How you lift and carry your baby’s car seat is very important for keeping your own body happy and healthy. An average car seat is about 15 pounds, and when you add in the weight of your baby, things start to get heavy! Here are a few tips to protect your back, pelvic floor, and pelvic organs:
- Lift with your legs when picking up the car seat (think about using a squat, split squat, or half kneel position to lift the car seat instead of bending over with your back to lift it off the ground)
- Bring the car seat as close to you as possible and, ideally, use both of your arms to lift it (both arms on the handle or one on the handle and one under the seat)
- Exhale as you lift. Holding your breath increases pressure down onto your pelvic floor and pelvic organs.
- Carry the car seat as close to your body as possible. The further the car seat is away from your body, the more load it puts on your back and pelvic floor.
- Try to limit the amount of time you are carrying the car seat. Even when following these tips, carrying a carseat can be awkward and heavy. If possible, use your stroller or a baby carrier to transport your baby for longer distances.
Here are a few different techniques you can use to carry the car seat more comfortably.
- Using two arms on the handle
- Having the handle over the crook of one arm and the other hand underneath the seat
- Another method is to put your arm through the handle and turn your arm so that your palm is facing towards your baby. With this position you use a backhand grip under the side of the seat that is closest to your body. Some people find this the most comfortable way of carrying the car seat with one arm (We find that the comfort of this grip really depends on the person and the type of car seat you have, but it is always worth a try:).