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How long should I let my 6 week old sleep in his car seat?

12 replies

Adelaide · 22/08/2002 19:17

My 6 week old ds, although fine settling and sleeping at night (fatal last words!), will not do so in the day and only really sleeps for long periods in his car seat. For example he will fall asleep in the car on the way back from somewhere and sleep on quite happily for an hour or so when transferred to the house. However, transfer him to his cot or moses basket and he will be up in 10 minutes. While these long sleeps are great (I have another 2 ds's 2 & nearly 4) I am uneasy about his back etc in the car seat. Any thoughts?

OP posts:

musica · 22/08/2002 20:35

I think the limit is 2 hours at a time - that's what the mw recommended when I had ds.


threeangels · 22/08/2002 21:43

Ive always thought that sleeping in a carseat too long when your a newborn is not good on the back. I never really left my 3 regularly to sleep in it unless we were driving or just out running around. It seems like their spines need a more flat firm surface for growing and changing form.


mears · 23/08/2002 00:35

To be truthful I do not think there are any real limits as long as baby is comfortable sleeping. Downside would be a baby who couldn't then sleep lying flat. I do not think once a day would be a real problem.


SueDonim · 23/08/2002 04:13

I read on a website recently that it isn't recommended to leave a tiny baby in a car seat for too long becuase of the danger of the neck and chest muscles being compressed downward by the weight of the head and thus hindering breathing. No idea if that is true or even feasible - maybe Mears/Leese could tell us whetehr that is a possibilty??


bayleaf · 23/08/2002 08:21

I don't supppose you want to hear this - but my midwife ( who was also a family friend) said that I shouldn't let her sleep in it on a regular basis for more than 30 minutes at a time because of the fact that her back wasn't flat. She knew that this wasn't popular with me (I wanted to get a travel system and pushchair and no pram) but insisted that that was the medical recommendation - and of course I could ignore it if I chose- but that she couldn't pretend that she thought it was a good idea.


Enid · 23/08/2002 10:25

babies tend to get very unsettled if they fall asleep in one place and wake in another, so try and let him fall asleep in his cot/moses basket if you can.

I echo the sentiments that sleeping for long periods in a car seat isn't good for the back. Perhaps you could try one of those bouncy chairs, or the reclining chairs, probably better for his back long term.


manna · 23/08/2002 13:10

I think that if you want to get your child to take daytime naps indoors, you may as well start now - to delay it would only make things worse. Plus I've also heard it's bad for their backs after a couple of hours - asleep OR awake. We broke journeys after 2 hrs to have a good hour in a service station when ds was younger - much better all round.


sb34 · 23/08/2002 16:15

Message withdrawn


SofiaAmes · 23/08/2002 16:43

I come from a family of scientists and worriers and no on ever mentioned not letting my son sleep in the car seat (he hated the moses basket). I would do some research on the internet to see if there are in fact any real studies done on this or is it just anecdotal evidence. There is a awful lot of misinformation that gets spread around by word of mouth that has no basis in fact (like hv's telling you that you should start solids at 2 months)....


chiara71 · 24/08/2002 14:27

I remember reading in "What to expect when you're breastfeeding" that you shoudl try and transfer the baby to a flat surface whenever possible, but the author also added that if this resulted in waking the baby up each time (and baby would not fall asleep again), one could leave him/her in teh car seat.

6 weeks is still young to have a routine, my dd only slept when in motion (car seat, pram, sling) at that age, or in our arms (even worse), but she eventually started sleeping in her cot during the day as well as night, so I would not worry that much.


calcium · 24/08/2002 23:41

My baby at 6 weeks was the same, would only sleep if she either fell asleep in the car (so in the seat) or in my arms which was very tiring. No way would she sleep in the moses basket. I asked an osteopath and they said that as long as this wasn't a pattern laid out for the next 6 months it was OK. I have a travel system so I would transfer her sleeping from car seat and fix it into the buggy so not to disturb her. Now at 12 weeks I can transfer her into the buggy which is laid nearly flat and front facing, this doesn't disturb her and she is very happy almost lying down. I have a mamas and papas car seat which is very U shaped and therefore I was not happy with her spending too much time in it. In the space of things afew weeks is nothing so I wouldn't worry too much unless you are leaving her in it for the best part of the day which I am sure you are not.


ionesmum · 25/08/2002 14:55

Adelaide, our dd was exactly the same. we checked with our g.p. who had been a paedetrician, and he also checked with a friend of his who was a back specialist and they both agreed that it wasn't too much of a problem so long as it was only for the first 2- 3 months. We found that after about 8 weeks dd preferred her bouncy chair which vibrates, it's made by Mamas and Papas and it was fab. She'd been in one when she was in intensive care as it was the only way they could get her to sleep. We did still find the car seat useful for rocking dd to sleep for some time afterwards, although by then she was happy to be moved from it once asleep.

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