Letting Your Baby Sleep in a Car Seat Is More Dangerous Than You Think

infant car seatA study conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland has determined that parents shouldn't let their babies sleep in car seats

After examining the breathing patterns of 78 infants while they slept, it was found that the babies who had a foam insert positioned in the car seat to keep their head upright had significantly reduced breathing problems than the babies who did not use the insert and were simply restrained in the seats normally.

The results of the study were published in the journal Pediatrics. The report urges parents to only leave their baby in the car seat for the time it takes to get from point A to point B and not to leave them sleeping there.

Huh. This is definitely something that all parents need to pay attention to and take to heart -- because pretty much every single one of us is guilty of leaving our babies to sleep in their car seats as opposed to waking them up when we take them out of our vehicles.

Oh come on, you know you do it too. The car seat is just so darn convenient since it snaps right out of the base and you can carry it with you anywhere. When my son was a baby, he'd fall asleep in the car nine times out of ten no matter where we went. I'd simply grab the seat out of the car, place it on top of the shopping cart or carry it on one arm while running errands, and go about my business as usual.

To put it plain and simple, the thought of waking up my baby seemed almost inconceivable, because a sleeping baby is pretty much every parent's number one goal, right?

But had I known that I could potentially be hindering his breathing by letting him sleep in there? Hmm. I'm sure I would've thought twice about how long I let his naps continue after the car stopped moving.

At least moms who have babies today can benefit from this information and take these warnings to heart, and maybe consider scheduling car trips around baby's nap time or at least limit how long they leave their little ones to sleep in their seats should they doze off on the road. Any steps we can take to keep our babies safe is definitely worth it.

Do you let your baby sleep in the car seat for long periods of time?


Image via Deborah Austin/Flickr

car seat safety


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Simon... SimonzKedge

Nope. We used a convertible car seat, so once we got out of the car, so did the baby, either in our arms or a moby or MeiTai. None of that rediculous moving baby from car to stroller to shopping cart to house without ever having to actually touch the baby.

Caitlin Locke

Yet another article about how we're all bad parents.  Guess we can't all be perfect parents like SimonzKedge.  Then  again, these are the same people who think life must stop once a baby is born and talk about nothing but their sanctimonious parenting skills.

Jen Roberts

Oops, oh well. Don't care, once my kids were out the seat came with them. Like Hell was I going to wake my baby up!

nonmember avatar Kathy

"it was found that the babies who had a foam insert positioned in the car seat to keep their head upright had significantly reduced breathing problems"---I only used the foam insert for about a month. After that it would seem letting them sleep in the car seat wouldn't be a problem, right?

nonmember avatar Jacee

The way I see it, "they" are saying that your baby can die sleeping on its' side, sleeping on its' back, sleeping on its' tummy, rolling over into the bumper pads & suffocating, covering its' nose with a blanket, etc. etc. etc. These articles all make it sound like any baby who survives "babyhood" is a miracle! For me, my kids slept best in the car seat carrier, and it could always be within arm's reach of me no matter where I was or what I was doing so that's where mine slept for several months - and *gasp* - both of my babies survived! These articles are meant to scare people and they are silly. (IMHO)

nonmember avatar narissa

I used a convertible car seat . I didnt like people leaving their babies in car seats. Plus I loved holding my baby .

Emilee Nicole Marriott

My child slept in her carseat ands hes healthy and alive, she used bumpers in her crib for a 1 and a half and has done everything thats "Not safe" so I will listen to my mother and grandmas not yall. :)

Simon... SimonzKedge

LOL  Yeah, life doesn't stop once a baby is born, Caitlin.  YDS is my 3rd and I'm expecting my 4th, nothing stopping or slowing down here and I still can manage without a bucket.  I just find it much easier to carry around a 7-20lb baby without adding the weight of lugging a huge carseat around too.  If that makes me perfect and a sanctimommy... 

nonmember avatar Noah

Lol to people like Jacee and Emilee.. you do realize how stupid you sound saying "Well I did this and my baby survived." The people who do these studies do it to keep a child more safe. Maybe your child did live through all that, but a lot of peoples children have died from suffocation due to baby products. Get over yourself. You and your children are not the only people in the world =/ geesh.

nonmember avatar Jacee

^^Noah^^ thank you for reconfirming what I just said - lots of babies die no matter what you do or how you lay them down - in a crib, on their side, back, tummy, in a car seat, etc. These articles do nothing but play on every mom & dad's fears about all the ways their child can possibly die. I will not "get over myself" as you put it - and thanks for pointing out that my children are not the only people in the world - I honestly had no idea! I really thought we were the only ones in existence!! The people who do these studies just like to invoke fear into people; truth is anyone's child could die from any number of things, including eating breakfast, so you can't live in fear of every single decision you make. Tragedies happen and sadly babies do die - but in the end you have to do what you feel is best for your own baby and not rely on someone you have never even met to tell you if something is good or bad for your own family. Geez, you need to get a grip fella! Have a nice day!

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