Monday, September 16, 2013

Infant Car Seats Should Stay in the Car

Infant car seats have the modern advantage of being able to be removed from the vehicle with the push of a button.  This is a great convenience for the parent because the child can easily be transported in the seat.  However, car seats are created with one purpose: to protect a child in the event of a crash.  Car seats are not created to be ergonomic or comfortable for baby.  Here are several reasons to keep the car seat just for use in cars.

Risk of low oxygen levels
Infant car seats place babies into the best possible position to survive a car crash: not to provide comfort.  Infants restrained in car seats had a reduction in oxygen levels when kept in car seats for 1hr as compared to babies allowed to lie flat. 
Risk of overheating
Car seats are lightly padded to provide some level of comfort while also providing the needed cushioning in the event of a crash.  However, foam padding in car seats can also make a baby more likely to become overheated.  
Risk of injury
Parents who transport babies in infant car seats may be tempted to place car seats onto store shopping carts, or onto high surfaces. Falls associated with improper use of car seats are common.  Parents may also be tempted to loosen car seat straps while baby is out of the car and resting in the car seat.  A sleep deprived parent may forget to tighten straps before baby is placed back into the car.


In order to prevent risks of injury, overheating, and low oxygen levels, it is best to leave infant car seats in the car.  Baby carriers or strollers are easy and safe ways to transport your baby during outings.

Baby Carriers or strollers are safe ways to transport your child during outings (Boba Air [aff link] baby carrier shown)

14 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more! Plus, I hate lugging that thing around - I'm so much more comfy (and so is my son) babywearing. The only times I cart him around in his carrier is when I'm at the doctor (for me) and I know the exam room is too small for a stroller to fit.

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  2. How does this incorporate 'travel systems' ? when the carseat is properly mounted to the stroller is the baby in the appropriate position?

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    1. Travel systems definitely reduce risk of falls (when baby is harnessed correctly), but they don't address the problems with overheating and dips in oxygen levels. There are some great bassinet strollers that allow baby to lie flat before he has the musculature to sit up.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this information. I had no idea leaving the baby in the seat could be dangerous. My Dr. recommended me placing the seat in the bay window when my son was a newborn because he was slightly jaundiced. (mind you this was many years ago now) I am learning so much with a huge age gap.

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  4. Wow, these are incredibly great points that I (and probably most parents) have never thought about - the reduced oxygen levels, the risk of overheating, etc. Thank you SO much for taking the time to share these facts with us. I know it will help my baby and others as well :)

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  5. Thanks for the post! I had never thought of the safety issues before. Personally, I rather carry or put baby in a stroller anyway because carrying around a carseat is such a pain.

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  6. My daughter was in her infant car seat basically only while riding in the car and sometimes at restaurants if she was sleeping. For the most part, however, we held her when we were out.

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  7. Was not aware of this!! The stroller system we picked has the car seat click into the jogger stroller. But we plan on having a few options for babywearing including moby wrap, sakura bloom ring sling and an Ergo so we will always put baby in one of those!

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  8. No wonder my baby hates his car seat! He screams every time we go anywhere! The smart baby knows what's good for him.

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  9. You are so right! I always worry about babies in infant seats in shopping carts! Especially since MANY infant seats don't fit in the cart well! I love my Boba! It is my go to when I am out and about with my little ones - so easy! I haven't ever heard of the Boba air but I bet it is great is the summer heat!

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  10. Great article. I am due in February with my third and it will be a four and a half year gap, great tips. I especially agree with the grocery carts. I used to put my carrier in the large part of the cart but I see so many carriers going on the seat part and it is scary. I always think it will fall if it gets bumped. I will need to use a carrier.

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  11. Very interesting! I hate it when people try to put car seats on top of grocery carts- that's not meant to be :( I tried to carry my little guy or put him flat in the grocery cart. I always used the infant car seat on top of my stroller so i could see him- I didn't realize it affected oxygen transfer that much. For the most part, he was a held baby though :)

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  12. I loved wrapping my baby and still do but as an infant it was just a no brainer car seat or wrap yup wrap it is :)

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  13. thank you for your good post, i have a baby, so i find a baby car seat, recently i saw some baby car seat, and i see it, but i am confused it's fixed price and how to buy it. please shere me.
    thanks eimon

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