The Bucket Phenomenon

It’s become a staple of having a baby.  You see it everywhere you go.  Parents lugging around a baby in a bucket seat.  They look heavy and awkward, but that doesn’t seem to phase the majority of parents who still do it.

I can’t help but shake my head when I see this.  When it’s pouring down rain or 10 below and snowing, I get it, but in most other cases it just doesn’t make sense for many reasons.

  1. From 2003-2007, more than 43,000 babies ended up in the E.R. because the bucket seat they were hanging out in fell off of a counter top, shopping cart, or other surface while not in a car.
  2. Babies develop flat heads when they spend a lot of time on their backs.  This is why experts started recommending tummy time.  They realized that we were being told to have babies sleep on their backs all night and for all naps, and then much of their awake time was being spent in a car seat, swing, or bouncy seat.
  3. Car seats are laced with flame retardant chemicals that aren’t good to spend a lot of time around.  Check here to see how your car seat ranks.  Unless you stop driving your children around, it’s impossible to avoid completely.  But you can limit the amount of time you baby spends in a car seat by leaving it in the car.
  4. The position infants are in while in their car seat is not optimal for breathing or spinal alignment.  This can be particularly troublesome for tiny newborns who are most at risk.
  5. The physical strain of carrying around a bucket seat is hard on parents too.
  6. Infants crave physical touch.  If a child is put in a bucket seat in the house, driven somewhere, left in the seat while there, and then driven back home, that is a lot of time without any meaningful physical connection.

Bottom line: it’s not safe, comfortable, or healthy for a baby to be toted around in a bucket seat.  It is better for all involved to carry your baby.  If you need your hands free, invest in a good infant carrier that allows you to wear your baby.


About Elizabeth

Elizabeth enjoys life as a wife and stay-at-home mom to her two daughters, 3-year-old Evelyn and 1-year-old Annabelle. She is passionate about home birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, attachment parenting, alternative medicine, crafting, and healthy eating. She and her husband are in the process of a local trans-racial adoption.
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2 Responses to The Bucket Phenomenon

  1. Jazz says:

    I totally agree. When I had my son I didn’t know any better and lugged that heavy seat everywhere. I was so glad when I discovered babywearing.

  2. dani says:

    Agreed! I’ll never ever understand lugging that awkward bucket around! I tried it one time when we were out to eat and were hoping the baby would stay asleep (she didn’t of course!) and I vowed to never do it again. Awful. Now we just babywear when we’re out to eat, or just let her sit in our laps and people watch.