When it comes to car seats, rear-facing only is the most popular choice among today’s busy parents. And travel systems make for an easy solution that allows you to carry your baby from one place (the vehicle) all across town without ever having to remove them from their own seat.
When babies spend too much time in their car seats outside of the vehicle, it can have negative effects on development. The American Academy for Pediatrics reminds parents about this risk and offers tips to help ensure your child’s healthy growth while traveling.
Before Travel Systems…
When it comes to traveling with a baby, the old-fashioned way is still possible. Before travel systems came around (“back in days”), mother would hold their child and walk them over to where they were standing before putting them into a car seat then removing both items from underneath which allowed for bonding time while also ensuring that little one gets plenty rest due being held close by loving parent throughout journey
There are a number of health consequences that can occur if you don’t remove your child from the car seat for an appropriate amount of time:
- Flathead. When a baby’s head is left in one position for too long, the soft tissue will deform and reshape accordingly. This can cause positional skull deformation which may or may not go away when they start rolling around again but usually gets better with time due to normal wear-and-tear on an infant’s developing muscles from sleeping all day long while in car seats etc.
- Breathing concerns. When the baby is sitting up, it can affect their breathing. For younger newborns and preemies specifically- they may not be able to get enough air in because of how far down your body falls when you’re slouching with an angle firm or extending away from them slightly more than usual. Lying flat will help avoid this problem area while also allowing yourself extra time between nursing sessions so that Mother Nature doesn’t kick us out too quickly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents pay attention to the angle at which their baby’s head is positioned and consider changing positions, either by using an adjustable stroller or front pack if appropriate. It’s also important for moms to avoid letting their child fall asleep while sitting up straight because this can cause them injury.
- Shortened neck muscle. The most common cause of a short neck is when babies are in car seats. They tend to tilt their heads and gently push against them, which can stretch out muscles on one side more than another- resulting in positional torticollis! This condition may not affect all children but it could get worse with prolonged positioning that strains these particular muscle groups even further over time.
- Motor delays. Research has shown that babies are more likely to develop motor delays and other health problems if they stay in a car seat for too long. The lack of movement can cause muscle weakness, which will affect their development even when it’s not yet clear what specifically is wrong with them.
Quick Reminders For Parents:
Car seats are a must when it comes to protecting your child from injury or death in case of an accident. But if they’re going to be spending lots of time sitting still, you should give them occasional breaks by taking off the seat and limiting how long they stay outdoors with other types of baby gear such as freestanding swings that put extra pressure on their head.
When you have a minute, spend it on the floor with your baby. Watch her play from all different angles: belly-up and upside-down! You can do this by holding out either arm or both in order for them not to get tired too quickly while playing at their own pace.
If you’re not traveling with your baby, make sure they are in a safe sleep space
When the baby falls asleep while riding in his car seat, the AAP recommends transferring him out of that safety device and placing him onto a crib or other safe sleep space. Car seats are not recommended for sleeping environments because they can’t protect children from sudden movements that may cause injury during dreams – swings will also do just fine! If you have no alternative options available at your destination point-of-viewing location, make sure an adult keeps a close eye on any infant who has had this experience.
For the safety of yourself and your family, please remember that car seats are for traveling while cribs should be used as sleeping quarters.
Physical And Mental Parents’ Health
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping infants and toddlers rear-facing as long as possible until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. This means that parents will be contorting themselves in order to fit into a smaller chair for an extended period of time.
Rear-facing only car seats can be heavy-duty. When combined with the weight of your baby (most rear-facing Only babies weigh 22 – 35 pounds) and what’s called “cosmetic risk,” which means there is an increased chance that they’ll fall victim to sprain or strain because their head isn’t Mobile enough yet; this puts even more strain on parents’ back/shoulder area.
The best way to avoid backaches and pains:
- Carrying your baby is always better than the risk of injury.
- When you hold your baby, don’t be limited to one side.
- While it is important to work with both arms, alternate them for a more even distribution of weight.
- Keep your baby close to you when lifting and carrying them. Use legs, not arms, so that they don’t get hurt by accident or dropped on their head.
- Convertible or 3-in1 car seats are a great way to save space in your vehicle when you need it most. These types of seats can be used rear-facing and will remain installed, so all that’s necessary is carrying a baby with only one hand.
- Are You Using Your Rear-Facing-Only Car Seat Safely? https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Baby-Carriers-Always-Use-in-the-Car.aspx Adapted from American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2019)
The information on this site is not a substitute for medical care and advice from your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that he or she recommends based on individual facts, circumstances or personal preference you have as an adult who is now taking responsibility of caring for another life stage alongside their own childhoods!
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