The Baby Lift Strap: Because Infant Car Seats are Meant for Cars

Photo of a mother holding onto her baby in an infant car seat using her hand, with a Baby Lift strap supporting the seat as it wraps around her shoulder.

Last year I profiled the Flying Falcon Car Seat Carrier in an article titled: Attachment Parenting: Baby Wearing vs. Car Seat Lugging vs. Stroller Pushing.

The Falcon is a shoulder strap that lets you wear your infant, sort of like a baby sling, except your infant car seat is hugging your body.

Today, we’ll look at a similar product, the Baby Lift. It is also a shoulder belt that allows you to carry your infant seat in one hand at your waist. Installation and removal is simple, merely wrapping the large loop around your shoulder and a smaller latched loop at one point on the seat’s handle. It’s intended for babies between 5 and 22lbs (2.2 to 10kg).

Both belt devices transfer much of the carrying weight from your arm to your shoulder, but the Baby Lift sort of turns your car seat into the world’s largest purse.

I’ll grant you that these devices could assist parents who have a variety of physical disabilities, and there are other special scenarios I can’t imagine. And if I saw you using a Baby Lift it wouldn’t look any less awkward than if you were lugging your car seat without an assistive device.

My advice: test out a variety of fabric baby wearing options before you assume they’re all too padded or not padded enough or make you too hot or are too difficult to adjust or whatever. My bias is that baby wearing is better for many reasons. For me, it’s easier than using a car seat, and a baby will be happier snug against your chest than he is sitting perched atop a shopping cart. We used a Maya Wrap with our first child and just bought another for our second.

Now, as for the title of this article, I’m saying… if you’re going to go against thousands of years of baby wearing just because a marketer and an engineer put a handle on your car seat, hey, you’ll probably benefit from the Baby Lift or the Flying Falcon.

(It’s okay to disagree with me. People frequently do.)

Comments

15 Responses to “The Baby Lift Strap: Because Infant Car Seats are Meant for Cars”

  1. Carrie says:

    I’m a baby wearer, so I agree with you up to a point. But, there was no way I was going to wake up my baby when he fell asleep in the car just to put him in a sling. So I would lug in the carseat and transfer him to the sling when he woke up. I can see how this would be useful, but I’m not sure I would spend the money. It looks simple enough to make!

    January 10th, 2008 at 6:38 am

  2. Jennifer says:

    Nope, won’t be using this. I to am into the baby wearing/baby holding. I’ve even gone so far against the norm that I won’t be using the baby carrier car seats for anything other than a car seat. I feel bad for the babies who have to be lugged everywhere in their car seat as if they were luggage or an extra bag. Too many babies are not being held enough as it is, this only encourages this situation.

    January 10th, 2008 at 7:37 am

  3. Jan Bay says:

    I might use it to carry the seat ONLY. Frankly, I just don’t see advantage of this particular piece of equipment over a ring sling.

    http://www.unique-baby-gear-ideas.com/baby-nursery-theme-contest.html

    January 10th, 2008 at 7:49 am

  4. RobMonroe says:

    Jennifer – my wife and I sling our seven month old (holy cow, just realized that she turned another month….), but hvae seen advantages of carrying the carseat for certain situations as well. Believe me that our daughter is held enough!

    I don’t think that I would I would go so far as a strap to help me carry the car seat! Popping the seat out of the car and into a shopping cart with a sleeping baby makes more sense.

    Where I could see this as really valuable is for folks that don’t have cars of their own. In our neighborhood there are a lot of people that have to take a taxi or public transportation to work. Car seats are still required, but when they get to their stop the walk ahead is often long. This would be very helpful in that instance!

    January 10th, 2008 at 7:55 am

  5. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    I’ve tried a sling. Still have it. Find the car seat much more convenient. Baby tolerates the car seat better than the sling (the first time I used the sling, he slept against me. Ever since, he screams when I try to put him in)

    I don’t feel, overall, he spends too much time in the car seat. So it does not bother me to have him in the car seat in his stroller when we are in a store, etc. And it is a lot more convenient than transferring him back and forth into the sling.

    January 10th, 2008 at 8:01 am

  6. Julia says:

    I love my sling, but have difficulty figuring out how to get my baby into it quickly and easily while by my car in the winter (with wind, snow and frigid temps) with a toddler and preschooler waiting to get inside as well. As soon as warmer weather hits you can be that my big 3mo will be out of that car seat and in my sling. Any ideas on what to do in winter?

    January 10th, 2008 at 10:22 am

  7. pickel says:

    We used a sling (the hip hammock, as he was bigger and we were traveling to bring him home) when we adopted our 2 year old and it was a life saver. Now that we will be adopting a 6-12 month old from Guatemala who will be used to a Mayan sling it just seems natural that we use it.

    I have heard of so many adoptive parents who “force” their children to stop using it because it is just not convenient for them and I feel they are missing out on such a wonderful attachment tool.

    And, I can’t imagine carrying him (or any baby) in a car seat. I tried it once with a friend’s child and they are just too dang heavy!

    January 10th, 2008 at 10:36 am

  8. KGS says:

    I found a carseat carrier very useful in two situations: restaurants and the grocery store, both before my daughter could sit up. I disliked bending over to pick up items from the lower shelves in the store with a baby sling, and eating hot food right over her head seemed dangerous. If we had some distance to walk to either of those two places we used a stroller though, not a carrier strap. What does the anti-carseat-carrier contingent prefer in these two situations, especially with bobble-headed infants who need to be “front-mounted”?

    January 10th, 2008 at 10:42 am

  9. RobMonroe says:

    KGS – I agree that the car seat is certainly easier in a restaurant! Flip the high chair over and you’ve got a place to put it even!

    As for bobble-headed infants – it depends on the sling you use. We used a ring sling and she was easier to wear in that than haul around a stroller. (For us.) She slept quietly through many things that I would have been awake for curled up on my chest.

    I still prefer to sling her (we’re using a Bjorn right now, but the ring sling will be coming back as soon as we figure out how to put a sitting-babe in it) when we go out shopping or such. The strollers that we have are just too big for our car, and too big to maneuver in a mall.

    January 11th, 2008 at 10:41 am

  10. MetaMommy says:

    After weighing the pros and cons, we went for the convertible car seat and completely bypassed the infant car seat. I listed out a few reasons on my blog post (click “MetaMommy” below). I transported him in a sling or in his stroller, and I have no regrets. It probably saved my back, too!

    January 11th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

  11. Mama Peach says:

    I am an AVID babywearer. I still wear my 2 1/2 year old in pouches, ringslings, Mai Tais, and German Woven Wraps. While I do agree that this product may have its uses (in particular when a physical disability makes it difficult to carry a carseat) I feel that this product may promote the idea that the baby stays in the carseat for extended periods of time.

    Aside from the lack of physical contact, extended amounts of time in an infant carseat can cause severe plagio (infant flathead).

    I live in an extremely cold city in Canada and I have a babywearing jacket. I would hop into the back seat, remove my daughter from her infant seat, put her in our wrap, and zip up.

    Personally, I would never use nor encourage the use of a product like this.

    January 13th, 2008 at 7:08 am

  12. Christi says:

    I’m not planning on having any more children, but if I did, I would try a sling. But I would also invest in this thing for times that the baby seat was needed, too!

    January 14th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

  13. anon says:

    I don’t understand the “need” for removable carseats. Four kids later and we’ve only had convertible carseats, meaning none of them were carried around in a damn bucket. Seems lazy to me.

    January 15th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

  14. Mike Aiudi - Baby Lift strap inventor says:

    Hello,

    I am the proud inventor of the Baby Lift® Strap. When my son was an infant; I hooked a rope around the infant-seat handle and my shoulder. I found it helpful to carry the infant-seat. A few years later, I watched mothers awkwardly carrying the seats into daycare. I mentioned my rope solution, but received puzzled looks. Being an engineer, I decided to design an adjustable strap that would quickly latch around the infant -seat handle.

    My primary purpose was to design a useful product, and thankfully I have received many wonderful responses. It truly has been an awesome experience to design a product and bring it to market. I actually went to the ABC kid’s expo. in Los Vegas last year and plan on going again this year.

    Mike Aiudi
    http://www.creativebabystuff.com

    March 9th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

  15. Dallas says:

    I broke my wrist a week before my baby was born. It was a pretty bad break, and I had a cast covering my thumb, which stuck out and up from my hand, so I couldn’t even use my fingers to close against it for grasping things.

    The wrist necessitated trips to the Doctors office every 2 weeks for almost 5 months, and I had to take the Little One.

    If I had known about this product I think it would have been a lifesaver during that time.

    BTW- I tried a bunch of different slings, wraps, and snugli/baby borjn/ergo carriers and she hated every one of them, screamed and screamed, so the infant carrier was a must.

    She’s one now and the wrist is better, but I wish I’d known about the baby lift strap back then.

    May 22nd, 2008 at 7:02 pm