a guest post by the BBH Dad, Eric Walker
Ella and I were sitting across from one another eating a muffin at the cafe when I noticed a mother enter through the doors uncomfortably lugging her baby around in a portable car seat.
I bet it was a 15-pound car seat with a baby inside. The baby couldn’t have been more than three months old. I immediately asked myself, Why doesn’t she just hold her child?
And I couldn’t figure it out. She looked miserable too, and with all the evidence that proves keeping your infant close is better, why do so many moms and dads make the choice the carry their babes around in a portable car seat carrier?
She was leaning to the side to carry the portable car seat with her forearm like carrying a purse. And with each step, her weight would shift to one side –as if she had a severe limp– and then she’d shift weight to the side that the carrier was on to increase the momentum, swinging the portable car seat to ease the the burden of it’s weight.
Again, why didn’t she ditch the portable car seat carrier and just pick up her child and hold him near?
I thought to myself. That would kill my back, my shoulders, and definitely my arm.
And for what? That baby was no where near her mama. She was getting jounced back and forth like a cradle with the bow about to break.
I turned to Katie and said, “I’m not so sure having the ability to lift your car seat out of its base from the backseat and propping it into a shopping cart or carry it around as if it were the uncomfortable tote at the airport is such a good idea.”
That’s when she told me about baby wearing and attachment parenting.
I said “Oh” and asked if I could write a
short blog post about this topic and ask for opinions from the BBH community.
On the one hand, you have the ultimate portable car seat carrying parents, and I am whole-heartily NOT in favor of it.
I am all for parents simply picking their child up, and putting them in a carrier that is close to ones body, or a sling, or heck… even a blanket, and just carry the kid with your arms.
But I understand that there are all sorts of occasions where having a contraption like the portable car seat carrier might be helpful. I tried to put myself in your shoes, and came up with the following scenario that might warrant the use of a portable car seat.
When I drive my older child to preschool, instead of unbuckling my baby from her car seat while stopping my older child from jumping out of the car prematurely, and then having to deal with my baby crying from the change of position while walking the older one into preschool, I just unlatch and go. And then when coming back out to the car, and putting her back in the car seat again, which would mean buckling up, dealing with her crying (again) because of another change of position (twice in five minutes), I can just latch the car seat back in and be on my way — unscathed …etc, etc. You get to bypass the whole scenario in half the time and eliminate the crying by simply leaving the happy baby in the warm, cozy portable car seat and carry her around.
I might want that portable car seat carrier in a situation like that. I bet you can think of dozens of situations where the portable car seat carrier is VERY useful. Please do leave a comment for how you use it if you do use it at all. We want to hear from you.
But how much is too much?
I don’t think there is a wrong or a right. It’s a matter of preference. Which is why I want to hear from you. You know my preference, what’s yours?
Are you Pro portable car seat carrier? Are you Pro baby wearing? Maybe some place in the middle… either way, go ahead and leave your comment that describes your stance on this topic.