Updated at: 27-03-2023 - By: Helen Skeates

As a parent, there is no shortage of potential threats to think about. Each new baby appears to bring its own set of fears and concerns, regardless of whether or not you already have previous children.

Children can suffocate if they are left in car seats for too long, as has been clear in recent years. There may not be a lot of people experiencing this, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Staying proactive and informed is key to protecting your child, especially in the early months and years. That’s why we’re here: to address the burning issue of how long a baby may safely ride in a car seat on long trips.

At least we know what the experts think. For any reason, you shouldn’t leave your infant in a car seat for more than two hours. Keeping a baby in one position, such as a high chair, for too long might be harmful. Because it takes most infants around 6 months to learn to sit up straight, if they are in a squished, hunched position, they may not be getting enough air.

Car Seats Save Lives

Even if the car seat is installed correctly and the child is properly buckled in, this sort of thing can happen. The same is true if the baby is left in the sitting position somewhere else besides the automobile. However, please do not dispose of your car seat just yet. Motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of death for American children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the youngsters who are injured in vehicle accidents are either not in a car seat or are not belted in correctly.

Therefore, car seats are essential. However, the first steps in protecting your child are to properly install the seat, properly attach the youngster, and only use the seat for the recommended ages and weights.

The next step is to never leave your kid for more than two hours in a car seat. If you often bring your baby in on errands or bring him or her into the house in a car seat, make it a routine to remove him or her from the seat every hour or two.

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Sleeping Tips

Every parent knows that their baby should sleep on his or her back as often as possible.

Your infant should sleep on his or her back for the same reason you shouldn’t let them sit for long periods of time. Babies may not be able to support their own heads or roll over until a year of age. If you’re worried about your baby’s safety while they sleep, here are some further suggestions:

  • Stop playing with stuffed animals
  • Be sure not to use any sloppy blankets or pillows.
  • Put away the cushions
  • Make sure the bed is completely level.

Generally speaking, the aforementioned advice is appropriate for infants up to 12 months of age. You should never leave anything in your child’s sleeping space that could potentially be used to cover his or her mouth or nose.

Sleeping in a Car Seat is Okay

Don’t let this make you anxious about your infant nodding off in the car. Observe the clock and remove the infant from the room no later than the 2-hour mark. Or, if your infant has been sitting in the same posture for a long, it’s best to stop the car and remove them. If at all possible, you should bring more than one responsible adult on a long journey. Having someone who can check on the infant while you drive is a great way to avoid any mishaps.

Lie Flat Car Seats

Investing in a Lie-Flat Car Seat is a good idea if you intend to take your infant on frequent outings in the car. These seats are built to securely fasten your infant in a reclined position while you drive. While this isn’t a replacement for checking on your baby frequently, it does help keep their airways from becoming obstructed by sitting for too long.

While there are a limited number of options, certain vehicles do provide lie-flat seating. Most of them, however, are more costly than regular car seats.

If you already have a car seat, you may also want to consider purchasing a lie-flat stroller. The Vevor Foldable Newborn Stroller (Amazon) is one example of a lie-flat stroller that can be used instead of an angled car seat. All kids who haven’t quite gotten the muscle power yet to hold their heads up without help would benefit from having something like this around.

The Vevor Lie-Flat Stroller has many convenient options, such as:

  • Three-Way Adjustable Back Support
  • Compact and Simple to Fold
  • Strap-Adjustable Handle
  • Protective Harness with Five Points
  • Wheels that lock

When your child is in a lie-flat stroller, you can rest assured that they are in the best possible posture for their safety. Keep in mind that you should monitor your child’s sitting time everywhere, not just in the car.

Setting Up a Smooth and Safe Road Trip

Even without an infant, long car rides can be hard. That’s why we’ve put together this list of suggestions to make sure your road journey with the new baby goes off without a hitch.

Travel With Another Adult

As was previously indicated, traveling with another responsible adult is the greatest way to assure a trouble-free trip. One of you can drive while the other plays with, soothes, and keeps tabs on the baby in the back seat. Taking turns is also recommended. You and your infant will both be happier with this setup, and it will also make for a more secure trip.

Plan Ahead

Stopping every two hours is a minimum that should be planned for (unless you have a lie-flat car seat). Incorporating regular stops into your trip itinerary can help you relax and enjoy the journey more. Find out more about the path you’ll be taking. Try to find places with restrooms, such as truck stops, villages, and rest areas. Find out which hotel you want to stay at and call ahead to make sure there is a room available.

Don’t Feed or Change the Baby While Moving

If you’re going to be on the road with your infant, keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to feed or clean them while the car is moving. Children should always be secured in an appropriate car seat while the vehicle is in motion. Your baby may have trouble eating and digesting on a bumpy car journey.

Pack for Convenience

Inconveniences like having to rummage through a bunch of bags on a lengthy car trip to find a pacifier or some wet wipes are the last thing anyone wants to deal with. While storing the majority of your baby gear in a suitcase in the trunk is fine, you should still have a small bag of often used goods in the car. When done properly, it can be the difference between a baby who is awake and screaming and one who is peacefully asleep.

Pack Emergency Supplies

The importance of this measure increases significantly when traveling with a baby. There’s no way out of a sticky situation involving a flat tire, a baby, and no one to help you. If you want to be prepared for any eventuality, here are some things you should always have in your car:

  • Spare Tire, Jack, and Lug Nut Wrench
  • Remedy Kit
  • Two to Three Quarts of Water
  • Conductive Cables for Jump-Starting Vehicles
  • Flashlight
  • Safety Signals
  • Standard Equipment

Haiphaik has included just about everything you could possibly need in an emergency with this kit.

  • Conductive Cables for Jump-Starting Vehicles
  • Towing Equipment
  • Cree LED Flashlight
  • Gloves
  • Fuses
  • High Visibility Vests
  • Whistle
  • Shovel that can be used for a variety of purposes
  • Cutter, Seatbelt

When transporting a young passenger, it is extremely important to have a roadside emergency kit in your car. It’s preferable to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, even though we all hope we never have to use it.

Music/Audio Books

For both you and the baby. Even if you don’t consider yourself a brilliant singer, preparing some children’s music or stories will help keep your infant entertained. Even if they haven’t settled on a favorite yet, exposing yourself to these things can be relaxing and entertaining. Nighttime drivers should avoid listening to music or sounds that put them to sleep. Baby sleep is important, but not if it means the driver is tired.

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Take Path of Least Resistance

With a baby in tow, it’s probably not the best idea to take the scenic way through the countryside. How long you plan to spend driving should inform your decision for the most efficient route. If you must travel through a major city, try to avoid doing so during peak commute times.

Have Fun!

When you enter a trip with the expectation of the unexpected, it eases the strain somewhat. Recognizing in advance that there will be bumps in the road is a huge help. So unwind, kick back, and enjoy yourself!

The Best Car Seats to Safely Transport Your Little One

Best Overall: Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat


  • Lasts a long time and grows with the baby
  • Cover can be removed and washed in the machine.


  • Costly

Since it can accommodate infants as small as 4 pounds and as large as 120 pounds, the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat is our top pick (or who are 57 inches tall). This seat has multiple configurations, including a backless booster seat, a high-back booster seat, and a front-facing seat with a five-point harness.

The 10-position headrest is linked to the harness so you won’t have to rethread it as your child grows. It has six reclining modes for use as a backward-facing seat and can hold children weighing up to 40 pounds. When your child is ready for a booster, you can easily change it into a highback booster by unthreading the strap and use it as such until your child is old enough to remove the back entirely and use it as a conventional booster seat.

Product Weight: 27.93 lb. Height: Up to 57 in. Weight: 4-120 lb. (height to weight conversions vary) Age Range: Not Available Convertible: Yes

Best Convertible: Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat


  • ClikTight Assembly
  • Reclining Chair with 9 Positions


  • Costly

Safely transport your child from as low as 5 pounds all the way up to their tenth birthday with this convertible car seat. It has four modes: rear-facing for infants and toddlers, forward-facing with a five-point harness, high-back booster, and forward-facing without a harness.

Your youngster will be comfortable and safe in any of the nine recline positions and 15 headrest positions. In addition to a cover that can be removed and washed in the dishwasher, this seat also has click-tight technology for quick and simple assembly.

Weight: 30 pounds; Height: 63 inches (limits vary with conversion); Weight: 5-120 pounds (limits vary with conversion); Age Range: 0-10 Years; Convertible: Yes

Best Backless: Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Car Seat


  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Easily portable


  • The sleeves tend to slide off.
  • Just for the teens and up crowd

This features everything you need in a simple, backless booster seat. Kids between 40 and 100 pounds and 43 and 57 inches tall are safe in this booster seat, which raises them to an appropriate height for using a seatbelt.

The seat is so light that it may be transferred easily from one vehicle to another. Your child may continue to ride in comfort as they grow taller thanks to the padded, adjustable armrests and two cup holders included on the seat. The cover can also be removed and washed in the washing machine.

Convertible: No | Weight Range: Not Specified (4.41) | Height Range: (43 – 57) | Weight Range: (40 – 100) | Age Range: (Not Specified)

Best for Infants: Nuna PIPA Infant Car Seat + PIPA Series Base


  • Lightweight
  • Steel Structure


  • Costly
  • False Conversion

Available in four neutral colors, this infant carrier has a reinforced steel frame and is designed to connect with all Nuna brand strollers. The car seat may be mounted with the included base or the vehicle’s seatbelt, making it ideal for families in big cities who must rely on taxis for mobility.

Available in four neutral colors, this infant carrier has a reinforced steel frame and is designed to connect with all Nuna brand strollers. The car seat may be mounted with the included base or the vehicle’s seatbelt, making it ideal for families in big cities who must rely on taxis for mobility.

Available in four neutral hues, this infant carrier has a reinforced steel frame and is designed to link with all Nuna brand strollers. This car seat is ideal for families living in urban areas who must rely on taxis for mobility because it comes with a base for your vehicle but can also be safely attached using a seatbelt.

Best 5-Point Harness Booster: Chicco MyFit Harness + Booster Car Seat

This baby carrier is compatible with all Nuna brand strollers and comes in four subdued hues. This car seat is ideal for families in urban areas who must rely on taxis for transportation because it not only comes with a base but can also be attached securely using the vehicle’s seatbelt.

  • Armrests
  • Comfortable, multi-position headrest


  • Heavy

Children who have outgrown their rear-facing seats but who are not yet tall enough to ride safely in a backless booster may benefit greatly from this forward-facing seat. This seat can be converted to a five-point harness or a seatbelt, so it can grow with your child. The seat back may be reclined to one of four different angles, the headrest can be adjusted to one of nine different positions, and there are two cup holders that can be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher.

The LATCH mechanism allows adults to install the seat securely and without difficulty, and the adjustable headrest means that the harness may remain in place as the kid grows in height.

There is a weight limit of 100 pounds, a height limit of 57 inches, a weight limit of 25 pounds, a recommended age of 4 and older for booster mode, and a convertible feature.

Best for Toddlers: Britax Grow with You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat


  • Simple to set up
  • Moving from a five-point harness to a high-back booster seat


  • All covers must be washed by hand.

When your child reaches a weight of at least 25 pounds, they can switch to this forward-facing seat utilizing the five-point harness. After they hit 40 pounds in weight (or before they reach 65 pounds in total), this seat can be used as a highback booster until they are no longer required.

You can use this Britax forward-facing seat after your child is over the weight limit of 25 pounds for a rear-facing seat. Feel at ease every time you load up your little one thanks to the ClickTight technology that makes installation a breeze. You won’t have to rethread the harness or move the headrest as your child grows because there are nine distinct positions. With two reclining positions and four cup/snack holders, your child may relax in luxury on the voyage.

Convertible: Yes | Weight Capacity: 25-120 lbs. (height and weight restrictions vary with conversion) | Age Requirements: Not Stated | Product Weight: 25 lbs.

Best Narrow: Diono Radian 3R 3-in-1 Convertible Rear & Forward Facing Convertible Car Seat


  • Slender build
  • There are three possible outcomes when converting


  • There are no places to put drinks.

This car seat has three different conversion options, so it may be used from the time your kid is born until they weigh 120 pounds or are 57 inches tall. It has three modes: rear-facing for infants and toddlers, forward-facing with a five-point harness, and high-back boosting.

Parents appreciate that their children can ride safely in the rear-facing position until they reach 50 pounds, as this is the recommended position for infants and young children (or around 4 years old). 2 While the seat doesn’t feature cup holders, it has a slim design that’s perfect for families wanting to safely fit three kids across the back seat or for compact vehicles.

Parents appreciate that their children can ride safely in the rear-facing position until they reach 50 pounds, as this is the recommended position for infants and young children (or around 4 years old). 2 While the seat doesn’t feature cup holders, it has a slim design that’s perfect for families wanting to safely fit three kids across the back seat or for compact vehicles.

Best for Tall Kids: Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat

Parents like that their children can ride safely in the rear facing position until they reach 50 pounds, as this is the recommended position for infants and toddlers (or around 4 years old). 2 Although it lacks cup holders, the seat’s modest profile makes it ideal for small cars where three children can ride comfortably together.

  • Extending panel with four settings
  • Adjustable in 10 different ways
  • Budget-friendly


  • Wide
  • Seatbelt installation is complicated.

Infants as small as 4 pounds and children as large as 100 pounds can ride securely in this booster seat (or 57 inches tall). It may be used in three different configurations, from rear-facing to front-facing with a five-point harness to highback booster, meeting your child’s demands at every stage of development.

It has an adjustable headrest with 10 different positions and a four-position extension panel that allows for more leg room so that your child may ride comfortably in the back seat for longer. As an added safety feature, the seat’s cover can be removed and washed in the washing machine, and the clasp is designed for adults to operate with ease.

Depending on the method of conversion used, the product’s weight can be anywhere from 21 to 100 pounds, the user’s height can be anywhere from 30 to 57 inches, and the user’s weight can be anywhere from 4 to 100 pounds.

What to Look for When Buying a Car Seat

Safety Features and Recalls

Make sure the car seat you buy hasn’t been recalled and that it complies with all applicable safety regulations first and foremost. Features such as a five-point harness (unless it’s a booster), a safe LATCH system to attach it to the rear seat, and padding and protection that will keep your child safe without suffocating them are all recommended.

Right Age for Each Stage

Each child will need a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, and a booster seat until they are old enough to ride safely using only a seat belt like an adult.

Keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for at least two years beyond the age of two that is mandated by many states, says Dr. Alisa Baer, pediatrician and co-founder of The Car Seat Lady. Keep them in a forward-facing car seat for at least five years or until they reach 40 pounds, whichever comes first.

Dr. Baer recommends waiting until a child is old enough to sit correctly in a booster seat before letting them out of their car seats.

Why are rear facing child car seats safer? - Swandoo

Proper Installation

The studies suggest that 9 out of 10 car seats are not placed properly. 3 At home, reading both the car seat and vehicle manuals in their entirety can be a huge assistance.

Consult a local Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) if you need help learning how to properly install the car seat. Appointments can be scheduled for installation through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website or through other local services. With the CPST’s live assistance and supervision, you’ll leave knowing exactly how to install your seat.

If you can’t get in touch with a technician in person, a virtual installation appointment or instructional videos online can help.


When do car seats expire?

A vehicle seat’s useful life is typically six to ten years after it was produced. A little label placed on the side or under the seat will tell you when yours will expire. In addition, if you’ve been in an accident, you should get rid of the seat your child was using. Your car seat should be replaced if it was involved in an accident, regardless of whether or not your child was in it. The structure of the seat might be damaged in a crash, reducing its protective value.

When can a baby forward face in a car seat?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride in rear-facing seats until at least their second birthday, and ideally until they exceed the seat’s height/weight limit. 5 They also point out that the height and weight limits of back-facing-only chairs are typically lower, so it is best to invest in a seat that can be put in either orientation.

In Conclusion

There are only a few considerations that should be made. Always keep an eye on the time, whether you’re out and about town, on a long road trip, or just taking a stroll around the park with your baby in a stroller. If your baby is napping in the car seat, you should remove them before the two-hour mark and lay them flat on a comfortable surface. The same rule applies to baby carriers, strollers, and swings. In case your infant nods off while sitting, just make sure they don’t stay that way for too long. I truly hope this is of some use.