Is it safe or not to let your baby sleep in the car seat? It sure is tempting! And it is actually almost impossible to avoid if you take your infant on a drive for a while – unless your baby spends their time screaming, of course. (Yes, that’s common too!)

So, how should you think about an infant sleeping in the car seat? Let’s take a look at what research says and how to apply that in real life.

infant sleeping in car seatPin

Mom’s Question:

My 2-month-old daughter falls asleep and has a good 2-4hs sleep only if I let my baby sleep in her car seat… I worry if it’s safe for her backbone and health in general.

I’d really appreciate your opinion and advice.

By the way, I’m very happy I ran across your site – I’ve found it very helpful indeed!


Baby Sleeping In Car Seat – What Research Says

I understand your concerns and actually the advice on letting your baby sleep in the car seat is conflicting!

Many pediatricians recommend that you move your baby to a flat position at least after a couple of hours to not put a strain on their backs. There are a few studies indicating that babies, especially premature but also some full-term babies, may have some difficulties breathing if kept in an infant car seat for too long.

Here’s the link to the study on full-term newborns’ risk in car seats.

Others now say that as long as the baby seems to be comfortable everything is fine. There really is no clear research on this matter. Not much help for a concerned parent!

If I were you I’d probably let my baby sleep for 2 hours in the car seat, as long as you are around and awake, if your baby is overall healthy, dressed to not be overheated, and was not born prematurely. I would probably not let my infant sleep in the car seat for as much as 4 hours per day. Just to be on the safe side.

If you are worried that your baby will wake up when you move her to her crib or stroller, try first lifting her leg and see if it is completely relaxed. If it is, she is more likely to be in deep sleep and hence less likely to wake up by being moved.

Another option is to try a bouncer instead of an infant car seat. Some babies sleep really well in bouncers too.

Make sure you have a modern infant car seat if you want your baby to sleep in it. Most new infant car seats are designed to be good for the babies’ back, so for shorter naps, you don’t really have to worry about hurting your baby’s spine.

I hope this helps. Thank you for your kind words about Easy Baby Life.


Babies With Personalized Sleep Habits

Research References

Infant Deaths in Sitting Devices | Pediatrics | American Academy of Pediatrics (


Find comments below.

Comments for “Infant Sleeping In Car Seat – Safe Or Not?”

Mar 25, 2013 Thank you!
by: Olga
Thank you very much for your fast and detailed
reply!!! I fully agree with you and am glad that there is a kind of compromise between my baby’s health safety and my having a little break(by significantly easing falling asleep phase :) )

Mar 25, 2013 You’re welcome!
by: Paula
Olga, you’re most welcome! I really enjoy helping out.
Since there is no clear right or wrong with this issue of letting your baby sleep in the car seat, it would be very interesting to hear how all other moms do. Anyone?/Paula

May 24, 2013 Infant and Car Seats

by: Alana.

My son is 6 weeks old and sleeps better in his car seat. When I go and put him in his crib he starts crying all over again, keeping me up till 4 am.

I have been reading a lot and it says not to let the baby sleep in a car seat because it is bad for their back. Now I am worried I did something wrong and my son will have back problems. I am a first-time mom who is trying to get everything right and it seems impossible.

I don’t understand how come he doesn’t like his crib.

It makes me feel like I did something wrong.

Did I?

Jun 02, 2013 Solution for Little Car Seat Sleepers
by: Anonymous
Alana, I understand your worries very well as I faced the same situation with my little one. But I found a solution finally. I discovered that my baby loves the rocking movement of the car seat most of all, back and forth, unlike side to side movement of the crib.
Then I found what in Germany is called Schaukelliege(rocking lounger). It looks like a folded comfortable car seat and its legs can be lifted up and it turns into a tiny bed with a car seat advantages and is absolutely safe, besides it’s portable. I’m giving you a link so you have an idea how it looks, I hope you can get one for your baby, mine is absolutely happy about it and falls asleep fast and peacefully. Good luck!Edited by Paula; The Baby Help Line

That is an excellent tip! However, the link you provided doesn’t seem to work. Here is another, similar alternative:

Check out the following baby bouncer, which should be similar.


Jun 17, 2013 Infant sleeping in a car seat – mine did!
by: H.Marsh
I’m a mom of two boys, ages 8 and 5. I used to let them sleep in their car seats when they fell asleep in them, and they’re fine. They were never in them for more than a couple of hours, though.If you’re concerned with future back problems, go ahead and take the baby out of the car seat and move them to a flatter surface.

To get more definitive info, you might want to check with your pediatrician. You can also visit medical sites such as to get further expert advice. I hope this helps.

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