Most of our distress about doing things the right way with a car seat is due to mommy shamers and baby-safety concerns.
But a chiropractor is sharing a useful tip that will help you solve a problem you might not have even realized was fixable — your own comfort while lugging around the car seat.
If you’re like most parents, you probably hook the handle of the car seat over your forearm like it’s a big, heavy purse. But, it turns out, there’s a better (less painful) way to do it.
Just ask one chiropractor who’s based outside Fort Worth, Texas. In just a couple of months, more than 3.8 million people have watched the Bridge Family Chiropractic practice’s video tutorial, and more than 53,000 people have shared the tidbit with their own Facebook friends.
“This is a way you can carry so it’s not going to hurt your shoulder, it’s not going to hurt your hip and you’re also not going to have to use your knee to swing,” Dr. Emily Puente explains.
Puente says her preferred carrying method includes looping your arm through the handle and then twisting your wrist and grabbing onto the side of the car seat. She says this method distributes the weight much better, for less stress on your body. OK, we’re listening.
Watch the tutorial and learn how to make carrying infant car seats more comfortable:
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Consumer Reports has covered this topic as well, and they have the same message as Puente: Posture is important so you don’t hurt yourself while carrying a car seat!
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Diane Dalton, an orthopedic clinical specialist at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, told Consumer Reports that parents should carry car seats in front of their bodies using both hands to more evenly distribute the weight for a more comfortable hold.
Mary Ellen Modica, a physical therapist from the STEPS program at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital in Chicago, told Consumer Reports that carrying a car seat is like lugging around three or four full paint cans in one hand. Ouch!
“The greater the horizontal distance from the weight you’re carrying to your torso, the more stress on your joints, discs, ligaments, and muscles,” Modica said.
However, take note that at least one person isn’t giving the Bridge Family Chiropractic method a ringing endorsement. The practice added a note to its video, acknowledging the feedback:
It has been brought to my attention that one viewer experienced discomfort when attempting this maneuver. I am sorry to hear that and so I wanted to share that due to so many different makes and models of car seats, it is likely that this method won’t work for all seats. This was merely an attempt to pass along a creative idea that was shared and works incredibly well for the majority of those who attempt it.
If none of the supposedly more comfortable methods of carrying a car seat works for you, there is another option: Take your baby out of the car seat when you’re walking around and hold him or her in your arms or in a wearable baby carrier.
This tip will be especially useful as your baby grows. If you feel your back starting to ache from lugging your little one in a car seat, it may be time to start leaving the seat in place in the car.