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How Long can A Newborn be in A Car Seat? An Important Question!

How Long can A Newborn be in A Car Seat? An Important Question!

A newborn can stay in a car seat for as long as necessary to complete the journey safely. However, it is important to make sure that they are not in the car seat for too long as this can cause them to become uncomfortable and restless.

If possible, try to take breaks during long distances to allow your newborn to move around and stretch their legs. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a car seat.

2-hour rule of car seats for newborns

It is important to follow the 2-hour car seat rule for newborns. This means that your baby should be in an upright car seat position for no more than 2 hours at a time. This is to ensure their safety and prevent them from getting too tired or uncomfortable.

how long can a newborn be in a car seat
Travel with babies is fun!

If you need to travel longer than 2 hours, be sure to take breaks and allow your baby to stretch and move around. Car seat safety is important for all babies, but it is especially crucial for newborn babies. Following the 2-hour car seat rule will help keep your little one safe and comfortable on all of your travels.

Infant Car Seats and SIDS

Infant car seats are essential for keeping babies safe in moving vehicles, but did you know that they can also be a cause of breathing problems for some infants? Restricted air flow during infants travel can affect baby’s lungs. Head flopped forward also creates difficulty. Choosing the right upright position is the answer.

When an infant is placed in a car seat, their head can fall forward and block their airway. This can cause difficulty breathing and even lead to death. While the exact cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is unknown, it is believed that prolonged use of infant car seats may be a contributing factor.

how long can a newborn be in a car seat
Prolonged car seat use is bad!

So what can you do to keep your infant safe while still using a car seat? Make sure to take breaks often so that your infant can move around and stretch their muscles. Additionally, try to position the car seat so that your infant’s head is in line with their spine.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your infant safe and reduce the risk of SIDS.

Problems associated with Prolonged Infant Car Seats Use

Many parents think that it is okay to keep their babies in car seats for long car rides, but there are actually five major problems that can occur if they do so.


The first problem is that the babies can become dehydrated. When a baby is in a car seat, they are not able to move around and get the same air circulation that they would if they were out of the car seat. This can cause them to become dehydrated very quickly on a long trip. Sitting position especially semi upright position is a good approach.

Car Seat Head Syndrome

Second, the baby can develop car seat head syndrome. This is when the baby’s own head falls forward and presses against the car seat straps. This can cause serious neck and spine problems.


The babies can overheat in car seats. Because they are not able to move around, they are not able to regulate their own body temperature. This can cause them to become very hot and sweaty due to excess heat, which can lead to dehydration or even heat stroke.

Car Seat Belt Syndrome

Babies can develop car seat belt syndrome. This is when the car seat belts rub against the baby’s skin and cause irritation. Long car journeys should always be planned carefully.

Car Seat Compression Syndrome

Finally, the baby can experience car seat compression syndrome. This is when the car seat presses down on the baby’s chest and stomach, making it difficult for them to breathe.

If you are going on a long car ride with your baby, be sure to take regular breaks every 2 hours so that the babies can stretch their legs and get out of the car seats for a little while. Plan ahead for these issues. This will help prevent any of these problems from occurring.

Car Seat Safety Tips for Newborn Babies

Newborns are very fragile and special care is needed for them. Some car seat safety tips for newborn babies are as follows:

Always choose the right car seat

Travelling with a young baby can be daunting, but it is important to make sure that you have the right car seat for your baby. Most babies will need a rear-facing car seat for rear facing position for their first few years of life. This type of car seat is the safest option for young babies. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and follow all of the safety guidelines when using a car seat.

how long can a newborn be in a car seat
Traveling must be planned!

If you are unsure about which car seat is right for your baby, many car seat manufacturers are available for guidance. Car seat manufacturers recommend to choose the proper car seat for your child and install it properly.

Fasten the car seat belt properly

It is essential to fasten the car seat belt properly for a newborn baby while traveling long distances. There are a few things you should keep in mind when doing so.

First, the head of the baby should not have flopped forward. This can cause serious problems. Second, the baby should not be left in the car seat for long periods of time. This can also lead to problems. Finally, try to have a test ride with the baby car seat in moving vehicle before putting the baby into it.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to car seat safety for newborn babies. If you have any questions, please consult with a professional before traveling.

Never leave the baby unattended in car seats

It’s never safe to leave your baby unattended in a car seat, even for a short period of time. A baby’s still developing spine can be easily damaged if they fall asleep in a car seat, and they’re also at risk of being injured or even killed if the car seat isn’t properly secured. If you’re traveling long distances with your infant, make sure to take breaks often so that you can watch them and make sure they’re comfortable.

It is ideal to have a second adult in the back of the car with the baby. He/she can take care if the baby falls asleep or even when the baby is waking.

Focus on the positioning of the baby in the car seats

When traveling with a newborn baby, it is important to ensure that they are in a lie flat position. This is because lying flat helps to maintain their blood oxygen levels. Additionally, lying flat reduces the risk of suffocation and improves breathing. If your car seat does not have a lie flat position, you can use pillows or blankets to prop up your baby’s head and chest. Sitting position can change according to the age of the baby. For example, preterm babies need more care. Always consult your car seat’s instruction manual to ensure that you are using it correctly.

Take breaks on regular intervals

Safety experts recommend that you take a break every two hours when traveling with a baby in a car seat. This is to ensure that the baby does not get too tired or uncomfortable in the same position for a prolonged period of time.

Never use car seats for general sleep places

Car seats are not intended for routine infant sleep outside of the car. The AAP recommends that babies sleep in a firm, safe surface on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. Car seats do not provide a firm, safe sleeping surface and can actually increase the risk of SIDS because they put baby in an upright position.

Additionally, car seats are not as comfortable as a crib or bassinet, which can make it difficult for baby to get the rest they need. If you must use a car seat for infant sleep, make sure to follow all safety precautions and never leave baby unattended.

Avoid using second-hand car seats

When it comes to infant car seats, it’s important to know that second hand car seats should not be used for babies while traveling. There are a few reasons why this is the case:

1. Second hand car seats may not meet current safety standards.

2. Car seats are often recalled for safety reasons, and second hand car seats may not have been repaired or updated accordingly.

3. The car seat may have been in a car accident, which could compromise its safety features.

4. If you don’t know the history of the car seat, you can’t be sure that it has been properly maintained and cared for.

how long can a newborn be in a car seat
Travel cautiously with babies!

For these reasons, it’s best to buy a new car seat that meets current safety standards and has a clean history. This will help ensure that your infant is safe and secure while traveling. This is especially important for newborn or premature babies.

Take baby out of car seat when he changes position

If your infant starts changing positions in his car seat, it’s important to stop the car immediately and take him out. This is because restricted airflow can quickly become dangerous for infants in car seats. By stopping and taking him out, you can ensure that he gets the fresh air and space he needs. Infant car seats are designed for safety, but they need to be used correctly in order to be effective. If you have any questions about how to use your infant car seat safely, please consult the manual or contact the manufacturer.


All in all, the exact answer of how long can a newborn be in car safety seats is dependent on the 2-hour rule. Parents should always follow this rule in the back seat as much as is possible. Furthermore, special care must be taken for a sleeping baby in cars. Baby safe equipment makes things easier. So, if you want to transport babies especially premature babies, then follow the proper tips. Research findings support this too.

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About The Author

Affaf Amjad

Having an MPhil in Applied psychology and being a mother of three kids, I have always tried to try and test different psychological interventions and approaches in the day-to-day routine of my kids. Sharing my results and effective strategies with parents around the globe is the my main aim as a writer.

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