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How to Support Newborn Head in Car Seat

How to Support Newborn Head in Car Seat

As a new mom, you’ll mostly worry about your new-born’s head position. Surprisingly, most methods we use to position our babies in cars may not be correct.

It’s so worrying to know that you’ve been straining your baby at times. But today, you’ll learn how to support new-born head in car seat.

When strapped into baby’s car seats, babies tend to wobble. The new-born’s neck muscles aren’t well developed to support the head.

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As such, you need to be extra keen on the baby’s head position to avoid breathing difficulties.

Which is the Right Head Position for the New-born?

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You can lay your baby in the baby’s car seat with the head upright. It’s the most recommended position to enhance easy breathing.

However, when we lay the baby, they naturally turn the head to the side. This is also a good position for better breathing.

If you lay the baby on your chest, they’ll naturally turn the head to the side. Same case if you lay them around your belly. Unfortunately, new moms rush to find baby head supports to keep it straight.

Many people don’t know that most baby head supports have padding that can push the baby’s head forward and block the airway.

The worst position is if the baby’s head falls forward when sitting on a car seat. If the chin lays to the chest in the car seat, know that your baby is struggling to breathe.

Tips How to Support Newborn Head in Car Seat

There are four tips to use a baby’s car seat to keep your baby safe. However, you should keep your eye on the baby, although most seats are well tested.

Here are ways to position a new-born in the car seat correctly;

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Tip 1: Head Turned to the Side

As earlier stated, head turned to the side is the safest way for the baby to breathe freely. However, head positioned straight is also good, although they will naturally turn their head.

If you notice your baby may be uncomfortable, there is a removable insert behind the head resting position in most seats. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm if it’s removable. If the manufacturer allows it to be removed, take it out and check if the baby’s head rests comfortably.

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Tip 2: Snug Straps on the Baby’s Shoulders

Snug straps that pass through the baby’s shoulders help position the head from each side. Although they may not restrict head movement, they position the body. In this manner, the baby can turn the head to any side.

Tip 3: Snug Crotch Buckle Between the Thighs

It secures the bottom of the baby to prevent slouching. If the baby slouches, the head may move forward and fall to the chest. You may have a gap between the baby’s bottom and the snug crotch buckle at times, which is dangerous.

However, because most seats aren’t adjustable, you can roll clothes or a receiving towel and set it in “U” shape to fill the gap. Set it between the baby’s thighs but ensure the size is reasonable not to over squeeze the thighs.

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Tip 4: Recline the Seat to the Best Angle

The reclined car seat forms the best angle to position the baby’s head without falling forward. However, if you set the seat upright, you may keep the baby positioned upright and pose breathing risks.

What if You Want to Add an Extra Support?

At times, you may decide to make extra support for your baby. The seat may be wider than the baby’s size, causing him to move sideways. Here is how to make baby head support for car seat;

It’s just simple, use a rolled burp cloth or a receiving blanket to secure the baby sideways. Take two clothes and roll them. Then, set them on the sides to meet at the head position.

However, don’t lay the baby’s head on the rolled clothe because it may push it forward to lie on the chest. Just pass it around the head in a manner that won’t prevent the baby from pulling the head forward and backward.

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Precautions When Travelling With a New-born

  • Have scheduled stops to feed, change diapers, and comfort your baby.
  • Ensure your baby is on a rear-facing seat when the car is in motion.
  • Ensure there is proper airflow, especially when the baby falls asleep.
  • Unless traveling is essential, don’t travel until your baby is a bit older.

FAQs on Baby Car Seats

How Do I Keep My Baby’s Head from Falling in Car Seat?

The first step is to have your baby’s car seat reclined to a proper angle. Secondly, harness the snug straps to secure the body from each side, and the head will remain in position. Third, set the chest plate at the armpits’ level. And last, make sure there is no gap between the baby’s bottom and the snug crotch buckle to keep the baby from slouching. If the baby slouches, the head may lie on the chest, blocking the airway.

Do Newborns Need Neck Pillow in Car Seat?

You shouldn’t use a pillow to secure the baby’s neck in the car seat. Before getting into the market, babies’ car seats are well tested and proven safe for use without any additional support materials. Manufacturers have in mind that babies have weak neck muscles to support their heads.

Do You Need New-born Insert for Car Seat?

Most manufacturers have fixed their seats with well-cushioned inserts to secure the baby’s seats. Luckily, most are removable if you notice the baby isn’t comfortable. If you need extra support, place a tightly rolled receiving blanket around the baby’s body. You shouldn’t insert the blanket under the baby’s head or neck.

Is it OK for New-born to Sleep With Head to Side?

We all believe the safest way to lay our babies is on their backs. But if you lay your babies on their back with the head straight, they naturally position their head to the side, which is also safe.

A times, circumstances may cause us to travel with new-born babies. If it’s essential, practice tips to support new-born head in car seat throughout the journey to keep your baby safe. 

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