There's nothing quite like the unique experience of getting your kid in and out of the car, especially when they're still little enough that they need to remain in the carseat itself when you take them out. Any parent of an infant can describe the joys of what it's like to lug a carseat — with infant in tow — and a couple of grocery totes at the same time: It's hell on your wrists, arms, shoulder, and back. Turns out, you've been carrying your carseat wrong all along, according to a video by Dr. Emily Puente of Bridge Family Chiropractic. This is basically life-changing for any parent of an infant, as far as I'm concerned.
In her Facebook video gone viral, Puente demonstrates a ridiculously simple technique for carrying a baby in a carseat. Instead of looping your arm through the handle and carrying the carseat with your elbow, Puente shows parents how to use their elbow to grip the handle, but turning their arm to anchor the carseat with their hand. It's kind of weird to describe with just words, so you should really just watch the "how to carry your carseat" video for yourself. It's one of those amazingly simple "Why didn't I think of that" adjustments.
In her video, Puente shows the slight change between the way most parents carry around a carseat and how just a quick turn of the arm while hugging the carseat closer to your body makes it so much easier to carry. Puente notes in her video that carrying a carseat the wrong way with just your elbow results in extra strain on one's upper back, shoulder, and hip. Even just watching Puente lift the carseat the "wrong" way brought back muscle memories of my own pain in my upper arm and shoulder blade from schlepping my son in his carseat when he was a baby — and that was four years ago.
On the Bridge Family Chiropractic Facebook page, the practice does disclose that one viewer who attempted the new carrying technique did experience pain and discomfort. Puente cautioned that "due to so many different makes and models of car seats, it is likely that this method won't work for all seats." She did note however, that her carseat carrying method "works incredibly well for the majority of those who attempt it."
So, should you attempt it? The video explains the method simply enough that it's easy to try in your own home with your own carseat, sans baby to start. If it feels weird or wonky, maybe it isn't for you. As Puente advises, check with your doctor if carrying your carseat is giving your muscle strain, no matter how you carry it. And here moms thought that all that pain associated with carrying and schlepping around baby ended at nine months.