I Want Up!

Does your toddler always want to be carried? It’s likely a sign that she’s feeling insecure and wants some cuddling and reassuring attention.

When toddlers reach a milestone or experience big change—starting daycare, switching to a bed—they can feel both proud and anxious at the same time.

Try these strategies when your toddler pleads to be carried:

  • Acknowledge that you know she wants to be picked up but you can’t right now. Tell her you can hold her hand instead.

  • Offer to carry him for a limited time—from the car to the store entrance, for instance—but state gently and firmly that, after that, he’ll need to walk with you so you can do the shopping you need to.

  • When she walks with you instead of asking to be carried, reinforce the behavior by letting her know how proud you are of her for walking on her own.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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