What’s the best way to pick my kids up?
This is something that I have completely neglected until the last 2 years and I always looked a bit funny at clients who told me this before I had kids, they always say you don’t know what you don’t know until you know.
We had Kit in 2019 and I always thought to myself, how can something so small cause so many issues with people’s spines? Well I have to say, I was very quickly humbled. Reading stories, feeding and picking him up has taken its toll on my spine. As I mentioned earlier, I suffer with disc issues in my low back, and with sleep deprivation we completely neglect our bodies and forget to look after ourselves. I would find myself picking him up, lifting him up over the cot and straining my low back with the leverage. Also, holding him to be fed was putting pressure on my neck and upper back, being in that position for forty-five minutes or more is a sustained compression through the spine.
Now Kit is turning 3 in February of next year and he has only gone one way weight wise. he is much stronger and has developed his own personality and will power. His favourite word is….NO.
So you can imagine trying to pick him up whilst in a tantrum is pretty tricky.
So what is the best way to pick toddlers up?
You want to try and bend your knees as much as you can, put one arm around the hips and one up the spine, use the hand that goes up the spine to pull them up, whilst engaging your gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles are the largest muscles in the body and they will take stress of your low back.
Putting kids in the car seat causes me back pain
So this is one of the most tricky positions to be in, you have to lean and twist with a 15-20kg weight, everything your body is not designed to do. The main warning here is the leverage when you extend your arms to put them in the car seat can cause real problem. You want to get as close to the car as possible so you don’t need to extend the arms, this will allow the core to take up more of the load rather than the back. you can get those car seats that actually rotate 90 degrees to the door so you don’t have to twist, we don’t have one but when I see them I always kick myself.
Now, at the time of writing this, our daughter is 8 months, Florie, and it’s easier as she is more mobile, but we still lift her out of the pram and the cot. The main issue I see is bending down into the cot, as we lean over and stress the low back when picking her up. So, my solution to this is to squat and bend the knees before bending over, taking as much leverage in the glutes and legs before picking the child up. Then squeeze the tummy and core and try and bring them as close to you as possible before actually lifting them up. When you initiate the lift, squeeze everything and slowly extend the back whilst squeezing the bum. If they are too far apart and you try to do this, then this is when we can cause too much leverage on the low spine and can cause back issues.
Whilst we are on the kids topic, when feeding, this is mainly for the mums, it’s so important to try and keep the shoulder blades back and down and the head up. All too often we see many new mum’s come in with neck and shoulder issues caused by feeding.
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