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We've Been Holding Car Seats Wrong This Whole Time

Photograph by Twenty20

A video on how to lift your car seat is carrying a lot of weight (pun intended) with parents on Facebook. It may seem natural to hoist the carrier up with its handle on one arm like a (ridiculously heavy) purse, but what if everyone has been doing it wrong all this time? What if there's a better way to lug that thing around without it leading to neck, back, wrist or elbow pains? We know, it sounds too good to be true!

Emily Puente, a chiropractor who works with Bridge Family Chiropractic in Texas, shared the trick, which has been life-changing for many parents who are already in pain from all the bending, lifting, twisting and pushing they have to go through.

"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)," Puente says. "Someone taught me this before, and it’s been the greatest thing."

As the mom demonstrates, first kneel and slide your hand between the handle and the seat on the side closest to you, with the handle on the nook of your arm. Then, twist your hand so that your forearm is facing the car seat. Finally, grab the bottom of the car seat and stand up.

Puente adds that because there are so many types of car seats, this method might not work for everyone. Though some car seats are as light as four or five pounds, some can weigh up to 10 pounds—and this is without the added weight of the baby. Different carriers also have different grip areas and features available. To prevent injuries, it's best to clear it with your a medical professional first before attempting any new maneuvers.

"We also wanted to share that while car seats are the ideal choice for safety while riding in a car they aren't the top choice for a baby if you're able to hold them or baby-wear instead," Puente writes. "There are several resources online if you need suggestions or demonstrations on the proper way to baby-wear."

And heck, while we're at it, here's an extra tip or reminder about that magical car seat handle: Some handles aren't designed just for carrying the seat. Be sure to check your manual to see if your handle is meant to be placed in an upright, rebound position while in the car as a safety function. It might just save your little one's life.

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