Carrying a baby in a car seat

Posted by Alina on Thursday Nov 13, 2008 Under body mechanics, health

The safest way to carry anything is to have have your center of gravity within your base of support. When standing upright, our center of gravity is at our navel, and the base of support are our feet. Weather you lean forward to pick up a box or a feather, you may still end up hurting your back, because the weight of your upper body is placed outside of your base of support (feet). It would be safer for you to walk as close to the object as possible, squat, and then lift using your legs. To carry the object, you would want to keep it as close to your upper body as possible, to reduce strain.

In keeping with the above principle,  carrying a baby strapped to a car seat by the handle of the seat is quite straining for most people. There are two good options:

1) If the baby is in the seat, lift the seat from underneath with both arms, and hold in front of you, close to your body.

2) Hold the baby with one arm, and the empty seat with the other.

As always, when carrying, keep your abdominal muscles taught to provide support for the lumbar spine.

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My son who is now six and a half months old, has begun pulling himself up in the crib. Three days ago he was getting to his knees, so we moved the crib mattress down a notch so that he would not tip over and fall out (our crib has 3 possible mattress positions). Today he started coming up on his feet, and we had to lower the mattress yet again. It’s now at the lowest possible setting. Although the crib has a drop side, the mattress is now too low to allow me (5’5″) to reach in and pick a baby who is lying down without injuring myself. When I come to the crib, my son is usually on all fours, waiting to get out, I first drop the side down, help him up to a kneeling position, then up on his feet (while he is supporting his own weight) and then I lift him up. This reduces the strain on my back, especially since I have to perform this motion several times a day. If the baby is too young for kneeling or standing, then sitting them up before lifting would also reduce strain. It is also important to keep your knees bent, tighten the abdominal muscles, avoid rounding your back over the crib side, and lift the baby up close to your chest/ shoulder.

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