The Right Way to Carry a Car Seat

Do you know how achy you can get from carrying your baby’s car seat? Have you seen other people with that awkward stride that comes along with it?

If you had no idea you were doing it wrong, read to find out the right way to carry a car seat. You can also opt for other ways to carry your baby if the seat seems too heavy. Let’s dig right in!


How Do You Carry Baby Seats?

One of the safest ways to carry babies around is using the car seat. But who knew they could be so heavy? The average infant car seat weighs between 10 and 20 pounds, depending on what type of seat it is.

Add the baby in there and you have yourself a pretty hefty load to carry. Doing this often enough will take a toll on your body. Your arms, back, neck, and hips may take the full brunt of it and chronic pain could easily become a constant companion.

Take a moment and think about how you have been carrying your baby car seat. Have you been looping your arm through the handle? The crook of your elbow possibly takes all the weight, right?

Have You Been Doing It Wrong?

I never came across this advice until after my kids were out of car seats. It would have been a real lifesaver (or back saver).

Usually, there are two options for carrying these awkward seats — you can either carry it with one arm or cradle it.

It’s most harmful when you carry it with one arm. The further the weight is from your torso, the more stress on your ligaments, muscles, discs, and joints. This would be the equivalent to carrying up to four full cans of paint in one hand (source).

If you cradle it with both hands you wouldn’t be able to hold anything else. If you have a toddler with you who needs a hand to hold, the situation becomes tricky. The only option you’re left with is hooking it over your arm like a picnic basket.

By the time you get where you’re going, your arm may ache so bad you’re dying to put it down. Turns out, there are better and easier ways to carry a baby car seat.

Related Reading
Dressed up father securing his baby's seatbelt in the car seatTrouble Installing Your Infant Car Seat? We’ve Got You Covered!

So How Should It Be Done?

Experts have come forward to demonstrate one of these ways that we’d like to share with you. Dr. Emily Puente, a chiropractor from Bridge Family Chiropractic in Mansfield, Texas, was kind enough to help us out. She happens to be a mom as well and says that she got this idea, which was the best gift ever.

What you do is kneel or squat close to the baby carrier and loop your arm through the handle. Then, turn your hand so that your palm is facing down and supporting the weight of the car seat.

Getting up will be pretty easy, and if you carry the seat this way, your posture should be more protected. This method is bound to distribute weight in a way that alleviates the strain on your arm, hips, and back.

This is merely a creative idea to help parents out. However, it might not work on all car seat makes and models.

Remember Your Limits

Keep in mind that postpartum moms, especially post c-section, should not be carrying any items heavier than 10 to 15 pounds (source). Most doctors recommend not lifting anything heavier than the baby (source).

If your car seat tends to fall beyond that category with the baby in it, avoid it. This tip could be helpful, however, if you absolutely must take the baby with you and you’re making the trip solo.

Carry the Car Seat in the Center

If the method above doesn’t work for you, holding the car seat in front of you with both arms could be better. This will be close to your core and will help you maintain your posture without strain.

As we mentioned above, it could get tricky with a toddler in tow or other bags to carry. Aside from this, it’s just another viable option.

Add Straps to Your Infant Seat

You can add a strap to the seat and make it easy to carry any car seat model over your shoulder. This is a hands-free method that will also allow you to do other things.

Some brands include these straps with the car seat upon purchase, but you can get one separately as well.

You Might Also Like
Smiling toddler in a car seat eating a cookieThe Secrets to Cleaning Baby Car Seats (7 Simple Steps)

Use a Carrier Instead

If the tips above fail to work for you, your body doesn’t have to pay for it. Instead of lugging a baby seat wherever you go, wear your baby instead. Most carriers are ergonomically designed to distribute the baby’s weight, easing pain and discomfort.

There are many carrier options on the market. I personally went with a carrier for my third baby as it made it easier to travel with the other kids.

But car seats do come with an advantage, especially when you need to sit at a restaurant. With a carrier, you must hold the baby the whole time, so be ready for that.


Ready to Carry?

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to carry a car seat. Thanks to the trusty chiropractor, we think we’ve found our favorite. Just one twist of your arm and voila!

This is one of those genius hacks we are more than glad to add to our books. If you try this technique, get back to us and share how it goes.

We always look forward to hearing from you. If this hack doesn’t work out for you, please let us know of any other method you prefer. And remember to share our article, please!

Father putting his baby in a rear facing car seat
Child Car Seat Direction: When Should They Face Forward?
Smiling toddler in a car seat eating a cookie
The Secrets to Cleaning Baby Car Seats (7 Simple Steps)
Dressed up father securing his baby's seatbelt in the car seat
Trouble Installing Your Infant Car Seat? We’ve Got You Covered!
Two little boys sleeping in their car seats with stuffed toys
Your Child’s Car Seat and When to Make the Switch
Adorable infant looking up from her blue car seat
Car Seats and Overheating: How to Keep Baby Cool in the Car
Mom kneeling on the ground while fastening seat belt on her baby's car seat
Get a Free Car Seat With These 9 Simple Tips

Leave a Comment

By submitting a comment you acknowledge that any response you may recieve is for informational purposes only and does not constitute as professional medical advice.