Thanks to modern, safe child seats, new-borns can also be transported in the car. In theory, travelling with a child is very enjoyable. Statistically, infants sleep 15 hours in a 24-hour period. Because they don’t need to move like older children and don’t have a day-night rhythm, they can theoretically sleep through a long car journey. How long can a child lie in the car seat? If you are planning an extended trip with your child, you definitely need to ask yourself this question.
According to a 2001 US study, new-borns should not be transported in a car seat at all in the first month of life. Why? Children this young are not able to hold their heads up on their own. If transported in a child seat this can cause breathing problems for the child.
Most paediatricians believe that long car journeys beyond two hours should be avoided in the first three months of a baby’s life. This is because babies’ spines are very sensitive. Very young children should spend most of their time lying down, which is the safest position for their spine.
There is no denying that reputable child seat manufacturers place great emphasis on the safety of their products. Keep in mind, however, that babies in a traditional baby carrier are transported in a semi-sitting position. In the long run, the position negatively affects both breathing and the spine of the baby.
Many parents also use the car seat during shopping and walking. As the child’s car seat can be placed on the chassis of a stroller using special adapters, it is relatively often used as a convenient alternative to the typical stroller. This is a big mistake! The child lies in many car seats in a bent position, which adversely affects their health. Is your stroller not comfortable? In the meantime, you can put your baby in the carrier! Note: Young children feel safe in a baby carrier and are also much calmer.
Sometimes, however, you can’t do without a longer car journey with your child. How long can a child lie in a car seat? If there is no other option, even one to two hours by car is possible. However, under no circumstances should such a route be taken every day. After a long journey, your child should recover well. It would be best to refrain from using the car seat in the days following the journey.
For very long journeys (more than 500 km), an infant carrycot should be used. It is worth noting that modern carrycots are very safe and can be fitted to the backseat of the car. In the infant carrycot, babies are transported in a supine position, which is the most comfortable for them.
Now you know how long your child can lie in a car seat and what to look out for. Due to safety reasons, it is advisable to rely on high-quality products from reputable manufacturers that meet the most rigorous standards when choosing a child seat. Infant seats that have a relatively high and straight back are recommended. In such a seat, young children are transported in a better position for safety reasons.
Read also: Car seat and a child’s spine.