, , , , ,

When I had my daughter almost five years ago, my mom very strongly voiced her displeasure with baby seat carriers. You know, the car seats turned baby carriers. She hates them. With a passion.

I understood what she was saying. “Hold the baby.” Why wouldn’t I hold the baby? Once my daughter arrived, I understood there were times when I needed to be hands-free. But most of the time, I did want to hold the baby. (And now with my son, I’ve discovered babywearing and fabulous (locally made) SnuggyBaby wraps!)

And thanks to the article below, I understand the need to hold the baby even more. Thank you, Swedish, for putting it in words.

Hold the baby

By Jennifer Wojciechowski
Operations Coordinator, Health Education

In the US, we have a culture that encourages independence but are we performing our babies a disservice by isolating them in a car seat carrier or stroller?

Think about what we do when we’re holding the baby and walking around. We are bonding through touch, smell, eye contact, and talking. We can talk to them and teach them about the trucks and airplanes, the art work on the walls and flowers or the different colors on the packages at the store. Even when they listen to us talk to a companion or on the phone, they’re being exposed to communication. The more you talk with your baby the better. All of this starts with the children as newborns.

What sort of interaction do babies get when they’re isolated in a car seat carrier or stroller covered with a blanket or staring at the ceiling?

As the babies grow into toddlers, letting them walk is great exercise. There is growing concern about obesity in children, so think about what we’re teaching them when we contain them in a stroller while out for a walk or running errands. Parenting means that we have to teach them to…not eat the grass and that they must hold our hands in the parking lot or crossing the street.

Car seats are important and must be used in the car, but even the American Academy of Pediatrics is warning parents about car seat use outside of the car due to a high rate of injury they’re seeing in the emergency rooms from misuse of car seats.

Parenting is hard work. Parenting does not mean convenience. If we wanted something to love and cuddle but be convenient, then we should have adopted a cat. 🙂

Hold the baby.