New Mother Advice

Posted on | September 23, 2011 | 11 Comments

This has been a sad week.  And if there’s one thing I have taken out of this week it is that I was uninformed as a new mother.

See, I took J to the grocery store with me every time I went.  I enjoyed the oohs and ahhs from fellow shoppers.  I enjoyed having him with me, watching his face as we passed by all the aisles of food.  One of the things I registered for when I was pregnant was a Graco Travel System. The car seat carrier separated from the base and it had a hook that conveniently snapped into the rungs of a shopping cart.  I thought it was meant to go there.  I certainly saw hundreds of other mothers doing the exact. same. thing.

Only guess what?

Carriers aren’t supposed to go in shopping carts.

And I got lucky.

If you think about it and I mean really REALLY think about it, it makes sense.  Shopping carts are not stable.  They are not evenly weighted pieces of equipment.  When you place a baby carrier in the front basket, it weighs down the top, making it unsteady, top heavy and dangerous.

Did you know this as a new mother? Because I certainly didn’t.  I didn’t know there was anything wrong with putting a baby carrier into a shopping cart… and still wonder how else I would have managed to do any shopping.  The AAP has issued several different warnings regarding shopping carts and babies… but somehow, none of them became such big news that any warnings were placed on shopping carts.  Somehow, that wasn’t included in information anyone gave me when I was a new mother.  Somehow, that wasn’t considered important.

But it is important.  Because according to the AAP, in 2005, more than 24,000 children were injured in shopping cart accidents.  Twenty. Four. THOUSAND.  And this year, one of those was little Bo, a sweet faced four month old baby.

Why is this not important information?

Why is this not plastered on the wall of the shopping center when you come in?

Why is this not standard information provided by pediatricians on your first office visit?

Why did I not know I was putting my sweet baby at risk, every time I took him to any store??

I am appalled that this information wasn’t available to me.  I am appalled that I didn’t read every single warning included with my carrier because then I would have seen that small print that told me it was not intended for use in shopping carts.  But would I have listened?  Because every. body. does. it.

But if there’s one thing I learned this week?

It is that I will never do it again.

And I hope you won’t either.  When you get ready to go to the grocery store, strap on your baby wearing bjorn or ergo carrier.  Find someone to watch the baby.  Send your spouse or partner instead.  When you think to yourself “I’ll just run in and get two quick things,” stop and think of Baby Bo and his broken-hearted mother.  Stop and think of what she would give to have known that by doing what everyone else did, she would lose her child.  Stop and think of what she would do to rewind time and know what I’m telling you now.

Stop and think about Baby Bo.

And help me spread the word that shopping carts are not safe for baby carriers.


**And for more information, check out this link from the American Academy of Pediatrics **


11 Responses to “New Mother Advice”

  1. Srfueger
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    I didn’t “know” this, but I did think I was an idiot because on two occasions I tried attaching the carseat to the shopping cart, but I could never get it in there securely and it always seemed wobbly. I finally gave up and insisted on using the travel system while my husband pushed the cart. He made fun of me for months about this “quirk,” but I guess I’m glad I insisted. I thought it was just new mom paranoia… but maybe I should trust my instincts a little more…

  2. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    You weren’t an idiot and it wasn’t a quirk. Shopping carts come in a variety of sizes (as of course do car seats) so sometimes carseats seem to snap in securely and sometimes they don’t.

  3. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    And even if it snapped “securely” the problem is that it makes the cart unsteady. The weight of the carrier and baby can make the entire cart tip over, which is what happened to the mother here.

  4. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    Right. I wasn’t suggesting that it was safe (hence my use of “seem”) just that she wasn’t an idiot or an overprotective mother for feeling like it wasn’t secure when everyone else was doing it.

  5. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    Yeah, I knew what you were saying. I was just specifying. 🙂

  6. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    Some stores (like Trader Joe’s) now have special carts with a reclining infant seat with a five point harness attached to the top, sort of like a built in carseat. I hope to see more of these in the future (they’ve got to be cheaper than the ones with the whole car attached for the toddlers, right?).

  7. Kerri
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

    we always put the carseat IN the shopping cart (like, the big part where the groceries go) and put the groceries around M’s feet and in the little-kid part of the cart. can’t tip over that way, and you can still take the baby with you.

  8. Amanda Maupin
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    I have a Chico travel system, and they are specially made so that they will not fit or latch to a shopping cart. All of my family said I was crazy for buying it, because I couldn’t latch it onto the cart. (who cares that it has the number one safety rating for crashes right?!) “They all did it” and I know many people that do it now, but my husband and I will not. We either put the carseat in the basket of the cart, or I will put him in my Ergo carrier and go shopping that way.

    Little Bo is in my prayers 🙁

  9. Kreeper611
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    Such a sad story. I also just put my carseat in the basket. It ended up saving me money because I couldn’t buy as many groceries. Or I would push the stroller and pull the cart.

  10. Mama T
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    Thank you for posting this – my husband and I were just discussing this last night. When my baby was little enough to ride in the carrier – I was always too afraid to perch it up on the handles of the cart. Instead, I put the carrier inside the basket part of the cart, then just placed the groceries around her. Probably not ideal… but as new mother, I had never seen any warnings or tips on how to juggle baby, groceries, etc. God Bless Bo and his family. Such a tragedy.

  11. beachmum
    September 25th, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    I tried today at Wal Mart to spread the word. I told a mother (who had her kid in the travel carrier which was perched in the cart) about the tragic accident. She did not take kindly to my story. I know it’s hard to be approached by strangers in a store, but seriously- I tried and she looked at me like I had rocks in my head. ugh.

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