After your infant is discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), you may need to take special precautions for car travel.
In most cases the safest way for a healthy premature infant to travel is in a car seat. But some premature infants cannot sit in a car seat without slouching over, which interferes with their breathing and oxygen supply. Some premature infants may need a special bed for the car. Ask your doctor what is best for your baby.
Be sure to buy a car seat that is recommended for your baby's weight and height. Follow the car seat maker's instructions for installing the seat. Keep your baby in the back, middle seat of the car. This is the safest place in the car.
Make sure your infant's car seat is at an angle where his or her head doesn't fall forward.
It's okay for your baby to fall asleep while traveling as long as the straps are in the right position. Don't put your baby down to sleep in a car seat. It should only be used for travel.
If your infant is sent home with oxygen, a monitor, or other supportive technology, secure the equipment under a vehicle seat or on the floor during travel.
Current as of: August 21, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Jennifer Merchant MD - Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine