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Should I Let My Baby Sleep In The Car Seat?

Should I Let My Baby Sleep In The Car Seat?

It is not uncommon for a baby to fall asleep in the car seat. The gentle motion in the car lulls him/her to sleep quickly.

When a baby falls asleep in the car, many parents will bring the car seat into the house and let the baby finish their nap in the car seat. This is a mistake. Sleep-related deaths are the leading cause of death for infants.

According to a recent study, between April 2004 and December 2008, 47 infants died due to sleeping in their car seats.

This is why it is so important that you follow the safety standards regarding car seats as well as cribs.

Why Is Allowing Your Baby To Sleep In the Car Seat Dangerous?

Infants don’t have much control of their heads and necks. When your baby is sleeping in the car seat, his/her head can fall forward which can make it difficult to breathe, resulting in positional asphyxiation.

When you get home, you should always take your baby out of the car seat whether he/she is sleeping or not.

You should also let your family and daycare provider know that you don’t want your baby sleeping in the car seat.

How to Keep Your Baby Safe at Daycare

Choosing the right daycare can be difficult.

Leaving your baby with someone all day can be stressful and can cause you to worry most of the day. This tough process is natural and it is something that every parent goes through.

You want to be sure that your baby is going to a daycare provider who will give him/her the best care possible throughout the day.

You want to be sure that your daycare provider isn’t leaving your baby in the car seat for hours while they care for other children. Child negligence can be prevented if the daycare provider to child ratio isn’t too high.

The center that you choose should have one staff member for every four babies that are being cared for.  Each State has its own DCSF regulations, but keeping a low infant to caregiver ratio, ensures that your baby is getting the care they need.

What is the Proper Car Seat Position

When you are in the car, your baby needs to be in a car seat. Period. End of sentence.  No, if/and/buts.  

Until your baby is two-years-old, he/she will need to be in a rear-facing car seat.

The old, one-year, 20-pound milestone is no longer the recommended standard (like it was when my kids were infants).

Since your baby will likely fall asleep in the car, you need to be sure that his/her head is positioned correctly.  Plus, it’s not the easiest to transfer your baby out of the cars seat.

The safest position for your baby is to turn the head to the side. This will keep his/her head from falling downward, which can make it difficult for the baby to breathe.

Many parents use car seat inserts to keep their babies head from wobbling around; however, these inserts placed by the baby’s head can cause the baby’s head to be forced downward, cutting off the baby’s airway.

If you think that your baby needs extra support to keep his/her head from wobbling, simply use two receiving blankets and put them alongside each side of her body.

Finally, make sure that the car seat straps are secure, but not so secure that they put too much pressure on your baby.

You could even try Evenflow SensorSafe CarSeat. The safesensor rests under your baby’s armpit and will alert you if your baby gets unbuckled. if your baby gets too hot, and if he/she has been sitting in the seat for too long. It is the next best thing to watching your baby while you drive.

 

Proper Sleeping and Napping Areas

Now that you know that your baby’s car seat is a dangerous place to take a nap, you should know the safe places.

The crib will always be the safest place for your baby to sleep. Again, period.  End of sentence.

When putting your baby to sleep in the crib, you should lay him/her flat on his/her back in the middle of the crib.

You should never put a pillow or any extra padding in the crib.

If you are out of the house, a pack-and-play is an excellent alternative to the crib.

The mattresses in these playpens are firm, like a crib mattress. When putting your child down in a pack-and-play, you should lay him/her down the same way that you do in her crib.

Technology To Keep Your Baby Safe

Years ago, parents had baby monitors to listen to their babies sleep. These models weren’t very high-tech. You could hear your baby, but your baby couldn’t listen to you.

Today, things are different.

There are plenty of monitors available to help you keep an eye on your baby while sleeping (just click here to see all the models!)

Video monitors have cameras that point right down at your baby, and you can watch him/her sleep on your Smartphone.

Fortunately, standard video monitors aren’t as expensive as you might think.

 

I’m a huge fan of a video monitor because it allows for you YOU to have peace of mind.  You don’t have to stress quite as much when you have a visual to your blissfully sleeping baby!

Since an average of 2,500 infants dies of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) each year, buying a video monitor is well worth the cost.

Safe sleeping should be a priority for all since keeping our babies sleep is the number one priority for new parents!

Susie Parker

Susie Parker is founder of Sleep Baby Love and a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute. When Susie's not ridding the world of sleepless families, she loves spending time with her two girls that have given her a ton of real world sleep experience head on.

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