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 Help Line:
Baby Sleeping In Car Seat – What Research Says
I understand your concerns and actually the advice on letting a baby sleep in the car seat are conflicting!
Many pediatricians recommend that you move your baby to a flat position at least after a couple of hours to not put 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.
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 premature. I woudl 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.