling around 6 or 7 or so carry a small baby but only if I was near by and not for very long. Just long enough to move the baby or take her to another room.

post #8 of 19

yup as you say depends.

 

my friend who has a large family i allowed her dd to carry dd around when she was 6 - because she was used to kids. 

 

dd - 8 becasue she is not used to babies.

post #9 of 19

When my brother was born, I was 10 and my sister was 8.  I could pick up and carry the baby right from day one.  My sister wasn't capable...even a few years later she just wasn't reliable about doing it.

 

As for my kids, when ds2 was born, ds1 was 8yo.  Ds2 was at least a year old before ds1 could be relied on to safely carry his baby brother.

 

Then there's my friend who had a baby when her dd was 5.5yo.  The older one could take the baby out of the swing/carseat, etc. as well as put her in safely.  This was from about the first month or so.

post #10 of 19

Age 6. DD1 was 6 when DS1 was born and she carried him around the house. At age 9, she will carry the 1 and 3 year old around frequently, even through stores, etc...

post #11 of 19

I was about 6 when I was charged with the care of small infants and up (not newborns), and I was supervised closely at first and then there was just an adult around once I demonstrated that I was physically and mentally capable.

 

It depends on the child. 
 

post #12 of 19

My older nephew(4years old) carries his brother who is 14months. On my part I wont let kids carry infants less than 6months old.

post #13 of 19

It definitely depends on the child. I have a 7 month old, a 5yo and an 8yo. The 8yo can carry the baby around, no problem, but the 5yo can't. I know several 5yos that can carry babies. Mine isn't very interested in carrying her, and she's also a really small 5yo.

post #14 of 19

Also, it depends.

 

I think my husband began to look after his younger sisters when he was about 3 or 4. I think I was 6 (but by that time my younger sisb were toddlers).

 

Some nice old photos of children looking after other children in the 1950s  from the Hong Kong Public Records Office

post #15 of 19

We have a newborn and a 4 year old.  4yo DD is not alowed to pick up  the baby.  She has picked her up a couple of times though and she's actually pretty good at it, much better than I expected. For now I've laid dow the law about NOT picking up the baby and never carrying her anywhere, but when younger DD gets better head control and is a little less fragile I can see allowing  older DD to pick her up or even carry her some.

post #16 of 19

I was a determined big sister at 3 yo who would carry my newborn sibling... I'd fetch him if he woke up. My mom wasn't thrilled by this and I'm sure did her best to minimize me doing that (hard without a crib). But I never dropped him, either. At 6, I was a pro big sister with three babies under my belt.

 

It does depend on the child. Some are more focused on the baby and careful. Some move more impulsively and I'd be concerned about them tripping or dropping the baby like a toy they were tired of.

post #17 of 19

I must be the exception since I allowed my oldest at barely 4 pick up her baby brother after he was past the newborn phase (and had some head control). She was always very careful with him..

 

This time Ill have a 5yo (previously mentioned girl), 3yo (turns 4 a month after my due date) and a 1yo.. The 1yo will only be able to "hold" the baby with assistance and not allowed to pick her up.. My middle I could see allowing her to hold the baby unassisted and depending on how she pick her up/move her short distances (like from the bouncer to me a foot away) once the baby has some head control. My 5yo I would totally trust to pick up and move the baby around with supervision (Id never have a child go and attend a baby without me there), hold the baby, change a diaper etc. She is a very gentle child and absolutely adores babies. Ill probably have to put a limit on her since shes already talking about being able to hold her new sister.

post #18 of 19

When DD was 6, she had a "job" as a mother's helper with a neighbor. She fully cared for 7 month old - feeding, changing, everything, while the mama studied. Then a different neighbor had a baby, and DD was very very active in his care, even newborn. DD was perhaps unusual, but I agree it depends on the child.
 

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post

When DD was 6, she had a "job" as a mother's helper with a neighbor. She fully cared for 7 month old - feeding, changing, everything, while the mama studied. Then a different neighbor had a baby, and DD was very very active in his care, even newborn. DD was perhaps unusual, but I agree it depends on the child.
 

 

That's a great experience for your dd.  I did similar stuff when I was around that age.  I think I had a mother's helper gig at 7 for a while.  

 

There were several 5 and 6 year olds around when my second was born, since his brother was 5 1/2 and none of them were even remotely near ready to be carrying around a newish baby.  I would say that 8 or 9 would be about the time I'd really start feeling comfortable about it.  But of course, it depends a lot on the kid.

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