Why I Ditched the Car Seat on the Shopping Cart for Baby Wearing
September 20, 2014 8:24:44 AM EDT
When I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child, the first thing I did was go out and buy a big, expensive car seat/stroller combo. I researched, read tons of reviews, and compared safety ratings until I found the perfect one for our newest little family member. Shortly after he was born, my husband and I loaded up all the kids in the van and headed to the grocery store for the first time as a family of six. Like we'd done with our older children, we brought our new baby inside still strapped in the car seat, thinking it would secure on top of the shopping cart. As I corralled the older children, trying to get through the busy store entrance, I noticed hubby was lagging behind. He was stuggling to get the car seat to latch onto the cart. When he told me it wouldn't fit, I told my maintenance mechanic of a husband to scoot over and let me try... he was right. It wasn't going to work.
I was so frustrated! I had spent so much time comparing different brands, and trying to find the best seat for our new little guy... why the heck did I have to pick the one car seat that won't fit on top of the cart like all the other car seats?! When we got home, I got out the seat’s instruction manual. Lo and behold it stated: DO NOT use in the seating area or across the top of shopping carts.
With my three older children, I never really felt good about having them perched up on top of the shopping cart. I was always worried, with all that extra weight making the cart top heavy, that it could topple over. Maybe one of my older kids would try to hop on, or I accidentally run over something making it tip. When I researched it online, I realized I had good reason to worry... According to the American Academy of Pediatrics approximately 23,000 children are treated in the emergency room for injuries from shopping carts! Most of those injuries are caused by falls from the cart or by the cart tipping over.
So what's a mama to do? How would I go about my weekly grocery shopping trips with baby in tow? Babywearing, of course! After I bought that big stroller and carseat, the next thing I bought was a stretchy wrap to wear him in. When I first took it out of the box, I was a bit overwhelmed. It was a super long piece of stretchy cotton fabric. After the first couple times trying it on, I wanted to return it to be honest! I thought, “I am never going to get this!” But the more I used it, the more I loved using it! Soon it became so easy to wrap, that I could do it with my eyes shut!
The first time I wore my little guy at the store, I fell in love. It actually made shopping with a baby so much easier. My little peanut stay snuggled up on my chest while I shopped and slept the entire time!
I no longer had to worry about the cart tipping over, or not being able to see over the cart and running over one of my other children or running into someone's heels. Nearly every time we went shopping for the first six months, my walking bounced him to sleep, and he slept the entire time. If he was hungry, I simply nursed him in the wrap.
We used the wrap until he was nearly a year before switching over to a soft structured carrier. Now as a two year old, sometimes he rides in the cart, but a lot of times I wear him in a ring sling. It's great for those times when he falls asleep on the car ride to the store, because I don't have to wake him. He can nap on my chest and I can get my shopping done, instead of dealing with a cranky toddler who missed out on his nap!
If I could do it all over again, I would've saved my money on that big, expensive stroller/car seat combo. I can count on one hand how many times I used that stroller in the first year. It stayed in my garage collecting dust until I sold it. I much preferred having my little guy close to me, snuggled up safe on my chest, and in my arms. That way I could easily respond to his needs, feed him when he was hungry, and smell and kiss him as much as I pleased! <3
*Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.
Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.