If you’ve found that the only place your baby seems to fall asleep and stay asleep is in the car seat, you’re not alone. Taking baby for a drive to put her to sleep has worked for parents ever since the invention of the automobile. And there’s nothing wrong with letting your baby fall asleep in the car seat if you’re out for a drive.
However, recent studies have shown that about 1/5 of babies who sleep in car seats have lower oxygen levels than babies who sleep in a crib or bassinette. More and more doctors are recommending that, if at all possible, you remove your baby from the car seat and place her in the crib to sleep (assuming you’re not in the car, of course).
Any parent who has tried this will tell you that it’s easier said than done. There’s nothing easier than just leaving your baby to sleep where she is. After all, the last thing a tired parent wants to do is risk waking the baby up. And babies will often sleep longer if they are left in a car seat.
Part of the reason for this is that the design of most car seats naturally replicates the snug feeling baby had when she was in the womb. She is cozy, she is warm, and she is comfy. It’s understandable why she would rather that you just left her sleeping in the car seat.
However, the way most car seats position babies causes them to take in less air than they would if they were lying on their backs in a crib. Manufacturers are working on ways to correct this issue, and it is likely that they will have it resolved before you have your next baby, but for now, it’s better to take baby out of the car seat.
If you do decide to leave your baby asleep in the car seat, make sure that she is lying at an approximately 45 degree angle. This position allows her to breathe optimally and will result in her being able to get more oxygen than if she were lying down at a lesser or greater angle.