The general public has developed the unfortunate habit of inserting itself into a person's parenting decisions. Perfect strangers will tell moms and dads that their child is clearly too big for that stroller, too old for that pacifier, and definitely shouldn't be breastfeeding at their age. And should you be seen picking up a child who is clearly capable of walking on their own, heaven help you. It sucks to have to defend your choices, which is why I refuse to apologize for carrying my toddler.
My daughter turns 3 next month and she's tall for her age, so people sometimes mistake her for older. I definitely get some serious side-eye for carting her around, especially now that I'm showing with my second pregnancy. When we pulled up to the hourly care facility the other day, she was visibly upset. "No there," she insisted. "I go bye-bye mommy." I had to be at an important training, so I sympathized, snuggled, and carried her in. I was quite taken aback when the caregiver said to my child, "Mommy is going to put you down now. You're a big girl."