The first few months of parenthood are a blur. More often than not, you’re at your wits end trying to find any way possible to get your baby to sleep to give your tired arms a break. Sleeping on the go is even more difficult, especially if your child isn’t particularly fond of their car seat or stroller just yet. But is it bad for a newborn to nap in the stroller? It’s certainly a convenient option that deserves looking into.
According to Parents, where you put your baby to sleep matters. A study from the Journal of Pediatrics noted that the majority of deaths in babies are sleep-related— usually from improper use of the car seat, stroller, or swing causing the baby to suffocate. Its a terrifying fact, but one that shouldn’t be ignored. However, the same study also stated that when these devises are used properly (ie. your child is safely buckled, on a level surface, without extra padding or blankets) there is little to no risk.
I remember when my first daughter wouldn’t sleep anywhere except in her stroller or car seat and reading studies like this terrified me, but in my exhausted state, I was desperate to find a place my child would sleep (and stay asleep.) So, with the risk in mind, I never left my daughter unsupervised, unbuckled, or unsafe in the stroller.
Another issue many parents face when deciding whether or not to let their baby nap on the go is the risk of forming sleep habits. The Baby Sleep Site noted that letting your baby sleep in the stroller, though it’s an understandable situation — parents need to leave the house too — can get your child in the habit of moving while they’re sleeping, making it harder to transfer them to the crib later on.
Ultimately, like every issue with more than one side, it’s important for parents to know the risks, educate themselves on the safest way to approach it, and then make the decision that best fits them and their lifestyle.