When it comes to clever parenting hacks, you might think you’ve seen them all. After all, thanks to the Internet, we’ve learned how to turn a pacifier into a teether to soothe sore gums and how to convert a diaper wipes case into a mini “diaper bag,” using nothing but a hair tie and some creativity. We’ve even learned how to make a handy medicine dropper out of the top of a baby bottle and a plastic straw.
But this week, Laura Castrillo, a mom from Houston, Texas, is opening our eyes once more with a shopping cart hack you definitely haven’t thought of yet.
As her now-viral Facebook video shows, the “hack” is actually pretty simple. It’s meant to help save the backs of parents everywhere — because let’s face it, how many times has your kid begged to ride in the back of the grocery cart (AKA not the part meant for sitting), and then needed you to lift them in and out of it?
In the video, Castrillo’s son sits in the back of a shopping cart, while she can be seen gently pushing in the back of it. As it lifts, the cart creates a space large enough to allow her son to crawl out, which means there’s no pick-up required. (And no backs potentially being thrown out!)
Watch the trick in action for yourself:
Pretty clever, huh?
Castrillo admits that she can’t take all the credit, and tells Babble that she actually got the idea from her stepmom.
“My stepbrother, whom I help take care of when my parents are working, has some disabilities,” says Castrillo, “and my stepmom discovered this easy way of getting him into the shopping cart when he was younger. I’ve been doing it with my own kids for about two years now, and it has made shopping with them a lot easier. My youngest has always been a husky guy, and I’m not very tall, so lifting his solid body high enough to get him into the seat portion of the cart is uncomfortable at best.”
Since Castrillo first shared the video on Facebook on September 22, it’s racked up over 1 million views and 20K shares. But she says it was originally taken for her mom, whose back was sore after a recent trip with her grandkids after lifting them in and out of the cart.
Castrillo decided to share it with other parents and grandparents in a private Facebook group soon after, when she says a couple of members asked her to make it public — and it took off like wildfire.
“While it may seem silly, the comments I’ve seen from parents who hadn’t known about this little trick have really been great,” she shares.
And the comments have rolled in from virtually everywhere. Castrillo says they range from “moms with special needs children who are heavy but need to be in the cart” to “moms who are in the final stages of pregnancy and have toddlers that can’t be left to walk around in the store” to grandparents like Castrillo’s mom, who “are disabled, but love spending time with grandkids in any way that they can.”
All in all, she says she had no idea how popular the hack would be, and shares that her favorite comment so far has been from a mom who is 30 weeks pregnant and has a 5-year-old daughter with special needs.
“She said she hasn’t been taking her daughter grocery shopping with her because she can’t lift her into the cart, and that this will change that,” relays Castrillo. “Things like that have really made me happy. Some parents have been doing this since they were kids themselves, but to see that something fast, free, and easy [that] could actually make a difference in someone’s day-to-day family life is great. Just wish I had thought to share it sooner.”
Regardless of when she shared it, one thing’s for sure: The Internet thanks her for it. (And so do the achy backs of parents everywhere.)More On