I haven't been carrying DD (2 last week) for the lst 2 months ish due to being in the throes of morning sickness and pg tiredness, but up until then I carried DD almost every day. I started carrying her because she'd scream in the pram after about 10 minutes. As time went on I enjoyed it due to being close and being able to chat easier. She kept me warm in winter and I didn't get annoyed with people getting in the way of the pram [impatient emoticon]
If I asked my baby to walk everywhere - he'd be doing a total of 30 miles per week - minimum..... a bit excessive just to get him "tired enough for bed" I think, so he does plenty of walking - AND gets a lovely snuggly carry when he needs it too.
Oh, and the carrying isn't just about transport - it's also about closeness - which can aid the settling of a child for bed in as much as a warm bath, or a story can.
CharCharGabor - not only was it easier for you to chat - but your little one was learning about the art of conversation from a closer viewpoint (taking turns, facial expressions, hand movements, listening etc. etc.)...
Carrying a baby is so much more than "an alternative to pushing them in a buggy" which is often the first thing that pops into peoples heads - they only see the issue as transport.
I also use a buggy at times - but I really value my slings highly - because they are truly multifunction!
I'm still carrying DS at nearly 2, though I have pram too which is great for his afternoon nap. The sling is great for going to the park - he'll happily walk there, but often needs carting away and having sling saves my back and means I don't have to abandon the pram. Also it's great for going into town on public transport, once there he'll walk when he feels like it so I put the sling in my rucksack.
Slings give flexibility. And it is nice to be able to point and name things I know he's looking at - when he's in the pram because he's so much lower down he feels a bit more cut off.
I have 2 who are 21 mths apart and nearly always take a single buggy - I have one in the sling and one in the buggy and they often get swapped round e.g. if dd wants to walk for a bit ds goes in the buggy then dd wants to be carried... the buggy is useful for the shopping if nothing else
For me, baby stuff goes in my rucksack on my back as I've got a Scootababy so DS is on my hips - it balances out the weight! But if I'm going shopping, either it has to be the shops close by, or not much shopping. I've made the mistake once or twice of carrying too much too far... ouch. But if I'm trying to get DS to nap, it has to be in the pram as I can't carry him for that long anymore (he sleeps for over an hour...).
So I have my hands free for doing stuff like holding the hand rails when going up narrow staircases to clinic. So I can get a few things done when he's feeling clingy. So I don't have to get the pushchair out when I'm only going a short step. For the closeness. So he can see more, from up higher (front facing out). When/if I have a second, to avoid getting a double buggy when the first is still getting tired from walking. I also find I talk to him more when he's being carried, he's more a part of my world (lots more interaction with others too) rather than being in his own little pushchair world.