Infant car beds are unique child restraint systems. Instead of holding a child in a semi-reclined position as regular car seats do, an infant car bed will accommodate them lying flat.
It isn’t a system which should be used lightly. Generally, it isn’t any extra safer than the regular car seats, but it is designed for children with some special needs. Also, if you are looking for a car seat, you can check out our article about how to prevent hot car death to give you an idea of what is best for your child.
Infant car beds are used for transporting little, medically fragile, or premature babies.
Does your child need a car bed?
This isn’t a decision for you to make unless you are a medical professional. If you aren’t one, you should know that it’s a medical doctor who determines whether a child needs an infant car bed or not.
The decision is usually taken as a result of concerns with the child’s breathing or heart rate in the traditional position. The baby’s vitals will likely be monitored by the doctor before an initial ride.
Take note that these indicators are relied on by medical staff. They aren’t something the parents of the baby should act on. But you can inform the doctor if you suspect that your child needs an infant car bed.
AAP recommends that an infant car bed should be used for:
- babies not up to 37 weeks gestation age
- babies who are at risk of bradycardia or apnea oxygen desaturation
- babies who cannot tolerate sitting in semi-reclined positions.
Some of the important safety measures regarding infant car beds are similar or the same with safety measures regarding the installation and use of regular car seats.
Just like car seats, car beds are to be placed away from airbags, on the rear seat. You should place the child’s head as far as possible from the door, mostly in the middle of the car.
The child is to be placed on their back almost every time, unless a doctor recommends something different. The baby can possibly be placed on their stomach. As soon as the doctor says stomach riding isn’t required anymore, the baby should be placed on their back.
Unlike car seats, car beds require that an adult watches the baby. So, it is necessary to have a passenger in the car.
Long rides aren’t advisable. In case of an unavoidable long trip, ensure to stop every 2 to 3 hours to attend to the baby properly and allow them to have some rest.
If the child requires medical monitoring, ensure that the equipment is properly secured to prevent movement if there is a sudden deceleration crash. It is advisable to keep any equipment under the seat or on the floor.
Additionally, ensure that the battery power is more sufficient than required.
Best 3 Infant Car Beds
3. Hope car bed
This infant car bed has more features than the other ones mentioned here. You should note that it is manufactured to not only meet parents’ expectations, but also meet several medical requirements and standards which happen to be more important and numerous than simple federal safety standards if a car crash occurs.
This infant car bed is very sophisticated and shouldn’t be considered lightly. We recommend consulting a doctor first before buying it. Of course you should see a doctor before purchasing any safety infant car bed, but it is very necessary in this case.
Hope Car Bed is designed for infants who are not only medically fragile, but also have medical complications. That is why the car bed is that sophisticated. However, it allows travelling on the right side and even on stomach. This may not sound much, but it’s important as well.
The car bed can accommodate infants from 4 to 30 lbs, including children with hip casts, and it comes with tube guides, neck pads, and some other complimentary equipment.
2. Angel Guard Angel Ride Infant Car Seat
This Angel Ride Car seat can be used for infants weighing between 4 and 25 lbs. It provides comfort and especially basic safety for the baby. The bed is properly ventilated and is very easy to set up.
The Angel Ride is designed specifically for transporting small babies, premature babies, and babies with special medical needs. It allows babies to be put either on their back or their stomach. It comes with a wrap-around harness as well as a completely padded shell. The shell is made of plastic and is as sturdy as most other car seats.
The car bed has a five-degree head incline for good breathing.
This car bed is not as good as the Hope product. It is a great car bed, but to avoid endangering your baby, transferring to car seats as soon as you can is advisable. Please take note that it isn’t designed for extremely fragile children. The Hope Car Bed may be the only option for them.
1. Cosco Dreamride SE Latch Infant Car Seat/Bed
What makes the Dreamride stand out is the fact that it is a car bed, as well as a car seat. This makes it better than other typical car beds. It can also be used as one and as an infant restraint system for travels by air. It surely is not as good as many other car seats, but it is better than most car beds.
The Dreamride seat has a three-point harness, which may be not be up to what car seats offer. However, it has been tested thoroughly and meets the standards of FMVSS. Also, it is approved by FAA.
The seat can accommodate infants between 5 lbs and 20lbs. It has been approved for transporting medically fragile babies, children with special needs, low birth weight babies, and premature babies.
The price of the seat is almost moderate but low too. The Dream ride isn’t the most costly car bed. In fact, it isn’t as costly as some car seats on the market, although there are many car seats which are better than this when it comes to car seats proper. However, the major advantage of this product is that it can function as a car bed, aerial child restraint system, or car seat at the same time. This makes it perfect for long distance journeys.
Infant car beds are used for babies who are either prematures or have medical issues which makes the use of car seat dangerous or even impossible. Also, we have reviewed the best 3 infant car beds for you to choose from. Make your choice and enjoy that ride with your baby.
Steph is a passionate mom who co-founded Wumblers to share her parenting journey with others. She graduated from Concordia University with a masters degree in Education Technology and worked as an advisor for many years. Steph loves being a mom and wants to have more kids.
Learn more about Steph and Wumblers here.