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lying flat for babies >3months

(8 Posts)
fififrog Wed 22-Jun-11 20:56:38

I am looking for a new pushchair for my 3 month old, who has good head control already, but most of those I'm interested in say >6months unless you purchase a carry cot, which I have no intention of doing as it's a waste of money for me now.

I obviously don't want to do any damage to my little one, but can anyone tell me why it matters that she can lie totally flat? Most mums I see out and about with travel systems have their newborn babies in the car seat attached to the frame - they are not even remotely flat in the car seat and my daughter always looks very uncomfy in our maxicosi cabriofix as she is all slumped in it. If it's OK for newborn babies to sit in a car seat, why can't they lie in a nearly flat buggy seat? If the problem is neck support, one can buy inexpensive cushions to do that.

I sometimes sit my daughter up some in my current pushchair so she can see the world a bit - I don't keep her like that for hours and would always have it flat if she wanted to sleep, she seems happier and much more comfortable than in the car seat. So I guess I'm not that worried, just curious!

RobynLou Wed 22-Jun-11 21:01:44

although a lot of babies spend a lot of time in carseats because of 'travel systems' it's actually really bad for their developing spine.
I understood that either lying flat or upright in a sling which positions their knees above/in line with their hips are the best ways for babies spines to be in order to not be put under stress.
it's not really about the baby's comfort now.

suzie38 Wed 22-Jun-11 21:04:45

If their chins drop down too much ie resting on the chest it can affect their breathing and oxygen levels as well as the spinal issue...My DD was in a Bugaboo bucket seat from 8 weeks old because she hated lying flat and screamed every time.

fififrog Thu 23-Jun-11 05:01:54

Exactly. I don't know what a bucket seat is but in the car seat she seems very slumped forward to me and her spine is far from flat, whereas in the middle recline position of the pushchair there is pretty much no difference from flat ie not slumped!

Guildfordnanny Thu 23-Jun-11 10:52:28

I think it depends on your pushchair. Most pushchairs which aren't suitable from birth have a ledge for a seat ie it meets the back rest at something like a 90 degree angle ie a bucket type seat. The recline pivots usually from two points the chassis via a handle on the back of the seat or buttons at the sde of the seat. Most that are suitable from birth have a recline that lets the back of the seat fall down from the 90 degree join so that the seat lies flat. With the bucket type of seat, if you think about a baby, their back may be straight but their bottom will not sit properly in the seat part, with their feet more in the air when reclined and essentially the baby will be sat and not laid flat. The car seats I am familiar with ie Maxi Cosi and Britax both have newborn systems in place to allow a newborn to be as flat as possible. To be honest I would rather have a baby in a car seat that is designed for a newborn, woth suitable breaks for the child, than a pushchair seat unit too soon. I was also warned a few weeks ago that some pushchair straps are not suitable for a newborn and if too thick can cause serious injury or worse of you stop too fast. Infant car seats have thin straps. I wouldn't advise putting a baby in a bucket seat, but for example in the US (where safety standards are very strict) they seem to approve some bucket seats as fine for a child. I got a pushchair last week with deep bucket seats but apparently they are suitable from birth in th US. A lot depends on the degree your pushchair seat is a bucket (if it is), your child, it's weight, abilities etc and ultimately what you choose to do is your choice smile

MonkeysPunk Thu 23-Jun-11 14:08:19

I pushed my eldest DD (now 18y) around in a basic maclaren with "layback" that was nowhere near flat (In 1993) and it only had a 3 point harness! She's still alive and well - no harm done. I also carried her in a sling on my front for a lot of the time too (because I wanted to use the bus and get out and see my friends easily without too much "equipment" in tow).

I don't know what all the "laying flat" stuff is about really - I did read somewhere it was more to do with the baby not having it's chin pressed to it's chest - thereby narrowing it's windpipe rather than keeping the spine flat (babies spines start off C shaped - and as they grow develop into an S shape eventually). After all, cave women, tribal peoples, and people living where there are no pavements or roads are to my knowledge NOT making any significant effort to lay their babies on completely flat surfaces until a certain age - although I think for a large part these other babies are being held in arms - and probably being moved frequently - and so not laying in a fixed position of any sorts for any long length of time.

I guess this laying flat rule is more for the western parenting style where some parents will leave a baby in a pram/cot or seat for quite a while at a time, and the baby is held in arms less.

Anyhow - if you choose a seat for an older baby - you could look into adding a kiddopotamus snuzzler - and some padded strap covers to give additional support - keep a close eye on your baby and don't be leaving them in there for hours at a time.

fififrog Thu 23-Jun-11 21:37:12

I think you're right, the length of time element is pretty critical here - I wish DD would stay asleep long enough for me to worry about it ;-)

I have had to remove the bewborn support from the car seat because it was putting her at a very odd angle.. She is very long though. Her breathing always sounds very laboured in the car seat because it seems to me it forces her to slump.

Problem solved for me personally because I just got a great deal on an ex-display pushchair giving me the carrycot for £30. Think I'll still use the seat unless we're going on a longer trip as it's fairly flat and she always wants to sit up on my knee these days and will probably complain if she's forced to lie down all the time!

PrincessScrumpy Tue 28-Jun-11 18:33:31

I had an iCandy Cherry for dd1 and she outgrew the carrycot at about 3.5 months but the seat said from 6 months (dd was small as well and in 0-3 month clothes at 3 months when they finally fitted her). The seat did also lie flat so I couldn't see the problem. I took the attitude that she wasn't in it for hours at a time and was happy, the rest of the time she was flat on her playmat or in my arms so she had a good mix.

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