How Safe Is Your Baby: Infant Sleep in Car Seat

Car seats have been used over the years to ensure that kids below a certain age are safe on theroad. Installing a car seat in your car or anywhere involves a series of carefully executed steps tomake sure that our baby’s safety is maximized. Infants below four months old are typicallyplaced in a car seat facing the rear position. This maximizes their safety in case of an impact andalso provides room in case your baby needs to sleep along the way.

Infant sleep is one of the most important aspects of your infant’s growth and development.During sleep, your baby develops their cognitive abilities such as memories. However, childrenbelow the age of one year are at high risk of suffering Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).When your baby is left to sleep in the car for a long time may pose harm to your kid. So howsafe is your child when they sleep in a car seat? What are the possible ways to keep our childsafe while they are asleep in the car?

When Is Your Child Safe For Sleep In Car Seat?

During travel, you are required to recline your baby’s car seat at an angle of 40°. This angle maximizes the neck and head support of your infant because your baby maintains their position, but when your baby is left to sleep in the car seat for more than 30 minutes the oxygen in their blood reduces due to an increase in their breathing and heart rate. However, no scientific research indicates harmful effects to our child when blood oxygen reduces. Most kids start sitting at around the age of 6 months old, and this is usually considered the safest period for your child to sleep in a car seat; your child can turn themselves into positions they are comfortable in during sleep.

The motion of the car also dictates the safety of your child when they sleep in their car seat. When your car is stationary, the air circulation in the car is limited, and it may result in child’s suffocation. Also, the heat buildup in a stationary car can cause harm to your baby if they are asleep in their car seat.

Nap Time

When you don’t have a portable bassinet that you can use to monitor your child around the house while you are doing other chores you can use a car seat. Car seats are designed to provide necessary support to your infant’s back, neck, and head so that their spine development is not interfered with. However, you always have to keep an eye on them to make sure they are comfortable. The necks of infants below the age of four months old are not strong enough to support their head, and this may lead to their head falling forward which can result to oxygen desaturation due to upper airway obstruction.

Babies who suffer from reflux are advised to sleep on car seats; it reduces reflux by positioning your infant in a cuddle position. When you put our baby for a nap time in their car seat ensure that all the restraints are properly fastened to prevent cases of the straps blocking your infant’s airway. When your baby uses their car seat for sleep during the night, wake them up at intervals for feeding and diaper change so as to change their sleeping position and relieve pressure points. Some manufacturers indicate if you can use the car seat for infant sleep; check the manufacturer’s guide or the labels on the car seat.

Safely Putting Your Infant to Sleep in the Car

It is inevitable for your child not to sleep during long journeys in the car. Since you cannot prevent them from sleeping, you ca ensure that they sleep safely while you travel.

Dress them appropriately- to ensure that your child has a peaceful sleep in their car seat ensure that they dress according to the weather.

Monitor your baby- put an adult in the backseat with your child to help you with keeping an eye on them. If you are traveling alone with your infant, adjust the rare mirror to ensure that you ca keep an eye on your child while driving.

Enhance air circulation- air conditioners are not recommended when you are driving with your infant in the car. Slightly open one of the window on the front row to encourage fresh air in the car.

Recline the car seat properly- 40° is the recommended angle when you are traveling with your baby because it gives them enough support and comfort.

Make sure your baby is properly secured in the car seat and also check if the car seat is correctly latched in your car.

Take regular breaks- taking a break after every 30 minutes’ drive is important because it gives you an opportunity to relieve our infant’s pressure points and also change position. You can use these breaks to feed, change a diaper, or cuddle with your kid.

Remove any fluffy toys and pillows from your child’s car seat during sleep. It will help you prevent cases of the fluffy stuff blocking your child’s airway.

Try and use a new car seat because second-hand devices can be faulty and result in serious accidents.

There is no significant risk to your infant’s health or development when you use a car seat for their sleep either at home or in the car. However, you must always keep an eye on your baby in case they are uncomfortable in the seat. Recline the car seat to the right position that will enable your child to have a nice sleep. In case your child is below four months old, ensure that the neck and head support are put in place correctly before starting your journey. When you are with your child in the car no matter what you do never leave your child unattended.

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Paula Noble
 

I'm Paula Noble. I'm one of the leading freelancers in parenting and relationship niche among other niches that aim to improve our everyday life and also a motivational speaker. I'm a mother who prides herself with my three beautiful children. I graduated from Argosy University Washington, DC with BA Journalism, media studies, and communication. I worked as an editor for more than 10 years then quit to focus on personal projects. I contributed a lot to the journalism industry and had traveled the world mentoring the girl child to let their voices be heard. Some of my remarkable mentorship tours include Let Africa Speak. A tour that was aimed at strengthening the position of women in Africa with the primary focus being in the media industry. I believe that information is power and the person who controls it controls the world around them. This principle guides her through life and inspires most of my writing and ventures in life.

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