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Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

Do I need a special car seat for my preemie? What should I look for when buying one?

Re: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie? What should I look for when buying one?

The Bump Expert

You’ll definitely need a car seat that is the right size for your baby, and since many premature babies weigh less than 5 lbs when they go home -- and not every car seat is approved for a baby that small -- you may have to do some research. Preemies are often not as long as full-term babies when they are ready to go home, so the shoulder harness must be adjustable so nothing larger than a finger can slip between your baby and the straps when buckled. In addition, many preemies have less muscle tone, so it is easy for their head to flop to one side or the other while sitting in the car seat, kinking off the airway and potentially causing a drop in oxygen level. Because of this risk, regardless of weight or size, every preemie should have a car seat challenge before going home. This entails close monitoring of the oxygen level and heart rate for 90 minutes in the car seat.

Need a little more guidance? A chart of car seats with weight and harness specifics can be found at PreemiePrimer.com.

Dr. Jennifer Gunter

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

My son was not premature--I did however have IUGR and as a result, he was born at 4lbs full-term. The hospital really wanted us to keep him there until he hit a larger weight but developmentally he was fine and the hospital pediatrician (reluctantly) cleared us to go home providing we had adequate follow-up care from our pediatrician. We thought all was good to go...until he failed the car seat test. It wasn't even something we were prepared for. We have pictures of just how tiny he looked in the regular infant car seat--that's when it hit me as to how small he truly was. In order to leave the hospital they required he be in a car seat which met the safety standards (for good reasons obviously). They weren't a lot of help but did recommend a few online-only special order car seats which of course meant more hospital time and expense. Finally one of the maternity nurses recommended the Key Fit from Graco. It fit the weight specifications and we could find it local at Babies R Us. It was still an expense we weren't prepared for but he passed the car seat test in it and he's still using it nearly 10 months later.

pandaluvr |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

We bought the Chicco KeyFit - it's rated down to 4 lbs. I loved it! He ended up being 5 lbs when he came home, but I still felt good that it was safe for such a teeny little guy :)

hautesinglemama |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

You can get a regular infant car seat, and then you can get the support things to keep her in a good position. They aren't that expensive.

Delilahquinn |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

I work in an NICU and we don't allow parents to use "head huggers" or other such support devices. Even the ones that come with head support we ask parents to remove. These are suffocation risks for newborns and small infants as they can turn their head and the face and nose can be covered. All our infants (preemies and term babies) are placed in car seats with rolled recieving blankets one either side of their bodies and going behind their shoulders. The blankets keep the babies in an upright position and allow them to turn their heads without being in the way of breathing. If you kow you are bringing home a small baby (or even shopping beforehand) find one with three shoulder adjusment openings, and two crotch openings. These are the most adjustable. Newer infant seats are generally smaller than ones you will get as hand-me-downs but not always. Hope this helps.

2bsmc |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

We have a Chico Keyfit, part of their Cortina travel system. It can be used with babies as little as 4 pounds. Our son was born at 3 pounds & went home using that carseat at exactly 4 pounds. The carseat specialist said it was an excellent seat to use. You may also have the option to rent a special carseat from the hospital if you can't find one small enough.

courta1979 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

i think as long as the car seat is up to date and not out of date,and the straps work great to where u can adjust them to the babys size then every thing should be fine for a lil one

ruthie83 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

My preemie left the hospital at 4lbs and we needed the preemie car seat to leave with him. Many hospitals WILL NOT let you leave with your preemie if the car seat isn't rated for the preemies size. Standard car seats start at 5lbs and up. Preemie car seats are typically rated for those under 5lbs. Standard car seats don't typically fit a preemie well at all no matter how much you adjust the straps or how much padding or extra rolled blankets that you put in there. Its much safer to buy or rent the appropriate car seat. Amazon and Babys R Us are great places to check for preemie car seats. If you buy the preemie car seat then you can always return when the baby reaches 5lbs and can safely fit in a standard car seat.

bosjack |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

There are these seats, also called "flat car seats," for premature or other special-needs babies, they fit easily in most cars from city cars to class b motorhomes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a health care provider look at how your preterm baby fits and breathes in a car seat before leaving the hospital. Remember, the best child safety seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use and fits in your vehicle correctly.

kci15 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

Chicco KeyFit is excellent. There are also "car-beds" made to transport ONLY from hospital to home, not for use as a regular carseat. Also, any aftermarket products (any head supports, strap covers, etc. NOT sold with by the car seat manufacturer) void the warranty, because they inhibit the car seat to work properly in the event of a crash.... Meaning they could die because of a pretty pillow

MrsAdorkable |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

You could talk to the guy from www.partsgeek.com. I'm pretty sure that they can offer professional advice about this matter. They do know a lot about cars and how to fix them. Car seats are probably not a problem for them.

RichieRich1984 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

I have no idea what you should do, but I do know one thing for sure: check with your car insurance company to see if the car seat you use is approved. There are certain regulations that need to be respected. Hope you understand my point of view.

RichieRich1984 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

My preemie came home at 3 pounds 11 ounces and we were able to use our regular car seat with her. It came with the inserts that kinda cradle the baby and was just slightly too big for her. We used 2 rolled up receiving blankets to adjust her and she was perfect for the ride home and thereafter. She's now 6 months and 13 pounds and riding in her car seat without any inserts.

maybride@live.com |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

You can check with the Plymouth MA Honda dealers because I bet they know a lot of things about your problem and they could help you resolve it faster.

Markuan1 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

Yes you do need a special car seat because he won't fit the normal one. I have a friend who works at a auto firm doing automobile lift or something like that and I bet he knows many things about your problem.I will ask him about this problem of yours and I will get back to you with more information.

Markuan1 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

I just wanted to rec'd the Safety 1st brand. I didn't have a premie but I purchased a car seat that is approved for 4lbs + and I love it. Safety 1st has a few options and the Dr's and Nurses at the hosp we delivered at loved it and kept asking who made it/ where I got it. I got it at target for $189.00 which isn't bad at all.

lilpucknut08 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

Most car seats now days work for babies as small as 5 pounds. Make sure you check the weight limit on the car seats to make sure what the weight limit is. If your baby is smaller than the 5 pounds you'll probably need to look around. Also, you will need a good head support in the car seat too since smaller babies may need better support as well as good fitting shoulder straps. My daughter was born full term but barely over that 5 pound mark when she went home from the hospital. Luckily the car seat I have, worked for a 5 pounder.

kerrierageth |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

It is better to talk your pediatrician about your baby. He would be able to advise you well enough on the appropriate car seats for your baby. Conducting a little research on the web would help you find the best cars, at the same time you would be able to know about the biggest myths about cars.

Satyabrata |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

While traveling with your baby you have to take extra precautions,since your baby is more delicate you have to be extra cautious. You would find vital information that you need on the car blogs. You would find all you need to know about cars and programs like donate a car program for your car.

imwilliam |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

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mikehussy36 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

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mikehussy36 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

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tareelolo |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

Yes. You need to buy a car seat.Your baby`security is very important while you`re driving. We even changed some of the Auto Parts before I gave birth just to be sure that the car will not brake.

ioana06 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

yeah sure .. coz its more unique and most expensive thing in the world for a mother Valentine Gift pakistan || Jogos da Barbie

jennid12 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

HI, i am planning to buy this car seat for my baby(http://cutebabybuy.com/Baby-Gear/car-seats/BRITAX-BOULEVARD-70-E9BB51A-ONYX-KDB25524366), all i want to know is, if this car seat is comfortable for babies and its weight carrying capacity. please suggest.

jwatkins22 |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

There are definitely extra precautions you should be taking, a lot of helpful information can be found on car blogs, one that I really like and suggest checking out is www.carpartkings.com

ChildrenAreOurFuture |

Q&A: Do I need a special car seat for my preemie?

The hospital will do a test with the baby in the carseat you buy. At the hospital we were at, if baby did not pass the carseat test the hospital would provide you with a special carseat.

Rachael2541 |