So, you did the hard work: you picked out a car seat. High five! Whether it’s the lightest on the market or the heaviest, once your baby gains some precious weight it’s no longer a breeze to lug it around. In order to avoid personal injury you have to know how to carry your seat. Obviously putting it inside a stroller is ideal but sometimes that’s not practical, so here are some Physical Therapist approved tips:
- Center The Weight
Car seats are awkwardly shaped, and even if it has an “ergonomic handle” it’s gonna get a bit annoying switching from arm to arm. Use both hands, if possible, to hold it in front of your body. This will center the additional weight and help keep your core tight – so it’s doing the work, not your arms and shoulders.
- Use Your Knees
Bending with your knees and not bending at the waist helps ensure you’re using the right areas to lift the weight. Bonus: you get your squats in for the day! Win win!
- Plan Ahead
If you know you’re going somewhere that requires everything but the kitchen sink, condense those things into a sturdy backpack. Avoid distractions, like your phone, so you don’t trip since you’ll have eleventy billion other things in your hands and you won’t be able to catch yourself.
- Work Smarter Not Harder
It’s always a good idea to utilize reinforcements when necessary, particularly when travelling. If you are bringing your car seats with you to the airport, consider using a travel cart to turn your convertible car seat into a pull-along cart. You can also bungee cord an empty car seat or two onto a stroller or wagon.
Like I’m always saying, fitting the seat to your car is super important so make sure that’s all set. After that, take out of the car travel into consideration. And remember that a car seat is NOT a safe sleeping surface when it’s not installed in a car. Baby should be removed from the car seat every 2 hours at the very least to let them stretch out, eat, change diapers, and play.
Dana is the lucky mother to two incredible kids (aged 10 & 6) and the happy wife of Nate. She stumbled around in her adult life for a while before finally realizing that she could get paid to pursue her passion: keeping kids safe. In 2013 she started working at Modern Natural Baby in Ferndale where she eventually became a Child Passenger Safety Technician with additional Special Needs training. Dana also runs the child passenger safety-focused Facebook page Buckle Up Detroit and works with the amazing lady bosses at Metro Detroit Doula Services offering car seat classes, consultations, and more!