Son Will Only Sleep in Car Seat

Updated on December 24, 2006
N.F. asks from Cuyahoga Falls, OH
36 answers

I have a 10 week old son,who will only sleep in his carseat! I have tried many times to put him in the crib, and he just cries. I feel guilty just letting him lay there and cry, but I would think the carseat has got to be uncomfortable for him. I tried putting him in a clothes basket (thinking the crib might be too big) but he cried in there too. Any suggestions? Or did anyone else deal with this sort of thing?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Just wanted to say that the baby has been sleeping in his crib for 3-5 hours every night for the past week!!! We are getting there,lol.

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.C.

answers from Columbus on

Hi N.,
It's been a while, but I've been where you are. My 10 year old daughter was the exact same way when she was little, up to 4 months old. I never heard of anyone else having this issue until now.
Anyway, I just let her sleep in it...but I put in a puffy blanket doubled up first, kind of like a little "nest", and she slept 'like a baby'! I think that the shape of the seat helped her to feel like she was being held or cuddled.
I tried to get her to sleep in the crib, but she never slept long in it before I had to go get her. She slept by my side of the bed for the first 4 months of her life, lying in a nest of blankets in her car seat...and I got some sleep too!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.B.

answers from Mansfield on

I dealt with the same thing with my son, it was that he had reflux and so it was uncomfortable for him to sleep laying flat,for probably the first 3 mo. or maybe more, he always slept in his car seat or swing and that was the only way anybody could get any sleep.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Cleveland on

My daughter would only sleep in her swing until she was about 6 months old. Have you tried a swing at all? At the time I was concerned about this and was told by my dr that is she was happy there to let her sleep there. Eventually she outgrew that and is now sleeping in her crib... or with me.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Columbus on

I assume you're putting him in his crib on his back - not only is that "unnatural", but very uncomfortable... babies simply don't sleep as well on their backs. The carseat is snuggly and secure, so plopping him down on his back and leaving him exposed is very uncomfortable. It will also aggravate any gas or reflex jerks he may have.

If you're worried about SIDS, rest assured it has nothing to do with sleep position. My profile shows over a decade of research compiled to disprove the BTS campaign.

All three of mine were tummy sleepers from the hospital on and slept sooooo well!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.K.

answers from Cleveland on

My now four year old son, slept in his car seat until he was about 5 months old. He had acid reflux and felt most comfortable sleeping in that position. We used to just put the car seat in the crib so he would be used to the crib. Once he was able to turn over and sleep however he wanted he was fine.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.

answers from Columbus on

Hi N.! I have a 10 month old and when he was a newborn the only way I could get him to sleep was to swaddle him so tight he couldn't move, his arms down his sides. And he would sleep for hours like this. To me I think it was the closeness just like the womb. Give it a try. Jess

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

V.K.

answers from Mansfield on

My son did the samething when he was that young. My son had acid reflux and the Dr. said he probably felt better sleeping in the carseat because he was in a upright position. He is now a yr old and he sleeps fine in his crib!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.L.

answers from Cleveland on

try rocking him in a bassinet that worked for mine it might work

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Wheeling on

I hate to admit this, but two of my children slept in their carseats until they were six months old.

I think it makes them feel like they are being held.

My children turned out just fine--- so it won't damage them or anything... lol. It's just a little awkward to us. To them it's probably really comfortable and comforting.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.R.

answers from Cleveland on

My son is 19 months old now and when he was 2-3 months old, he did exactly the same thing! The phase only lasted about 4 weeks. I consulted our doctor at the time and he assured me that it was fine to do it for a short period of time. He was sleeping through the night (in his crib) at 4 1/2 months old and has been ever since (we were lucky!) If you're concerned, you could ask your ped, but I'm sure he'll be ok!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi N.,

My daughter did this from when she was newborn until she was about 3 months old. She would either sleep in her bouncy seat or her car seat. My daughter's problem was that she had acid reflux and she was uncomfortable sleeping on her back. I even tried elevating the head of her bassinette but she still wouldn't sleep in it. My daughter also had problems sleeping and we would put her in her car seat and put that on the stroller and push her around and around until she fell asleep. We would just park the stroller in our room and let her sleep like that. Eventually she out grew sleeping in the car seat and would sleep in her bassinette and then her crib.

I wouldn't worry about it. Your son will outgrow it and at least he is sleeping! If he was uncomfortable then he would probably wake up. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Cleveland on

My first daughter slept in a car seat for at least 5 months that was the only place i could get her to sleep. I Think as most moms have said they feel comfortable being snug in a car seat like they did in your womb. Enjoy the time they sleep now!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from Cleveland on

My youngest liked her car seat a lot too. My pediatrician said it was ok but to make sure that she got plenty of floor time so that her muscles got the exercise they need and normally get when they are laying flat without support.

The car seat REALLY came in handy one time when she got a bad case of bronchitus too.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

Z.F.

answers from Dayton on

I have a 2 yr old and an 8 month old and both my kids would only sleep in their car seat the fist weeks and up to about 2 or 3 months... I also thought that it would be uncomfortable. They loved it though. I made sure that they had plenty of tummy time and their awake time they had time to stetch out. Mine grew out of that. I think that it comforts them- similar to swaddling.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.H.

answers from Dayton on

I don't know if you have ever heard of a Moby Wrap or not, they are the strangest things to watch someone put in on, but the are a life saver, they are much different them normal baby slings and much more comfortable. I wore my baby much of the time and he fussed and cried less. You might want to try some Attachment Parenting suggetions. Just google Attatchment Parenting and you find all kinds of Ideas. Good luck !!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.M.

answers from Canton on

I went threw the samething with my daughter the thing i did was i put her in her car seat & put it in the crib & i would wait til she was asleep for awhile then i would take her out & lay her in the crib. Hope this helps you

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.K.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi N.,

My son slept in his car seat until he was between 12 and 14 weeks old. Every time we laid him in his crib, he would fuss. I was really worried about it, too, but as it turns out, our pediatrician's daughter did the same thing! I thought all those straps and buckles must be uncomfortable, but we just laid a small blanket on top of them when he went to bed. At about 12 weeks, I put him to bed in his car seat (in his crib), and he started squirming to get out. I laid him in his crib, and he fell asleep just fine. Once he gets bigger, the car seat will just get uncomfortable and he'll prefer the crib. Hang in there!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from Cincinnati on

You can also try letting him sleep in a swing. My daugther didn't sleep in her bed until she was about 3 months old. She only slept in a swing or next to me in bed. I felt guilty letting her sleep in the swing and was concerned I was forming a habit that I wouldn't be able to break. So around 3 months I put her in her bed and would let her cry for a couple of minutes, pick her up, and put her down again. If she kept crying after a couple of rounds, I would hold her until she slept. It was like magic, one day, she just started preferring her bed and was sleeping through the night in her bed by 4 months. In fact, now I have the reverse problem - she refuses to sleep in her car seat and if she's tired, will cry until you put her in her bed. So I'm putting her back in her swing for some naps so she gets used to sleeping both laying down and upright.

Bottom line - do what works for you and your son - he will soon enough learn to sleep in his bed, but will need some help learning it.

Good luck!
M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Cincinnati on

He might be realizing the he is not in the womb any more. My son went through that right around that age. We just put him in his bouncy seat now which has the same recline position and he sleeps there or with me, he is now 6 months. He will let you know when he is needing to move on.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.K.

answers from Columbus on

You have to ask your ped how long is too long, but all my kids went through stages where they would only sleep in the car seat, or the swing, or some other place. Maybe he would like sleeping during the day in a sling while you go about your day?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.A.

answers from Columbus on

If he sleeps in the carseat, let him sleep. He will get used to the crib soon enough. My son did that too, Just make sure you turn his head to a different side each time he naps, so his head doesn't get flat on one side.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.I.

answers from Cincinnati on

N.,
If he is comfortable in the carseat, let him sleep. Or, since he is only 10 weeks old, hold him. Babies are not really meant to be put in cages. :)
My in-laws have a wood babyseat they used for their kids that they call the "shoe box" because it resembles a large one that is built stable and has an incline at the head end. Their second son would only sleep there until he grew too big for it. At least the car seat is more cushioned, and has safety straps. Your baby will tell you if/when the seat is uncomfortable. Just go with the flow and do what the baby wants to do. He will rest better.
Best wishes,
K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Columbus on

Yup and my daughter slept in hers for the 1st 3 1/2 months. It was the only she would sleep. Just do whatever works. Trust me, eventually your son won't want to sleep there anymore. When my daughter was out of the carseat, she went into her crib with a sleep positioner that kept her in place. At around 5 months, she outgrew it, but was just fine sleeping without it. I think just go at your son's speed and do whatever works. You will all be a lot happier lol.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.N.

answers from Dayton on

Please try the Happiest Baby on the Block. I teach the class at Beavercreek YMCA, Kettering Rec. If you do not want to take the class they have the book and video and stores to buy or the library. If you have any questions please feel free to email me. [email protected]____.com.

Thanks
jo

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.G.

answers from Dayton on

My daughter slept in her carseat for the first 4 months. I think she felt more comforted and snuggly, like in the womb. Everytime we put her in the crib she would uncurl and scream. I actually would put the carseat in the crib at night so she would be used to those surroundings when she did stop using the seat. She's 19 months now and does just fine in her crib! The important thing is that your son is getting good, uninterrupted sleep which will make him happier when he is awake. The good news is that you have a portable bed wherever you go right now! Don't push it or worry about it right now, he's still small and I also know MANY other people who have done the same thing! Enjoy it and get some rest too!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

We went through this with my son at around the same age. He slept in it for a few weeks and than we tried every night to put him in his crib until one night he actually would stay in it and we didn't need the car seat anymore. Do whatever you need to do to get that baby to sleep for the longest stretch possible! If he's not comfortable, he'll surely let you know. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.D.

answers from Dayton on

my son for a while would only sleep in his bouncer seat!For a transition, I would put him, bouncerseat and all, in his crib. After about a week, I would put him in there asleep, then an hour or 2 later i'd take him out of the bouncerseat and lay him in his crib. He cried, but eventually fell asleep. This was pretty exausting foe about 2 weeks, but after that he slept all night in his crib!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.R.

answers from Columbus on

N.,

Put the car seat in the crib. :)

Let him sleep in the car seat. It probably feels good to him, because it snuggles him more than the crib. He's loose on a big, flat mattress in his crib, but the car seat is more like the fetal position and holds him him.

Don't worry.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.

answers from Mansfield on

Hi N.,
First, Congratulations on your new family member! I have 2 children too. My son will turn "9" in December & my daughter just turned "1" on Oct. 26th. I am "42" and a Licensed Massage Therapist and nutritional consultant. I believe a trip to a Chiropractor would help your situation. My son was 1 when I first took him (wish I would have learned about them sooner). I took my daughter when she was 5 days old! No problems with sleeping, spitting up, crying, ear infections, etc. I also put my children to sleep on their stomachs after a couple of weeks of lying on their sides using a baby chuck. The stomach positon makes more sense to me than lying on the back. They can cuddle up with themselves like they were in the womb! If your son has a reflux problem, the adjustment from the Chiropractor should help take care of that. If you are bottle feeding, sometimes the formula can be a culprit with this condition as well.
I would like you to check out a few websites about Vaccines as well. I have chosen to not vaccinate either of my children.(they are healthier than most kids in school & my church). It is not a LAW in Ohio that you have to vaccinate, just an FYI. My friend is working with over 200 Autistic children. She is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and the mercury she is removing from these children is astounding. In 1990, 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed with Autisim, now it is 1 in 151, the highest percentage being in boys. So Please, check out these sites before taking your children in for another shot so that you can make an informed decision.

www.generationrescue.org
www.PutChildrenFirst.org
www.909shot.com

God Bless you and your family!
L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.W.

answers from Canton on

My daughter was the same way! It wont hurt him.
It took awhile for her to sleep in the crib toto but I just gradually started puttin her in it anyways and lettin her cry it out and she got used to it!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.T.

answers from Canton on

Hey N.,

My son and daughter both did this. I flipped out about it with my daughter, but by the time he came around, I was just thankfull that he would sleep. My theory is that before they are born they are all curled up and comfy and warm, and then we expect them to stretch out on a big, cold, flat mattres....Usually if the baby is asleep, then they are comfortable....Just know that he will sleep in his crib eventually....don't fall into the trap of letting him sleep with you, once in a while is ok though. For our son we used a binkie and rubbed his belly after putting him down in his crib, and sometimes he would just fall asleep on his bottle. It didn't work right away, and sometimes we put the whole car seat in the crib, but don't worry for now, and when you do decide its time, be patient and persistant. Good luck!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.J.

answers from Youngstown on

Hello N.-
Please have your son checked by your ped, for acid reflux. Both of my children slept in thier carseats, and I on the floor or the couch next to them, because both my children suffered from acid reflux. When you lay them down in the crib or play pen, the acid comes us into thier throats and makes them sick. Thier is an 18 hour test (in which a child must be in the hospital for), that can detect acid reflux, but normally if you tell the doctor that you think your child may be suffering with it, they will give you meds to see if you can fix the problem. Most importantly, you know your own child, if your ped tries to shrug you off, stand up for yourself, there were alot times when my kids were infants, that my ped looked at me like I was crazy, but I stuck to my guns and I always ended up to be right.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.F.

answers from Rochester on

You could try wrapping him with a blanket so he is secure, and then laying him on his side, next to the side of the crib. Sometimes we had to put our baby in her carrier on top of the dryer and turn it on to simulate the car in order to get her to sleep, and then transfer her to bed. We also used one of the Fisher Price Cradle Swings that swing either front to back or side to side. She took a lot of naps in that during the day until she got used to sleeping in the crib. Another thing you may want to try is to use a heating pad on low or medium to warm up the area in his crib that he is going to sleep on before you put him down. Take it away before you lay him down. I think the coldness of crib, especially during the fall and winter can wake newborns up. You're probably already doing it, but move very, very slowly when you are laying him down. Go in slow motion. Keep your hands in place for about 30 seconds or so after he is placed in the crib, and very slowly pull one at a time out. It will get better- newborns are just very sensitive. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy, and good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi my name is E. and I now have a 20 month old daughter. When she was born she would not sleep anywhere but her carseat also. I thought I was the only one. She loved it and slept there for 3 to 4 months (maybe even longer, but I don't remember) Then I got her to sleep in her bed but not all the time. If he is comfortable sleeping there I would let him go and try and switch him later. When they are that little they like close surroundings and that feel good to him. Swaddling him when he sleeps is also a comfortable thing for babies. Hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.C.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi, by chance does your son have any stomach problems (spitting up, acid reflux?) Both my babies suffered from this and preferred to sleep in an upright position, they would fall asleep in their car seats, then I would transfer them to their crib (or basinet when they were under three months). You can do some things to angle the crib, baby stores sell crib risers that allow you to raise up one side of the crib a few inches (the side where his head would lie), you can also put pillows UNDER his Mattress to create an angle (never put a pillow in with an infant, I'm sure you know this, but for other readers I'm writing this). Best of Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.

answers from Cleveland on

I would first try the swaddeling if you aren't already. If your son is spitting up more than you think is normal then by all means have him checked for reflux. My son had it too and it was only a 15 minute check at the hospital. They gave him a bottle of barium sp? and then x-rayed what was happening (if it was coming back up his throat). Very non-invasive and didn't bother him at all.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches