Taking Your Bolting Toddler *and* Baby in Public

My first son was a bolter. Now, at age 5, he runs away from me far less often, but from ages 18 months through about 4, once his toes touched the ground, he was off. If you are the parent of one of these children, you know how fast they are.

man running after children

My husband is fast enough to catch both our bigger boys when they’re on the run.

If you are not the parent of one of these children, let me assure you. These kids can fly.

Once, I took my son to a birthday party and realized the back yard was unfenced. I stuck by him like glue until the birthday boy’s aunt assured me she’d watch him so I could sit and eat. I looked up a second later to find him tossing rocks in the alley. “Oh,” the aunt said. “I didn’t even see him get past me!

So once my second son came along, I feared I could never leave the house again. It’s one thing to sprint after my boy and leave the diaper bag on the bench. It’s quite another thing to chase him through the park with a baby.

What saved me? Babywearing.

I can nurse a baby in my carrier while I spot my older son on the monkey bars.

I can jog after a bolting kid without waking the baby sleeping in the baby carrier.

I can even supervise a potty break with the baby in the carrier.

My strategy is to get the baby out of his car seat first and put him in the carrier, then unbuckle my loose cannon once I’m ready and able to chase him.

The best scenario is if I meet up with other adults to help me with one kid or another, but this isn’t always possible. And so. Babywearing.

If you’re new to babywearing or intimidated by wraps and buckles, you might check out our Baby K’Tan carrier–it’s like babywearing lite! The two-piece wrap slides on quickly and leaves your hands totally free to yank any older kiddos down from the chain-link fences they’re trying to scale.

Once your young baby is up and running in opposite directions from your toddler, my only suggestion is to invest in some good running shoes!

Did you brave an outing with a baby and a bolting toddler? Leave us a tip to share your best advice!

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