How long can I keep LO in car seat while shopping

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: How long can I keep LO in car seat while shopping
    Only a couple hours at most recommended : (65 votes)
    86 %
    3-4 hours to run some errand through the day : (11 votes)
    14 %
    5-8 hours for a full day out and about : (0 votes)
  • Post # 46
    Member
    10029 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    Just on a personal level, I wouldn’t be comfortable sitting/laying for that long of a period so I imagine it wouldn’t be the most comfortable for a baby to be stuck in a carrier for that many hours either.

    Post # 47
    Member
    1131 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2010

    pglt09 :  You’re doing great!! You sound a lot like me when I was on Maternity Leave. I hated being home with just my son. I relished every adult interaction I had. I would get so excited when the phone would ring or when I would get a text! It’s not that I didn’t love my son or love being a mom, it was just such an adjustment for me going from a busy career woman to a Stay-At-Home Mom in virtually 24 hours. I couldn’t process the isolation it brought.

    My days when he was a newborn would look like this:

    • Wake up, feed, change, play
    • During morning nap: shower, breakfast for me, clean a bit, laundry
    • Wake up from nap: Out of the house! Either meeting my mom or other SAHMs for lunch, or running errands or going for a walk around the neighborhood.
    • Back home for afternoon nap. I would nap as well!
    • Evening: either at home with hubby eating dinner/playing or out to dinner or at family/friends houses

    I literally counted down the minutes until I got to go back to work at 12 weeks. Daycare was amazing for both my son’s development and my sanity. I finally felt like myself (and could sit down to eat a whole meal in peace!) again .

    Post # 48
    Member
    1862 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    People are acting a little mean.  I used to take my baby stroller and walk the mall with my daughter for hours last winter because it was too cold to go outside and I needed to move around.  The only difference is I did take my daughter out and carry her a LOT.  Even sleeping.  She slept in my arms a lot too.  She wasn’t very heavy luckily, and let me use a ring sling in the beginning.  Eventually she rejected babywearing pretty aggressively, but that is something you could try.  She couldn’t sit up alone in the stroller until maybe 4 or 5 months old, so before that, stroller meant car seat travel system to us.  I loved buying a cup of tea and walking the mall.  I had been barely able to move by the end of my pregnancy, and it just felt so good to be able to walk around.  There were Christmas decorations to look at, people to talk to, friends who would meet me there, live piano music, places to get lunch where I didn’t have to do the dishes, and warm beverages to drink.  I remember my mom snuggling my daughter and showing her the Christmas lights while I pumped milk for her in the Von Maur nursing area.  I am not saying kids should be in a carseat for ten hours, because they should not.  (They need to have some free movement for development.  And a child in a carseat must be fully strapped in, limiting free movement.)  But I can tell you, you don’t have to be depressed to want to leave your home.  I was (and am) the happiest new mom ever, and I loved being out and about.

    Post # 49
    Member
    981 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    pearlrose :  such a good point! I live close to the MOA, and that means I live in MN. I would go batshizz crazy if I had to sit all cold MN winter in my  house…. with a baby… I was already thinking the mall would be great to get a snack, Starbucks, walk for miles… 🙂

    Post # 50
    Member
    2166 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    ExcitedScaredBee :  I love my daughter but I also love working and I love daycare haha. Maternity leave was fun for a few weeks for me but then I was like what do I doooo?!

    Post # 51
    Member
    2394 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I baby wore a lot, and I still wouldn’t have had my baby out for 8-9 hours at that age.

    Post # 52
    Member
    3225 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    OP, I know a lot of people use car seats out of the car as a baby holding place, but just so you know – the official AAP recommendation is that babies are only in car seats while in the car traveling. It is not safe for them to be routinely sleeping in the car seat outside of the car due to positional asphyxiation (which can happen even if baby is strapped in the correct way) and it’s also not good for their spines to be in that position so long. You should take your baby out of the car seat when you’re not driving. Additionally, even when driving, infants are supposed to get a break from the car seat every 2 hours. Finally, the baby’s head continues to be very pliable up to ~14-18 months so there’s plenty of time for flathead to develop if you do leave him laying in one position for so long. 

    I recommend a mom group as well. I’m a new Stay-At-Home Mom of a 4.5 month old (one of those badly behaved ones you mentioned 😜) and we meet for coffee or whatever and hold our babies on our laps. Just because the baby can’t play doesn’t mean he doesn’t like being out, sitting up, seeing and interacting with the world. 

    Post # 53
    Member
    3225 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    ExcitedScaredBee :  your baby took 2 scheduled daily naps as a newborn?? Dang, mine is just now almost down to 3 naps a day at almost 5 months old. As a newborn he was napping every 40 minutes or more..

    Post # 57
    Member
    1301 posts
    Bumble bee

    Hi OP.  I am a physical therapist that works with NICU babies and pediatric patients.

    The other Bees are correct in that at 6 weeks the baby should be in the car seat a couple of hours max.  And the Bee that quoted the AAP is correct that ideally the car seat should only be used for travel.

    I actually really don’t like the positioning of infant car seats.  When the NICU babies are ready to go home they have to pass the “car seat test” and one of the things we look for is possible asphyxiation from the way the head and neck sits.  Babies don’t have much of a neck and their windpipe is the size of a straw.  Imagine how easily it can get kincked off.  If the baby’s head falls to the side (like when sleeping) at that age they don’t have the strength nor wherewithall to life it back up. Being in that position can also exacerbate reflux.

    Older babies are not safe in a car seat for an extended period of time either as they can squirm themselves into a position where their breathing can be compromised.

    In addition, most car seat material is pretty hot and doesn’t breathe easily (in order to make in stain repellent).  Babies can get HOT in car seats and most parents tend to bundle their kids up too much.  Young babies can’t tell you they’re too hot (except maybe for crying) or that they’re uncomfortable.  Especially in the summer months, we have seen a lot of cases of heat rash and contact dermatitis.

    If the baby is taking a nap, it’s OK for him/her to finish it, but then as soon as he/she is up, take the baby  out.  Baby wearing is the best way to carry the baby if you’re going to be out and about for hours.

     

    Post # 58
    Member
    5779 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2018

    Going to target for up to four hours a day every day of the week is not normal or healthy. 

    But that aside do not keep your newborn in a car seat for 9 hours a day, they should be for traveling only and if you’re going to be out all day you need to consider your baby’s comfort and safety first and get an appropriate pram that allows lying flat. 

    Post # 59
    Member
    1131 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2010

    carolinabelle :  Not scheduled, more like “first nap” and “last nap”. He slept in between while we were out and about, but I didn’t count on those. I always knew that after the first one, we would leave and I would try to be home to give him enough time for the last one before bedtime (mostly for me, because I wanted to nap too!)

    Post # 60
    Member
    1230 posts
    Bumble bee

    zzar45 :  Going to target for up to four hours a day every day of the week is not normal or healthy. 

    Going to target for up to four hours a day every day of the week is not normal or healthy for you.*

    OP: I am about to become a FTM (~5 weeks to go before my EDD!) and I’ve been a bit worried about how I will cope with being at home all the time, once I get the hang of things.  Right now on the rare occasions that I work from home 2 days in a row, I end up with major cabin fever!

    This thread has been very useful for me and I’m now looking into a bassinet attachment for my stroller, so thanks for starting it!

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