Pediatricians Warn Car Seats Not for Naps Outside the Car

Babies should only sleep in car seats while riding in the vehicle.

Despite their seeming practicality, car seats should not be used for transporting babies outside the car, pediatricians say.

A recent study from Pediatrics journal looked at a decade of infant sleep-related deaths. Of the deaths that occurred in a sleeping container (other examples of these include a stroller or bouncer), sixty-three percent happened in a car seat that was being used outside the vehicle.

Of course, sleeping in car seats in a moving vehicle will happen, and that's fine. Heather Marcoux of Motherly writes, "Parents shouldn't panic about that - the seats are made to be used in the car."

But if babies are taking an ordinary nap at home or with a sitter, they should lie on their backs on a "firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet," the American Academy of Pediatrics explains.

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Most car seat infant deaths occurred while the baby was under the car of another caretaker rather than its parents. All sitters, grandparents, and other childcare providers should be aware of proper infant sleep safety guidelines. Learn more about the danger of improperly used car seats here.

Jenna Phipps

Jenna Phipps

Jenna Phipps is a writer, editor, and dancer based in Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys working with other people to improve their writing, taking long road trips, experimenting with choreography, and reading many novels.

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