Safe Baby Transportation

I have made the case against making babies from a few different angles on this blog and elsewhere. It’s always a good way to stimulate discussion. I am personally responsible for one pregnancy. If and when you create a human, you will need to buy or borrow things that have been designed to contain and transport them safely.

Moses’ parents supposedly stuck him in a reed basket and sent him floating down the Nile, I don’t personally recommend that method of child carrying even though it was very plasticless.

Parents in many countries are now required by law to place young children in age appropriate car seats. 15 years ago, I borrowed two infant car seats from some community program. I returned them once my babies reached the minimum weight requirement for the next step up in car seats. As far as I know, all baby car seats are made from plastic. The best thing that you can do to reduce environmental impact is to borrow a seat from a family member or a community program. You should read up on proper installation and adjustment of these things. Having one doesn’t make your baby safe, you have to use it correctly.

Green Baby Guide says that car seats up to six years old are safe as long as all the parts are there and in good condition. It’s better to say thanks but no thanks to family and friends that offer you anything older or in any way worn out.

If you have to buy a new car seat, take good care of it and save all the packaging and user manuals for the next owner.

Our baby carriage was a crazily overpriced metal framed Italian job. I was assured that they had a high resale value. I have conveniently forgotten whether that was true. I was impressed by the quality. We lived on a road with a gravel shoulder, so those crappy little strollers with the little plastic wheels weren’t going to cut it.

If you want to do what is best for your baby and also better for the planet you have a lot of options to choose from.

baby slingLots of people swear by baby slings. I have never used one, so I can’t really vouch for them. There have been safety concerns. Most injuries that have occurred are the result of improper use.

Photo Credit: AMCDawes

I did a lot of baby carrying without a sling. I once made the terrible mistake of attempting to walk down my unfinished wooden basement steps while wearing wool socks. I had a baby in my arms. I managed to fall in such a way as to gently plop the baby one step up from where my head landed with less gentleness and about four steps up from the where my ass landed without even a hint of gentleness. Carrying babies with your bare hands might be the greenest choice, but it is not the safest.

strollerCombination car seat/strollers didn’t exist when I had babies. They are plastic, but they are one hunk of plastic that does the job of two. They also meet the requirements for taking on board an airplane. If anybody has had good or bad experience with one of these, please comment.

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6 Responses to Safe Baby Transportation

  1. Carrie says:

    As someone who fits and sells baby slings (along with other baby items like cloth diapers) for a living I can say that there ARE safety concerns with using carriers. In the link above, the infantino sling is shown, which was recalled. From experience, I can tell you that it is much safer to shop with a smaller company, who would be more likely to recall their products BEFORE babies are hurt. Infantino only recalled their sling after Infantino had “received 10 reports of plastic sliders breaking, including eight reports of babies falling out of the carriers. There were four reports of impact injuries where the child was taken to the emergency room. One of these children fractured her skull.” (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07137.html) That kind of customer care is abhorrent, in my opinion.

    Compare that to the recent recall of the Beco Butterfly baby carriers. Beco issued a recall after they had “received eight reports of the carrier straps slipping through the shoulder buckles. No injuries have been reported.” (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08253.html)

    The Maya Wrap company also recently voluntarily halted ALL sales temporarily while they investigated ONE incident of breakage. (http://www.mayawrap.com/ring.php)

    It is important to choose a carrier from a company you feel you can trust, and big conglomerate corporations aren’t necessarily the way to go. I much prefer buying from a company who doesn’t make a child go through a skull fracture before deciding their carrier needs to be recalled.

    Every day I sent new parents home with baby carriers like the Maya Wrap, Ergo Baby Carrier, Moby Wrap, Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Pouch, and the BabyHawk carriers. I would never sell someone something with which they did not feel comfortable using, and I make sure that all parents seem to understand how to use the carrier before they leave the store.

    You should be sure you know what you are doing when you begin to use a baby carrier. If it feels “wrong” or uncomfortable, get help from a professional, just as you would if your carseat didn’t seem to fit in the car right (80% of car seats are installed incorrectly, fyi).

    As for the safety of carriers while walking, I prefer a secure carrier to my arms for one main reason: while walking down stairs, I’d much prefer to have two hands available to catch a possible fall before it happens. A good carrier brings baby’s weight in close to the body so as to keep your center of gravity as near to normal as possible.

    And of course, no slippery socks on wood stairs. ;) That’s not a good choice even if you’re NOT carrying baby.

  2. Martin says:

    Thanks for the information, Carrie :)

    I wish more retailers would ensure that customers knew how to safely use their purchases.

  3. Carrie says:

    You’re welcome, Martin!

    I, too, wish more retailers offered customer care like that which I’m used to giving.

  4. Pingback: Safe Baby Transportation | Conservation Blog

  5. You need to contact your hospital or local fire department to see if they have certified car seat technicians who can help you determine the safest place for the infant carrier and they will help you install it correctly. 8/10 carseats are installed INCORRECTLY! Good luck and be safe!

  6. Okay my hubby and I are expecting and I know that four door vehicles are the best thing to ride around in with the baby. Well we only own two door trucks. Is it still safe to put your baby in a truck or would that be unsafe?improve golf swing