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According to a new study, researchers suggest car seats should be used only for protecting babies during travel, and not as replacement for cribs. Young babies have a special set of needs when they’re riding in a car. Here is what to do if your baby has breathing difficulties when riding semi-upright, if her head falls on her chest or if she has to go out in cold weather.
If Your Baby has Breathing Difficulties
There are two FMVSS 213 approved car beds available that allow the baby to remain flat while traveling. The American Academy of Pediatrics has more information about the safe transport of children with special needs.
If Your Baby's Head Falls on Her Chest
Place a rolled towel or towels under the foot of the seat or the base to adjust the angle to 45 degrees before tightly buckling the seat into the car. For side support of her head, after securely buckling her in the seat, place a rolled receiving blanket or small towel on each side between her head and the sides of the car seat.
If Your Baby is Going Out in Cold Weather
If you are using an infant car seat carrier, do not dress the baby in more than an undershirt and diaper, a onesie, a fleece-type suit and a hat. Place the baby in the seat and then adjust the harness so it is snug enough that you cannot pinch the harness webbing between your fingers. Now you can put blankets over the baby and, if you wish, a car seat cover over the seat. Do not use buntings or snowsuits; it is impossible to tighten the harness straps properly, thus making your baby vulnerable to serious injury in a crash. Do not put anything under the baby that will keep his body from resting directly on the seat. If you are using a seat that stays in your car, use a jacket for the baby. You can open the jacket in the car, put the harness straps directly on his body, snug them up and then close the jacket over the straps. You can also put a blanket over the baby. No one, including you, should have either car seat harness straps or vehicle seat belts over heavy clothing.