13 answers

Newborn Sleeping in Car Seat?

I have a nearly 2 week old. We originally bought him a moses basket to sleep in, but he seems to only sleep in there when he is tightly swaddled or during the day time. When he place him in the basket at night, he'll only go for 20 minute stretches (if we're lucky). On top of that, he kicks out of the swaddle now.

So, my husband and I decided to try and put him into his car seat and he sleeps in there for at least a 1 hour stretch (3 hours at the most). We're concerned that it may affect his spine or back alignment - though we've read that it's okay since it adds that cozy womb feel.


What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi J.,
My first slept in a car seat or bouncer for about 6 months. My second would not sleep in the car seat but still loved the bouncer. I highly recommend the Miracle Blanket. It is so easy to use, no velcro and my second loved it (I did not know about it with my first). Good luck.

More Answers

Babies love the security feeling of the womb. Swaddling and rhythmic sound like mom's breathing and circulation work wonders. We used a box fan then changed to an ocean wave sound machine for sleeping. Not only does it provide a secure feeling, it blocks out the household noise. A friend gave us a Sleepy Bee for a gift and we love it. sleepybees.com We travel a lot and it si great for sleep away from home.

Hi J.,
My first slept in a car seat or bouncer for about 6 months. My second would not sleep in the car seat but still loved the bouncer. I highly recommend the Miracle Blanket. It is so easy to use, no velcro and my second loved it (I did not know about it with my first). Good luck.

When our daughter was that age, she would only sleep in her bouncy seat. I specifically remember my pediatrician telling me that this was ok until she was 4 months old and that her daughter would only sleep in her carseat until that age. So sleeping in the carseat is absolutely fine! The goal is for your baby to be sleeping in his crib by 4 months old. At this point, take the sleep anyway you can get it!

Good luck and congrats on your new little one! : )


Both of my children slept in their car seat. My son for his first 3 months and my daughter for about 8 weeks. Neither one has had any problems with their spine or sleeping in a crib.
My son needed to be snuggled for him to sleep and this was the only way me and my husband survived the first few months. Otherwise we had to hold him on our arms.

Hope this helps.


I was told that the reason the baby should not sleep in the seat is because of flat head. As long as you take him out all the other times and he sleeps so soundly, why not? Just make sure he gets his tummy time when he is ready. My sis in law always kept the baby in the car seat-even to feed and I hated that but if my daughter falls asleep in the seat, I leave her alone.

Resist the temptation! I don't know about the back thing - I've heard their necks can get shortened tendons or something, but even just for the flat-head thing, it's such a bad idea. It's true that most cases of flat-head turn out OK in the end, but therapies are expensive and not always effective. My son's issue wasn't due to a car seat, but long story short, he may need expensive orthodonture down the road and his facial features will always be slightly asymmetrical. Not worth it!

With our second son (perfectly round head :-) we bought an amby sleep hammock. http://www.ambybaby.com/ I have no idea why those haven't taken off more, but highly recommend - easy for travel, cozy for baby. It basically takes the place of a bassinet and crib for about the first 7-8 months.

ETA - you might also want to try different swaddling cloths and devices, or look online for techniques. I was able to swaddle my kids much longer than that. He might need a little time to get used to it, too.

Hi J.:

Congrats on your new baby. I am a new Mom to an eight day old and, much like your son, he will not sleep unless he is completely snug. My husband and I went through the same measures of trying to find somewhere that he would actually sleep. Similar to your son and his kicking free from the swaddle, he also wiggles his arm out of any swaddle except the miracle blanket. It has truly been a sanity saver :-) for us. If you want to give it a try they have it at Galt Baby in the Bloomingdales building. Here is a link to the website http://www.miracleblanket.com/index.htm .

Hope this helps.


My first slept in the car seat or bouncy seat for the first six months of his life. My second has started out in her car seat, or sleeps in her (not moving) swing.

Both kids have reflux, and my second has an airway issue, so this takes care of a lot of problems. Plus, they just like it!

Lots of babies love to sleep in the car seat and it is fine. It is nice and cozy and more womblike. Another option is an amby bed www.amby.com which is a hammock like bed and is JPMA certified and recommended by Dr. Sears. It is also very cozy. Many babies find the first 2-3 months hard as they are so neurolically immature and they wake themselves up. The amby bed rocks them to sleep if they move. You can also get a blanket that has a lot of give in it and really swaddle baby hard so that he/she really can't get out. Practice makes perfect at this.

I PROMISE I am not usually an alarmist like this..but I have to say that I heard a story when my son was about 6 months old...I used to carry his car seat inside when he was asleep and let him nap in there. Then there was a woman on the news whose baby, at 6 months (which is why I was SUPER freaked out), suffocated in the car seat. When the baby fell asleep, it turns its head to the side and was suffocated by the head support thing. PLEASE PLEASE be careful...if you let the baby sleep in the car seat, be sure to remove anything that can obstruct the airway...

That said: my son slept in his car seat from 0-6 months with no issues...not even flat head (but he didn't do it that often).

We had a similar situation. We had a bassinet for our son, but he would only sleep if he was held, in our bed, or in the car seat, and he would kick out of a swaddle right away! We let him sleep in the car seat, and eventually got a swing which he liked to sleep in too. By about 2-3 months, he transitioned really easily to his crib and sleeps through the night now (he's 6 months). I would say if your baby sleeps in the car seat, let him sleep...he needs it and so do you! It won't last forever...maybe he just needs to grow a little to feel more secure in a more open space.

I say, do not worry about it. For the first five months of her life my Daugther only slept in her carseat. I was so worried, but my doctor assured me it was just fine. By 5 1/2 months, she out grew it on her own and transistioned herself to her crib. I wish I hadn't wasted so much energy worrying about if this was okay for her. She is perfectly fine and at 2 1/2 sleeps great in her crib! If the baby is sleeping, let the baby sleep!!

Talk to your pediatrician. Mine told me not let our daughter sleep in the car seat because of neck/spine issues. We really could have used the extra sleep but listened to our doctor.

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