Attachment Parenting, Babywearing, BBH Dad

Portable Car Seat and Baby Wearing Question for You (please comment a response)

42 Comments 28 March 2011

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?

Seriously, it looked ridiculous.

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.

Your Comments

42 Comments so far

  1. Mandy says:

    I love to wear my babies.. :) I found it to be easy and comfortable fro both of us… We never bought the infant car seat but rather a convertible one, both of my children are great “transfer-ers” they can be fast asleep , i can unbuckle them and put them into their beds without the waking, about 90% of the time.. I love having my child close to me.. and I have both a wrap style and an Ergo carrier.. and love both…
    I’ve seen momma’s lugging around those infant carriers and they always look uncomfortable and heavy… and with having a2 year old i don’t think i could maneuver both at the same time..

  2. Rikki Daniels says:

    I won’t buy a “portable” infant car seat. We purchased a convertible car seat rated for 5-35 lbs rear facing and up to 60 lbs forward facing. I don’t think it’s worth buying separate car seats so that I can have the “convenience” of removing an infant car seat from the car. Besides my back issues, I find it awkward and it is much easier to do things like grocery shop when the baby is in a carrier attached to me. It isn’t that much work to take a baby out of a car seat and put it back in.

  3. I am all about babywearing, but I have to admit that having a portable carrier has been a lifesaver with both of my babies.


    Because both of my children were born in the cold, winter months. I live in an area where we have snow 4-6 months of the year and it is frigid. In fact, it is still frigid in Spring.

    It is not safe to dress babies/toddlers in bulky coats and winter wear so in order to remove my baby and wear them from the car to the inside I would need to dress them after the fact. A blanket just doesn’t cut it. I have put my baby on in the car (not impossible, but difficult) if we are in a parking garage and cover him with a blanket as an alternative.

    I have a Cozy Cover over the seat which keeps all of the snow and cold air out.

    I think the car seats are uncomfortable and bulky, but they keep my baby warm. When we get inside I usually put him in a carrier or hold him.

    I used to think the same thing about infant carseats until I started using them. (obviously some people leave their kids in the all the time…. but sometimes you really need them)

  4. Kateisfun says:

    Does this count as attachment parenting??

  5. Tina says:

    I asked myself this same question recently, since I just bought my first carseat for my baby due this Aug. I ended up getting a convertible seat so I didn’t have to buy 2 carseats (mostly a cost saving measure, so I could spend more money on baby carriers), but I imagine there will be some times that I regret having to unbuckle a sleeping kid.

  6. Christie B says:

    I use the portable car seat to carry my daughter in and out of the car. That way it starts room temperature rather than freezing or very hot. For particularly short trips, I will carry the seat rather than disturb my (usually sleeping) kid with the wrangling in and out – somewhat like the example given. I have the Chicco KeyFit 30, which is very highly rated for safety but also very heavy. This seems to work well as a regulator of the amount of time she spends in it when I could be babywearing.

  7. Christy says:

    We got the Britax Marathon convertible car seat good for 5-65 lbs. I think those infant seats are a HUGE waste of money! Why buy 3-4 car seats when you can buy 2? The convertible & then a booster? I HATE seeing parent’s (dad’s seem to be especially bad about this) dangling the carrier from their wrist & banging the kid all around on their leg! Ouch! Hope there’s some padding in that thing or they’ll have head damage! We simply used a mei tei carrier. That’s what we’ll do with baby # 2 arriving in a few weeks as well since we’ve already purchased a 2nd Britax Marathon. It also makes me sick to go to a restaurant to eat & see a baby in one of those things with a bottle propped in it’s mouth. Sick. :P What a great way to ignore your baby. :(

  8. Andi says:

    I think that portable carseats are a waste of money and way overused. We always go straight for a convertable car seat and I wear my babies everywhere. Here is my issue with the portable car seats:
    There was a study done (that I wish I could fine, we discussed this in my lactation course) that found the average American parent holds their child for a mere two hours a DAY! And think about it, it almost seems the norm now is to see mom or dad pick baby up out of their crib, place them in a swing. They get tired of the swing, put them in the bouncy seat. Then place them in the portable car seat, carry the seat to the car and click it in place. Drive to the gorcery store and unclick the seat. carry the seat into the store and place the whole seat in the cart (Which I think is totally unsafe, but that is OT). Then carry the seat back to the car… you get the picture. I much prefer waking up and carrying my baby from my bad, where I often place her in the wrap or sling after a nice long nursing session and wear her. Everywhere, 90% of the day. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t love being within perfect new baby scent smelling distance at all times?! =)

  9. Krista says:

    Like you, I can think of a few good scenarios where a portable carseat does come in handy (i.e.: baby sleeping and having to get out of the car for any short term reason without wanting to wake a sleeping baby). I am not however, a fan of the idea of keeping baby in a car seat for too terribly long and it’s not recommended. I was told in prenatal classes (and I tend to agree) that baby should NOT be in car seat for more than 1.5-2 hrs at a time. That means, even if baby is sleeping sound and you’re on a road trip you are to pull over to give baby a break, a cuddle and a change of position.
    Also, personally, I never found it inconvenient to strap baby into a carrier or stroller. I don’t think you should ever simply transfer car seat to stroller…that’s just too much carseat time. I never once used a car seat compatable stroller and walked with my kids at newborn stage too…
    Personal opinions though…

  10. Mamma Mason says:

    I want to start off saying I Love wearing my babes.
    However I am a little concerned with some of the parents not purchasing an infant seat. They are made specifically for an infant. They are made to cradle the baby in the event of a crash. A convertible car seat does not do that the same way when they are infants. But they do work very well after about 6-9 months of age. If you dont belive me contact your local car seat clinic. They will tell you the same thing. I was told that by a car seat technition in my area.
    I love seeing moms and dads carring there babes. :)

  11. Andi says:

    PS, sorry about all the typos, NAK, LOL!

  12. Katie Mulder says:

    I agree that in the winter months it can be hard with a newborn. Risking losing all of that body warmth is not something I would have looked forward to, especially considering my daughter was already crying for one reason or another her first 3 months of life. In the car seat for some reason, she was happy and asleep. So I did lug that thing around (in a stroller, not my arms) from dec-mid march. Then enough was enough. My daughter and I both loved baby wearing and I have yet to meet a baby that doesn’t. So when it wasn’t as cold out, that car seat stayed right where it was meant to.. IN THE CAR! :)

    Baby wearing is just easier on everyone! Oh, and it’s adorable of course!

  13. Hanukkah Valencia says:

    I’m a baby wearing advocate and wore my baby to toddler until I became pregnant with my second. I’m also a home birthing mama, co-sleeper, attachement parenting, all while still nursing my almost 3 year old while pregnant with my second child. Being close to your child is first and foremost in my mind..but the infant car seat was a life saver for one thing: keeping a sleeping baby asleep. As an infant, my daughter was very colicy. There were times I’d take her for a car ride just for the purpose of getting her to fall asleep. Yes, they say wearing your baby does wonders for colicy babies too…but not in every situation or every single time. If you’ve been up all night with a screaming colicy baby, or just spent 3 hours trying to get a screaming colicy baby down for a nap with no luck then she does happen to fall asleep in the car when you’ve exhausted all of your other options…you better believe I’m taking her out of the car in that infant car seat as slowly and carefully as possible to not wake her. I couldn’t just quickly transfer her from seat to carrier without waking her up, and she wasn’t the type to just fall back to sleep once snuggled next to the chest. Hauling that carseat & sleeping baby wherever it may be that we’re going (restraunt, grocery shopping or just car to house)is worth every back breaking moment, because it means mama may get a few moments of peace and solitude so she can survive the next night of sleeplessness. So to judge that poor woman and all others is unfair.

  14. Stephanie says:

    I use both I have 4 kids, I Homeschool so I wear/carry/or hold baby a good 8 hours a day. We bed share at night.she spends 20 hours a day directly touching me. But, I love my infant seat, nothing is better for a quick run into the post office, or into the shoppette ( a twice weekly event ). I know it protects her better in case of a crash, than a covertable seat does. I also carry her into the pool in it, that way I have a safe area to keep her while I change and shower off before she joins me in the pool! and with it being cold its easier to place her in the seat and take her out then walk across my ice drive ring to balance her and then freeze her while strapping her in. They are very useful, but they are tools not baby-minders. We are also NaK-ing, I encourage women, to stop judging other women! My baby only spens about 2 hours a week in her seat,( all travel included) yet you can still catch me lugging her in or out in it and make assumptions :)

  15. Carol says:

    I wish I had been more informed about baby-wearing when I had my son last winter because the scenario you described was ME back then. (: I love baby-wearing but my LO was about 9 months before I really discovered it. I like using the infant seat in my car as one poster said, for the safety of the first months and the convertible from about 9-12 months on, but next time we have a baby I plan on leaving the seat in the car as much as possible. My son was born in January when it wouldn’t have been very practical to balance him outside with little on while I clumsily stuffed him into my wrap. lol But I am going to be a babywearing fool with my next! (:

  16. Chrissy says:

    I love wearing my baby and 99.9% of the time just wear or carry her. Those seats are SO heavy and even going by pure laziness, it can be a huge pain to wrestle it out of the car and carry it. I have done it maybe 2 or 3 times when she was asleep and in serious need of this nap and I didn’t want to wake her, but she usually woke up anyways from the jostling of the seat as I struggled to carry it.

    On a side note, I see parents who will lug around a large baby in a car seat, then proceed to ignore the baby for hours on end. Most recently saw a mom walk away and leave an almost 1 year old wide awake in the seat for 2 hours. I have seen moms bottle feed and spoon feed their babies while in the seat, never taking them out, touching them, talking to them, nothing. I have seen moms leave babies, awake or asleep, in their seat in a waiting room while they enter their older child’s class to watch. It really makes me sick that it is socially acceptable to ignore babies. Not to mention the safety aspects of leaving a baby unattended in a seat for extended periods of time. It really has been bothering me lately.

  17. Tristen says:

    I am definitely pro baby wearing. I dont even carry my LO into the house in his carseat. I dont find it easier. My husband and I were just talking about this when he saw a woman run across a street carrying one the the portable carseats. He mirrored your statement exactly when he asked “Why doesnt she just carry her baby?”.

    I have friends who say its easier, that they dont risk the baby waking up. Since I’ve never had a baby who enjoys being in his carseat I havent experienced this.

  18. Felicia says:

    For the first 3 children,I WAS that uncomfortable,miserable 15lb car seat lugging mom. I had no idea about baby slings,or baby wearing,and even less about attachment parenting.As I transitioned from the hospital birthing mom to home birth mom,I found out about baby wearing,attachment parenting-and started on my journey to becoming a doula. Now-with baby number 6 on the way come may-I am TOTALLY pro baby wearing and attachment parenting. I do still have the car seat carrier for some times when its just more convenient to use,but for the most part-I just wear my babies.And-now that I know those options are available-I wouldnt have it any other way :)

  19. Aria says:

    The only times I think it’s all right to use a carseat for carrying are for temporary use. It was easier getting our newborn into the carseat in the house, and to carry her in in her seat (not easy carrying a baby AND the carseat), or for the preschool-scenario described above, and if it’s safer than any other option, such as when my daughter’s daddy and I went to dinner with her when she was a month old, and holding her while eating hot food or the highchair at the restaurant wasn’t going to work, but I didn’t want to be away from her because she was going to need to eat.

    I don’t know why anyone would use a carseat over wearing. Now if the question was carrying or a stroller, I’d still say carry an infant, but more people stroll rather than carseat.

  20. Jennifer says:

    I fall in the middle. I lug the darn thing around. It is so much easier to not wake my kids since mine do wake up when being transferred. Also with a winter/fall baby I don’t want to take them out of a nice warm carrier, expose them to the cold to put them in a carrier.

    However I also love babywearing. I am known to use the car seat (and stroller) and leave my baby sleeping in the car seat (or safe and warm if it is cold). Then when baby wakes up or we get in to the nice warm store I will pick my baby up and wear him or her. That way I have the best of both worlds.

    Also like you pointed out quick runs I prefer the car seat. Also I invested in a nicer car seat that will hold my baby to 30lbs and 32 inches long. I figure it will be heavier but I have longer babies and wanted to get more use of the car seat. I feel infant seats fit an infant better than a convertible one.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Oh and I also have to add, I have one child that hated being held. She has sensory issues (she is possibly autistic) and baby wearing was traumatic to her. I was sure I was doing something wrong, tried several carriers etc till I gave up. She was the first child I tried to wear. Her younger siblings loved being worn. So she was in the car seat much longer than I wanted.

  22. Jenn says:

    I can’t stand luggy anything. Not luggy carseats, not luggy strollers, not luggy old school baby carriers, etc. It drives me nuts when people lug in a baby carseat or a stroller into a restaurant or play area that says NO CARSEATS OR STROLLERS. There just isn’t the room for that.

    Anyways. I love babywearing! I’ve been doing it for 4 years now with both my kids, still going strong, and I teach classes on it. We did use a infant carseat for both the kids until we switched to RF convertable seats, but the carseat ALWAYS stayed in the car (unless it was raining and we had just got home, was easier to put a blanket over to get babe in the house faster then getting him out in the pouring rain). Carseats are for the car and baby carriers are for carrying your baby.

  23. Heather says:

    I had to go on a trip on what turned out to be the day before my daughter was born. Preparing for the trip, I cleaned out my car, and, since I was already 35 weeks, and it seemed a good time to do so, I installed the infant carseat I had for her. The next day, on the way home from my trip, I was in a car accident–a bad wreck, at highway speeds. My car was _squished_. The seat belt contacted me hard enough to break my water, and my daughter was born the next afternoon. In the wreck, that infant car seat CAME OFF OF ITS BASE and ended up sitting on top on the back seat, about to topple into the cargo area of my wagon. Needless to say, my daughter went straight into the Britax convertible seat I already had for her, and we do NOT do infant carseats. I use a ring sling, and just sling my babies–I wore my daughter till I was too pregnant with my son to do so comfortably (about 7 or 8 months along), and my son still gets the occasional sling ride at nearly 2 1/2–but not much, anymore. He’s too busy and we have another baby on the way.
    I can sew, so I make my own slings (btw, ring slings are VERY basic sewing–if you can use a sewing machine AT ALL, you can do this!). My little guy was born in October, so was a little baby in winter, and I found a wool sling to be wonderful with him. I have heard of people making slings of polar fleece, too.

  24. Cindy says:

    I’m all for baby wearing and plan to leave the infant carseat permanently attached to the car and wear my new baby everywhere. I can see it being much easier to wear a baby while holding my toddler’s hand rather than holding a huge carseat and keeping my toddler close. I am also not planning to get a double stroller, either toddler or baby can always be worn, that’s why I love my ergobaby!

  25. Rebecca says:

    I’m also concerned with those who say they are skipping the infant car seat. We attempted the same thing – but our NINE lb newborn baby boybwas way too small and unsupported in it. We ended up purchasing an infant seat – simply for safety. Also think that we shouldn’t jump to judge when we see a baby being carried in a seat – i’m so tired of the judgement, I see people posting like that everywhere. Unless you know the situation … Keep it quiet.

  26. Tiffany says:

    We have 4 children, and we have done the car seat carrier with all 4. Now that we are talking about having another child I told my husband that it would be cheaper to just by a convertible car seat and just carry our child around. It was very cumbersome to carry my infant around in the carrier. I would never do it again. Even at the airport. It was easier to take my baby in a sling than the car seat.

  27. Samantha says:

    I think we have used our convertible car seat twice in 8 months to carry baby. I file it in the ‘too hard’ box, along with our pram, which hasn’t has a single outing yet! lol I wear my baby everywhere all the time!

    And I’ve managed to convert a few ladies to baby wearing as well. happy babies = happy mums!

  28. Lynalice says:

    I tried baby wearing and it didn’t really work out for us… I’m sure part of the issue is that I’m pretty overweight but our baby carrier just hurt my back and my shoulders and it exhausted me to no end… I just put him in the stroller. I would love to be able to do it but it hurts me to think that when someone looks at me they think “lazy mom who doesn’t care about her contact with her baby”. It really hurts… Just like I’m sure it hurts for women who can’t breastfeed to be looked at as mom’s who don’t care enough about thier baby’s nutrition. I used an infant car seat but my son never spent very long in it. We now have a convertible since he just turned one and sometimes I miss the convenience of being able to take him out and let him keep sleeping. Like today, he’s getting his molars in and he was FINALLY asleep on our way home from the store (he SCREAMED the entire time there) and I had to wake him up… UGH! I’m working on losing weight but please, try not to judge others because they can’t do what you can.

  29. Leah S says:

    Pfft, I’d have a broken arm if I had gone the infant car seat route. I’m not a small woman with dainty bones, and the proof is in the baby. By 3 months my son was almost 18 pounds. He was born at 7 and a half pounds. It’s been very hard on my arm to carry him around at such a fast growing pace, I can’t imagine tossing in a carrier on top of that.

    At 5 months, he was over 21 pounds. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable keeping him in an infant car seat that had a weight limit of 22 pounds. Convertible was definitely the right thing.

  30. Cassandra says:

    Maybe I just have an easier baby, but being woken up in a transfer between seat and sling was never a problem. From 1-5 months, she fell asleep when she was tired, period. And my almost 10 lb newborn was totally fine in a convertible car seat. We did get a headrest to keep her head from flopping over, but was otherwise completely fine. I wasn’t going to spend the money on something she would grow out of in 3 months.

    Yes, those tiny, warm little carseats are great in cold climates where it’s not safe to wear thick layers. But I’m not going to apologize for feeling bad for babies who are stuffed in those seats during all other occasions. If the kid is awake and it’s warm enough to not be bundled up in the seat, take ‘em out! Problem is people don’t and use it as a convenient place to keep baby confined and out of the way.

  31. Sara says:

    For me, there are a (very) few scenarios where it is easier to just lug the seat, like very quick trips into the store when baby is asleep and/or I know that once I take him out there will be HELL to pay when I very soon put him back in. Or times when taking him out & getting him into a sling/wrap would take longer then I would actually be out & about. As you will soon see :-) carrying an infant while also managing a young child can be…well…almost as difficult as lugging a carrier around ;-) Sometimes you just need BOTH hands (sometimes you actually need like 3 or 4 but have to make due w/just the 2).

    I was introduced to Babywearing when PG w/my oldest son. Wore him lots & lots. Almost never used the seat or a stroller. I also wear my youngest. Lots & lots. I don’t know what I would’ve done w/out Babywearing…it made having 2 young kids SO much easier. It allowed me to keep baby close & happy while still being able to freely interact w/my older child. I almost never had to choose between caring for one or the other…Babywearing let me do both (hands free nursing in a wrap ROCKS)! A friend & I started a Babywearing group in our area…we are having a meeting at my house on Wed. I LOVE learning new things & being able to help other mamas wear there babies…

    Check out…GREAT site.

  32. Tatiana says:


    I would LOVE to wear my babies, but I have bad back problems from a couple of car accidents I was in. I’ve tried every baby wearing strap/device/harness I could find and even tried making my own, but no matter what, I could never wear one for longer than a few minutes.
    I LOATHED lugging that portable seat around AND YES, I was very miserable! I’m sure I looked ridiculous. But didn’t have a whole lot of choice much of the time.

    Don’t think I don’t know about the benefits of baby wearing and don’t think that I don’t already have loads of GUILT because of it! I want the best for my babies just like everyone else.

    Who knows, it may have been me you saw that day. Just goes to show we never know what the other person is really going through.

  33. Liz says:

    We didn’t get an infant car seat – not because of a lot of the reasons mentioned – but simply because we wanted to touch our baby! I didn’t want my baby encased in this cold plastic “bucket”, I wanted her in my arms, near my skin, and I wanted to hold and enjoy her!

  34. Marija says:

    This is a side note but I wanted to mention that I’ve heard a lot from chiropractors and babywearing experts that using a Baby Bjorn carrier (at all) but especially facing out is really unhealthy for a baby, it puts all the baby’s weight on their pelvis. (A carseat carrier also reduces oxygen supply to the baby due to positioning though). A more traditional style carrier is much better, like a soft carrier and always facing baby in so their legs and pelvis are in a natural position is important.

  35. Brooke says:

    I really dislike these carseats. They are bulky, heavy and just annoying. BUT After three children my opinion is that they are very helpful during the early months. When you have to transport them from place to place without waking them up. After that they just become a huge pain in the rear end. I would rather carry my 5month old then lug around him and his car seat.

  36. Levikha says:

    I had this dilemma yesterday: after grocery shopping for an hour (while nursing in the wrap, but not sleeping), my little one finally fell asleep in the car on the way to another store where I just had to quickly find something out. If I’d had the stroller I’d probably have clicked the seat into that… but alas, I haven’t bothered taking the stroller with in months! In the end, the thought of lugging that seat the ten steps to the store was too much, so I lifted her into the wrap. Thankfully she went right on sleeping: at other times we’re not that lucky, but at least she’s close to me when she wakes up.

  37. Sabrina says:

    I must say that I am all for holding my little ones, but with my first baby who was born in the bitter cold and windy Wyoming winter we found it was much easier (and warmer) to lug around the portable carseat into wherever we were going and take her out when we got inside.

    With my 2nd baby (after relocating to a slightly warmer and much less windy location), we didn’t use the portable carseat nearly as long and found it to be too much of a pain so we switched to a convertible seat around 4 months.

  38. Jeremy says:

    Definitely pro baby wearing…
    To the point where it hurts my shoulder. Maybe I need to adjust that Ergo a little better.

    Anjali, my daughter, now 14 mos., gets so excited when I pull out the Ergo, or my wife pulls out one of the wraps. She loves it.

    I’m happy to know that she likes her stroller that we recently got too. It’s a back saver…and…um…she’s only going to get bigger.

    But I find strollers inconvenient. With the stroller, I can’t go in a lot of places without lugging this huge stroller in. I much prefer wearing her and traveling light. We EC, so unless we’re out for a long time, I don’t pack a whole diaper bag…just one change in the front pocket of the Ergo.

    I’ll admit, the stroller is convenient for carrying other stuff–extra clothing, ball for the park, water bottle, etc.

    As far as the carseat goes, we don’t have a portable at this point. When we had the infant seat, we did use it portably on occassion. But it was a pain in the butt. Really hard to carry her that way.

  39. Rachel says:

    I used the portable car seat with my son. It turned out to be great because after 6 weeks, he did not want to sleep while held. For the first six weeks he only ever slept on a human, and we did the family bed. For some reason at 6 weeks he wanted nothing to do with it anymore. The car, as it is for many children, put him to sleep with ease, and if I took him out of the car seat and put him in a carrier he was unhappy. I tried a few carriers with him (not the best ones unfortunately) and he wasn’t happy. I liked space and being able to look around. I sort of think that because I breastfed him, he got plenty of love and cuddles throughout the day and wanted to see the world a bit independent of me the rest of the time. I’m pregnant with my second and mostly because of money I’m buying a car seat that lasts from birth to 3 years old. I really hope this baby likes the baby carrier, because I wanted to use it with my son, he just didn’t agree. I’m hoping a superior carrier and a different personality will make this possible. And while I’m not doing the carrier car seat this time, the best thing about them is that when baby falls asleep in the car you simply unhook them and carry them into the house and let them continue their nap, no disruptions. I think ideally you have both options, a sling for longer trips out of the car, and an infant car seat for the short trips or when you don’t want to disturb a much needed nap. That being said, I find much higher value in the sling than the car seat, which is why if economics dictates I pick one or the other, the sling is my choice.

  40. Allison says:

    My rule was to leave a sleeping baby in the carseat. Once awake, I was holding him/her. In general, my kids have all been light sleepers so the jostling of in and out would wake them. Leaving them in the seat meant better napping. But once awake, I would take them out. Even in restaurants, even as little babies. Once awake, I wanted them close! I kept my scarf either wrapped on me, or used it as an extra “blanket” so it was always there as needed.

  41. labortrials says:

    This soooooo does not need to be presented as an either or scenario. Yes, we use infant car carriers for many of the same reasons listed above (cold winter months, multiples hello!, built in ‘roll bar,’ etc.). The twins are now in Britax convertibles (still rear facing) that will last them WELL beyond when they’d prefer to be in a booster. And yes, we wear babies. Instead of a shoe or purse fetish… I have a carrier fetish. :D

  42. Frances says:

    I agree that this does not need to be an either/or discussion. Circumstances are circumstances and one never knows the other’s unless they ask. Its been nice to read all the different perspectives and insights.
    So, thanks!

    Our family used both. The seats are heavy and cumbersome but handy if you have a snap-n-go type stroller. Once they get past a certain age, its just silly to keep them in one, though.
    Babywearing is wonderful and we get a lot of use out of our Ergo Carrier. I would like to agree about the topic of facing a baby out. Not only do the bones and pelvis area become strained-as circulation has been known to get impinged-but the stimuli can be far to much for an infant to handle.
    I saw a woman at a concert with her terrified baby facing out at all the strangers bumping into them. Broke my heart.

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