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A member asked:

Do premature babies need special car seats?

6 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Hall
Dr. Sue Hallanswered
Pediatrics 39 years experience
Yes: Every baby born less than 37 weeks gestation should have a car seat trial before discharge from the hospital, to ensure breathing is adequate. The hospital staff should check to see if the car seat you've selected is appropriate for the baby's size, and they should teach you how to use it safely. Baby may need a car bed if s/he fails the car seat test. Always place the car seat rear-facing.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
Usually not, but...: Preemies can usually use a regular infant car seat upon leaving the hospital. Before leaving the hospital, the parents should take the car seat, plus any extra padding, into the hospital nursery and see how the baby fits into the car seat. If the baby is too small or too floppy while in the car seat, the baby may have trouble breathing while riding in that seat. If so, then make other plans.
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 26 years experience
No: Any newborn care seat will work. The hospital should do a car seat challange before the child leaves the hospital.
Dr. John Michalski
Orthopedic Surgery 37 years experience
Car seats: Most go by size, yes, if your premie is lower weight. Some have inserts that work to hold position comfortably.
Dr. Caroline Cribari
Psychiatry 24 years experience
Special Insert: The car seat itself is the same, but specialized car seat inserts are made for premature babies to ensure they are snug and safe! you can purchase these at the same location as the car seats or online.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Maybe: Any infant needs to travel in the seat most suited for their needs.Seat manufacturers are now selling seats with no bottom weight limit, or listing 4 lb as the lower weight.Premi's undergo a hour or longer car seat test in the seat they will use prior to discharge.If they fail, a car bed (2 available,4-9lb most common) is used.Proper seat use and advice on other seats is available from techncians
Last updated Nov 30, 2016
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