Where is your bucket seat? | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Where is your bucket seat?

Uploaded: Nov 1, 2014
At the end of our hospital stay, our nurse gave us a difficult time because we didn't bring a "bucket" car seat for our newborn. Instead, we chose to take her home in a convertible car seat. Although our nurse was a proud mother of multiple children herself, she was shocked that my newborn's car seat didn't come with a handle. She asked me how I would take her to the grocery store or the mall.

Well, I would most likely wear her.

While wearing my daughter, two people have already commented that they had mistakenly thought I was just wearing a backpack reversed while pushing my son in his stroller. And were quite surprised that I actually had two children with me. Others do a double take when they realize "there is a baby" in my carrier.

I find it quite easy to take care of a baby without a bucket seat. Especially babies who enjoy being held. At the first signs of crankiness, I can immediately start rocking or bouncing baby. Rather than waiting to hear baby stir when little one is "parked" near me or on the other side of the room.

When I was pregnant with our son, I did look into buying an infant car seat. But I discovered that many new mothers seem to have a love/hate relationship with them. Yes, it is great not to wake baby when he/she falls asleep in the car. But... the carseat is heavy. It bangs into your knee. It is clunky. It can get hot and baby sweats a lot in it during the warmer months. It is annoying to snap into place. It is usually outgrown extremely quickly. And eventually baby needs to switch to a convertible car seat anyway.

Of course you can babywear and use an infant car seat. Many parents do. But sometimes the convenience of "just leaving baby in the car seat" seems to stop some from transferring baby into their arms or into a front carrier.

If you would like to babywear more and want that extra "push," there are many heartwarming babywearing stories online. One that touched me most is written by a mother whose toddler passed away from cancer. Even if babywearing is not for you, maybe her thoughts will help you understand why some parents choose to wear their little ones.
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Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Nov 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Never had that situation, but I did have a similar one. I used a toddler harness when I had a baby in a stroller, even sometimes when I had an older child with me too. I felt that the toddler was a lot safer while I crossed a street, a parking lot, or even when pushing a shopping cart around inside a store. I knew that my focus could not be on my toddler at all times and a harness enabled me to read a grocery list, labels on products, or search my diaper bag looking for car keys or something similar without worrying if my toddler was running off.

I was told I had a child, not a dog on a leash. I was told it was unkind. I was told it was lazy. I felt it completely practical and my toddlers never seemed to mind it since they were used to it. I would recommend a good harness for any parent who has to take multiple children on routine errands and also for traveling through busy airports when you are the sole adult trying to check in/pick up baggage, and other airport scenarios.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 1, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4- Thank you for sharing your experience. Sorry that you received so many harsh comments. We've never used a harness for our toddler, but one of my close friends did. Her daughter started walking very early and was super energetic about exploring. Personally, I prefer to put our son in a stroller in those situations. But that's just what works for us.

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