Are You Carrying Your Baby’s Car Seat the Wrong Way? Here’s an Easier Way to Do It

September 2, 2019 Updated: September 5, 2019

It’s happened to just about every parent before. Your baby is fast asleep, safely strapped into their car seat. You quietly tiptoe around to the backseat, undo the latches, and get to pick up the whole car seat to take it with you. But as you lift it up, the strain begins in your upper back, down through your hips, and into your knees. How could it be so heavy?

Your baby is only going to get bigger and heavier, while the car seat won’t get any lighter, so what to do? While going to the gym and lifting weights is good for your health, the problem isn’t about strength, it’s about how you’re carrying the car seat in the first place!

Illustration – Shutterstock | New Africa

Many parents have probably thought that there’s a better way to do things but just revert to the same underhand hold. Thankfully, Dr. Emily Puente of Bridge Family Chiropractic just outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area has shared a video on Facebook that has gone massively viral and is guaranteed to change the way you carry your baby’s car seat.

But what’s wrong with the classic method from a medical perspective? As Dr. Puente explains, when you hook your elbow through the handle of the carseat, “I’m putting so much strain on my upper back, on my shoulder, on my hips. If I’m going on a grocery trip, or, God forbid, I’m going to the zoo, it would be terrible to carry this thing around.”

What Puente proposes instead is a two-part maneuver that’s designed to distribute the weight evenly and safely. The way her technique works seems counter-intuitive at first. Instead of hooking your arm through with the palm facing upward, you turn it to face down.

She then loops one of her arms through the handle and then turns her hand down toward the bottom of the car seat and lifts the seat from the bottom.

The benefits of Dr. Puente’s technique are myriad. “It’s not going to hurt your shoulder, it’s not going to hurt your hip, and you’re not going to have to use your knee to swing like I had to do with my two [kids],” she explained.

Puente’s video has been wildly popular on Facebook, with tens of thousands of likes and comments. As opposed to many online parenting hacks, this one not only comes from a mom who has to carry car seats on a daily basis but also someone who understands how the body works.

When asked by TODAY what inspired her, she responded “I made this video on a whim between patients! It was something I saw from another mom and thought it seemed genius so I had to share.”

Posted by Bridge Family Chiropractic on Monday, August 20, 2018

While some people with very small newborns might not think carrying a car seat is that big of a deal, as the baby grows and becomes a toddler, they will understand what Dr. Puente is talking about. “Carrying a heavy load improperly can easily lead to injuries,” she told TODAY.

Among the comments, one mom asked if using the dominant or non-dominant hand was better with this technique. Dr. Puente wrote that it was a great question. “I suggest dominant to get the hang of it but I’m sure you could transition to using either one.”

The technique might not be the weightlifter’s approach, but it’s guaranteed to help minimize aches and pains.

Here’s a safe and easy alternative that’s good for you and your baby!

(For Licensing and usage, contact: you so much for watching and sharing our car seat video! You can visit our new blog to learn a new diaper changing technique. We will add health tips and information on a regular basis. Have a wonderful day! 😊 you have a baby in a car seat? Would you like to know a way to carry them without hurting your back, shoulder or hips?Watch the video to see how! Let us know if you have any questions!*Update*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. I suggest being cleared by your medical professional prior to trying any new regimen if you would like to ensure you are fit to perform actions like the one shown here. We also wanted to share that while car seats are the ideal choice for safety while riding in a car, the top choice for a baby outside of a car would be to hold them or baby-wear instead. There are several resources online if you need suggestions or demonstrations on the proper way to baby-wear. Thank you so much for all of your support! I'm so glad to be able to share this message and provide benefit to so many of you!

Posted by Bridge Family Chiropractic on Friday, April 28, 2017