Getting outside when your toddler doesn’t want to walk anymore – some tips

It can feel quite liberating when your toddler starts to walk well enough that you can start making trips and days out.  You can have all sorts of ideas of getting outside from walks in the countryside, maybe including a bit of hiking or even just managing to walk to the shops with the idea that it might tire them out.  But what do you do when your toddler doesn’t want to walk anymore and it’s becoming a bit of a nightmare?  Here’s some tips to get past this stage with your nerves intact.

  1. Slow down to look at the world.  If you let your toddler dictate the pace you’ll find that they might walk fine.  Normally what is hard for them is the pace and the fact that they can’t discover the world around them as they are walking.  Stop when they do and look at the flowers or the ants crossing the road.  Give yourself time to enjoy the world on a toddler level.
  2. Start with small walks.  Take a short stroll to the park and work your way up to the bigger walks.
  3. When you do try out longer walks, if you can, break it up in to manageable chunks.  Perhaps stop at the park on the way there or the way back.
  4. Try some spotting games like i-spy or simply count how many red things you can see on the way.  Giving your child something to focus on can stop them thinking they are bored and wanting to be carried.
  5. Pick your battles – this is actually my number one parenting tip in the world, but it applies really well here.  Decide before you go out whether it’s worth the hassle of making your toddler walk when you want and if it’s not worth it, try another tactic – there’s a few ideas below on how to help.


Some ways to help toddlers and kids walk more

It’s not always ideal to take forever to walk with your child at their pace or sometimes you’ll know that your toddler is getting tired so won’t be able to do the long walk.  If that’s the case, think about ways to combat it and give your child a rest when they are ready.

If you have a new baby but aren’t keen on getting a double pushchair then getting a buggy board can help.  It can allow your toddler to have a rest when you need them to or if you are in a bit of a rush and they can’t keep the pace.  You can even get some with seat attachments nowadays.

If you’re looking to get out and about in the countryside but know that while your toddler will enjoy it for a bit, they’ll likely want carried after a while, a walking or hiking carrier could be a worthwhile investment.  Get something with plenty of back support to keep yourself comfortable and you’ll be able to really keep up your hiking hobby.

Backpack carriers are also really good for if you’ve got a trip coming up or go travelling quite often – here’s a good review of the Osprey Poco Premium Baby Backpack Carrier from someone who travels a lot.

If your kids are a little older than toddler age but still aren’t that great with walking then maybe something like a scooter to take along and ride will help.  Or even a push along trike – so long as you’re happy with carrying it when the novelty wears off!


Do you have any tips for getting toddlers to walk more?  Let me know in the comments section.


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