You know the story, you're in the car and a few minutes before you get to your destination, babies fall asleep. Finding an effective way for your baby to have their nap on the go can be a challenge. Car seats offer a convenient solution but is it safe?
Could it potentially harm their health or even worse endanger them in some unforeseen circumstances? Chances are, you've been asking yourself if it's okay for babies to sleep in car seats?
Before you make any decision you should know the potential risks as well as what tips and tricks will allow you to travel safely with your little one. We'll provide information about how long babies can stay in car seats, advice about not leaving them alone and using a travel system stroller.
So keep reading to find out all there is to know about planning ahead when taking your baby on trips –safely of course!
An Overview On Car Seats And Sleeping Babies
Ensuring your baby gets enough sleep is essential for their development, but it can create an extra challenge when you’re on the go. Car seats are a convenient way to transport your little one safely, but did you know that there are specialized stroller systems that allow your baby to safely sleep while in motion?
It’s important to know the guidelines so you don’t risk your baby’s safety or comfort with overuse of car seats. Here we provide an overview on car seats and sleeping babies, discussing how long they can stay in the seat, why it's important not to leave them alone, and how a travel system stroller helps alleviate some of this stress.
Pros And Cons Of Letting Your Baby Sleep In Car Seats
Sleeping in car seats has its benefits and drawbacks, so as a parent it's important to consider both before making a decision.
Some of the plus sides of letting your baby sleep in their car seat include ease of transport since they can stay securely fastened while you are on the go.
Maybe they are a child who loves the car and finds it easy to sleep with the motion of the car.
However, they can only spend limited amounts of time in them due to breathing restrictions and the risk of oxygen deprivation.
Additionally, when traveling long distances, the curvature of car seats can be uncomfortable for babies who will need frequent breaks.
Investing in a good travel system stroller may be a good option if you don't want to have to keep taking them out each time you make a stop.
Ultimately, being aware of both pros and cons is key when considering whether or not it's appropriate for your baby to be sleeping in car seats.
How Long Can A Baby Safely Stay In A Car Seat
When it comes to the safety of our precious little ones, parents want to stay on the side of caution. To make sure your baby is safe and comfortable during car trips, it's important to understand how long they can safely stay in a car seat at one time.
Generally speaking, infants should not be in a car seat for an extended period, and no more than two hours at any given period, while toddlers over two years may slightly exceed that window.
Consider splitting up longer drives with stops at rest spots or play spaces so your baby will have an opportunity to move around and stretch their legs.
Remember no amount of research is a substitute for close and diligent parental supervision – constant supervision is the best way for you to ensure that your child remains safe during their travels and if you think 2 hours is too long, that's fine too.
Should Baby's head Fall Forward In A Car Seat?
After the joy of welcoming a new baby into the world, there's something you need to watch out for: their neck muscles are still too weak to keep their head upright.
It's totally normal for younger babies heads to flop towards their shoulder when they're in a car seat - but if it leans too far forward and their chin touches their chest, that's an issue you want to avoid. This can happen frequently when a baby falls asleep so parents need to keep a close eye on their little one.
Make sure you adjust the car seat so it is reclined enough that your baby's head is secure, as a safety measure and so they can rest comfortably on all those rides!
What To Do When Driving With A Baby?
It's important to stay vigilant when driving with a baby, and have all the safety gear in place as a precaution. Obviously you need to make sure the car seat is secured correctly and the harness straps are fastened.
One item that comes in handy is a car seat mirror, which can make it easier for you to monitor your child without having to turn around.
Always remember never to leave your baby alone, even if you need to quickly make a pit stop - babies should only stay in car seats for short periods of time.
There's plenty of handy attachable toys that can be suitable for strollers and car seats and that attach so babies don't lose them or throw them on the floor. Keeping them entertained while on the go.
And if things get overwhelming during the drive and your quiet, calm, sleeping baby turns into some kind of wailing beast, then it's a good idea to stop if safe to do so. It's important to keep your attention on the road without too many distractions.
Benefits Of Using A Travel System Stroller
Of course, it's important to keep your baby safe and sound at all times – and never leave them alone in the car even if they are asleep and you don't want to wake them.
A good solution is a stroller that allows infant car seats to attach to it, these are known as travel systems or car seat stroller combos. Not only will the stroller give them a comfortable space to snooze while out and about, but it can also be pushed easily down smooth surfaces with minimal effort from you.
If you are traveling, this style of stroller can be a life saver at airports, you can use the car seat on the plane too.
Whether you're running errands or just out and about enjoying life, there are plenty of benefits that come from using a car seat and stroller combo, and if your a Graco fan, their travel system stroller is a great for sleeping babies.
Do Car Seats Come In Different Sizes?
Yes!! When it comes to your baby's car seat, safety always comes first. Make sure that you invest in an infant car seat specific for their needs and size – this is one of the most important investments you'll make as a parent.
Newborns up to normally around 2 years normally will need rear facing car seats. Their car seat harness will need to be fitted securely, and loosened over time to accomodate for growth.
Don't forget too that as they grow, you should also consider transitioning to a booster seat or convertible car seat so that they are secure no matter what age they are.
Who To Ask about Car Seats?
If you're just starting out with a newborn and need advice on the right car seat to start with, or have any other questions such as babies sleeping positions in cars then talk to your healthcare professional.
Also always review the car seat manufacturer manual, and ensure you choose a well known brand that you know will have an auto test center for their car seats before selling them.
Most baby brand stores will have a knowledgeable assistant too that can help provide essential information on the right fit for your little one's needs.
Quick Top Tips
- Make sure the car seat is installed securely and that your baby is properly buckled in for all rides.
- Make sure your baby's head stays upright and does not slump over during a ride.
- Dress your baby comfortably in lightweight layers so they don't get too hot or cold while sleeping in the car seat.
- Take frequent breaks on long road trips so your baby can stretch their arms and legs and move around a bit to stay comfortable.
- Try to time the naps well, so they are not too close to bedtime (easier said than done I know).
- Try playing some calming music or white noise that babies may find soothing to help them sleep more easily in the car seat.
- Get yourself a travel system stroller that is easy to use and practice attaching and removing the car seat when the baby is awake so that you are an expert for the future.
So, Can Babies Sleep In Car Seats?
When it comes to deciding whether or not letting your baby sleep in a car seat is the right choice, be sure to weigh up all of the potential pros and cons.
It’s also important to remember that if you do let them sleep in the car seat, never leave them alone while they are sleeping and keep track of how long they’ve been sitting in the seat before transferring them somewhere else. Don't ever leave them overnight in a car seat.
Lastly, consider using a travel system stroller as this can provide a safe and comfortable space for your child.
These are all great tips you should keep in mind when driving and caring for your little one. Ultimately, take every precaution needed to make sure that your baby remains safe at all times and in a safe sleep environment!
Check out our top Travel Systems today for more guidance on choosing the perfect option for you.