Brochure/pamphlet/info on the hazards of car seat carriers? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 11-02-2011, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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First of all, before anyone takes any offence, I KNOW that sometimes these things can be useful, like middle of winter getting baby into the bucket, etc etc.  But they are WAY too often WAY overused, and used as the default place where baby 'belongs', and also used in unsafe ways such as in shopping carts, etc.

 

I was wondering if there's any brochure or pamphlet out there already that addresses this, in a non-threatening way.  Like a "hey, did you know" kind of approach.  "Did you know that babies are wired to receive a certain amount of touch?  Did you know that being held upright promotes proprioceptic development?  Did you know that many babies spend 14-16 hours a day on their backs with no human contact?  Did you know that babies left in car seats too much are prone to flat heads and have less interaction with their  environment?"  I dunno, you can see I'm already veering into language that's more 'blaming' and negative, so I don't want to try writing one myself heh... 

 

Every time I go to the doctor's office, there's a baby sitting in its plastic container on the floor while the parents ignore it... if baby fusses, they rock it with their foot while continuing to read.  Or if they pick up the baby they pick it up IN THE CAR SEAT.  I have literally seen parents choose to have this big car seat on their lap for an extended period of time rather than bother to take the baby out and actually hold it.  I have seen parents take their baby out in order to give it a bottle, then immediately put baby RIGHT back in again (because that's where babies belong, of course.)  I see parents carrying the car seat around, with baby in it, with as little thought and care as a briefcase or other piece of luggage.  I see parents put the thing into a stroller right from the car, to walk 10 steps into a building (often over curbs and stairs) where they promptly take it out again -- they're just so 'trained' that baby belongs in a container in order to transport them ANYWHERE that they're oblivious to situations where it's easier not to use it.  

 

(And I repeat, yes I know this is not ALL parents and it is possible to use them with love and AP and care and all that... it's just that you do see this sort of thing a LOT)

 

Yesterday I took my daughter to the library, and we arrived just at the end of a young children's story time hour or something.  The children's area was crawling with young moms and babies, and EVERY SINGLE ONE was in a car seat, or else the car seat was right nearby while baby was on the floor with mom.  You might say "hey, at least a few of the moms had taken the babies out"... but actually, one was being fed, and then put right back in the seat.  And another was being *changed* (on the library floor) and then put right back in.  

 

As they were leaving, one mom who had a older kid (maybe 3yo) went to get a couple of books with the older kid.  She put the baby in its seat down on the floor, with her bag, and WALKED AWAY.  The baby was at the end of the aisle where I was browsing, and the mom was 2 aisles over -- in the middle of the aisle too.  I could totally have picked up that baby and left without her seeing.  Baby started fussing, and was ignored.  Baby settled down again, mom still took her time coming back.  I couldn't believe how long this baby was left just unattended like that.  

 

Anyway.  I tend to get too angry about this issue, I'm too opinionated.  If I tried to talk about this with another mom, I'd probably put my foot in my mouth somehow and offend them, rather than educate them about options and risks and hazards and better ideas.  And I'd probably pick the one mom who usually is the most proactive AP mom in the world who just had a very good reason for using the car seat this one time.  I *know* that I can be too judgmental, so I know I'm not the best person to try to approach other moms about this.

 

So if there was a gentle and friendly brochure, one that I could leave in public places like dr's offices and libraries, then at least moms could learn about their *options* and be better informed for making good choices.  Sometimes the choice would still be to use the bucket carrier, sure... but at least it would be a conscious choice having weighed pros and cons, and not just a default 'because that's how everyone does it' without even thinking (or even KNOWING) about the potential negative effects of overuse and unsafe use, or that there are other options.  Women deserve better; women deserve to have all the information needed to make good choices for their babies.

 

So... does anything like this exist??


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#2 of 26 Old 11-02-2011, 06:22 AM
 
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http://mothering.com/green-living/car-seats-are-for-cars  is an article, but not a brochure. 

though i don't know that it would make a difference, though.  i hate the carseats too, but there's lots of other stuff that people do that's way worse, you know? 


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#3 of 26 Old 11-02-2011, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Heh, I've actually printed that one out before in the thoughts of leaving it around places, but it was just too long and cumbersome.  And yeah, there's lots of other stuff that's worse -- but this is something that's really prevalent and common and can be fairly easily changed when parents know their options.  I think if more parents were given this information, more would make other choices; but all they see is babies in buckets so it's little surprise they don't even question it.  And it's a little change that can make a big difference; if they're made aware of the value of skin-to-skin, upright carrying, touch and parental contact, interaction, etc, it *could* be the start of a new perspective on attachment and child care.  

 

Maybe not, but if it helps just one person then it's worth a try.  Heck, there are also parents out there who are probably thinking "surely there are better options, but everyone else does this so I guess I'll just follow along" who would love to get more information like this.

 

Anyway, believe me, I'm an activist for a lot of other things as well.  ;)  This is just something I don't really see talked about much at all outside of the 'crunchy' circles.  It's so much a given that it's not even considered or questioned.


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#4 of 26 Old 11-02-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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I think some information on alternatives (babywearning) might be helpful.  Most moms just want 2 hands to deal with the siblings.

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Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post

Heh, I've actually printed that one out before in the thoughts of leaving it around places, but it was just too long and cumbersome.  And yeah, there's lots of other stuff that's worse -- but this is something that's really prevalent and common and can be fairly easily changed when parents know their options.  I think if more parents were given this information, more would make other choices; but all they see is babies in buckets so it's little surprise they don't even question it.  And it's a little change that can make a big difference; if they're made aware of the value of skin-to-skin, upright carrying, touch and parental contact, interaction, etc, it *could* be the start of a new perspective on attachment and child care.  

 

Maybe not, but if it helps just one person then it's worth a try.  Heck, there are also parents out there who are probably thinking "surely there are better options, but everyone else does this so I guess I'll just follow along" who would love to get more information like this.

 

Anyway, believe me, I'm an activist for a lot of other things as well.  ;)  This is just something I don't really see talked about much at all outside of the 'crunchy' circles.  It's so much a given that it's not even considered or questioned.



 


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#5 of 26 Old 11-02-2011, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Or just 2 hands free to deal with other things, but honestly you don't have hands free lugging those things around or pushing a stroller, only when it's just sitting on the floor.  I think again that's one of those 'perception' things, that they often don't even realize the unnecessary inconvenience they're subjecting themselves too for the sake of a small convenience in other aspects.

 

Anyway, I wasn't sure how much to push the babywearing aspect... whether that would seem 'preachy' or whether it would be seen as pushing a 'crunchy agenda'.  We're in a city where babywearing is very, very rare, and even most of what I do see is in pack carriers with babes facing out rather than wraps and mei tais, and rings, etc.  Most of the folks I've seen babywearing are indeed the very 'crunchy' types, so there's certainly a perception there, I believe, that even if someone is aware of babywearing, they think it's something only those weird hippies do.  When I've chatted about it with other parents (ie when I was wearing my own baby) they always say how comfy she looks and how convenient, but "I could never do that" or "I tried that but my baby hated it" or whatever.  

 

So that's why my thinking was something that was more about the problems with car seats as carriers, and then mentioning babywearing as one alternative, but not specifically a babywearing-pushing message.  The alternative, which is what I think you're suggesting, would be something that was indeed all about the benefits of babywearing... perhaps with the goal of debunking some of the myths like it's only for hippies, uncomfortable, makes them spoiled, etc, as well as really playing up the developmental benefits... and then including as part of it just a teaser paragraph on the hazards of car seat carriers.  
 

Hm.  I dunno, that might be a good approach too.  Certainly a more positive one.   My fear, I guess, is that a mom who has any biases against babywearing, or has never heard of it, is likely to just ignore a pamphlet like that.  "That doesn't apply to me" and pass it by.  But any parent would notice a pamphlet that's got a baby in a car seat on the cover, since it's familiar to them; and if the title hints that it's not a safe choice or something, they're more likely to say "wait, what?" and at least glance through it.  In other words, getting the attention of the target audience in the first place is an important consideration.

 

*sigh* I honestly don't know what would work best.  I know that all parents are honestly trying to do what's best for their kids, they just need access to the information that's not commonly provided in our society... 

 

 


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#6 of 26 Old 11-02-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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Something I find shocking is that no one highlights the tangible, physical dangers of baby buckets. Many babies are injured when the buckets fall off tables or chairs or suffocate when they overturn onto soft surfaces and can asphyxiate from being left to sleep in buckets before they have the head control to maintain their airways.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20603257
Here's an excerpt:
"An estimated 43 562 car seat-related injuries were treated in emergency departments from 2003 to 2007. This national estimate was based on a weighted sample of 1898 infants. The average age of these infants was 4.07 +/- 2.73 months, 62.4% of the injuries occurred in infants younger than 4 months, and 54.4% occurred in boys. Of these injuries, 49.1% occurred at home, 8.4% of the infants had to be hospitalized, and 84.3% of the infants suffered a head injury. The most common mechanisms of injury were infants falling from car seats, car seats falling from elevated surfaces, and car seats overturning on soft surfaces."

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#7 of 26 Old 11-02-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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It's a convenience that too many are taking advantage of. Such as placing the car seats in the toddler seating section of grocery carts. I remember reading when I was pregnant that despite how many you see doing this, you do NOT do it. It just isn't safe. Sad to say, my future in-laws couldn't understand why we never did it, and never saw the harm in it because they did it themselves and nothing bad happened. But I agree. I think if more people were aware of the advantages of babywearing they'd do it. It's just not common though. I think the best way to advocate it is by setting an example and get out there babywearing so as many people as possible see you doing it. Doctor's/OB offices, grocery store..malling.. I bet if pregnant moms and moms-to-be saw you wearing your baby, shopping, and maybe taking care of the siblings, they'd consider it the primary option for themselves! If you wanted to push advocating it, make some pins or something else to wear on your person that says something like, "Ask Me About BabyWearing!" anything open and friendly. Start a babywearing support group in your community and try and spread the word kindly through word-of-mouth and maybe that's where you could hand out pamphlets instead of trying to hand them out to random people that you see who honestly either don't care, or aren't aware there's any reason to care.

 

Because I'll tell you. Since I've been pregnant, and had our son(he's 7 months old now) I've seen ONE mom babywearing.

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#8 of 26 Old 11-03-2011, 06:47 AM
 
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I used to get really frustrated with this, too, but as I get older, and the kids get older, I simply don't have the extra emotional change to be spending it worrying about what everyone else is doing. For moms with more than 2 little ones, there's really no other way for them to transport a baby- you can only wear so man kiddos at once.

 

Babywearing isn't common here, so when people remark on our Becco, always in an astonished, positive way, I just talk briefly about how wonderful a good carrier is, how comfy it is, and how happy it makes the baby. I figure pushing the alternatives without trashing bucket seats is more likely to be received positively and to win hearts and minds. People never like being told they're doing something wrong, esp about their babies, but do respond well to positive suggestions for alternatives.


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#9 of 26 Old 11-03-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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It would be great if something like that existed. I've had so many nurses (DD has a CHD so we are at the hospital A LOT for dr visits) comment to me that it's so nice to see me HOLDING my baby instead of having her in a bucket. I'll admit that when she was about 3-6 weeks old, I was thinking that I had made a HUGE mistake not getting a bucket. It was just so hard going places with her and taking her in and out of her carseat over and over again. But now that I'm used to just carrying her around, the thought of lugging the stroller out or even tying on the Moby is usually more work than I want to do and I just end up carrying her anyways! And if I'm somewhere that I need two hands, there is usually a kind person that would love to hold DD for me for a couple of minutes. She doesn't have stranger anxiety yet so she's generally very curious and willing to go to another grownup.


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#10 of 26 Old 11-03-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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What about the health hazards for the parents! DH threw out his back carrying DD1 in a bucket seat. It was really bad. The poor guy couldn't move for days. I tell all my friends to avoid carrying bucket seats for that reason alone.

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#11 of 26 Old 11-05-2011, 09:55 PM
 
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I'm really tempted to make up cards to give to everyone I see at the mall with their babies in buckets especially the ones with the car seat & the stroller canopy up over the baby (often with a blanket over it all) on the dangers of leaving babies in car seats for extended periods. If you don't want to wear your baby, at the very least put them in the stroller without the seat. At least in the stroller with it laid flat, there isn't the danger of positional asphyxia there is if you leave your baby in the car seat.


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I can't see a way to alienate someone from your message faster than to do this.   

 

It's common knowledge that leaving a baby in a car seat all day is not good for the baby.   Seeing a snapshot of a stranger in a mall does not tell you anything about what the baby does all day.  I use infant carriers for very small n00bs.  I like them.  I do not need to defend that position.  My children were never in danger because of a stroll through a mall in a car seat.  And babies will live if they are not worn 24 hours a day.   And babies are not going to suffocate because they spend an hour in a carrier.     

 

I'm just going to tell myself you were kidding and wouldn't actually hand out cards.   If nothing else, think of the litter.  

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I'm really tempted to make up cards to give to everyone I see at the mall with their babies in buckets especially the ones with the car seat & the stroller canopy up over the baby (often with a blanket over it all) on the dangers of leaving babies in car seats for extended periods. If you don't want to wear your baby, at the very least put them in the stroller without the seat. At least in the stroller with it laid flat, there isn't the danger of positional asphyxia there is if you leave your baby in the car seat.



 

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#13 of 26 Old 11-06-2011, 11:19 PM
 
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It may be common knowledge that leaving them in a car seat ALL day is bad, but I have yet to meet anyone mainstream who is aware that leaving a baby in a car seat results in decreased oxygen levels for most babies, even after short periods. I have yet to meet many people anywhere who are aware that babies have actually died from being left in car seats. It is definitely not common knowledge. If it were, people would, at the very least keep a closer eye on their babies when they have them in the seat outside the car instead of covering them over with blankets & ignoring them.


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#14 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 03:23 AM
 
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Babies are not dying left and right from being in a car seat in the mall.  Otherwise, malls would be a lot noisier, and have more ambulances.   Yes, there is oxygen desaturation if babies sit in seats for extended periods.  However, that doesn't necessarily correlate to deaths.    There are rare accidents of course, but you will look like a loon, and be treated like one, if you start harassing mothers in malls.  All you're going to accomplish is getting kicked off mall property and told not to return.   

 

Last year, a number of unsafe carriers were recalled because babies were suffocating in them.  What would you think of a crazy stranger who harassed you at the mall because you had your baby in a carrier?
 


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#15 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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I can see using the car seat when baby is asleep - e.g. DD would fall asleep in the car and I didn't want to wake her up so I put her IN the shopping cart (and not on the toddler area). But mostly I wore her. I know your beef and I completely understand it. Most people I see in my town have their babies in their car seats all day long, on top of grocery carts, and when they come home, baby moves straight to a swing or bouncy seat. It's considered the norm, at least in my state here. I never say anything because people get offended even if you super politely tell them that they are doing something wrong (RE: carseats on shopping carts; even if you say it like I used to do it too until my ped told me...). The worst I see is that about 90% of the kiddos aren't even buckled in correctly - loose straps, belly buckle instead of chest, or often I see only the chest buckle closed but the bottom isn't locked in at all. I pray they don't fall off the shopping cart and that they don't get into an accident. It's sad, but people do whatever the mainstream does and whatever is most convenient to the parent. Also in many people the thought of spoiling a baby is deeply rooted, hence little touch and carrying.

 

I wear (and wore DS) DD a lot, it offers me two free hands and close contact to my baby (she's 9 months). A lot of people say oh how neat - I mean literally at least one person per shopping trip. Barely anyone babywears in my town, and if they do, it's crotch danglers. Some people give me dirty looks, and I was told that by babywearing my child I let her rule my world and that is very bad, a child needs to be put in its place. Followed by if she is fussy, strap her in the car seat and put her on the porch until she stops crying. I was about to throw up right there, the mere thought of such an atrocity made my stomach turn over. And that's why I don't say a thing unless someone asks me or seems open-minded.

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#16 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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I think you need to remember that you are just seeing a glimpse into these people's lives (days). Just because baby happens to be in a car seat during a dinner at a restaurant, doesn't mean baby is stuck in it the other 23 hours of the day. Maybe baby is content that way, and if taken out will scream and fuss and upset others in public more than a few people feeling bad baby is strapped in a car seat instead of being held. And a lot of people don't know about babywearing, so thy figure they need *somewhere* safe to put baby while taking their toddler to story time at the library.

I guess I just tend to not judge this because I don't know what the rest of their day/week is like. Baby may have plenty of floor time and cuddling time besides the grocery trip where he's contained in his car seat.

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#17 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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I developed a chronic illness which started with some back pain and i needed to put my baby in a stroller way more than I did with the other 2. You just have no idea what anyone else does or why.

 

That being said- i hear ya' It's so weird that so many people go to such extremes to "NOT TOUCH THE BABY" I would never carry a car seat around just because it makes no sense to me and I feel bad for babies not getting enough contact.

 

People have asked me about my carriers and so that can be informative for someone but you know the older I get, the less I care about everyone's choices. It is very freeing! LOL

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#18 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post

Babywearing isn't common here, so when people remark on our Becco, always in an astonished, positive way, I just talk briefly about how wonderful a good carrier is, how comfy it is, and how happy it makes the baby. I figure pushing the alternatives without trashing bucket seats is more likely to be received positively and to win hearts and minds. People never like being told they're doing something wrong, esp about their babies, but do respond well to positive suggestions for alternatives.



I second that. We live in a small area too and no one babywears. I get loads of people who come up and ask me about my wrap, and many ask where I got it. Most people just don't know there's a better alternative- they just see what's in stores which are either strollers, bucket seats, or those heinous crotch danglers which look like they weigh about 20 pounds without the baby. Unless you really go looking on the internet for alternatives, you're just not going to come across good carriers especially ones suitable for infants.

 

It's really a shame babywearing isn't more common, I think most mothers would welcome the alternative. I see loads of moms at the grocery store wheeling around a cart with a huge bucket seat on top and just shake my head at how ridiculous it is when there's such an easier alternative.

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#19 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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Quote:
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I think you need to remember that you are just seeing a glimpse into these people's lives (days). Just because baby happens to be in a car seat during a dinner at a restaurant, doesn't mean baby is stuck in it the other 23 hours of the day.

 

No kidding.  Whenever we took DS out to eat, he sat in his carseat as long as he was content there which was typically a max of 10 minutes unless he was sleeping.  Literally at all other times, he was held, worn, or co-sleeping because he would not let us not touch him for three full seconds. Eating a few bites without a baby in my arms or on my body?  Yes, please.  Happened maybe once a week.  I would have decked someone if they had been rude enough to intrude on my life to give me advice or opinions on carseats vs. babywearing. 

 

We were also super paranoid about making sure his neck wasn't tipping forward and knew the risks of the carseat. He was preterm and had to do the carseat challenge before leaving the hospital so we were well versed in that.

 

I understand that there is a desire to share what one knows in regards to babywearing, AP, etc., but in most cases, it just plain is not appropriate.  If people are truly interested, they will ask.  Most people are pretty content doing things the way they are though and don't want any more parenting advice.  That is what mother-in-laws are for.  New moms don't need to get bombarded elsewhere. 

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#20 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nia82 View Post

Barely anyone babywears in my town, and if they do, it's crotch danglers.


This!  I'd actually rather see an infant in a bucket seat than facing outward in a crotch dangler, which I see all the time (babies who are too young to be at all comfortable forward-facing even).  It seems so uncomfortable and stressful for such a young baby to be in that position.

 

Though many people in my town babywear, I'm certainly not going to tell anyone that they're doing it wrong, LOL.

 


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#21 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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I certainly would have given anyone who gave me a brochure or a lecture about not babywearing the whatfor if I had been approached while out with my baby in the bucket seat. I held or carried her almost all the time at home, through hours of colicky screaming, and the chance to eat a meal in relative peace was a rare treat. We certainly did not leave her in for hours at a time, but if you saw her sitting in her seat in the booth next to me at a restaurant, or in the stroller frame while I walked through the mall, you would have no way of knowing how bad my PPD was, how very much I was struggling to deal with the crying, or how many hours I held my girl before our outing. She did not always enjoy the Ergo, but often fell asleep in her bucket - sometimes for the dirt time all day. Please consider how unkind you may unknowingly be to a woman whose circumstances you have NO WAY to know before you start criticizing strangers about how they parent their children.
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#22 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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I cant even tell you how many times I kept DD in a carseat to keep family members from passing her around and getting her over stimulated. Babywearing works great for us sometimes, but there were times when I was totally okay with people making faces at her and holding her little fingers while she was in her seat- i just didnt want her passed around. That being said, I quit that immediately after this horrible decision I made:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1258315/in-the-picu-with-a-skull-fracture-and-its-totally-my-fault

I wish someone had told me how dangerous it was, because I had just seen people doing it and thought it was totally fine.


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#23 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

I wish someone had told me how dangerous it was, because I had just seen people doing it and thought it was totally fine.


I'd like to believe this is the OP's point.  I have no desire to be a mascot for babywearing specifically but it really makes me uncomfortable to see the infant seats on top of the shopping cart.

 


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#24 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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I thought some newer car seats where made so that they would not clip onto the top of shopping carts? I could be wrong, and we haven't use infant seats in about 4 years. I think the shopping cart issue should be addressed to car seat manufacturers or grocery stores - though I know it's the parents who are liable in the end.

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#25 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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I'm reminded that Baby Trend actually includes information on how to snap its carrier onto the top of a grocery trolley *facepalm*

I agree, I would think from a liability perspective the store owners would want to be proactive about discouraging the practice.  It really does make the carts too top heavy. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

I thought some newer car seats where made so that they would not clip onto the top of shopping carts? I could be wrong, and we haven't use infant seats in about 4 years. I think the shopping cart issue should be addressed to car seat manufacturers or grocery stores - though I know it's the parents who are liable in the end.


 


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#26 of 26 Old 11-07-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

I thought some newer car seats where made so that they would not clip onto the top of shopping carts? I could be wrong, and we haven't use infant seats in about 4 years. I think the shopping cart issue should be addressed to car seat manufacturers or grocery stores - though I know it's the parents who are liable in the end.


The issue really is less the seat falling off and more the cart tipping over.  The carrier+baby makes the cart very top heavy.  I have seen it happen.

 

As for the baby in seat, it really doesn't bother me too much as long as the baby is happy.  A baby screaming to be held while mom swings the seat around or rocks it in the cart, etc drives me nuts!
 

 


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