First Gripe of the Day: A “Private” Shopping Cart Seat Belt?

Hi Readers — Just had my first cuppa coffee, along with my first “Arghhhh!” (Some people have a donut, I have apoplexy.)  Here is what inspired my gnashing and thrashing, from the One bzittiedfk
Step Ahead

The Wrap Strap. A wide, squishy Velcro safety belt you bring along to the grocery store to strap your kid more LUXURIOUSLY into the shopping cart seat. Quoth the web site: “No more broken, stiff, icky shopping cart belts — give baby a clean, cushy harness that’s hers alone!”

Hey, while we’re at it, why not give her a clean, cushy world that’s hers alone? Why should our kids have to use anything communal at all? Think of the germs! The tawdriness! The fact that someone else may have touched or even teethed it. Not for OUR kids! Our children deserve a bubble of their own — clean and cushy and not to be shared!

That is the mandate of so many “kid friendly” products — friendly to exactly ONE kid, distrusting the world filled with all the rest. (And here I swear I will NOT go into a rave about another product I just found on One Step Ahead’s home page: A juice box  holder. WEREN’T JUICE BOXES DESIGNED TO BE EASY TO HOLD? THEY ARE BOXES!!!! HOW ABOUT A BOX FOR THE JUICE BOX HOLDER? HOW ABOUT A BOX FOR THE BOX THAT HOLDS THE JUICE BOX HOLDER? HOW ABOUT AN EXTRA ARM YOU CAN GRAFT ONTO YOUR BABY SO SHE CAN HOLD THE JUICE BOX HOLDER WHILE NOT LOSING VALUABLE EDU-MOMENTS PLAYING WITH HER  SHAPE-SORTING-COUNTING-SPELLING-BABY’S-FIRST-ALGEBRA GAME? HOW ABOUT…I walk off some of my coffee?) — L

Just how safe is a Safeway -- or any grocery -- when your child does not have a shopping cart seatbelt to call her own?

222 Responses to First Gripe of the Day: A “Private” Shopping Cart Seat Belt?

  1. Peter Orvetti August 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    Irrational fear of others, irrational fear of injury, irrational fear of germs — they’ve got the trifecta here.

  2. Jen C August 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    In theory I don’t have a problem with something to make a shopping cart more comfortable for a kid. My son, now 4, tells me that they hurt to sit in, he’s rather walk. And I’m not a germophobe, but shopping carts are nasty.
    I think the problem here is marketing. It blows the whole thing out of proportion

  3. Amy Kraft August 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Totally agree that the cushy seat fastener signals the End of Days, though the juice box holder actually does have the purpose of not getting that first squirt of juice all up and down your kid’s clothes. Not to say I have a juice box box – we don’t need any more crap in our apartment.

  4. Jesse August 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    That wide seat belt looks pretty silly, but we did use the “bag that unfolds into a seat” – not so much because we were concerned about germs but just because it caught any toys or food that the boy dropped, instead of having it fall to the floor.

    Juice box holders are useful for very young children because they prevent them from squeezing the box and spraying juice all over. My son doesn’t use one now that he’s old enough to understand that concept, but he did when he was just a toddler without any language skills.

  5. dmd August 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Oh, yeah, those have been out for a while. I don’t see many moms using them though – only the germaphobes.

    As for the juice box holder, I never used one of these, but they would have helped the more, ah, aggressive kids who hold their boxes a tad too tightly … and thus the juice squirts out of the box all over everything. Of course, then the kid never learns HOW to hold the juice box.

  6. mom2cne August 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    I rarely buckled my kids int he shopping cart anyway. They knew better than tot try to get out and I was pushing it, for crying out loud, not parking it and shopping without it.

    BUT we had a juice box holder and it was fantastic! It was just a little rectangle box with handles but it kept the kids from squeezing the boxes and spraying juice everywhere. Alternately, we pulled out the “wings” and had the kid hold those but they really liked their Dora juice box holder.

  7. MommyMagpie August 11, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    I’ve seen parents with infants come into the grocery store looking as if they’ve prepared for a HazMat incident – shopping-cart-seat liner, super-duper xtra-huge diaper bag, sippy cups, spillproof bowl, yada yada. By the time they’ve sanitized everything they can’t cover, baby is hungry, or poopy, or wet, or just plain sick and tired of the whole outing thing and is ready to go HOME, dangit!

    In a recent poll, 100% of my children are grateful beyond words that I didn’t treat them like delicate hothouse flowers during their earliest years.

  8. Erin August 11, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    I used a shopping cart velcro strap, not because I was worried about germs, but because it lets you put a much smaller baby in the seat – it keeps them from falling over when they are not the best sitters yet. I would not have been able to get groceries with both my kids with me without it!! As soon as they were able to sit better it got abandoned because it was too much of a hassle to 1)remember to take with me and 2) to put in the cart while holding a squirmy baby! So I do see the benefit of the straps from a non-germophobe angle.

    I never had a juice box holder, we didn’t use many juice boxes (I usually just put whatever they were drinking in their sippy cups) though when I handed one of my kids a juice box the other day and they promptly squeezed a bunch of it all over themselves, I was thinking a holder would be really nice!! 🙂 (and for the record, it was my 4 year old, and he barely touched the sides of the box and it all came squirting out – he wasn’t really doing anything wrong!)

  9. Persinable (@Persinable) August 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    I had something similar to this with my first child and still use it for my third (almost 2 yrs old). I think the “private” or “just yours” idea is ridiculous, but I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have this option when I get to the grocery store and cart after cart has broken buckles or no buckles at all.

  10. Kelly August 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    My 5 month old son just recently (past week) got to sit up in the shopping cart for the first time. I have to strap him in real tight so he doesn’t fall over but he is so excited to be able to interact with all the other shoppers. I’m so proud of him already. I do have to say I’m happy the straps hold him upright so he doesn’t try to eat the shopping cart handle.. he’s in the everything in the mouth stage. I don’t see a need for private straps… they don’t even touch his skin to begin with, how much damage could they possibly do?

    He’s been sick 3 times so far (ahh the joys of daycare) but each time he handles it better and gets better faster. I’m just happy that his immune system is getting better now instead of him having issues for life.

  11. Mike August 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    Juice box holder? That’s nothing. Was looking through an auto parts catalog, they had a (mountable!) dip stick cleaner, only $4.95. I’ve got the same thing, it’s called a RAG!

  12. Randee Bowder August 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    Just ran across your book at the library yesterday. I am having a hard time putting it down. Hallelujah, another person who probably thinks it’s ridiculous to have to walk my 7 year old child 2 doors down to the neighbors house, but I do it, why because the other mom does and what would she think if I just let my child walk all by herself??!!!?? My husband thinks my daughter shouldn’t play alone in the front yard. Really?? Is a wayward vehicle going to crash into onto our lawn right when she is turning a cartwheel? Is a kid snatcher going to drive by and grab her up and for some reason she just submits with no kicking or screaming?
    Love, love your work! Keep it coming!!

  13. Karin August 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Juice boxes are the worst invention ever in my opinion.

  14. Rachael August 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    While I totally agree the shopping cart strap is absurd (I also refuse to use a shopping cart cover), I like the idea of the juice box box. But that’s only because my 2-year-old squeezes the juice boxes and squirts juice all over himself and anything within a 2-foot radius. Of course I don’t actually have any juice box boxes, but I think they make sense!

  15. talyn August 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    I have used bunji cords of my skinny little boy who can *always* manage to squirm out of the buckle that’s already on the cart, and begin diving headfirst from the cart while I pick a box of cereal. 10-month-olds diving head first from carts is a legitimately dangerous activity, and as for those of you whose children were smart enough not to try to get out, they weren’t 10 months old.

    I also second the person frustrated with cart after cart of broken or non-existent buckles. Not fun digging through carts while wrangling multiple children, one of whom’s favorite pastime is diving from carts and arms.

  16. Amy August 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    As a mom of twins, I can say that a product similar to this (very utilitarian, though…just a black strap like the one on the cart) was a lifesaver to me when my kids weren’t walking yet but had outgrown carseats. Most stores don’t have carts that provides seats and belts for two kids, so I would put one in the child seat by the cart handle (using the belt already attached to the cart, by the way! 😉 ) and the other in the basket, strapped in with the extra strap I’d purchased. Both of them stayed safety seated and buckled so I could shop with at least as much ease as a mom of young twins can achieve.

  17. Tara August 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    I didn’t read all the comments, but the juice box problem is easily solvable. There are two little corners at the top of the box. They’re folded down. Flip them up and tell your kid to hold on to the “wings”. No more squeezing and spraying juice!

    And that particular company is infamous for producing overpriced unnecessary junk. Does the baby have something to sleep in? Something to wear? Something to catch poo? Someplace to be parked? They’re good.

  18. N August 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    Juice box holders rock, so your kids don’t squeeze juice all over the place and make a mess. But yes, the regular shopping cart belts are fine, and then you don’t have to carry your own around with you. Who carries all this stuff around all over the place? Someone gave me a fabric seat to put my kid in so she wouldn’t have to sit in the seat at all, and all I could think was why on earth would anyone carry such a huge thing to and from the store every trip.

  19. rodaniel August 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    I’ll admit that perpetually busted fasteners on those shopping cart belts can be really aggravating, but I really don’t get the whole germiphobe thing…

    Have people completely forgotten the basic concepts of how & why the human immune system works? The earlier you expose your li’l darling to this grimy world, the better! Better yet, take your children out to a farm or the zoo!

  20. Stephanie August 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    The “Extra Arm” is invented.

  21. Heather August 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    Given the number of carts we come across that don’t have working belts, I can almost see a purpose. Almost. Given that little ones squirm pretty easily out of them anyway I’m a fan of just teaching them to sit their rumps still in the cart rather than finding something else to strap them in. My two year old knows he is to sit in the seat correctly, period. He also figured out that if he wants the contents of his juicebox he better not squeeze the box. Messy lessons at first, but quickly learned.

    My theory on all the cushy baby/toddler stuff is this: I’m not going to get my child used to something that I might forget to bring. They can sit in the cart or restaurant high chair without added padding. They can learn to drink out of real cups, even if that means for a while they only have a small amount in them. They can learn how to function without a small fortune of made in China junk that fails to teach them how to function once they grow out of it.

  22. Jo August 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    I gave up worrying about germs with my kids very early on. My oldest licked the floor of the public swimming pool change room when she was 13 months! I wasn’t thrilled but she survived (and I have a great 21st story). Kids who grow up in this bubble kind of world where they never have to share anything, do not learn to cope when mum isn’t there or when things are not laid out for them. Perhaps in some of the cases I could see the point, but really if you are worrying about germs on a strap in the supermarket trolley, you need to find more things to do with yourself!

  23. Heidi Leanne August 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    I would buy my own seat belt to bring along with us to stores just because the ones in stores really are all broken. So, if I can guarantee that it would keep my kiddo securely strapped down in the cart I would buy it. But that has everything to do with keeping her from smashing her head against the hard floor and nothing about keeping her comfortable, or free from germs!

  24. Linda Wightman August 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Never used those shopping cart seat belts, hardly ever used juice boxes. Don’t see the need for either.

    Basically, people make things hoping other people will buy them. By and large, I don’t. Makes life much simpler.

  25. Binxcat1 August 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    ok so my toddler used to always ride on the front of the shopping cart (feet on bottom bar while holding on with her hands to the basket part… heaven forbid… living dangerously huh???) while newborn was in the baby capsule on the cart… never had a problem… that was until this one day one of said toddler’s older friends (age 6ish) was in the same super market this one day… and decided she would ALSO step onto cart at the same time… only she was bigger and heavier and stood on the side not the front… and TIPPED THE WHOLE @#$%ING CART OVER!!!! Obviously her mother never taught HER how to ride a cart right!!!

    My newborn was strapped in… but only because there was a lovely local lady (thank GOD for small town neighbours looking out for neighbours) that had just that very week made new liners and cleaned all the grotty shopping carts up… I usually would have sat my newborn in the capsule but NOT buckled her in because the straps were so manky… anyway, baby was fine… Mum felt sick… BUT the fact was she was fine because I DID strap her in. Anyway, I learned manky straps are better than no straps… but I also learned don’t let stupid kids who don’t know how to ride a cart anywhere near you and yours!

    Juice boxes are stupid full stop… but how about those absurd “no cut” knives???? Don’t they just teach kids that knives aren’t dangerous??? I’d rather my children learned a healthy respect for sharp objects and learn how to use them right.

    Bubble anyone??? 😉

  26. Jan August 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    I think it might depend on where you’re shopping. Someplace like Target or Home Depot is usually no problem, but the straps at the grocery store where we shop are pretty vile.. knotted straps soaked with mystery fluids, broken buckles etc. Plus, they’re often so icky that you can’t really adjust the straps. I hate digging for a cart that’s got at least a mostly working strap. It might save time to just have a strap on hand that’s the right size.

  27. Teri August 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    I’m far from a germaphobe, but learned a long time ago that any time we went to the grocery store in the winter, we’d be sick a few days later. If finally dawned on me that it was the shopping cart. Now, I just do major shopping in early October and stock up on basics to get through the winter. I freeze as much as possible and if I do have to go to the store for perishables, I grab what I can carry and don’t use a cart or shopping basket. Since doing that, we have managed to avoid all illnesses making rounds through the area and haven’t been sick in over 5 years. I really have no choice but to do it. It’s more of a “single mom and can’t afford to be off from work with a sick kid or sick myself” thing than a germaphobe issue. But, really, those carts are nasty so I won’t knock any parent who tries to cover it up. It could be a single parent who can’t afford to take time off from work or it may be a child with or a family member with a compromised immune system. My dad is on anti-rejection meds and I couldn’t even take my daughter to his house after she had had shots because he was susceptible to catching what she had been immunized for (at least according to his docs, she could not be around him, so we never chanced it.)

    I fully see the need for the juice box holders. Wish they had been around when mine was little. It would have saved me countless hours cleaning up juice off of the carpet. Kids, for some reason, just love to squeeze the box and watch it pee.

  28. greenishmonkeys August 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    I am not a huge fan of that kind of thing– for one, I like to keep my baby in a carrier or sling until they are quite a bit bigger (big enough to sit reliably in a cart regardless of whether the belt works). And I just hate juice boxes in general and never buy them, so wouldn’t even consider a holder.

  29. brooke August 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I MUST go buy a juice box cover!! And a preschool-algebra-block game!! My son doesn’t have one! He’s going to be so far behind the other toddlers!!

    But seriously, this guy is hilarious.

  30. Amy August 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I’m one of those assholes using a shopping cart/high chair cover, because:

    1) it makes the seat more comfy for my 8 month old, which means I can shop/eat longer without him flipping his lid. It’s hard to push a cart while holding a screaming, wriggling baby and wrangling a 4 and 6 year old. (In an ideal world, the 6 year old would carry the baby!). It’s also hard to eat with a squirmy baby. I’ll never forget the time my 8 month old daughter stuck her hand in my hot soup at Panera because I was trying to eat and hold her at the same time. I wear my kids a lot (I have 3 different carriers in my car) but sometimes it’s just too hot, or I’ve had him on me all day and I need a break, or I know I’ll need to bend down for something heavy like dog food or pop which doesn’t work with a carrier, or he’ll play better in the cart.

    On the other hand, I will happily let any random stranger hold the baby, just so I can have arms for 3 minutes, and if that random stranger is willing to walk through the store with me, s/he is welcome to carry him while I shop. I never carry my kids in the bucket, because it’s too damn heavy, and I never put the bucket on the top of the cart, because anyone with even passing understanding of physics could tell you that it makes the cart top-heavy and unstable.

    2) the restraints in the cart/restaurant high chair are often broken or impossible to adjust (especially for really small kids – sometimes you just can’t get a secure fit). I can’t imagine what kind of head injury would happen if a kid actually fell out of the cart onto the hard grocery store floor (especially with a baby who isn’t big enough to at least try to break his own fall with his arms). I don’t have time to sort through all the carts to find one with un-broken seatbelts that will fit tightly so I bring my own.

    3) I have worked in a LOT of restaurants (McDonald’s, Burger King, Olive Garden, Mountain Jacks, a Holiday Inn, two local diners you’ve never heard of, and two wedding venues/ballrooms). I have never, ever, ever seen an employee clean a high chair or a booster seat. Ever. I’ve seen parents do it, but it is not on the list of things to clean every night before close, or every morning before open. Eeeeewww.

    Incidentally, no one cleans the changing tables in the bathroom. Ever.

    I promise I’m as free range as they come, but that doesn’t mean that I have to sacrifice my kids’ comfort and safety, does it?

    As to the product at hand, it looks a lot more portable than the one I’ve got (which looks like this, different fabric – But it doesn’t look like it would buy me any valuable shopping or eating time, so I’ll stick with the one I’ve got.

    You can judge me if you want. 🙂

  31. Gina August 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    I actually might buy it because the straps on the carts are so often BROKEN!

    My little 19 month old is quite the climber and has nearly toppled himself out of a cart with no safety harness several times, and I really think a safety belt is necessary for him.

  32. Dave August 11, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    I believe the child is seating right in front of you. Unless the child is unusually active no need for a seat belt. Exactly how fast are you pushing that cart?

    More unnecessary safety equipment that doesn’t really help the kids and adds to the parents stress of not taking enough care to secure their children from all harm.

    You have to laugh. It bets just sad.

  33. Wendy Constantinoff August 11, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Straps on shopping trolleys? (Icky or pristine) I don’t recall ever seeing a strap on a shopping trolley over here.

  34. Llamabean August 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Thank you for not making me the only person who gets frustrated by the products we market to parents.

  35. Sarah August 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    I’m with Talyn. My son is way too good at wiggling out of the provided seat belts. If this one would harness him in better, I’d feel much less worried about him diving headfirst straight into the cement floor.

    He’s almost one year old, but the concept of “stay seated!” (in high chair or shopping cart) is still lost on him. I suppose I could let him actually fall out, then he’d learn, right? Is that the most FR thing to do? 🙂

  36. Wendy Constantinoff August 11, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    never mind the juice box holder what about the sandwich quarterer

    when mine were small you just cut them on the slant and gave them a bit of a press with the flat of the hand to stop the filling squidging out of the sides.

  37. K. Hansen August 11, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Lets get back to basics here – juice boxes themselves are totally ridiculous and unnecessary!

  38. Marie August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I can almost see it. If the straps aren’t broken or tied in knots, they have one of the new buckles where you have to press the middle along with the two edges to release it. These things are taking more coordination now. I assume that’s to keep the kids who figured out how to push the sides to get out of the buckles in the cart.

    That said, not going to buy it. My two year old loves sitting the the cart at first, but then she wants out and will try to climb out. She’s a runner, so having her out of the cart is not a convenient way to shop. She loves to help push a cart, but has the unerring tendency of a two year old to ram into all kinds of things and people because her head goes down as she pushes, so she doesn’t see where she’s going, and her steering is set on “random.” Can’t let go of the cart for an instant to put something into it if she’s helping, can’t tell her to stop helping if I don’t want to play chase.

  39. Renee Anne August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    Generally, I’m all for letting my kid use communal things like shopping cart belts. Unfortunately, I’m one of those parents that *has* to be wary of germs. It’s because of my son’s metabolic disorder. If he get sick, he doesn’t want to eat, if he doesn’t want to eat, we have to go to the hospital for IVs and observation. Basically, we have to make sure he keeps eating, even when he doesn’t feel like it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t find it a problem…but I have a reason.

    Either way, I don’t think I’m going to be out buying this product.

  40. CapnPlanet August 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    LOL, your rave about the juice box holder made milk come out of my nose (and I wasn’t even drinking milk).

    Yeah, it’s true that, until they learn, kids will squeeze the juice box when it’s full. The holder protects against that. It also protects them from learning not to squeeze the box when it’s full. Parenthood is full of little messes, might as well get them out of the way as early as possible and let your kids learn from their mistakes.

  41. Kristi August 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Oh gracious! My youngest four are going to be failures because I didn’t buy all this crap that every child MUST have to be happy, healthy and protected. I bought most of it with my first and then realized it was all worthless, useless, or downright stupid. I sold it at a huge loss to some other sucker. I stopped worrying about germs at every turn and instead of buying cart covers, santizing wipes and germ X, I boosted their immune systems with that awesome free product called breastmilk! That single thing eleminated alot of junk from our lives, along with the supersized diaper bag. My friends have always been amazed that I’m brave enough to venture out alone with five kids to shop with nothing but a ring sling and two diapers tossed in my purse.

    Last year, during flu season, I finally had to raise hell at the school over the forced hand sanitizer usage with my three oldest. While none of them got the flu or a single cold (probably because I got them flu shots and their immune systems are strong because of my refusal to blast our home with Lysol fumes 12 times a day), all three had horribly cracked and bleeding hands from being forced to apply alcohol gel 4 dozen times a day and the oldest ended up with a very nasty infection due to all the raw, cracked and exposed skin on her hands. Thanks germaphobe educators!

  42. Jennifer August 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Here’s a thought for those defending juice box holders: If your child is too young to understand that it’s better not to squeeze the juice box, maybe it’s too soon for a juice box.

  43. Nora August 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    I used the juice box holders for when I sent my 3 3/4 yr old to all day daycamp.The kids were expected to be able to feed themselves from what parents sent them with (he got an age override to be in the 4-6 yr group). The camp did not supply any drinks or snacks. He plays alot, and I know he sweats alot, so I sent around 3 juiceboxes and 3 bottles of water each day. I knew my son and he insisted in putting the straw in himself, because it would always spill. The juice box holder solved that. He has not had to use that since that summer, and he knows how to do it fine now. At age 8 he also knows how to pack his own lunch and bring enough water on his boyscout camps(he has even gave friends water when they run out), and he actually eats it all…

    I can see the The Wrap Strap could be good. My babes were and are very active and that might give me a min extra to actually read a label and not just buy things blindly because they were colorful or on tv, but I had a car for my first 2 so now my circumstances are different I have to improvise. I can see I could have used this with both of my boys using a car. Most shopping cart straps are broke or non-existent where I shop.
    But I am not big on packing, so I don’t think I would actually get one, I find my ergo-baby carrier works good enough for lil ones who can not yet walk. With no car now I use my stroller most shopping’s anyways, and with the combination I can get large items home in the stroller while wearing the babe (most time my 8 yr old son offers to wear his baby sis in it, so that helps too) The ergo helps in soooo many practical ways I would literally be lost without it now… lol… Before it I was paying for taxis on many occasions…

    I do however see that how this is marketed only adds fuel to the fire…

  44. SKL August 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    Less is more, is what I say.

    You could actually get radical and “teach” your kids to sit down in the shopping cart. Then you might not actually need that “gross, germy” belt at all.

    I generally didn’t need to use them, but my kids liked to put them on by themselves.

    For a while, my kids were dumb about putting their mouths on the shopping cart handle. They found out that was a good way to hurt their lip if the cart was bumped while they were up to their yucky tricks. A couple of accidental bumps were enough to fix that problem.

    I am not afraid of germs. I do, however, understand those who avoid them due to specific health issues. It’s just wrong to advertise as if avoidance is best for everyone. It would be like advertising that milk or peanuts are scary just because some folks are allergic.

  45. Lynn August 11, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Although I don’t agree with the shopping cart strap idea, I DO like the juice box holder. Not because the juice box is unsanitary, but because young kids squeeze the box before the straw gets in their mouth, squirt juice all OVER themselves, start howling because they’re soaked, and I end up enduring sticky, wet, juicy kids and/or wet floors. Yes, I could have gone without the holders. We could have managed. No, the kids don’t use them now that they’re older. But when they were toddlers, I had one for each. It saved me a lot of grief—and laundry. Just saying that not all products in the Safety 1st catelog are about safety. Some are just about convenience. I don’t even know that I got mine from Safety 1st, frankly.

    That said, if they were built as a safety product–then that’s just ridiculous.

  46. Terzah August 11, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    I’m just laughing (LMAO) out here in CO. I’ve seen those shopping cart things and shaken my head at them. Who has that kind of MONEY for stuff like that, on top of everything else???

  47. justanotherjen August 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    I might consider a personal seatbelt for all the crappy carts that are broken and don’t have any belt or they are broken. My youngest is only 1 an needs to be buckled. Most stores are pretty good about keeping them better repaired now but when my older kids were little we’d go in and it would take a search of 10-15 carts before we found one with a working, useable seatbelt for our toddler. Frustrating.

    The juice box holders are to prevent kids from squeezing them and squirting juice all over. They’re still stupid because if you teach them not to squeeze them the issue is solved. I was able to teach my youngest daughter at 18 months to be “soft” with the juice box. She never had anyone help her after that. She was always careful and help the box gently or on the corners.

  48. Ella's Mommy August 12, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    I don’t find anything wrong with the strap thingy. When my daughter was just learning to sit up, the straps helped her stay upright in the cart seat. But the majority of the straps were broken! I find this product awesome for that reason, not germ-a-phobe reasons. 🙂

  49. Nora August 12, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Personally I don’t have any issues with germs. the more the better I think (where did the days of having chicken pox parties go instead of vaccines). My kids have always been extremely healthy and never had any allergies to anything or had much need for antibiotics (one time my younger son did need them externally). We do not do much sterilizing or worry of what is around us. I believe kids need to have a healthy does of their environment so they can adapt to what is around them.

    Everything in moderation…

  50. audrey August 12, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    on tbe juice box topic i always ‘drink it down’ for my kids which basically means i take the first sip and it mostly stops any squirts. since we rarely even buy juice boxes cause, lets face it, they are an environmental disaster. my kids get frustrated that i get any of their precious juice and get the first sip no squirt hang pretty quickly.

  51. Linda Wightman August 12, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Here’s another radical thought: why juice at all? My Swiss toddler grandson drinks only water and breast milk. It’s a much easier solution all around: water is healthier, cheap, generally available, doesn’t need refrigerating, and — oh, joy! — leaves no sticky mess when spilled.

    Our grandkids also went straight from breast milk to table food. No baby food, no spoon-feeding, no special effort or expense. When I think of the time and money I wasted when our own kids were babies, I could scream. It really does pay to think twice about doing something just because everyone else is, and about buying something just because it’s available.

  52. Jenny Islander August 12, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Two of the three local grocery stores have big boxes of sanitary wipes right by each door. Wipe the handlebar and the seating area, keep your fingers away from your eyes/nose/mouth, and make everybody wash their hands as soon as they get home. Tah dah, illness prevention without spending extra money.

  53. Stacy August 12, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    My now-5yo kid never got juice boxes (too spendy) or even sippy cups (such a pain to clean) – he learned at a very young age to drink from a cup. A plain old, regular, plastic Tupperware cup (probably circa the 70s knowing my family). By the time he had enough strength to open the fridge, he routinely had a cup on the bottom shelf he was allowed to access any time he wanted. Food doesn’t leave the tiled kitchen. Ever. Period. Carpet messes solved. He encountered juice boxes/Capri Sun containers only once he hit preschool at which point he was old enough to take direction and be careful. Gratefully, he’s always had an aversion to making messes, so that helped reinforce the careful behavior, but still, by the time he had access to them, he was old enough to know not to squeeze them. Yes, it meant cleaning up a lot of high-chair liquid spills, but that’s why those trays have lips. And yes, when he was older, I had a lot of spills right in front of the fridge, but they were usually water or herbal tea, so no biggie. And restaurants were solved with us just helping him to make sure he didn’t spill, with the glass placed out of his reach until he was big enough to go it alone.

    As for strapping him into carts, sure, I did when there was a strap handy, mostly so I didn’t make the employees nervous about liability issues. But again, he was taught to stay PUT from 6mo onward (I usually had him strapped to me before that). And he certainly was walking by the time he was 4 – his legs were getting way too long to make sitting in the cart feasible. The geometry just doesn’t work after they reach a certain height – his knees don’t bend in enough places to thread him into such a small seat.

    Now, all of this was possible because I’m a SAHM so I could monitor every meal unlike parents whose kids go to daycare, but when you present the “difficult” option as the default from Day 1, you don’t have to reteach new techniques as they grow older.

  54. Sara August 12, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    Just imagine, shopping carts here in Germany NEVER have seatbelts (except the ones at IKEA)! And none of kids has ever fallen out of one! Why would you even need one? *scratches head*
    Don’t even get me started on juice box holders. So ridiculous.

  55. Lollipoplover August 12, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    I wished juice boxes got called up on judgement day as I have a particular hatred for them (especially the always littered straw sleeve.) Small tumbler glasses of water and milk are just fine for us here.
    My daughter encountered a child who couldn’t peel his clementine in 2nd grade at snack time. He was in a panic as his mom always peeled it for him. She showed him how to roll it on the table to loosen the peel, and how you could even try to peel it all on one piece. Imagine that.

  56. Donna August 12, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    When did we actually stop trying to teach kids things? When did avoiding a tantrum at all costs become the general philosophy of parenting?

    My child quickly learned that if she squeezed the juice box her juice squirted on her instead of going in her mouth. She didn’t get more juice. She didn’t change clothes (if we were going somewhere where juice would matter, she didn’t get juice). Tantrums have never gotten her anywhere, except maybe but put into her bed until she was done. I don’t have carpets but I don’t see the need for children to be able to drink juice wherever and whenever they want so limiting juice boxes to outside or non-carpeted areas doesn’t seem like too much of an imposition. Don’t see the need for any fancy juice box box.

    As for the strap, I can see where that would be helpful if the cart straps in your grocery store are in disrepair. But lets be honest, that’s not who this product is marketed to and that is not the majority of purchasers.

  57. Peter Orvetti August 12, 2011 at 12:31 am #


  58. Erin August 12, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    I think we could probably all agree to disagree over whether many of these products are “necessary” or not — I think it’s a matter of personal opinion. What I do agree with is that they don’t need to be marketed in such a way that preys on parents’ fears. Market the grocery cart strap as “practical” vs. “oh no germy carts!!” and let parents decide whether it’s something that would fit into their lives or not.

    Same with juice boxes. I don’t think this was meant to start a war on whether or not we should be allowing our kids to drink juice boxes. Some parents like them, some don’t (I don’t like them, I never buy them, but I can see the appeal of the juice box holder if you do like them). I agree that many of the products One Step Ahead sells are relatively silly, but if people didn’t buy them, they wouldn’t sell them. Most of there stuff has applications SOMEWHERE. I just don’t think that fear-mongering is the way to sell them.

  59. Supah Mama (@Dom_Mischief) August 12, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    My Mother would be the one to buy me that stupid belt for my own kids, disguising it as a shiny new gift! And then when I forgot it and ran into her at the store she’d say, “I see you’re letting the Princess build up her immunities!” Hell yes, woman, as a matter of fact I AM! Let kids be kids, this bubble nonsense is going to lead to generations of adult-children who can’t fend for themselves and who feel entitled… oh wait… they’re already like this!

  60. N August 12, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    You can’t just teach all kids to sit still in a shopping cart. My younger one was a climber, starting at like 10 or 11 months, and would try getting out of a cart. You can’t teach a 10-month-old squat. And by 15 months she was big enough and agile enough to do it quickly. I turn my head a second to check what the price is on something, and she’s standing up. No, some kids simply require shopping cart belts. I don’t see the point in her own personal cushy one, but she just plain needed to be strapped into the cart.

  61. Staceyjw August 12, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    I just took a look at that catalog. I must be the worst parent in America, as I don’t have any of that stuff, other than a car seat and a gate. but the gate is to keep the ferrets out of the kitchen, not the kid.

    My son also likes to dive off of things, (he’s 1) so we taught him how to duck into a somersault instead. Now he rolls instead. I still keep him from jumping out of carts (I only have one kid, so it’s easy), but low things aren’t a problem anymore.

    I would never remember to bring a belt to the store. When DS was too small to sit up well, I just used stuff in the store to prop him up 🙂 Problem solved.

    To each his own!

  62. EricS August 12, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    In reality, these people really need to learn to read between the lines. Then they’d read, “You people are so paranoid, that we can sell you a rock if it meant making you feel better about how your raising your children. So here’s a useless strap for $14. We’re going to make millions off you people. Thanks!”

  63. LIbrary Diva August 12, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Our whole society is like this. It’s not just products marketed to parents. Someone has developed both the problem and the solution to everything conceivable. Dry skin? Well, where is it dry, because if it’s your hands, your feet, your face, or your legs, you’ll need a different product for each body part. Do you need to clean your house? Don’t forget to pick up the sink cleaner, the wood cleaner, the countertop cleaner, the toliet bowl cleaner, the shower cleaner, the stuff to make your rug smell good, the electronics cleaner, the window cleaner (separate from the *car* window cleaner, because glass on houses has verrrry different needs from glass on a car!) .

    We have way too much stuff. It’s killing the planet, and it’s making us miserable. No matter how much we have, we feel like it’s never enough, like people will judge us, and like we’re not safe. We work more hours and run up more debt to be able to buy juice box holders and personal child seat belts and foot lotion and electronics cleaners. Agree with Linda, just because it’s available doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

  64. Patti August 12, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    The last time I was forced to drink out of a juice box (a picnic, no water nearby, nobody brought cups, etc.) I wished I had one of those stupid juice box holders. I ruined a shirt with a beverage I can’t stand. Clearly, I did not know about the wing trick. You learn something new every day!

    I think in the last 10 years I’ve only seen two or three people use various shopping cart things. I know plenty of people who got them as gifts from concerned grandparents, but they are just too big a hassle and you look incredibly stupid while using them. Who really wants to wrangle a device when you have a kid to wrangle first?

  65. Sally August 12, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    I had one of those shopping cart thingies for my first baby. I think it was useful for a couple weeks then it was too much of a hassle to bring it along; I never bothered with my other kids.

    The juice box thing…oy vay. Yes, toddlers do tend to squirt themselves the first few times they hold a juice box. But…here is the big concept…THEY LEARN TO REGULATE THEIR GRIP. If you make it impossible for them to mess up, they will not learn how to do it right! That’s what gets me with a lot of these kid-gear inventions. Dumbing everything down so that children don’t ever make mistakes is a bad idea — at some point in life, you DO need to learn how to not squeeze a juice box. I guess I could see the need for a thing like that with a child who was disabled or had developmental issues; but for a regular kid, JUST LET THEM GET SQUIRTED A FEW TIMES AND DEAL WITH IT! They will learn not to do it!

  66. Kara August 12, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    I agree with you that many kids today are overprotected, and I read your blog for tips on how to raise kids in a more balanced way and give them freedom to explore. But I do take issue with the judgmental tone of this post and with the tone of many of the comments left. I do thank you for this post though because you have introduced me to a product that I will most likely be purchasing (if I can’t find a lower cost version first). My daughter is 7 months old and is very capable of sitting up on her own and loves to sit in the cart and in highchairs at restaurants. In fact she will not tolerate sitting in her pumpkin seat anywhere but in the car. However, because of her small size we have run into the problem of her not being very secure in shopping carts and restaurant high chairs which tend to be designed to fit toddlers. The straps are usually broken and even if they aren’t they often just don’t feel that secure for a baby her size. Due to the width of this strap it looks like it will hold her much more snuggly, plus I know it wont be broken. It’s great for all of you with toddlers who can tell your kids “don’t climb out of the cart”, but my 7 month old doesn’t understand language quite that well yet. It’s not so much that my kid needs a strap *of her own*, it’s that it’s nice to know that when I take her to a store or restaurant I won’t have to spend time or energy searching through all the carts and highchairs to find one that will keep her from falling out (and that I will be guaranteed a working strap, which isn’t always the case). There are many reasons why parents might want to use a particular baby or child product. Thankfully, I’ve found I don’t need many of them, but sometimes I’m surprised by how useful some of them really are. Everyone’s situation and children are different and I think it would be good for everyone to remember this and not make judgments or assumptions about the choices people make regarding raising their children. So thanks again for introducing me to this product. I only wish I had known about it a couple months ago. Cheers!

  67. talyn August 12, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    I looked through the site, and my my estimate, that is the stupidest thing on there.

  68. Sarah O August 12, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    I’m just glad One Step Ahead moved the toddler helmet to a ‘special needs’ section. 😉

  69. mrsgeek August 12, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    I had one of those padded seat things for my son because he grew too heavy for the grocery carts with the built in baby seat before he could reliably sit up on his own. Now he can sit just fine, the padded seat thingy stays in the trunk of the car.

  70. Jules August 12, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    Sounds like it’s less for the baby and more for the lazy mom who doesn’t feel like picking through the carts to find one with a strap that isn’t broken.

  71. SKL August 12, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    “you can’t teach a 10-month-old anything.” Yes, you can. But if you don’t want to, that is your choice.

  72. BMS August 12, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    I used to solve the juice box problem by not buying them. My kids got juice at breakfast in a sippy cup or regular cup, and otherwise, they drank water. Solved two problems – no squirting, and no conditioning to think that everything needs to have sugar and flavor. Sure they did squirt themselves when they got the occasional juice box. Didn’t die from it. Besides, with my kids, juice is the most benign thing they spilled on themselves. When they’re covered in mud, grass stains, marker, and spaghetti sauce, who cares about a little juice? It might even wash off some of the other stuff.

    And honestly, I never even considered bringing anything but my kid, and maybe a small diaper bag, when I went shopping. A lot of times I used the baby backpack (tended to put them to sleep so I could shop in peace), but I rarely obsessed about buckling them in. I just, I dunno, told them to sit down, and if they didn’t they had to walk, holding on to my coat. They wanted to ride, so they sat down. I just don’t understand where this total fear of shopping carts came from. I mean, we all used them as kids, and our parents used them, and we didn’t all drop dead from terrible diseases.

    Another thing we did was just shift shopping. I mean, really, who the hell wants to shop with two toddlers? So we bought an extra stand alone freezer, and got in the habit of shopping once a month. We froze bread, used powdered milk or shelf stable soy milk, and rarely ran out for stuff mid month. One grownup stayed home with the kids, the other went and did a marathon shopping session. Fewer car trips, less aggravation all around. Never understood why some of my friends were dragging their kids into the store every single day. I’ve got no patience for that!

  73. Katie August 12, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    I admit! I once bought a juice box holder! 😉 We were on vacation and I needed the child to drink a lot to keep from getting dehydrated. And juice boxes are easy to carry around — you can even get them with milk inside. So convenient if you have no fridge on you. Anyway, said kid is highly sensory-seeking and very impulsive. And would always squeeze the stupid juice box. So he’s covered in grossness, I’m trying to find somewhere to wash his clothes on vacation because every outfit is now covered in juice or in milk… and I see these things. I get them because, hey! He can’t squeeze it! And I guess I could just pour the juice in a cup, but I have nowhere to clean a cup! This juice box holder would theoretically wipe clean easily.

    The big problem is this — juice boxes are no longer an standard size. So ours didn’t fit. Then we had all our old problems plus a kid screaming because we wouldn’t let him use his new juice box holders. ARGH! 😉 So we let him use half of the box holder, and had an even increased mess. Good times. I think he threw up yogurt on us on the flight home.

    (And we all lived! And now it’s a funny story. Yay!)

  74. Cheryl W August 12, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    Ok, I am jumping ahead here, not reading everything but the first few comments.

    Juice Box Holder: Sippy cups work fine. When we are out and about, they got water bottles. No worries if it spills on anything or anyone. But then, I always thought juice was over rated sugar that just gave my kids the runs. We do milk and water, and not much of anything else. When they need fruit, they get whole fruit.

    Seat belts, covers, etc. I stopped putting my kids in those car shaped ones because they never got cleaned, and my kids got all sorts of illnesses. My family history is that as kids we all got sick a lot. And, my youngest has viral induced asthma. (Despite us having cats, dogs and him eating sand and stuff at the playground and beach.) I never used those covers, but I do like the wipes for the carts and do use those on areas that kids will touch.

    When the swine flu came along, I pretty much did my shopping at 6:30 am so I could leave the kids home. We avoided it until school started and I had stopped the am shopping. (We homeschool, so it when public school started that it flared up in our community again.) When my youngest got it, he ended up at the hospital with an asthma attack (we didn’t know he had asthma then – it was his second time, at 4, first was 9 months.)

    But, despite our family medical history, I never went out and bought stuff like this. Maybe I am just too lazy to lug three kids and that stuff. Maybe if we had bought it we would have avoided some of the strange stuff that they got, like Hand Foot and Mouth disease. But I do believe in vaccinations, so we are covered with the worst of the sicknesses.

  75. EricS August 12, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Agreed Jules and SKL. My nephew and nieces (now around the age of 5), did just fine without these types of products. When shopping, they were put in those baby wraps you put around you, and have them in the front (don’t know what they are called). Sure we had to keep more of an eye on them, just in case they did happen to lose balance. But isn’t that all part of parenting. Who says parenting is suppose to be easy. It isn’t, but that what makes it PARENTING, and what makes it all worthwhile, and fun. Teaches yourself patience and ingenuity, which in turn teaches your kids. Just like if you did everything for your kids, they’d never learn. So much the same if companies were to do everything for you, you’d never learn how to do things without their product. These items never existed in the past, and I would guess there are millions of babies that have grown up fine without them. They are just cash cows. I’m all for products that makes things more convenient, but not at the sacrifice of practicality and common sense. I’d rather spend my money on more practical and useful items. Plus, this product doesn’t help with the “germs” as it claims. As your baby still ends up holding on the car itself, then putting their hands in their mouths.

    Oh…and those juice box holders…another dumb invention that takes up valuable resources and contributes to the already excessive junk/trash we have today. Only people who don’t know how to drink from a juice box or individuals with very poor coordination need this. And what’s to prevent the kids from shaking it? Causing juice to spill anyway, and possible the juice box/jammers to fly out. Then you still have the same problem this product claims to deter. What I’ve used is one of those spill free cups, and dumped the contents of the juice box in those. About the same size as a juice box with no fuss of a straw.

  76. Cheryl W August 12, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Oh, and as for the juice…kids who drink fruit juice are more likely to end up obese. I was happy when I saw that as I was too stingy to buy juice for my kids. Now I have a prefect excuse for why it is only for birthday parties (as opposed to soda….)

  77. Marion August 12, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    My God! I checked out the One Step Ahead site and they have a whole section devoted to ‘danger’! Indoor danger, outdoor danger… They even have wrapstuff to wrap around play equipment on playgrounds to ‘make the play environment safer’. Sheez!

  78. N August 12, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    10-month-olds are babies, and are not going to understand why they can’t crawl or jump or catapult out of a cart. If there’s one thing I don’t like about this site, it’s how holier-than-thou some of the parents act. It is reasonable to want to be able to buckle a baby into a cart so he/she can’t fall out.

  79. talyn August 12, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    SKL, I just love how you put words nobody said into quotation marks.

    Perhaps your 10 month old was a faster learner than mine, but I worked on the “don’t dive off of things” lesson for a while, (He’s now 18 months old, and no longer tries to dive from carts) and I think a major head injury from diving 4 feet onto cement is a lesson a little too harsh for a baby. So I used bunji cords for a couple of months.

    Then again, 10 months ago I wouldn’t have understood my own plight having only had a non-diving child previously.

  80. N August 12, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    She’s quoting me, but nicer. I said, “You can’t teach a 10-month-old squat.” And my younger child, at 10 months, no did not understand not to dive off the cart. My older one was more cautious. But people could stand to stop making assumptions about other people’s parenting realities here. There are plenty of truly unnecessary safety devices out there, but some kind of strap to keep little ones in the cart rather than on the floor doesn’t qualify.

  81. Kiesha August 12, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    I would just like to tell Amy a little further up that in the 2.5 years I worked at a McDonald’s as a teenager, when I had lobby duty, I ALWAYS cleaned the high chairs and booster seats and cleaned the changing tables quite a bit. I also crawled up through the play places and wiped down the plastic with cleaner. I stopped short of cleaning all the balls in the ball pit though.

  82. talyn August 12, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    N, oops. I thought SKL was insulting me, not you. 🙂 You and I can just commiserate on the diving baby front.

  83. Linda Wightman August 12, 2011 at 3:22 am #

    Certainly a 10-month-old is a baby. And babies can be taught a whole lot more than we give them credit for, if we’ll only take the time and put our minds to it. That’s not to say we all have the time and energy to teach them everything in the world; that’s why these devices sell. People have every right to choose to use them, but I also appreciate learning about alternatives.

  84. N August 12, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    Oh, sure, if we take several months to teach them, by when they’d have outgrown it anyway. But that doesn’t help me when the 10-month-old is trying to jump out of the cart.

  85. SusanOR August 12, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    Although the marketing was aimed at give your kid her own pristine world, the reviews of the product were much, much, much more normal. Most people commented (as did the readers here) that it solves the broken strap problem, especially for the littler kids who slide down without something holding them up. And many reviewers also used it to make a high chair out of a regular chair, at friends homes or at restaurants.

    We, too, had a similar thing we borrowed from friends, and it was tremendous! I never actually used it in grocery stores, but I did take it with us to restaurants & when traveling because it folded up really small but allowed us to keep her seated when she would otherwise have slipped downward.

    As for juice box covers, I adhered to the idea that if they were too young to know not to squeeze the box, they were too young to drink from juiceboxes most of the time. At home, juice is rare but usually served in a cup. When traveling, juice boxes can be frozen & taken with you for hours but still remain cold (and serve as an ice pack for other things you’ve got in your bag).

  86. Marion August 12, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    Re: the juice box thing. Why give your baby/toddler juice boxes to begin with? ‘Juice’ contains boatloads of sugar. It contains as much or even more sugar than coca cola or pop. Why addict your child to sugar and rot its emerging milkteeth when you can give it water instead?

    People are mislead by the juice thing. They think because it’s ‘fruit juice’ it’s good for their kids, ’cause hey, fruit is good, right? Only, ‘fruit juice’ is actually fruitconcentrate (if that and not food colouring and artificial flavouring), sugar, additives, sugar, E-numbers, sugar and water.

  87. SusanOR August 12, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    And Jules — it rains here in Oregon. A lot. Many days of the year. And when the carts are stored outside the grocery, one inside the other, it’s not laziness to wish to get self & baby inside the store quickly. A little less holier-than-thou would be nice.

  88. Marion August 12, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    Little movie about the amount of sugar in juice boxes:

    If you want to find danger anywhere, this is where to look. Not in the danger of slipping out of the grocery cart, but the danger of constantly sipping liquid sugar.

  89. N August 12, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    My kids almost never have juice, but the younger one had a frequent threat of diving out of the grocery cart, so for me the cart was more dangerous.

  90. SKL August 12, 2011 at 4:10 am #

    N and Talyn, I wasn’t insulting you. Talyn was insulting 10-month-olds. I was sticking up for them.

    I clearly said it’s your choice whether or not you want to teach them vs. restrain them. I never said one thing nasty about it.

    But consider that “you can’t teach a 10-month-old squat” implies that parents who rely on teaching rather than restraining are endangering their children. So please keep in mind that you may come across as judgmental too. (Even when you aren’t attacking me for making a true, objective statement.)

    N, I didn’t even read your comment that you assumed I was answering.

  91. SKL August 12, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    Sorry, I mixed up N and Talyn in my previous comment.

  92. pentamom August 12, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    “You could actually get radical and “teach” your kids to sit down in the shopping cart. Then you might not actually need that “gross, germy” belt at all.”

    I’ve always been one for “teach your kids rather than remove all possibilities of trouble” but there was something about sitting, and shopping carts, that most of my generally obedient, relatively docile kids just WOULD NOT cooperate with. Same with high chairs.

    Donna’s right, though — for all the times we can find legitimate reasons to use something like this thing, that’s NOT how it’s being marketed. It might even be said that it’s really the marketing that’s the problem, not the fact that someone’s come up with something that *could be* handy in some circumstances. It’s not being sold as “handy in some circumstances,” it’s being sold as “you need this to keep your child safe and sterile.”

    Teri, I get the part about being extra careful in your situation because you just can’t afford to have anyone sick. But do you really think it’s the cart, and not just being out and about and around a greater mix of people when you shop?

  93. Tina B August 12, 2011 at 4:45 am #

    I own both of those products. I bought the Wrap Strap because many times the carts I end up with have broken straps in the seat. It’s frustrating, and I saw the Wrap Strap as an alternative way to make sure I could fasten my child in the seat. However, I ended up using it instead to strap my son in his high chair. He was a wriggler, and the seat belt in the high chair did not work well enough for him. I was afraid he’d launch himself over the side.

    The juice box holder is quite wonderful as it prevents a younger child from squeezing the juice box itself. That being said, we hardly ever drink juice boxes, but it’s very handy for when we do.

  94. SKL August 12, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    My “teach” comment is a reaction to the issue we’ve talked about before – that our culture has gotten to the point where we first look for a device/restraint to solve a developmental issue.

    I 100% agree that some kids are more challenging to teach safety rules, and parents need to make their own safety decisions individually. But, when the marketing is all on the side of “restrain,” and folks have come to believe that “you can’t teach” a baby/toddler, someone needs to speak up for the other side – in my opinion.

    I do NOT want to make this about “my kid vs. your kid.” But the fact is, I had babies who were teachable. My mom had babies who were teachable. Maybe one of her 6 was too headstrong – he was the exception to the rule. (He was very good at opening straps, too. Lucky to be alive, I say.) Yes, we need a solution for those kids, but don’t assume it applies to all kids.

  95. Lollipoplover August 12, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    I admit germ/flu issues in the winter here and do use handiwipes on cart handles then. When my kids were little, they put their mouths on everything to chew and gum but they didn’t last long in those front seats because they were little baby Hueys. I always looked at the totally outfitted shopping carts with the trail of cheerios down the aisles, and a screaming baby who is in a store too long, as overkill.
    I’m just waiting for an front airbag on one of those little car carts.
    Manuevering that thing is like driving an 18 wheel truck.

  96. Coccinelle August 12, 2011 at 4:57 am #

    I feel really dumb now because I’ve read all the comments and nobody mentioned a simple solution I’ve got for this problem… I put my baby/toddler in the cart… like where you put your stuff. Is there a rule somewhere that state that you can’t do that or that you are a bad parent if you do? I always thought that climbing out of the cart was harder than out of the child seat. At least they won’t be able to until they grow a bit… It only works with real shopping cart that actually have room but I just don’t shop at places with new-age shopping carts.

    So is there a problem whit that? Have you all not access to old-shcool shopping carts where you live? Or maybe it’s the reason everyone raves about shoppings cart straps? They were non-existant when I was a kid and as I recall, nobody let their squirmy 10 months head-first-diver in the child seat or did they?

  97. SKL August 12, 2011 at 4:58 am #

    Lollipoplover, I agree about maneuvering some of those car carts! Thank goodness my kids are too old for them now.

  98. Matt Wall August 12, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    Yah, I have had problems finding a shopping cart available with a working strap. The hyperbole about “all for your own child” stuff is just marketing fluff, but I can see some utility in having a safety belt. What I used to do is detach the carry strap from my diaper bag (which had hooks for D-rings on either end) and just cinch it around my son’s lap.

    Of course, if the $)#@) stores kept their carts in order it wouldnt’ve been necessary…

  99. Jynet August 12, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    SKL, on August 12, 2011 at 04:54 said:
    Maybe one of her 6 was too headstrong – he was the exception to the rule. (He was very good at opening straps, too. Lucky to be alive, I say.) Yes, we need a solution for those kids, but don’t assume it applies to all kids.


    I agree, lots of kids are teachable… lots aren’t too… but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t teach the ones who CAN learn!

  100. Krista August 12, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    I think what wins the pointless product of the year is:

    Hands-Free Car Seat Carrier!

    Seriously, people, it’s okay to take the baby out of the bucket.

  101. SKL August 12, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    Coccinelle, they do advise against putting kids in the backs of carts. Supposedly it’s not safe – maybe because the mom is not right on top of the kid while pushing the cart. I must say I’ve put one of my two tots back there at times in the past. I threatened them with a fate worse than death if they stood up.

  102. BeckyS August 12, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    As for the website, the slip-proof baby kneepads for crawlers is just beyond ridiculous, IMHO.

  103. Donna August 12, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    Personally, I was a belter. Sure, you can teach a 10 month old to stay in the cart if you have the time to just push him around the store in the shopping cart. Shopping, however, requires focusing on something else and frequently turning your back on or moving away from the cart. Not something I want to do with a 10 month old who has not yet learned to stay in the cart.

    That said, if you choose to belt, why exactly do you need your own SPECIAL belt to do this? I’ve yet to be in a grocery store (and that’s when this will mostly be used) when ALL the belts were broken. I could generally find one that worked in about 30 seconds and I don’t truly believe that every grocery store in my area is somehow better maintained than every other grocery store in every other place in the US. As for size, I have an extremely small child. She has never topped the 5th percentile in weight, and even now at almost 6, is closer in size to an average 4 year old. She started sitting in high chairs and riding in carts at about 4 months. The belts provided were always sufficiently safe.

  104. SKL August 12, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    Of course they didn’t have belts on shopping carts when our parents were raising their kids. So it’s not absolutely crazy to think a child could survive without being belted in.

  105. socalledauthor August 12, 2011 at 5:25 am #

    @Coccinelle– the shopping carts here warn against using the main basket for a child seat because it’s “unsafe” (the kid could climb out.) But I figure that at some point, it’s up to the parent to take the “risks” they deem acceptable, and accept the consequences.

    I’ve made my son cry in the store repeatedly. He’s currently 14 months old and I will tell him to sit down and sit him back down every single time he starts to even pull his leg up to try to stand up. It’s a hassle and incredibly time consuming to keep one eye on him while I shop so that I can reinforce the lesson every single time. But I don’t rely on safety equipment, especially after he wriggled out of the straps on one cart. A strap is great, but what’s more important is teaching your kid the rules. This is what parents did before there WERE straps in the grocery cart (as there were none in most stores back when I was a child, and that wasn’t that long ago.) I don’t know or care if people stare. My so-called comfort is very much secondary to my need to teach my child an important lesson about sitting (and listening.)

    And the juice box thing– useful, yes, but not necessary. As others have said, the bigger issue is drinking juice. For some reason, we think that our toddlers need to suck on juice all day (and then we simply can’t understand why they don’t eat dinner :facepalm:) Same with snacks– now that my son is a toddler, I’ve noticed that other toddlers are constantly munching on something– from cheerios to goldfish crackers to those special Gerber toddler snacks– but I don’t understand WHY? Little boys and girls don’t need to nibble all day anymore than grown ups do, but so many people are teaching their children to snack constantly… and part of it I suspect is that it’s a good distraction, meaning that the kid doesn’t bother them for a little while.

  106. This girl loves to Talk August 12, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    I pray for better shopping cart seatbelts! My one half year old has worked out how to get out of those flimsy click around your waist pieces of crap.. .. after she worked her way out of the belt, climbed out of the trolley and accidently knocked some pasta sauce over on her way down the other day I was so exasperated I said to the guy helping me clean it up.. do ya think the stores can fit better seatbelts in trolleys!!! something that goes over the shoulders would be super helpful! so the kids CANT CLIMB OUT!

    (I know its just a stage… she started about 2 months ago and as I have four kids so I know it wont last forever but it sure makes shopping a pain in the butt!)

  107. This girl loves to Talk August 12, 2011 at 5:33 am #

    I’ve done the pull her legs down and say sit 1000’s times per shopping trip for about 6 months now.. there is just something about shopping and all that ‘stuff’ just out of reach I suppose. As I have four kids, I’ve also sat them in the cart numerous times. No one has ever been hurt, but gee it would be nice to have some decent shopping time (and my kids are generally pretty good elsewhere.. I suppose shopping just brings out the demon in children… I always give the knowing wink to other parents with kids that are acting exasperating ..

  108. Coccinelle August 12, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    Well I don’t understand why it’s not safe as I personally think it’s less safe to put your kid in the child seat, buckle him with the seatbelt, thinking he’s safe and keeping less of an eye on him because of that, and then the first thing you know, he is able to climb out anyway (as many commenters here have commented) So I think this rule is stupid!

    Personally, it would take me like 3 hours to grocery shop if I had to worry about my baby falling off the child seat but now, I know that he can’t climb out (for now) and I feel better!

  109. Coccinelle August 12, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    Oh and do you know, for those who said they will buy it, that you can do it yourself? With only skills taken from home economics and a few bucks?

  110. LRH August 12, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    These products, just like Lenore has stated, prey on parents who think that they have to buy every last gizmo in the store or else they’re a sorry good-for-nothing don’t believe in taking care of my kids piece of lazy trash.

    And by the way, SKL is right, you CAN teach a 10-month old. It’s called exploiting the fact that you’re bigger, and morphing into “angry dad/mom” as needed. It reminds me a lot of the “stay in bed at night-time” debate–someone I knew swore that if a child was determined enough you couldn’t keep them in bed at night-time. Well, mine went through a phase of about 10 minutes on 1 single night where they dared to challenge mom whining “I don’t want to go to bed.” Let’s just WITHOUT BEING ABUSIVE mind you, I morphed into a strong hard-core intimidating scary type of dad, the type that would make Quadafi wet himself (did I spell his name correctly?–the ruler of Libya is who I’m referring to), and they got in that bed and they didn’t dare move until the next morning. To this day, when I simply outloud say “bed-time,” they go straight to bed and are as quiet as a mouse until the next morning without any power struggles.

    I’ve never understood the term “power struggle with your kids.” WHAT struggle? I’m big, they’re little, I win–end of story. THAT is how you do it, my friends.


  111. Coccinelle August 12, 2011 at 5:53 am #


    Well, ok, but you do know that not every parent want to scare their children? Not every parent want their kids to be afraid of them!

  112. Mandy August 12, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    Half the reason I’m a free range parent is because I’m lazy. Why on earth would I waste my time trying to teach a baby not to stand up in a cart/squeeze a juice box/what-have-you when I could teach them the same thing in a hundredth of the time in six months?

  113. Janet August 12, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    I confess I quite like the juice box holders, as I am not that into juice myself so never liked having to drink half of it myself before handing it to a 2yo who gripped it so hard that the contents fountained everywhere!

    (But I never actually bought one, just lamented that I hadn’t every time I ended up with a juice-covered toddler.)

  114. Nora August 12, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    All this talk of juice boxes reminded me of what someone found in a del monte juice pack…
    DO NOT WATCH if you have a weak stomach…

  115. LRH August 12, 2011 at 6:06 am #

    Coccinelle And this is more of an issue that you’d see at John Rosemond’s site than here (he’s the other parenting pundit I’m big on, he & Lenore are my two “go to” sources), but regardless, I’d say such parents don’t realize what parenting is. It’s not about being your child’s buddy and worrying that they will hate you for what you demand of them.

    You are to care no more for what they think than what the judgmental strangers think. You’re the leader, they’re the follower, it’s that simple. It doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be a jer and not bear in mind what they feel, so long as it doesn’t override your better judgment. Also it doesn’t mean you can’t play with them & have fun with them and take joy when they’re enjoying you, it’s just that you don’t let any of this rule your parenting decisions or prevent you from making a tough-unpopular decision anymore than you’d let the judgmentalism of people not approving of your free-range style interfere with your pursuit of that.

    Do I want my kids (who are 2 & 4) scared of me in the general sense? Absolutely not. Do I want them scared of me if they do something they know they’re not supposed to do? You darn right I do. I want them trembling in their boots with paralyzing fear at the thought of challenging me on my authority, or their mother’s, you better believe it, at least until they get old enough to actually have some judgment.


  116. Stella August 12, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    I wish somebody had given me a shopping cart strap instead of a full seat cover for my baby shower, because by the time my baby came home, he was already too big for the seat cover…. big enough to try to hurl himself out of the shopping cart seat when I couldn’t find a cart with working straps… and not yet able to walk. Then again, that stage lasted only about 5 months, so it still would’ve been a waste of money.

    I regifted the shopping cart seat cover, ignoring the skeptical look of the new mom who probably never expected such a gift to come from me. Oh well, life goes on.

  117. Nicole Pelton August 12, 2011 at 6:27 am #

    Just don’t forget to wipe the grocery cart and the seat cover and the strap with the sanitizers that are all over the place now. Germs, diseases….do you know how many kids die in grocery carts!!! one of my first blog posts was on an article about them falling over or something. Egads do I hate all the sanitizers too. I usually just line the whole thing with bubble wrap, protective and entertaining 🙂 juice box box box, hee hee

  118. Party Piper August 12, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    I think the unifying theme of these products is “do it for them, save time for yourself.” This isn’t overprotective parenting; this is LAZY parenting. Yes, it will save yourself time now, but later you’re gonna have to spend that time and more teaching them what experience has not. Or they’ll be living in your basement at 30 while they “get their lives together.”

  119. mighthavejoy August 12, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    A little off topic, but a good article about teaching vs. restraining, and showing that other parents are “getting it.”

    Teaching Rather Than Fencing Keeps Kids Safer

  120. Catherine Scott August 12, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Lenore, you are sooo funny when you are annoyed. In fact we actually pay people to come up this stupid crap so we can enjoy your hilarious responses!

  121. Catherine Scott August 12, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Oh, and re. sanitisers, apart from a scaremongering money grab they are actually worse than useless. They kill your own natural inhabitants that protect you from the bad guys and leave those untouched. Some research showed that people who are sick in some way, especially the immuno-compromised, catch more diseases when they use sanitisers instead of good old fashioned soap, which leaves your resident body guards alone and kills the nasties instead.

  122. Alice August 12, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    oh yeah … I have the best solution for that: No more juice boxes (not hard to put juice in a REUSABLE container) et put the young ones in a baby carrier on your front or your back … no more issues. Worked for me and both my boys until about 2 years old, after that, they either stayed in the seat with or without the strap, or walked and ran through the aisle with me

  123. pentamom August 12, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    “So is there a problem whit that? Have you all not access to old-shcool shopping carts where you live?”

    Depends how much food you buy at a time, I guess. There isn’t always room, or you don’t want to put breakables/crushables in the baby’s reach, if you’re half-or-more filling the cart. The way I used to shop, the baby would have been buried.

  124. pentamom August 12, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Jynet and SKL — about teaching first, then falling back on restraints if necessary, I totally agree.

  125. Bernard August 12, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    Dear Lenore, I enjoy rants. This one is one of (if not the best of the year. So treat yourself. Have another coffee! Actually, there should be a rant competition. Why not a reality show rant competition! “So you think you can rant” I’m sure the Dilantin and Mellaryl and Rittalin and Concerta people would be most interested in being sponsors. . . . . Now that I have had my say I will go back to my Chinese green tea. B

  126. Diane August 12, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Juice is sticky and dirty, we make our kids drink water especially in the car.

    As for shopping carts I love when the manager of the store comes up to me and says, “Your child has to sit down.” and I say, “You tell him. I already did.” The manager tells the toddler, and the toddler politely replies, “No, thank you.” Then the manager says, “You have to make your child sit down.” To which I reply, “He will not sit down. Are you suggesting I spank him?” The manager hurriedly walks away and I get to laugh at how crazy people are.

    I do use the yucky dirty strap for the babies, but I haven’t had a toddler yet who can’t wriggle out of those straps and I have 8 children– and they hardly ever get sick, so i doubt those dirty straps are causing much harm.

  127. Dolly August 12, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    One Step Ahead has all kinds of products like that. Sometimes I find their stuff very cool and innovative and sometimes I find it overkill. I bought two of those cart and restaurant highchair covers for my boys. They were such a bitch to put on and take off and I had to do two of them that I just didn’t use them. I carry wipes on me or use the ones the stores provide to wipe the carts or highchairs down before I put the kids in and go on with it.

    The only good thing about the covers are when your baby is still pretty little and not great at sitting they cushion them if they fall over or try to eat the cart. They don’t serve a purpose for long. Once the kids are sitting well and know not to eat the cart you no longer need them. Plus with two kids I really could not use them anyway. We had to use the giant double kid carts.

  128. Dolly August 12, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Also I thought I would tell a tale that kinda proves that shopping carts are pretty gross. One day I went shopping when I was in college to a grocery store. It was raining very hard and all the carts were wet. I saw one lonely dry cart and thought what luck! I went and got it and did not notice till a few minutes later that there was VOMIT all over the kid seat area and handle. Yep, my hand was in someone’s vomit. I about vomited myself. So yes, it is not crazy to want to wipe down carts before you use them. The vomit kinda blended in so I didn’t notice it at first.

  129. Dolly August 12, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    I guess I am lucky because I don’t use the straps much except when they were babies. Mine have never tried to get up in the cart. I sometimes would put one in the large food part of the cart and one in the seat and pile food in where ever I could fit it if there are no double seater carts. Even when they were young, they never would try to stand up. I think that standing up is incredibly dangerous and I would not tolerate it. Either figure out how to keep them down or go home but falling out and busting your head open on those hard floors is not something you should let happen on your watch. I told mine to stay seated and they did.

  130. Dolly August 12, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    I thought the juice box thing was kinda neat but not something I need or would buy. Mostly because my kids do not drink juice. They drink milk or water from sippy cups and soon we are getting them on regular cups for at the table. I was too scared of the juice thing with rotting teeth and extra calories and making them not like just plain water.

  131. Alexicographer August 12, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    @Jules, “it’s less for the baby and more for the lazy mom who doesn’t feel like picking through the carts to find one with a strap that isn’t broken.” Eh. If you want to spend your time picking through carts I have no problem with that, but I have better things to do with my time, none of which include sitting on my couch eating bon-bons (alas).

    That said, I can barely remember to bring my cloth bags to the grocery store; the chance of my remembering a portable cartbelt, even if I wanted to, is nil.

    I am rather horrified to learn how many folks are, apparently, regularly using juice boxes. I know I live in crunchy enviroland, but the thought of so much landfill waste is, to say the least, depressing. What’s the use keeping my kid safe if he grows up to live in a world whose open spaces have been given over to trash?

  132. Alexicographer August 12, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Oh @Krista I’ve got no interest in that strap/harness, but was happy (nay, delighted) to keep the baby in the carseat if doing so adhered to my number one parenting rule: Never Wake a Sleeping Baby!!!

  133. Robin August 12, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Funny story. When my first was an infant, my car seat carrier was supposed to snap onto the shopping cart. First time I used it, I could not get it off. It took 2 very nice grocery store workers to get it unlatched for me. Needless to say, I never did that again. I decided that shopping at night and leaving the baby at home with dad was far preferable.

    We didn’t need juice box boxes, I didn’t give my kids juice. And the best thing I did was to teach them at a very young age, 11 or 12 months, I think, to drink from a straw. Never had to carry sippy cups with me again.

    One Step Ahead is targeted at the first time moms or people attending showers that need a gift. I used to look through the catalogs and just laugh at some of the stuff. If they ever did have anything that seemed interesting, you could buy it somewhere else for half the cost.

    Lenore, loved your rant. Maybe a Rant of the Week feature?

  134. Robin August 12, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Alexicographer – I understand your concern for the environment, but equally concerning is the number of parents who think juice is nutricious. They wouldn’t dare give their kids candy, but juice is “natural” so it must be good. Ugh.

  135. sherri August 12, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    When my older son was born nine years ago we didn’t have seat belts in shopping carts at all. As soon as he could move around I started putting him in the basket, despite the warnings. I personally felt that was the safest place for him. By the time he was big enough to climb out of the basket he was also big enough to understand he needed to sit down in the seat. I did tend to shop often, buying small amounts on each trip. When my second son was a newborn I had him his bucket on the top of the cart when my toddler tried to climb the side of the cart, knocking the whole thing over and sending the newborn flying. Good thing he was wearing his seatbelt.

  136. NZ mum August 12, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    WOW! Here we HAVE to strap our kids into the trolleys or else we are asked to leave the store. There have been quite a few instances where kids have fallen out of trolleys onto the concrete floor. My brother is one of them. He fractured his skull and was really lucky not to do any damage to his brain. But the great thing is that the straps here are clean and maintained and if one isn’t, you tell the supermarket and THEY FIX IT! The trolley wranglers (yep real term) are responsible for this.

    Maybe instead of buying a pointless item, tell your supermarket to clean them and keep them maintained. I’m guessing they would want to avoid getting sued. 🙂

  137. Nicola August 12, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Being a person who works in a grocery store and seeing just how many people over the course of a day use the cart and all the things they touch – i.e. raw meat packages, their own selves – sanitizing the cart handle is a VERY good idea.

    With this cart strap, also working in a grocery store as my experience, some little ones really would decide to get out were it not for a seat belt. Not so much for speed, just for sanity.

    With this “seat belt” they’re marketing – I believe that is more the problem than the belt – they’re marketing it to the germaphobe and not to the parent who realizes when you have a squirming 8 month old who is straining against the belt until they make themselves sick (mine did this more than a few times), and those that who are too small to really sit up against a black tiny belt – it’s more comfy.

    I truly feel these people just are marketing to a certain type of parent without thinking the product could speak for itself if they’d market it for comfort rather than “protection.”

  138. pentamom August 12, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    @Jules, “it’s less for the baby and more for the lazy mom who doesn’t feel like picking through the carts to find one with a strap that isn’t broken.”

    I’m sorry, but I didn’t feel “lazy” because I wasn’t willing to juggle one kid on the hip and some running around at my feet to find the cart with the intact straps. When you’ve got your hands full, getting the kid into the cart ASAP is a priority, and if thinking that way meant I was “lazy,” then I’ll guess I’ll just have to take that criticism.

    Mind you, I never had stuff like these straps or worried much about finding intact straps, but it wasn’t because I was so very energetic and full of free time that I considered hunting down the correctly maintained cart a worthwhile use of time and effort.

    And yeah, some stores are just like that — lots of bad carts. I could keep shopping at that place regardless, I could fruitlessly complain to the management that doesn’t do a great job of a dozen other things that are a higher priority, or I could pay 30% more for food at another store or several dollars a week more in gas to go to a more distant affordable store. What to do, what to do? Probably put up with less than stellar shopping carts.

  139. Dolly August 12, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I have had issues with our local Walmart and the straps on the double carts which really need the straps. The walmart double carts here are like two little seats that sit catty corner to each other and they are just perched on the little seat. Now they are 4 and they just sit there with no straps just fine. I first started putting them in those seats though around 9 months or so when they were sitting up well. I had to tighten the straps super tight to they would not fall out.

    The problems is they have maybe 5 double carts and the straps on half of them are broken. I complained numerous times and they still are broke just like they were four years ago. I just had to improvise and look till I found one with two non broken straps or put them in a regular cart with one in the basket or push a double stroller and pull a cart behind me or push one regular cart and pull another cart behind with a kid in each seat. If there is a way to shop, I have done every variety. You have to be creative with multiples.

    Wearing a baby was NEVER a possibility for me. I have a very bad back and carrying or wearing a baby would kill me. I have pretty much carried my kids as little as possible since they were born. If I could make them walk or stroll them in a stroller, wagon, cart, etc I did. Carrying has never been an option for me.

  140. FrancesfromCanada August 12, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    I used to carry my own strap…but I re-purposed it from my backpacking equipment. Plush it was not. But I have a kid who liked to climb out despite all the teaching in the world (I think some of you are lucky to have very docile kids) and I can’t actually reach the milk in our grocery store without letting go of the cart and turning away from him.

    My strap was because many stores around here don’t maintain their seatbelts, and most you have to put a dollar in to get the cart out of the cart corral. Life is too short to waste shuffling shopping carts. Took the first one, used my strap, problem solved. I can’t get too excited about this product here…though I might on a personal finance blog, ’cause there are many cheaper ways to get your groceries.

  141. Poppy August 12, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Three unrelated thoughts:

    @aleicographer: hear, hear!
    juice box box box, tee hee 🙂
    Did you all see that the Safety 1st website is divided into “0 – 3 — Babies” and “3+ — Kids”? I’m hereby insulted on behalf of all one, two, and three year olds, who are very clearly NOT babies!

  142. Nancy August 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    I don’t really have a problem with the cushy cart seat – when they’re really young its great for keeping the kid from sliding forward and sucking on the cart handle – Gross!

  143. Dawn in Vancouver August 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    My kids never seemed to need the belt on so I wouldn’t have needed something like this. But I know some parents have kids that would be leaping out of the cart without the belt on, so in those carts that have broken seatbelts or no seatbelts, I could see there being a use for them.
    I don’t see this as a huge thing catching on. I’ve only ever seen one person using a shopping cart protector seat thing. Only once! Everyone else I see shopping with kids have them sit in the cart in all different ways. Some kids are in the big part, some in the actual seat, some standing on the front or side.

  144. BMommy August 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I usually agree with you, but not here. First I am not a germaphobe, but most shopping cart seats & child buckles are usually absolutely discusting if they are not broken or missing altogether. At least where I live in So Cal they are, maybe they are not so bad where you live. The age of a child that is most often in a shopping cart seat is also at the age where they touch everything & put everything including their hands in their mouths. I actually prefer a shopping cart cover that is padded. My son was quite wobbly in the cart when he was young & I was concerned he would hurt his head & he also liked to put his mouth on the cart & knaw on it. It had loops to hook for his toys & a pocket for a drink or snack. It’s one of the most usefull things I purchased for him. Regarding the juice box I disagree with you on that one too. All you have to do is touch a juice box & they oozze everywhere. Personally I prefer to not buy them altogher, but sometimes they are convient.

  145. BMommy August 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Also where I live they often have the straps positioned for a larger child & they are comfortable or secure for a little one

  146. Jules August 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    @anyone who got bent out of shape over the “lazy” comment: usually if I find a cart with a broken strap, I pull out the next one and is OK. It’s not like finding a needle in a hay stack. I had 4 kids and survived just fine with the buckles on the carts. I did get one of those cushy cart-seat liners, and it’s sitting in my basement because I found that to be more work than just grabbing a cart with a strap.

  147. gap.runner August 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I didn’t have time to read through all of the comments, but here’s my take on this issue:

    When my son (age 12) was a baby, the German shopping carts didn’t have straps. I don’t think that the ones at my local grocery stores have them now. Somehow German babies and toddlers manage to survive shopping while not being strapped into a cart. I’m sure that some German babies chew on the cart handles. Yet I’ve never seen a German mother whip out a wipe to sanitize the handle.

    Sanitizing a cart, or everything else in a child’s world, ends up developing resistant bacteria. If an antibacterial wipe (which just kills bacteria and not viruses) kills 99% of the bacteria on a surface, the surviving 1% will reproduce and pass on their resistant genes to the next generation. Before you know it, you’re back where you started with a world full of bacteria, only this time they’re all resistant to the chemicals in the sanitizer. Even if you keep using sanitizer, it won’t do any good with the resistant germs.

    Juice box holders seem like another invention designed to prevent kids from learning their limits. If a kid is allowed to hold a juice box and spill on himself, he will quickly figure out how to hold the box so that he drinks the juice instead of spilling it. That said, I hardly used juice boxes because they are environmentally unfriendly. The only time I used them was when I traveled.

  148. Mrs Embers August 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Wow, I can’t believe how judgmental everyone’s being right now (and I’m not talking about the original post, either!) Insulting parents who let their kids have juice/ juice boxes, or who don’t care to frighten their children into submission, or people who think safety belts are necessary? I thought free-range was more about respecting other people’s parenting decisions even if we don’t agree with them. I like reading about everyone’s opinions on the above things, even if we don’t agree, I just wish we could do it without attacking each other.

    OK, that said, I love you guys.

    I sympathize with people who find that most or all of the shopping cart seat-belts are broken at their store. Ours had the same problem. Now they have these brilliant retractable seat-belts. I actually got to use them for about a month before my younger kid outgrew the child seat! I can see wanting to have your own strap for an “all the carts are broken” situation, but I’d make my own. And then I’d forget to take it, anyway. 🙂 But making regular, working seatbelts seem like something to fear is just disgusting.

    As for juice boxes, we’ve managed to mostly avoid them by using the plastic re-usable ones (I think ours are Rubbermaid, less than $3 each). Cheaper, less garbage, and the kids can’t squeeze juice all over themselves- and I can water down the juice, which I like. Or just have water or milk. Or whatever.

    When we do use juice boxes (because sometimes the boys think it’s a fun treat), I take a big sip when I open them, or a smaller one as they get better at regulating their grip. It helps a lot. I like the “wings” idea, too- I’d never thought of that!

    I just don’t have enough money to waste on stuff I don’t need. I try to remind myself that whoever makes this stuff is telling me I need something (or worse, trying to scare me into buying it) because they want my money, not because they actually care about my child’s comfort or safety. Helps a lot when I’m tempted to buy things.

  149. Nikki August 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Those shopping cart wraps (or whatever they are!) drive me crazy! And, a much cheaper solution to the juice box box, just pull up the sides of the box and teach your child to hold it by the ‘wings.’ Voila, no juice squeezed out of the box!

  150. Donna August 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    “They drink milk or water from sippy cups and soon we are getting them on regular cups for at the table.”

    Really? Aren’t your kids over 4? It’s waaaaay past time for regular cups. I didn’t use sippy cups for very long (too hard to keep clean without a dishwasher and I didn’t have one at the time) but, even at daycare (not exactly a bastion of free range parenting), they switched from sippy cups to regular cups at 2.

    I just have a pet peeve of treating children like babies with pacifiers, sippy cups, diapers, strollers, etc well into childhood.

  151. MangoTreeMama August 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Ok, I had to quit reading comments, because there were just too many. But Lenore, you made me laugh :0) Thanks.
    I’m definitely on the side of “the juice box holders keep them from learning not to squeeze the box.” I have 7, 6 of them are under 8. I’ve never buckled anyone into the cart, and so far, no one has fallen. Usually I’m wearing the youngest one, which means the one in the cart is old enough to know that climbing in the cart might get you a bump on the noggin.
    As for germs, we are almost SURE that a shopping cart is where our little brood picked up Whooping Cough. That wasn’t fun for anyone, but really? My philosophy is that exposure strengthens the immune system. I realize that there are immuno-compromised individuals, but I also think there are a lot of immune systems that are atrophied as a result of sitting inside sanitized bubbles instead of playing in the dirt, sticks, and rocks.
    Just my $0.02 :0)

  152. Laura August 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    The marketing is painful, but I could’ve used that product a time or six. We have a local store that has probably 50% of the carts with broken buckles, and while now my son just sits, when he was a first-sitter the strap helped him stay upright and when he was first able to stand/walk it helped keep him in place. (Yes, I intervened when he started to stand up, but I WAS turning and bending to grab things off the shelves and it gave me peace of mind to know the strap would buy me the couple seconds needed to see what was happening if he did it while I was getting stuff.)

    It would’ve saved me a few tedious searches through the carts for one with an unbroken strap – and depending on construction (I didn’t go look) it might also have helped with the local restaurant that doesn’t figure high chairs need to have functioning buckles, either. Broken cart/high chair buckles really are a pain.

  153. Nora August 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    “I thought free-range was more about respecting other people’s parenting decisions even if we don’t agree with them. I like reading about everyone’s opinions on the above things, even if we don’t agree, I just wish we could do it without attacking each other.”

    I agree, and I am finding it hard to post here now. I thought as humans we are all here to learn from each other, if we do not keep an open mind we will miss many wonderful learning opportunities.

    Laura you post sounds a lot like how I felt 5 to 7 years ago when I had small boys!

  154. SKL August 12, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    I agree sometimes we sound judgmental. But readers, don’t be over-defensive. This post was about a company marketing to fears. Many of the “critical” comments here are really directed toward the commercializing of fear and the resulting de-emphasis of non-commercial approaches such as teaching. If you are feeling defensive, you could read it as an insult to you for buying their products or taking their advice. But that’s not really the point.

    I think parents should make their own choices, but it bothers me when companies or misguided movements twist and spin facts to influence parents’ choices.

    I guarantee that I’ve made some choices others here would consider lazy or unnecessary. I have my own reasons, and I don’t feel the need to defend my choices. Others are entitled to their opinions about them.

  155. Amanda H August 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    I agree the strap thing is a little much, although I’ve seen some pretty gross ones on carts. I usually don’t use it anyway. However, I have to defend the juice box holder. It’s rigid sides keep my daughter from squeezing juice all over the place!

  156. SKL August 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    PS, I used to get this company’s catalogs and I have ordered from them. It was fun to look at the ridiculous stuff along with the useful stuff. Yes, it did seem they were sometimes out to shame moms who didn’t, for example, put up a clear plastic barrier so the kids couldn’t fall through the railing above the stairs. But when you think about it, it’s not that much different from companies who imply your kids won’t love you or won’t be happy if you don’t buy the most pretty sugary cereal, the latest expensive, revealing outfits, etc. I don’t understand why anyone falls for any of those tactics, but apparently some do.

  157. Mrs Embers August 12, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    I have no problems with critical comments directed at manufacturers or marketers. Actually, I personally don’t think I need to feel defensive about anything that’s been said. I do think, though, that there’s a line between “telling parents that their kids will get sick and die because a parent didn’t buy this is idiotic and hurts us as a society” and “you’re a bad parent because you can’t make your X month old child sit still.” That’s where I’m starting to feel bad for people. I personally would rather read “this thing is idiotic” than “you’re an idiot if you buy this.” There’s a place for that, I’m sure. I just didn’t think it was here.

    Maybe no one meant to insult anyone else, but that’s how it reads in some of the comments.

    SKL, I agree about the advertising being the same as for cereal, etc. They’re all preying on emotions. For some reason, parents seem to be particularly vulnerable to this. People don’t put their advertising blinders on for this stuff- maybe because parenting magazines back up their advertisers no matter how absurd the product is (I kind of hate them), so baby knee pads look like advice on-par with back-sleeping if you’re not paying attention. I say screw that- my kids are fine without a toilet lock*, and I’m not buying a fun-but-sugary cereal because my 5-year old thinks he needs everything on TV.

    *I understand that they’re necessary for some kids/families, I just don’t like being made to feel like not having one is putting my child’s life in danger. I’m such a monster.

  158. SKL August 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    I never even knew there was a juice box holder out there. My kids didn’t get many juice boxes, but I used to buy milk boxes (no refrig. needed) when they were babies, as a backup for when we were out & about. I don’t recall them spilling them all over themselves. Like any method of eating/drinking, initially there is going to be some spillage, but kids will learn if you let them. Then again, I was kinda bitchy when it came to wasting food, so my kids might have had more motivation to be careful.

    I was always looking for ways to carry less, not more. This again goes to my personal situation – single working mom with “virtual twins.” I had to take them everywhere, alone; and time was at a premium. Shopping meant hauling them, their stuff, and whatever I was buying, all while trying to keep things fun and interesting. Up to age 1.5, I used a small diaper bag in which I carried foldable potty seats, diapers, wipes, and various stuff for feeding them. Between age 1.5 and 2, I stopped carrying stuff for the kids. They were able to eat/use whatever I ate/used.

    I’m not saying whether other people should or shouldn’t buy a bunch of stuff for their kids. Whatever makes you all happy. But, I’m glad my situation forced me to err on the “less” side. It saved money, time, and space. I have to say, I could not WAIT to be done with sippy cups. They take up too much space and are a pain to clean.

  159. Coccinelle August 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    @ gap.runner

    You are right with the sanitizer but it’s not the sole aspect. It’s really bad for the environment AND your children health. The antibacterial Triclosan, for example, is linked with tons of health issues not counting the fact that if your child drink the stuff, it’s poison because of alcool. Plus, as stated above (I think) if used on your skin, it kills all the good bacteria and let the bad reproduce…

    I guess if you use it only on shopping carts it’s not so bad but I tend to think that those mothers use it everywhere… and anyway, I have a mental block that have nothing to do with all I said above: I can’t stand their odours. I’m just intolerant to perfume and those reek!

  160. SKL August 12, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    I didn’t notice anyone saying “you’re a bad parent if . . .,” – but I did not read all of the comments.

  161. SKL August 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    I have to say that I have never used a “sanitizer” of any kind, nor wiped anything down before exposing my kid to it, and yet my kids were pretty much never sick until they entered daycare.

    Again, I know some kids are immune compromised and I’m not picking on anyone. But for people with healthy kids in everyday situations, sanitizing is more for parents’ mental comfort than their kids’ health.

  162. Coccinelle August 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    @ SKL

    I agree with you but I also think that it’s the companies and their publicity that are the most to blame. Before we were mentally comfortable just right because it didn’t exist but now we need it because those company created a need. Companies are out there to create needs, it’s the same for the portable straps or juice box boxes.

    I guess some are more vulnerable to advertisement than others, but I will never blame someone that fall pray to advertisement, I blame the companies!

  163. Al August 12, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    I am using a set of juice box holders that works fine for my twins.
    At i got 4 of them. Now I have 2 at home and 2 in hte car. They work great and actually kids love tham because thay do not have to be careful with juice boxes any more because the juice box holder is made out of two pieces that lock any juice box in place regadless the size of the juice box. Check it out it really works.

  164. LRH August 13, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    As usual, SKL nailed it. The companies are marketing to fears, tickling the scardey-cat bone so as to seduce you to buy their product because–well, otherwise, you’re apparently a horrible parent who doesn’t love your kids if you don’t. If they company doesn’t tell you that, many of the people who buy these products will.

    If I was out-of-line in terms of judging other people’s parenting then I stand corrected. We’re not here to snip at each other and so forth, and I don’t need to contribute to that. My point was simple–I do see and hear a lot of parents act as if they can’t control their kids or that the pursuit of trying to control your kids means you’re a mean parent. I respectfully disagree. It isn’t really my business to judge someone’s parenting style anyway, with one exception–when it creates a disruptive environment in places like (say) church or nice restaurants and in doing so ruins the occasion for me.

    When you see a parent “bargaining” with a child throwing a tantrum over silly stuff and you know good & well you yourself have successfully squashed such tantrums on the part of your own child easily by asserting your authority & larger size, you can’t help but think in your mind (if not even say out-loud) “c’mon, just handle it already.” After all, their failure to do so is spoiling the environment for you. It’s not a matter of meddling in someone’s parenting affairs so much as holding them accountable for how their failure to handle things is spoiling the occasion for you because of the noise/disruptions etc.

    I agree with SKL‘s style of “traveling light” as well. I used to see how people with small kids had more luggage than anyone else I knew. That never made any sense to me–how can such little things require such huge amounts of luggage? I always felt like it was overdone, and again not my business to judge THEM, but I always said I wasn’t going to do it that way when I had kids, my kids would just have to learn to do without some things that probably aren’t essential.

    The way I handle it–if they lose the item (they’re 2 & 4), they do without. End of story. The only exception is shoes, they’re in big trouble if they keep taking their shoes off & end up with “orphaned shoes.” It’s the point that I morph into “mean daddy” the split second I hear velcro tearing. I don’t have a problem with them playing in our yard at home barefooted, mind you, but for going to stores etc especially with these 105’F temperatures making for hot concrete, they are not allowed to go without their shoes, and if they goof around and lose them, they’re in big trouble.

    Children tend to rise to the level of expectations you set for them, so I set the level pretty high. In return they get lots of fun with loads of free-ranging.


  165. dragonwolf August 13, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    I didn’t go through all the comments, so sorry if someone has mentioned this, but…

    Does no one else’s store have the carts with the play cars on the front of them? The Krogers I go to usually have a bunch of them, and those have been a lifesaver since my son got too active to wear (and he’s obviously uncomfortable in the cart seat). He absolutely loves the cars! The carts that are on them aren’t too bad, either. They’re shorter, but deeper, so they hold about as much as the regular ones. It’s a little weird with the total length, but it’s not hard to get used to.

  166. Liz Raptis Picco August 13, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    ¡Ayyyyy – Dios mio! Has anyone considered translating all these comments into other languages so that mothers around the world can have a good laugh at our expense. At heart we are gullible, die-hard consumers.

  167. Kiesha August 13, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    I can appreciate not wanting your kid to make a mess with a juice box, but the line:

    “They work great and actually kids love tham because thay do not have to be careful with juice boxes any more…”

    is the real issue. At some point, kids have to learn how to be careful with things; juice boxes, pets, glass, etc. If you wrap those things up so the kids ‘don’t have to be careful’, will they ever learn TO be careful? Better a little squirted juice on the shirt now than shards of glass in bare feet after dropping a glass.

    I will say that juice boxes and Capri Sun pouches are pure evil. I’m nearly 30 and if I ever drink out of one of those things at a kids’ party, I hold it out as far from my body as possible before puncturing it with the straw.

    “Hey dog, we heard you liked boxes so we put your juice box in a box!”

  168. Daniel M. DuBois August 13, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    With regards to juice boxes squirting, can anyone tell me why the heck the companies make the hole for the straw air-tight with the circumference of the straw? If they just made that sucker a millimeter wider, we’d never have trouble with the squeeze-squirt.

    You guys claim the little ones will learn how to hold a juice box correctly after squirting themselves, but truth be told, I’m 39 and I still squirt myself with those suckers once in awhile. I don’t why I feel compelled to blow into them to force collapsed boxes back into shape after my kids have manhandled them, but I do. That precedes most inadvertant squirts. You’d think I’d learn my lesson. 🙁

  169. Elizabeth August 13, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    They are simple items to make one’s life easier. Not necessary, but someone might find them useful. If you have a child who sits well in the cart, you don’t need one and shouldn’t buy one. If you have a child who is testing their limits and climbing out all the time, then it might be a useful item, since there are many carts with broken seatbelts and some moms may find it comforting knowing they have their own with them. Sure people who hate germs will buy them, but so will the unfortunate mom with the child with cancer who NEEDS their immune system protected. As for the juice cup holders, another innovative idea that prevents messes that inevitably happen. Sure you don’t need one, but some people might like it. And if you use it when they are toddlers they WILL learn to use the cups just fine when they are older. To suggest it keeps them from learning the right way to use them is laughable. One time squirting on themselves when they are 5 and they’ll figure it out. But if you have no use for it, don’t buy it. Simple as that. There will always be products to “make our lives easier”. It’s about creative imaginative people inventing new things, working hard, and trying to market them. A very worthwhile thing I’m sure we’d encourage our own kids to do someday if they wanted to. No big deal. Not everything is a free range issue. 🙂

  170. Dolly August 13, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    haha I am with Daniel, I still squirt myself with them too. Caprisuns are the worst since they are already soft. I also can’t get the hole punched with the straw ever. So yeah, we don’t use them much in our house because mommy hates them.

  171. Dolly August 13, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    If you don’t want to sanitize your kids, don’t. Don’t mock the people that do with their kids though either. I have a child with asthma and I had premature babies at one point too. When my kids get sick it can be a bigger deal than others. I also had a kid who was allergic to the flu shot for a couple years so I also had to sanitize to protect him from the flu, that was the same kid with asthma. Yeah… tell me I am stupid for sanitizing.

  172. SKL August 13, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    Who said stupid? I think everyone here acknowledges that there are some kids who have conditions that make some of these products truly useful FOR THEM.

    Bottom line: if you are using it to address an actual issue that an individual in your family has, you have nothing to be defensive about (unless someone actually said you are stupid – but I didn’t catch that.)

    But if you are using it because you heard somewhere that there’s these tiny things called germs that might invade your normal, happy family life? That’s about your mental intolerance to reality.

    And when I say “mental,” I don’t mean “looney.” I mean, it’s in your head. You don’t have to be a loon to be influenced by propoganda.

  173. Dolly August 13, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    Donna: Yep mine are 4 and they still use sippy cups. Most of their friends of the same age do too. For me its a lazy thing. I am not ready to deal with all the spills and tantrums and crap that will come with teaching them to drink from regular cups. I admit its being lazy. Mine also drink stuff outside the kitchen like the car and couch and living room and their beds and a regular cup would not work well there.

    That is my choice as a parent though and I take responsibility on this. I am going to start working with them. Mine are very against change. We take changes with them one at a time. Last year was potty training. This Summer we were working on water and swimming. This Fall we are working on cups and maybe night training later on this Spring. It is a lot easier teaching one child to do something than it is two at the same time. They will probably continue to use some kind of spill proof cup in the car and other places for awhile but at least at the table we are going to work with regular cups.

  174. Dolly August 13, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    SKL: True. Several posters were getting down on sanitizers and I thought it did need to be pointed out that for some people they are not overkill or paranoia. Some people really do benefit from them. I had to go a little crazy with that stuff when they were preemies. Then overtime I slowly do it less and less. Now we only use it when we can’t wash our hands but they feel like they might be dirty like at the store or at a playground, etc. Still I think it is easy to judge someone for being overly paranoid about germs when you have perfectly healthy kids.

  175. SKL August 13, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    For the record, I have a new niece who isn’t allowed to be around germs for 2 years, because of a medical condition. My kids will not be in the same room with their cousin until she’s at least 2 years old. Baby is fragile and if anyone doesn’t like her mom taking precautions, that is their problem.

    But all the same, I will continue to take no protective measures with my kids, because they can and should gradually develop biological familiarity with whatever is in their environment. If a horrible plague starts spreading around here, I may reconsider.

  176. Coccinelle August 13, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    @ Dolly

    Ok since I felt you included me in your last comment I will answer.

    I will never say that someone who use sanitizer is stupid or a bad parent for that matter. I just said that this stuff is nasty and should not be used. I am perfectly aware that it’s only my opinion forged with information that maybe not everyone came across before. I only think that those who use it don’t know better, but maybe they do know and they chose to use it anyway, I don’t care it’s a choice and it’s your choice.

    That said if I had a special need baby or child that require me to pay attention to germs I would never use sanitizer, only regular soap and it will be more complicated in logistic but I will only be more adamant on this matter because I would be aware that because my child has special needs I would need to use that stuff often and on a long period of time which is just a lot more harmful that on an occasional basis.

    I don’t think it’s your case, but I also believe that the number of children that needs to be germ-proofed is exaggerated and I think that the doctors are to blame for a part of that problem. Many many children have MORE problems because they lived in a (almost) germ-proofed environment.

  177. Marie August 13, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    I have to say that I hate the Capri Sun bags too. I’ve been known to punch clear through to the other side of those things when trying to get the straw in.

  178. SKL August 13, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    You may very well be right about the doctors, Coccinelle, but it’s hard to be brave and daring when your little baby has had far too many close calls in her short life. Docs and nurses (at one of the best baby hospitals in the world) say that kids with her history have a high risk of dying if they catch the common cold, until their lungs develop a lot more. I’m not messing with that. At least it’s only temporary.

    But I think you are right about soap and water. People don’t realize what’s in sanitizer. They took it out of daycares because kids were poisoning themselves by using it and then licking their hands. Even though I’m not over-protective (I don’t think), I don’t let my kids use that stuff except in very rare circumstances. I don’t want to encourage the habit.

  179. SKL August 13, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    …. Now if I could just get my kids to stop drinking the bleach water in the public pool . . . .

  180. Dolly August 13, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    Yes, I also say know and utilize soap and water over hand sanitizer when its feasible. If we can wash hands with regular (not antibacterial) soap than we do. I worked in a daycare and my hands actually were rotting off from all the sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap. I have sensitive skin.

    Sanitizer does have its uses though. When you are at a grocery store to wipe off a cart handle and seat, when you were playing at the playground and now want to sit down to your picnic lunch and there is no bathroom nearby, etc. That is about the only time we use it. When they were smaller and during cold and flu season we used it a bit more like every time we got back in the car from being in a store or playing with toys other kids touch, etc. But again, if we could just wash hands with regular soap that was what we did.

  181. Coccinelle August 13, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    @ SKL

    How old are your kids? Pool water TASTE nasty!

    Anyway, if you are worried about chlorine, your kids already have a big dose of that when they drink tap water or even through their pores when they swim without drinking the water so I don’t think that the amount they drink can really be harmful. Maybe if they empty the pool? haha!

  182. Donna August 13, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    SKL – My kid drank pool water at your kids’ ages too (last summer). She seems to have outgrown it somewhat this year. At least she doesn’t intentionally drink it anymore but I still have to sometimes tell her to close her mouth in the pool.

  183. SKL August 13, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    Coccinelle, my kids are 4.5. I have NO idea what the attraction to pool water is. Every time we go to the bathroom right before swimming, and after 30-40 minutes, my youngest has to RUN for the restroom, LOL.

    I’m glad to hear you say it probably doesn’t matter. I do tell them not to do it, but it’s not one of those things that’s worth “enforcing.” They haven’t grown a third head yet.

  184. Donna August 13, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    “They work great and actually kids love tham because thay do not have to be careful with juice boxes”

    But that implies that we should actually want to teach our children that they don’t have to be careful with juice boxes. I see absolutely nothing to be gained by teaching children they don’t have to be careful with something instead of teaching them that there are many, many things – juice boxes being but one out of thousands – that they do need to be careful with.

  185. Coccinelle August 13, 2011 at 4:00 am #

    @ SKL
    Did you try to tell them that babies pee in the pool? Maybe it will help… ( I know it’s not only babies who do that by the way…)

  186. Donna August 13, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    Funny, we had the cleaning etc. discussion at work today. At lunch one of my co-workers started talking about whether she wanted to have kids or not. She was sitting between me and another mother. The other mother started talking about how you become more worried about cleanliness, hand washing, sanitizing, etc. once you have children. I totally contradicted everything she said. I never made anyone wash their hands before touching my baby, handed her off to strangers to hold, have not altered my housekeeping methods (which were never sterile to start with), never sterilized a single thing, allowed kiddo to put things from the floor in her mouth, don’t use hand sanitizer. My kid is very much healthier than my co-worker’s. Some of that is genetic since I have a great immune system but that may well be because my mother was also not a perfect housekeeper.

  187. SKL August 13, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    Coccinelle, I will maim the person who suggests to my kids that peeing in the pool is not a capital offense . . . .

  188. SKL August 13, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    … In case it’s not obvious, that last coment was a joke . . . .

  189. Coccinelle August 13, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    @ SKL
    I’m not sure I catch what you want to say but it must be because English is not my mother tongue. Sorry.

    @ Donna
    “allowed kiddo to put things from the floor in her mouth”

    I agree with you! Heck I hope normal people do that! How else a baby is supposed to play? You put him on a little square of fabric and watch every seconds that no toy is being thrown on the floor and if so, you take it away from your kid and sanitize it immediately? If you answer yes to that question, I think you should not have kids!

    Personally, I hate strangers to touch my baby when he’s in his stroller but I just think it’s plain rude. I hate strangers touching my belly and it’s not a germ issue!

  190. SKL August 13, 2011 at 4:43 am #

    The thing about babies putting stuff in their mouths – I was lucky. My eldest, who was 12mos when I took custody, was caught sucking on the hotel carpet (she had a thing about sucking on furry stuff). (Excuse me while I recover from the queazy feeling that memory still gives me.) When we arrived home, my house was unexpectedly full of dustballs. Our maids, who were supposed to come while I was traveling after a break of 5 weeks, had postponed. My kid happily crawled through the dust many times before I had a chance to sweep it up. All that dirt had zero bad effect on her. So I thought, what the heck. Dirt is our friend! She remains one of the healthiest kids around. As for my other kid, her skin allergy actually cleared up shortly after coming to our dusty domain.

    So I was lucky – I didn’t suffer under the “my kid needs a clean house” illusion for more than an hour.

  191. SKL August 13, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    Coccinelle, what I was saying is that I don’t want my kids to think it could be OK to pee in the pool. Not that they would do it but . . . who knows . . . they might. And then I would have to move to another state to hide my shame.

  192. Coccinelle August 13, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    @SKL, Maybe you could try to tell them that babies are wearing diapers in the pool and you don’t think the water could be drinkable because of that? Surely they won’t regress to peeing in their pants because you talk about babies wearing diaper? I guess you already told them that the chlorine is not good to drink… Maybe the only thing you can say to children to dissuade them to drink water will dissuade them to go swimming… not a good idea!

    Personally, I always try to not think that people are peeing in the pool because I think it’s gross but I know that urine is sterile.

  193. Beth August 13, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    When did they start putting seat belts in shopping carts? I am not kidding with this question; my kids are 24 and 19, and when they were little there were none of these, and I never even gave it a thought. Luckily neither kid ever fell out, I guess….!!!!!

    And yeah, I do shop now, but have just never noticed the seatbelts. They must be there, and I’m just unobservant since I don’t have little ones, but I’m truly curious about when these came into vogue.

  194. Uly August 13, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    SKL, if/when they pee in the pool, you probably won’t ever know. You know that silly old story about pool water changing color when people pee in it is an urban legend, right?

    NOT that you should tell your kids to just pee away 🙂 but at least you won’t have to hide your face in shame.

    People don’t realize what’s in sanitizer. They took it out of daycares because kids were poisoning themselves by using it and then licking their hands.

    Oh, god, I know. I once pointed out to a woman that her baby probably shouldn’t be gnawing on the hand sanitizer on the keychain, and she just stared at me. And I don’t think that was particularly wrong of me to say or overprotective!

    And you know what’s worse? A lot of those hand sanitizers? Aren’t even at an alcohol concentration strong enough to kill everything like they say they do.

    am not ready to deal with all the spills and tantrums and crap that will come with teaching them to drink from regular cups.

    See, with my nieces and all of us it was the other way around. We were too lazy to deal with sippy cups, so they drank from a real cup almost from the start. By two I refused to fill up cups with water for the nieces if I was watching them. “There’s a sink in the bathroom, get it yourself, you have young legs!”

  195. Amy C August 13, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Shopping cart seat belts are gross and quite often broken, so there was a time when I might have bought one of those – not because I’m a germaphobe, but because I don’t want to constantly fight to keep the kid seated, especially when I have other kids, including one with special needs, to keep track of. My youngest is 14 months, so there’s no point in getting one now.

    Juice box holders are awesome. We don’t do a lot of juice boxes, but the holders keep the smaller kids from making a mess. They do learn to drink them without the holders, but the holders reduce the mess until that point. They’re especially great for those evil pouches.

    As for sanitizer… Apparently the child has to drink a lot of it before it causes any problems. DD got into some of it when she was about 2. We found her covered in the stuff from head to toe and we didn’t know if she drank any of it, so we called Poison Control. They told us that she would have had to drink a lot of it to cause any problems and it’s not likely that she would have drunk that much because it tastes terrible (I didn’t ask the guy how he knew). We were supposed to watch for her acting drunk and call them back if she was acting drunk. She was fine. On a tangent… We’ve had to call Poison Control several times and I’m getting the idea that a lot of stuff is a lot less dangerous than “they” make it out to be.

  196. Uly August 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    I love poison control. Had to call them once when my brother-in-law took too many extra-strength excedrins (like, really really too many), and it’s calming just to talk to those people.

  197. C. S. P. Schofield August 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    I propose a slogan for the Free Range movement:

    Don’t child-proof the World, world-proof your child!

  198. Nanci August 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    I’ve been gone on vacation all week so I’m late posting this. I just wanted to say that when my kids were little they were always gumming the cart handle while I shopped. I would stop them when I saw it, but they’d be back at it when I turned around again. I credit all the dirty shopping carts they sucked on with their excellent immune systems! 9 & 7 now and they’ve never had a ear infection, strep, or the flu! I cringe when I see a baby in their own fabric bubble contraption in a shopping cart.

  199. pentamom August 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    “When did they start putting seat belts in shopping carts? I am not kidding with this question; my kids are 24 and 19, and when they were little there were none of these, and I never even gave it a thought. Luckily neither kid ever fell out, I guess….!!!!!”

    I dunno, my oldest is 20, and I don’t remember a time when they didn’t have them. Maybe it just depends where you are, or something.

  200. Dolly August 14, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    Yeah CSP because we all know you can teach a six month old stuff and they will always listen. All you need to do is tell your six month old not to put stuff they find on the floor in their mouths once and then just forget about it. I am sure when they find a penny or a thumbtack or a lego on the floor they won’t put it in their mouth at all.

    I am being obtuse here but so are you. Childproofing like everything else can be very good in moderation and very bad if over used.

  201. Becca in Alaska August 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    I think we forget that not only do we all parent differently but each kid is different. I never used a seat belt on my son who will be 3 in Nov. (He liked to sit sideways. It kept him from screaming and standing up.) My daughter at 10 months though, she likes to fling herself forward and I’m just waiting for a busted tooth. I strap her in
    because of it but if I happen to pick a cart with
    a broken strap, oh well. I deal with it.

    Frankly the first thing that came to my mind is I dont need another thing to carry into the store, hands are full already! (and my diaper bag is smaller than a lot of purses)

  202. Lea August 15, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    I probably wouldn’t have ever bought anythiing like thiis for my kids because I couldn’t see spending the mney on something I could easily improvise.

    Grocery store cart straps are always either missing, sticky, broken or tied in knots. The carts themselves never get cleaned unless something major and gross happens to them like someone vomiting on it. The grosses isn’t a big issue for me but it’s always in the back of my mnd. With my oldest they didn’t even have straps on the carts. I didn’t use a sling with her or a bucket seat. I layed her on a blanket in the basket part of it until she bgan to roll and squirm. At that point I started proping her in the seat part by stuffing large amounts of balnkets around her. When she got squirmier and trying to climb I used a large receiving blanket t tie her in lol. withmy other kids I either carried them in the sling or tied themin the seat with the sling. I gave up on trying to adjust the straps on the carts when I found a working one. With a couple of my kids even at the tightest setting, could turn themselves around and stand up in the seat and then attemppt to climbinto the basket at 10 months. Little boogers. The sling material wa thinker so softer tha the straps and I could make it as tight as I needed to keep the boogers from acting like monkeys in the cart.

    I could see someone else fed up with broken and gross cart straps and not having other ways to tie in their little monkeys buying one of these straps. This cart covers started coming out when my youngest was a baby. I thought about buy one but the price kept me from it. Again it wasn’t a germ issue. I thought it looked more comfortable than the highchairs and cart seats plus some of them had toys sewn onto them so they couldn’t be droped or flung everywhere. If I’d been gifted one I’d have probably used it a dozen or so times before putting it away. even with the toys and comfort factor I’m sure the time setting it up and remembering it would have gotten annoying seeing as he was my fourth and my hands were already full with rangling and remembering all kinds of things everytime we left the house.

    Juice box holder are just obnoxious. I showed each of my kids a few different ways to hold a juice box without squirting it everywhere. If they still couldn’t manage it then I just didn’t give them a juice box.Again it would have benone more “thing” to rember to pack up when we left the house. I’d probably have needed several to have one clean and ready all the time and I wasn’t spending the money on one more gadget.

    I think there are a lot of over price gadgets for babies and toddlers onthe market. They often seem great and handy at first glance but then in practice they are a hassle, waste of money and just more stuff to have around.

  203. pentamom August 15, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    “I am sure when they find a penny or a thumbtack or a lego on the floor they won’t put it in their mouth at all. ”

    Picking things up off the floor that don’t belong on the floor isn’t child-proofing, it’s picking up. Child-proofing is doing things that you wouldn’t do if there were not kids around — extra locks on doors, things put away in inconvenient places, latches on cabinets, etc. Not that I’m that great about it, but there shouldn’t be pennies and legos and tacks(!) lying on the floor anyway, regardless of who is walking or sitting on the floor (apart from an older child actually playing with the legos at the time, of course.) Do you think the people who don’t believe in child-proofing leave sharp objects in places where people walk, without noticing, or on purpose?

  204. molly August 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    I completely disagree with this rant. Have you ever seen the seat belts in a shopping cart? Half the time they’re broken and if they’re not broken then they’re absolutely nasty. The grossness doesn’t matter much because the kid is probably wearing clothes but if it’s broken then it’s pointless. I think bringing your own, that you know won’t be broken, is a great idea. And not having to touch those nasty seat belts is a great bonus. I love communal things, but they should be reasonably clean. As for the juice box holders, those are to keep little kids from squeezing the juice all over the place with their toddler death grips. I think the juice box holders have a place. Of course kids need to learn how to hold a juice box, but if you want to give it to them without making a mess (like in the car) then they could come in handy. I really don’t see how these products hinder free-range parenting.

  205. Lizzney August 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    My favorite item from OneStepAhead is the knee pads for crawling babies, so they can crawl on the concrete, or the patio, or where ever and not hurt themselves. Here’s the thing, my 10-month-old crawls across the concrete at the pool, the driveway and the patio all summer long, and we live in the South.

    I cannot tell you how many people have stopped me and said, “O my gosh!! That must hurt, You should really pick her up.”

    Really?? I think if it hurt, she would stop crawling!!

  206. AL August 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Juice boxes are comfortable becasuse you can transport tham easy but at the same time you may have a problem using them or even trying to pass the straw through. This is a problem for an adult too. Teaching kids won’t help. Kids are kids now are carefull and 30 seconds later they forget. If a juice box holder is “obnoxious” so is a bib or a sippy cup or any other utensils that we use. I’d rather prevent (as much as I can) the damage than dealing with it after.

  207. Margaret August 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Count me in with those who think these products are useful. Maybe you have fancier grocery stores where you live, but where I live, half the carts don’t have straps at all, lots are broken (e.g. the strap actually cut off or the buckle missing) and even where there are straps, my kids were so big that often the belt didn’t actually fit them even when loosened completely. Therefore, if I had gotten a strap like that, it wouldn’t have been because I was paranoid about sharing a germy strap.

    And as for juice box holders — LOVE THEM!! Drop the juice in and the kid doesn’t squirt it all over himself and the house. Saying the juice box holders are useless is like saying bibs are useless because the kid already has a shirt on.

  208. BMS August 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    When we were waiting for son#1 to come home, lots of people wanted us to generate a wish list so they would know what to get us for baby gifts. I remember that my husband and I had a lot of trouble populating it. It never occurred to us to want things like juice box holders, diaper wipe warmers, a diaper genie, and a lot of other stuff that people thought was ‘essential’. We bought a used stroller for $25, borrowed a car seat from a neighbor whose son had just outgrown it, got a free crib from a cousin, bought our own cloth diapers and just used a regular plastic trash can for them, etc. We traveled light wherever we went – often I had the baby in a sling and a small diaper bag with bottles and formula, and that’s it. I used tap water to make the formula, and ordinary plastic grocery bags to put wet diapers in until we got them home. When son #2 arrived, we got the smallest back to front double stroller we could for $40 at a yard sale, and only used it unitl the youngest was 2. Then we just walked. We really found that we needed very little to deal with the kids, and that we could do without and survive.

  209. Jenne August 16, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    I hate the way One Step Ahead markets its stuff, but for most of those things, there are reasons someone might want them for their child, or for themselves. For instance– the hands-free car seat carrier that everyone loves to make fun of? If you need to go somewhere where you have to have the stupid baby bucket WITH you, like on the train or plane, or if you have 2 cars, 2 bases and 1 seat, which many people do– having a way to carry the heavy nasty thing would be handy.

    Yes, you can teach some kids not to do things at some times. Trust me, though, I’m just lucky that I almost never have to go shopping with my 2-year-old without another adult to hold him– if I had to keep him from running away and/or throwing himself on the floor or from a high surface, I’d never have a spare hand to actually pick up the groceries, because I can’t *predict* when he’s suddenly going to go from relaxed and happy to I MUST DO SOMETHING DANGEROUS RIGHT NOW. And you know, that’s *normal* for a two-year-old, it’s what they DO.

  210. JB August 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    And while we’re on grocery store equipment: does anyone else fail to see any benefit at all in those huge carts that have an entire plastic miniature car attached to the front, so the child can sit in the driver seat and pretent to drive? The car is actually not so miniature — probably 3’x3’x3′. They entirely block the aisle. We so cater to children’s desire to be entertained at all times.

  211. Linda Wightman August 17, 2011 at 1:08 am #

    Personally, I also dislike the car carts. They take up a lot of room, are hard to maneuver, and when the kids outgrow sitting in the seat of the cart, instead of walking (more or less) peacefully beside the cart, they fight over the seats in the car.

    But that said, my grandkids love ’em!

  212. Marie August 17, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    I have a love/hate thing for the car carts. Hate steering them, love that my kids are more distracted and better behaved while I shop.

  213. SKL August 17, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I liked the car carts because my kids are close in age, and when they were tots, shopping logistics were awkward whether they walked or rode in a regular cart. But most of the places where I shopped did not have car carts or similar alternatives. Depending on the kids’ demeanor on a given day, I either had one kid in the back of the cart getting buried in groceries, one or two kids loosely following my cart, or 1-2 kiddy carts putzing around me. No, I don’t often feel nostalgic for those days. (OK, maybe a little. That first time they pushed their own carts was pretty darn cute.)

    That reminds me of one of my other favorite SuckerParent products, which I saw in my neighborhood today. The expensive trike that is just like a regular trike except that the parents can push it from behind when they want to. Somehow that never appealed to me. The idea of letting the child think he has some control when he really doesn’t. The one I saw today was “safely and responsibly” transporting a kid about age 3.

  214. MR August 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Having a strap would be very helpful at times, there are several stores here whose carts don’t have straps and the ones that do are always broken (of course I would forget it most of the time). And it is easy to say that you need to teach the kid not to stand up or jump out, but that takes time. I went to such a store when my littlest was about 15 months. She spent the last half of the trip trying to climb out of the cart, and every time I turned to grab a grocery item she was standing again. Makes shopping very difficult. Then when I was trying to get the groceries on the till at the end, bag them (a place where you bag your own stuff) and pay I finally had to get her out and have her biggest sister (7) chase her around the till area. A strap would have made it so much easier, louder too since she would scream if she wanted out, but easier, and being she is my 4th baby, I can pretty much ignore the screaming, and don’t give a hoot if it bothers the other shoppers for a bit, they’ll survive:)

    Never had a juice box holder, and we only use juice boxes occasionally for our littest, but it is irritating how anyone under the age of 2 squirts half the juice out the second they hold it, and anyone under the age of 4 usually make a bit of a mess too. Probably one of the reasons we only use juice boxes for school lunches and not home.

    I also have to admit I have a shopping cart cover. I am not afraid of germs, just afraid of the fact that if one of my kids gets the stomach flu, they all do, and my kids have terrible barfing aim, it goes EVERYWHERE. 5 kids barfing everywhere is just no fun, so if I look a little nuts with my cover I don’t care, if it stops even one barfing episode every couple of years, I’m good. Plus it has built in straps. With 5 kids we have enough opportunities to practise free range in other areas:) Making my life a little easier here and there is nice.

  215. MR August 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    For anyone that likes to use hand sanitizer, did you know there are recipes online to make your own natural, chemical free hand sanitizer. Some use alcohol, some use herbs like tea tree oil and oregano oil, most use organic aloe vera. I think I saw one that actually used some sort of really strong alcoholic beverage to get the right strength of alcohol.

    I am like petrified of the grossness of store bought hand santizer, I hate the way it makes my hands smell, the way if I touch my face and then eat I can taste it, ewww. My middle daughter also gets a horrible painful rash if she uses it, I had to get her preschool teachers to stop having her use it there and go wash at the sink instead. I am very sensitive to strong scents, and it aggravates my asthma. Ewww it is so gross. I actually just have a little spray bottle of rubbing alcohol that I spray on our hands if we have been somewhere grimy (yep it stings), although the aloe is supposed to slow the evaporation time of the alcohol so it works better. I might make it sometime.

    I know kids can handle germs but as I have said before I prefer to avoid a cold or flu here or there. I know we can’t avoid them all, but with lots of kids who pass things around, one with asthma who ends up in the hospital once in a while, and kids who projectile vomit everywhere it just makes life easier if we avoid a few by cleaning our hands more often and sometimes a sink and soap is not convenient. To each his own.

  216. elwing August 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    I use the high chair cover when we go out because my 6mth old gets bored pretty easily, and with no teeth, her “allowed” food is fairly limited (so we don’t make a big mess in the restaurant – home is another matter). The high chair cover that my mother bought us has toys strapped to it – so she can play with her toys when she’s done eating, and my husband and I get to continue to eat without having to hold her on our laps. I could care less about the germs, but those little toys (fastened on!) make it worth it.

  217. Sarah K. August 20, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    Juice box holders would only be a good thing if they keep you from accidentally squeezing the box and making a mess. In that case, I (at 21) would like one, since I frequently manage to do that.

  218. Ashlyn July 4, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Shopping carts have more germs than a public toilet. But go ahead…let your kids touch the cart and then put their hands in their mouth. Better yet, let them lick the cart! GROSS.

    Also, the juice box holder was made so kids don’t squeeze the juice all over themselves, which is easy for them to do. So, either get the juice box holder or let bring an extra change of clothes wherever you go.

    RELAX! Don’t buy these things if you don’t want to. Other people like them, so be quiet.

  219. Jessica April 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I just came across your site today and I’m perusing all the older articles, forgive me for posting on an article that’s quite old! LOL

    I had 2 daughters and never needed products like these. Now I have a grandson who is going to be the death of me. 🙂

    My 2-year old grandson is an escape artist like no other. There isn’t a shopping cart or high chair (at home or any restaurant) that he hasn’t wiggled himself out of. I, personally LOVE the Wrap Strap simply because he can’t get out! We use a large safety pin for extra insurance because it is, after all, velcro holding it closed! The safety pin is behind him in an area he cannot access and it KILLS him that he can’t get out.

    As to the juice box holder — the first time I saw it in a store I had the same reaction you did…then my grandson had a blast squeezing juice all over the couch, rug, store, wherever he was. It was like being with Hansel and Gretel and the breadcrumb trail only with juice. I had enough of juice all over the place so I broke down and bought one and it has been the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Not every product for children is going to be a hit for everyone, but they ARE hits for others. When I see products such as these now, I sit and think about my little monsterboy and how handy it would be to have.

  220. Barry Chapman June 21, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    I am a Registered Nurse, and because of that I see germs in a different light. My wife and raised our children in a log house, home schooled our children for part of their life and where not afraid of exposing them to common germs and did so. When going outside of your normal circle of family and friends this exposure can have some pretty harsh consequences. We teach our children and grandchildren to be hygienic but unfortunately many others don’t. The shopping cart is exposed to food born germs because customers place items like egg, chicken and beef in the child seat portion. Super germs like MRSA and VRE are passed from person to shopping cart to person. The food borne and super germs are not germs that we want our children exposed to if at all possible. That is why I am focused on creating products that limit the transmission of germs that can injure or even kill our children. I invented a cleanable/antimicrobial shopping cart seat belt not because I am afraid of simple germs but because of super germs and even simple germs being allowed uninhibited growth is not healthy either. Thanks to this blog I will be reevaluating my marketing strategy. We gear our marketing so that educated and uneducated can understand it. Unfortunately it can come across as germaphobic. Check out my shopping cart “Child Safety Strap” at and whether you like it or hate it I would like to hear what your thoughts are.


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