Buying a first car seat for your newborn baby (2023)

In this article

  • Do I need to buy a car seat for my newborn?
  • How do car seat sizes work?
  • What should I know about infant carriers?
  • What are combination car seats?
  • Car seat features to consider
  • Which car seat should I buy?
  • Most popular infant car seat talked about in our community
  • Best car seat that’s stood the test of time
  • Best car seat with travel system
  • Best infant car seat for easy-access
  • Best baby car seat that lasts
  • Fitting an infant carrier safely
  • Where to put the car seat
  • Tighten the car seat harness
  • Get some practice

Do I need to buy a car seat for my newborn?

You will need to have a car seat ready before your baby is born. If you are having your baby in hospital, your baby will need to be placed securely in a car seat on the journey home.

Be super cautious about borrowing a car seat, and avoid buying one that's second-hand. You need to be absolutely certain the seat has never been in a crash, and there is no wear and tear. You'll also need the instruction manual, so you can understand how to fit and use the seat. Experts advise that you buy your car seat new.

Choosing the correct car seat for your baby's weight or height is crucial. You must also make sure it is properly installed for all your car journeys.

If a car seat doesn't fit your car perfectly, or is difficult to fasten in place, don't buy it. Not every child seat fits every car, and some seats work better in some models of cars than others. Most manufacturers offer information on which car the seat will fit in. Check before you buy.

How do car seat sizes work?

There are currently two regulations for car seats running side-by-side in the UK. i-Size, introduced in 2013, is the newer regulation (R129) and is classified by height, rather than the older weight-based system. You'll need to make sure your car has Isofix points as i-Size only works with these. When buying an i-Size car seat you just need to check that your child's height falls within the range stated by the manufacturer. The older R44/04 regulations are sold in groups or stages based on your child's weight:

Weight rangeApproximate age rangeGroupStage
From birth to 10kg (22lb)Newborn to 9 months01
From birth to 13kg (29lb)Newborn to 5 months to 18 months0+1
9kg to 18kg (20lb to 40lb)9 months to 4 years12
15kg to 25kg (33lb to 55lb)Up to 6 years23
22kg to 36kg (48lb to 79lb)Up to 12 years34

The newer i-Size regulation is eventually set to replace the weight-based system, but for now you can choose whether to buy a seat that’s classified by height or by weight.

What should I know about infant carriers?

If you're using a weight-based car seat, your baby will need to stay rear-facing until they weigh at least 9kg. These are categorised as Group 0, up to 10kg (22lb), Group 0+, up to 13kg (29lb), or stage one car seats.

If you're using one of the new i-Size seats based on height, your baby will need to stay rear-facing until they're at least 15 months old, whatever they weigh. Confusingly, both types of car seat are also known simply as infant carriers.

Most weight-based infant carriers are classified as Group 0+, which is a good option if you choose a weight-based car seat because your baby will travel facing the rear of the car for longer, giving their head and neck vital support. As long as the top of your baby's head is not above the top of the seat, they should stay facing backwards for as long as possible.

Carriers have handles and usually come with little pillows (head huggers), which prevent your baby's head from wobbling about. You will need to use these for the first three months or so, until your baby can hold their head up on their own.

You can also buy Group 0 infant carriers and car seats that lie flat, and are designed to cushion and support small and premature babies. These seats are particularly good for long journeys, as they keep small babies in the safest position for their spine and lungs.

Try not to leave your baby in a bucket-shaped carrier without a break for longer than 90 minutes at a time, if possible, and certainly no longer than two hours as this can cause spinal problems.

Group 1 extended rear-facing car seats are an increasingly popular option rather than forward-facing baby seats. They allow you to keep your child rear-facing once they've has outgrown their Group 0+ seat. But as with any car seat, installing it correctly is vital - read the section below. See our article for more information on the best time to move your baby out of an infant carrier.

What are combination car seats?

Many car seats on the market now offer the option of being used in both directions. They start facing backwards, classified as Group 0+, up to about 15 months, and then convert to a forward-facing Group 1 seat, up to 18kg (40lb).

However, it's best if children travel in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, ideally until four years of age. See our article on buying a Group 1 seat to find out why.

Group 1 seats are heavier than infant carriers and have no handles, so they stay in the car. If you're buying a combination car seat, make sure that it fits properly in both directions.

Check the manufacturer’s advice about when to replace a seat, because some can suffer from wear and tear over time.

Safety must: Rear-facing car seats should never be used in a front seat if there is an active airbag in the car.

If you're at all unsure about choosing or fitting a child car seat, contact your local council's road safety team and ask to have your car seat checked. Many car dealerships and retailers offer free checks.

Car seat features to consider

Some car seats may have additional extras that come with the seat, or you can buy as add-ons. There are also certain phrases that may be used in relation to your baby’s car seat you may find confusing. Here are some and an explanation of what they mean:

  • Head hugger: a removable cushion that supports your newborn baby's head and neck. You will need to use these for the first three months or so, until your baby can hold their head up on their own.
  • Chest and buckle pads: harness padding to make the seat more comfortable, and to prevent it from cutting into your baby's skin.
  • Carry handle: allows you to lift the seat out of the car with your baby still in it, and then carry them.
  • Shoulder slots: holes at shoulder level that the car seat belt runs through. A good seat will have several pairs of slots at different heights.
  • Lock-off guides: clips that increase the tension of the seat belt to make the carrier more secure when used as a car seat.
  • Alternative seat belt routing: a way of securing the seat by running the seat belt underneath, rather than across it. Useful if the seat belt is short.
  • One-pull harness adjustment: lets you adjust the tightness of the harness by pulling a single strap.
  • In-car base: this remains in the car, secured by the adult seat belt, and makes for quick and easy fitting. The carrier clicks on to the base.
  • Isofix: an international car seat safety system, fitted as standard in most new cars. A car seat base attaches to anchor points already installed in the car. Attaching an infant car seat to the Isofix brackets means you don't need to use the seat belt to secure your car seat. i-Size seats can only be used in cars with Isofix points.

Which car seat should I buy?

Buying a first car seat for your newborn baby (1)

Knowing which infant car seat to buy can feel confusing, especially when most parents are purchasing it during pregnancy and haven’t even met their newborn yet. Many parents also like to combine the infant car seat carrier with a travel system for ease of use, so the seat can be secured in the vehicle and then clipped onto a buggy or stroller base for convenience.

(Video) Buying a First Car Seat for Your Baby

Buying the designer travel system you’ve seen online may be very tempting, but it’s important to buy the safest seat that fits your car too. We’ve highlighted some of the most popular seats available on the market parents say they loved, and awarded the standout products our BabyCentre Love It award.

Love It awards are the products our editors have chosen through research, supported by the recommendations that our experienced parents in the BabyCentre Community have shared.

Before buying any infant or toddler car seat, check it will fit the make and model of your vehicle and ensure you fit it correctly, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. More information on fitting an infant car seat is below.

BabyCentre selects products based on the research of our editors and the wisdom of parents in the BabyCentre Community. We may earn a commission from shopping links

Most popular infant car seat talked about in our community

Buying a first car seat for your newborn baby (2)

Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix

Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix

Maxi-Cosi is a popular brand among parents and it’s no surprise this more reasonably-priced infant car seat is coming out tops for mums and dads. It’s a slightly less expensive model than the equally popular Pebble, and it’s proving itself not just in terms of design and ease of use, but also gaining attention for being lighter to carry. Many parents say it really does make a difference when you’re moving your baby in and out of the house to the car.

This infant carrier car seat is compatible with Maxi-Cosi and Quinny pushchair bases so you can clip it in and be on the move in minutes. It’s also possible to buy adapters to add to some existing buggy frames so the Maxi-Cosi car seat can be clipped on, making it a great option if you already have a pushchair or travel system and are buying a new infant carrier.

Heads up

This seat can be secured in the car using seat belts, but to use Isofix, you’ll need to buy the base (either the Easyfix or Familyfix) for it to clip into. As with some of the Isofix seats, this is an additional cost and doubles the price of the seat.

Parents say

"I had the Cabriofix for my son and found it very easy and simple to use."

"I'm quite small so wanted the lightest of everything!"

"I thought it was a really good car seat, easy to remove and put back in the car and connected with my pram no problem."


  • Group 0+, suitable from newborn to 13kg (around one year)
  • Uses Isofix or the seat belt to secure in the car
  • Includes infant head hugger support
  • Has side impact protection
  • Washable seat cover
  • Available in black, graphite, red or blue
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Aircraft approved

Available from John Lewis and other major retailers, including Amazon.

Best car seat that’s stood the test of time

Buying a first car seat for your newborn baby (3)

Maxi-Cosi Pebble

Maxi-Cosi Pebble/Pebble Pro/Pebble Plus

Whether you're a veteran parent or pregnant for the first time, one child car seat you’ll have come across is the Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Pebble Pro or Pebble Plus. It’s one of the most popular infant car seats among parents, and praised for being very easy to use both in the car or with a pushchair chassis as it has simple release buttons.

Parents love that this car seat is a top-quality product and has benefits such as extra padded straps and a spring release on the strap between the baby’s legs, so making it feel just that bit better compared to some other seats.

The benefit of the Pebble Pro i-Size is that it’s compatible with a large range of popular pushchairs. It fits any Maxi-Cosi frame as well as the Quinny, Bugaboo, iCandy and Uppababy when you use adapters.

Heads up

(Video) Car Seat Buying Guide- The Baby Room at Smyths

As great as the Pebble is, the seat isn’t cheap, especially when, as with other infant car seats, you need to buy an additional Isofix base (Maxi-Cosi FamilyFix2, BabyFix, 3WayFix and FamilyFix One i-Size bases) for the seat to fit into in a vehicle. The good news is with the 3WayFix, the base can be used for other Maxi-Cosi seats such as the Pearl when your baby becomes a toddler.

Parents say

"The memory buttons on each side for releasing from the pushchair frame make it easy to lift off."

"I bought it because it’s lightweight and the lightest one I can find. I suffer from psoriatic arthritis so needed something that wasn't heavy with the baby in so I wouldn't struggle with it. It’s compatible with my travel system too (Mamas and Papas Sola) I had for my older two children. It’s easy to fit into the car and onto the pram frame and just generally fab for me."


  • Group 0+, suitable from newborn to 13kg (around one year)
  • Uses Isofix to secure in car
  • Includes infant head hugger support and offers a better fit and laying position
  • Has side impact protection
  • Available in black, grey, red, blush pink and sky blue
  • Aircraft approved

Available from Mamas and Papas and other major retailers, including Amazon.

Best car seat with travel system

Buying a first car seat for your newborn baby (4)


Nuna MIXX travel system with Nuna PIPA car seat

If you want a car seat that matches and fits your buggy, one popular with parents is the Nuna MIXX travel system with PIPA infant seat.

The easy-to-collapse buggy and zip-up storage are favourites of the pushchair design, but so too is the PIPA car seat, which has an expandable UPF50+ sunshade to help keep the rays off your baby, as well as being a very light seat for lifting and carrying, weighing just 2.8kg without the infant insert or canopy.

The car seat offers side-impact protection and a 'crumple zone' on the leg of the base plate that absorbs impact if there was a crash.

It also comes with an infant insert you can remove as your baby grows. Adapters can be purchased for some existing pushchairs to use with the PIPA i-Size car seat.

Heads up

Buying additional bases for the car seat has proven difficult for some BabyCentre parents, but the seat can be secured using a seat belt too if you’re moving it between vehicles.

Parents say

"I really like how the car seat has an expandable sunshade - really useful for sunny drives or sleeping babies."

"I had the Nuna car seat with my first and it was brilliant. I’ll be getting that back out for baby number 2!"

"I have the Nuna MIXX and it’s easy to connect the car seat from the travel system."


  • Uses Isofix or the seat belt to secure in the vehicle
  • Includes infant head hugger support
  • Has side impact protection
  • PIPA car seat is compatible with all NUNA buggies
  • Aircraft approved

Available from Discount Baby Equipment, Mamas and Papas and other major retailers.

Best infant car seat for easy-access

Buying a first car seat for your newborn baby (5)

Cybex Cloud Z

Cybex Cloud Z car seat

(Video) HELP! INFANT CAR SEAT VS. CONVERTIBLE?? What do I Need to Buy?!

The feature many parents love about the Cybex Cloud Z, is the ability to rotate the car seat towards the door making it far easier to put your baby in the car seat or get them out. Not only that, but the Cybex Cloud Z also allows your baby to lie flat in the seat when used with the travel system (not when in the car) and has 11-position adjustable headrest changes.

The Isofix base, Base Z, is also compatible with the follow-on seat by Cybex, meaning you won’t need to buy an additional base if you stick with the Cybex brand when your child grows.

Heads up

Some parents felt they didn’t realise you cannot lie the car seat in the flat position within a vehicle – it’s only when used with the travel system. Like many of the Isofix seats, you also need to buy an additional Isofix base (Base Z) for the Cloud Z to secure into your vehicle.

Parents say

"I love the innovative side of this brand. It looks and feels sleek. Comes with newborn baby insert and the hood comes down quite low works as a great shade from sun and wind."

"I love that the Cybex can rotate on the base - this is so handy. It also fits onto my Joie pram with the adaptors that came with the pram for a Joie seat!"

"We did tons of research around safety. We travel by car a lot and we will be using it every weekend for long journeys so it made sense to us to get the safest and comfiest we could afford."

"We have the Cybex Cloud Z, mainly for their safety rating, the rotating base that can be used with the next size up and the lie flat feature (only on pushchair). I was disappointed that it wasn't lie flat in the car, but it still wins in my mind with the swivel base for when he's older and we're getting him in and out and leaving the car seat in the car."


  • Group 0+, suitable from newborn to 13kg (around one year)
  • 360° Rotating mechanism on base (Base Z)
  • Uses Isofix to secure in car
  • Includes infant head hugger support and offers a better fit and laying position
  • Has side impact protection

Available from John Lewis and Halfords as well as other major retailers.

Best baby car seat that lasts

Buying a first car seat for your newborn baby (6)

Joie i-Spin 360

Joie i-Spin 360 car seat

The Joie i-Spin 360 car seat is one of many seats Joie make, but the i-Spin 360 is one of the most popular among BabyCentre parents. It’s a 0+/group 1 seat, making it suitable from birth until your child is four.

The seat can be rear-facing when they are newborn and then turned in the forward-facing position once your baby is at least 76cm and 15 months to 105cm and 19kg or approximately four years.

Fixed in your car through the Isofix system, the seat rotates, so it can be turned around to face the door making it easy to put in your baby or toddler. The seat then turns to a rear-facing or front-facing position, which makes this a really practical feature when trying to adjust straps and ensure your child is safely in their seat.

Another great feature of this seat are the green indicator lights that show when it’s fitted corrected, along with the head support, body insert and the wedge which can all be removed as your newborn grows.

Heads up

The seat isn’t cheap and some parents say the mechanism for lengthening the straps is a bit fiddly and so are removing the covers if you need to wash it.

Parents say

"I love the Joie 360. It’s safety rating it top notch and the swivel is amazing. My daughter is so comfortable in it and I love that she can be rear facing too."

"We wanted the safest we could get for our money and wanted to stay rear facing as long as possible, plus I like the spin function for getting in and out of the car."

(Video) Best Car Seats 2021 | Ultimate Buying Guide | Magic Beans Reviews

"It was expensive but it has all the safety features that make me feel safe. I like how it has an age button on it, so if your baby is under 15 months and you have the 15-month button on it doesn't physically let you have it forward facing. Also, the automatic side impact pop out when you buckle the child in."


  • Side-impact protection
  • Front and rear facing
  • Six reclining positions
  • I-size
  • Rotating seat
  • Five-point harness

Available from Halfords and other major retailers, including Amazon.

See something you like? Don't forget to add it to your Amazon baby wishlist.

Fitting an infant carrier safely

When you are fitting your baby’s car seat, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If it's not fitted properly, it won't protect your baby fully if there is a crash. If the instructions aren't clear enough, contact the manufacturer or a retailer for help.

The seat should be held tightly by the seat belt, or the Isofix anchorage points and tethers, with very little sideways movement. Car seats should not move around more than an inch in any direction, though infant carriers will have a little give in them, even when correctly installed.

There are two ways to fit an infant carrier:

Using an Isofix system

Isofix anchorage points make it easier and quicker to fit a child seat. They are also more secure. To see if your car is fitted with Isofix points, check for Isofix labels between the back and base of your car's seats. If you're using an i-Size seat, you'll need to use the Isofix system.

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when fitting the car seat. Make sure all connection points have clicked fully into place, and check that any supporting legs or top tethers are braced correctly. Supporting legs must rest on the floor, not on a storage compartment. A storage area may collapse if the car is involved in a collision.

Using an adult seat belt

Follow the manufacturer's instructions and fit your child seat as firmly as possible in the back seat of the car. Ensure that the buckle of the seat belt lies clear of the seat's frame. If the buckle is allowed to rest on the frame, it may snap open in an accident.

To check that the car seat is secure, push down on the seat where your baby's head would be. You shouldn't be able to move the seat.

Where to put the car seat

The best place to put your baby’s carrier is in the back of the car, in the middle seat. This keeps your baby away from the sides of the vehicle. If the shape of the seat or the seat belt position make fitting it here tricky, put the seat on the left hand side, next to the kerb. Push the front seat forward to create space between it and your baby’s seat. Don’t use the front seat to wedge the car seat in place.

The law says that a rear-facing infant carrier must never be used in a front passenger seat with an active air bag. If you are certain the car's airbag has been deactivated, you can put your baby carrier in the front seat. Push the car seat back as far as it will go, to create space between the back of your baby’s seat and the dashboard.

However, the safest option is to put your baby's car seat in the back of your car.

Tighten the car seat harness

All infant carriers have a harness, which is essential for your baby's safety. Most carriers have a one-pull harness, depending on the make and model. By pulling on one strap, the whole harness is easily adjusted.

When you're ready to travel with your baby, the harness must be tight enough so that two fingers, at most, can just be inserted under the shoulder straps on your baby's collarbone. The harness straps need to be as close to your baby's body as possible. They should pass through the pair of slots in the back of the seat, level with or just below your baby's shoulder height.

Take off any bulky winter clothes when you put your baby into her car seat. If your baby has lots of layers on, the car seat harness may be less effective. To keep your baby warm in a cold car, place a light blanket over her once she is strapped in.

Get some practice

Before your baby is born, get lots of practice taking the infant carrier in and out of the car and fixing it in the back seat. This will help you feel much more confident about using it. Don't wait until your baby is born before you try it out!

You can use your group 0+ infant seat until the top of your baby's head is level with the top of the seat. Your baby hasn’t outgrown it if their feet hang over the edge. Bear in mind that your baby needs to be in a rear-facing seat at least until they’ve over 9kg, or over 15 months old if you have an i-Size seat.

If the combined weight of your growing baby and the car seat becomes too heavy to carry around, leave it fitted in the car permanently and lift your baby in and out.

(Video) Do I Need An Infant Car Seat? Are Convertible Car Seats Better?

Find out more about when to move your baby into a Group 1 car seat.


Do you need a car seat for a newborn? ›

It's recommended to buy a baby car seat before your baby is born if possible. It's important to buy a seat that fits your car and is suitable for a newborn. If you have your baby in hospital or a birth centre, you will need the car seat to drive your newborn home safely.

Do you need a carseat to take baby home from hospital? ›

Well the simple answer to this urban myth is, no you do not have to have an infant carrier in order to leave the hospital BUT you do need a suitable car seat in your car if this is how you are going to transport your newborn home!

How long should a new born baby be in a car seat? ›

However, infant healthcare professionals, safety experts and most car manufacturers recommend that babies should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time and they should be taken out frequently. If your trip involves driving for long periods of time, you should stop for regular breaks.

What kind of car seat should a newborn use? ›

Your infant or toddler should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat. Most convertible seats have limits that will allow children to ride rear-facing for two years or more.

What car seat do you get after newborn? ›

Rear-Facing Convertible Seat

They are generally heavy and have to be installed directly into the car, as opposed to clicking in and out of a base. Once they reach the maximum weight and height limits for rear-facing. This generally happens around the age of two, depending on their size.

Do you have to pay to hold your baby after birth? ›

"There is never a charge for a patient to hold their baby. We do everything possible to allow all mothers skin-to-skin contact with their newborns immediately after delivery. Only in the case of a C-section birth is an additional nurse brought into the operating room.

What should I wash before baby comes? ›

What Should be Pre-Washed Before Your Baby Arrives?
  • Baby clothes.
  • Any baby accessories made of fabric.
  • Blankets and swaddle blankets.
  • Stuffed animals and other cloth toys.

Can I carry my baby out of hospital? ›

If you have a car, you must have a baby car seat. Your baby must always go in their seat, including when you bring them home from the hospital. It's illegal and also very dangerous to carry your baby in your arms in a vehicle.

Can you drive 5 hours with a newborn? ›

It is important for you and your baby to get out of the car every few hours and take a stretch to avoid restlessness. Try to take a break every 2 to 3 hours for a day trip and every 4 to 6 hours at night to change diapers or soiled clothes, or to feed your baby. Never attempt to breastfeed in a moving car.

Can a newborn be in a car seat for 2 hours? ›

Lots of parents want to know "how long can babies stay in car seats?" The general advice is that your baby should sit/sleep in their car seat for no more than two hours at a time.

Can a 1 month old go on a road trip? ›

When can a baby safely travel by car? Your newborn probably arrived home by car, so there are no real restrictions on road trips, other than the general reminder about immune-system development. However, everyone will probably need a break every hour or so for feedings, changings, and cuddling.

Should an expectant mother buy a used car seat? ›

Do not buy a used car seat unless you can verify the age of the seat. There should be a manufacturer's label on the back or bottom of the seat that gives the manufacture date and/or specific expiration date. All car seats and boosters have expiration dates.

When should I start buying baby stuff? ›

If you're confused about when is the best time to buy baby stuff, don't worry. WebBabyShower recommends that you begin your shopping somewhere between 15-20 weeks of the pregnancy (about month 4 or 5). That way you have time to get all the items you need.

Why do they put the baby on the mother's chest after birth? ›

There is a growing body of evidence that skin-to-skin contact after the birth helps babies and their mothers. The practice: calms and relaxes both mother and baby. regulates the baby's heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb.

How much is a hospital bill for giving birth? ›

According to the American Journal of Managed Care, which cited data from a Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) report, the average cost of “childbirth admission for an individual with employer-sponsored insurance was $13,811” from 2016 to 2017, with the out-of-pocket spending ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 by state.

Does your baby stay with you after birth? ›

If your little one's vitals remain steady, they can stay there for most of the post-delivery routine that follows. Skin-to-skin contact has been shown to regulate baby's heart rate, breathing and body temperature, stimulate baby's interest in feeding and help to calm both of you and boost the mother-child bond.

How can I prepare for birth without tearing? ›

  1. Prepare to push. During the second stage of labor, the pushing stage, aim for more controlled and less expulsive pushing. ...
  2. Keep your perineum warm. Placing a warm cloth on the perineum during the second stage of labor might help.
  3. Perineal massage. ...
  4. Deliver in an upright, nonflat position.

What do you wear in the shower during labor? ›

You might choose a loose fitting nightgown. Others choose to wear a skirt and sports bra.
Some of the reasons that people might refuse the hospital gown:
  • They aren't necessarily the most comfortable material. ...
  • The back is open! ...
  • You want to go in the tub or shower! ...
  • Wearing a gown brings back memories of being a patient.
23 Sept 2019

How many bottles should I buy before baby is born? ›

How Many Baby Bottles Should I Buy Before My Baby is Born? The general rule for the number of baby bottles you will need ranges from 4 to 12, depending on whether you will use formula, or you will breast feed. It will be best to have at least 8-10 bottles on hand before your baby is born.

What should I expect from my first night with a newborn? ›

The first night home with your baby is often spent awake holding, soothing and feeding. Your baby was held inside you for your entire pregnancy, and newborns expect nothing less immediately after birth! You and your partner will probably have to take turns holding your baby for comfort during that first night at home.

What should a newborn wear to sleep? ›

Dress your baby in layers of fitted clothing rather than just thick pyjamas. You can add or take away layers as the temperature changes. Babies cool themselves down by releasing heat from their heads and faces. Babies can quickly overheat if they fall asleep wearing hats or beanies.

Does the hospital give you anything when you have a baby? ›

Every hospital does it a little differently, but most hospitals send you home with at least a few “freebies” or samples of postpartum products that may be useful to you as a new parent.

Can I hold my newborn in the car? ›

Every state requires parents to have one before leaving the hospital because it's one of the best ways to protect your baby. Even for a short trip, it's never safe for one of you to hold your baby in your arms while the other drives.

Can I let baby cry while driving? ›

Even though it's difficult to deal with, you must remember that you and your baby's safety come first. No matter how tempting it may be, never take a crying baby out of the car seat. It's extremely dangerous and counterproductive, making it even more difficult for your child to get used to riding in her car seat.

When can newborn go outside? ›

According to most pediatric health experts, infants can be taken out in public or outside right away as long as parents follow some basic safety precautions. There's no need to wait until 6 weeks or 2 months of age. Getting out, and in particular, getting outside in nature, is good for parents and babies.

Can a 1 week old baby travel by car? ›

To be safe, if you want to travel with your baby any significant distance it's best to hold off until at least 3 months, but at the minimum wait until baby is 2 months old.

Can you travel with a 2 week old baby? ›

Airlines have varying regulations about how early they allow a newborn to fly. It's best to check with the specific airline you're flying with. In general, most airlines allow babies at least 2 weeks old to fly.

Can I walk newborn in car seat? ›

“You should not use a car seat outside of the car, and an infant should never be in a car seat with partially buckled straps,” Batra told CBS News. Batra's study follows several others with similar findings.

How do you travel by car with a newborn? ›

Here are some tips for a safe trip: Use a rear-facing car seat until children are at least 2 years old or until they reach the height and weight limits of the car seat. Be sure to follow the directions for attaching the seat and for strapping in your baby. Always place the car seat in the back seat.

Can I take my 2 week old to the beach? ›

The simple answer to this question is that it's safe to take your newborn to the beach whenever you feel ready. It's important to rest-up and let your body recover after giving birth, so don't feel like you need to push yourself to get out and about.

Why can babies only be in car seats for 2 hours? ›

Breathing Problems

Young babies may experience respiratory (breathing) problems if placed in a sitting position or car seat. A newborn baby's reflex to keep its head held up is not fully developed, meaning the head flops down and restricts the airway.

Can you put a newborn in a stroller without a car seat? ›

Most strollers that fully recline, give you the option to ride with or without an infant car seat during the very young ages, of just a few weeks old. If you choose this option, you will probably want to cover them with a blanket if possible.

Do all newborns have to do the car seat test? ›

Not all babies will need to go through the car seat challenge test. The car seat challenge test is most often given to premature babies who are smaller than a full-term baby at the time of discharge from the hospital.

Can you take a newborn on a car ride? ›

How soon can a new-born travel long distances by car? For a new-born baby, it is advised to limit car journeys to 30 minutes at a time. Take these steps to help your baby stay comfortable during the journey. A new-born car seat insert will cocoon your baby to keep them safe and comfy.

How do you bring a newborn home in a car? ›

Newborn babies can travel, rear-facing, in a capsule or a convertible car seat. A capsule is suitable for newborn babies up until around six months of age and they're a cosy and compact option.

How do you travel with a baby with no car? ›

How can I travel with a baby without a car seat?
  1. Uber Family: In select cities, Uber offers car seats in rideshare vehicles.
  2. Public transit: Buses, trains, and the subway do not require car seats for children. ...
  3. Taxis: It's legal in most places for a baby to travel via taxi without a car seat.

What should you carry in your car with a baby? ›

Car Essentials When You Have A Baby
  1. Spray Cleaner and Paper Towels. Babies are fascinating and messy little creatures. ...
  2. A Changing Mat. ...
  3. Everything That Should Be In a Diaper Bag Should Be in Your Car. ...
  4. Car Interior Protection Pad. ...
  5. A Rear Seat Mirror. ...
  6. A Mobile Bottle Warmer. ...
  7. A Reminder That Your Child is in the Car.

Can you travel by car with a 2 week old baby? ›

It is usually recommended that you shouldn't travel with a baby in a car seat for at least the first two weeks or so after birth, longer if the baby was premature. Difficult as it can be, don't take long journeys to visit grandparents at this time.

Is car seat safe for newborn spine? ›

One of the first options parents encounter for carrying their baby is (not surprisingly) the car seat. Research by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) shows that car seats result in “restricted postural options which can impact your baby's developing cranium and spine”.


1. How to put a newborn baby in a car seat
2. How to choose and fit a baby car seat
3. General Car Seat Guide | Which Car Seat Do I Use Next?
(The Baby Cubby)
(Katie JB)
5. Is your baby's infant car seat fitted correctly?? Please watch this video to make sure!
(Rear Facing Toddlers)
6. Child Car Seat Buying Guide (Interactive Video) | Consumer Reports
(Consumer Reports)
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