16 doctors weighed in:
Do premature babies need special car seats?
16 doctors weighed in

Dr. Sue Hall
Pediatrics
7 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Sue Hall
Dr. Sue Hall
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4 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Caroline Cribari
Dr. Caroline Cribari
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Dr. John Michalski
Orthopedic Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Car seats
Most go by size, yes, if your premie is lower weight.
Some have inserts that work to hold position comfortably.

In brief: Car seats
Most go by size, yes, if your premie is lower weight.
Some have inserts that work to hold position comfortably.
Dr. John Michalski
Dr. John Michalski
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
In brief: 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

In brief: 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
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics
In brief: No
Any newborn care seat will work.
The hospital should do a car seat challange before the child leaves the hospital.

In brief: No
Any newborn care seat will work.
The hospital should do a car seat challange before the child leaves the hospital.
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Dr. Kevin Windisch
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
33 years in practice
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