Whether you are on a long car trip or you do not want to wake the baby, you might feel it is better to leave him or her sleeping in the car seat. It is better than going through the hassles of a cranky, freshly awake baby and you may not want to bother with everything that comes with waking the baby up. It is simply easier. The only concern you have is whether it is safe. After all, a car seat is not a crib. It is not designed for a sleeping baby. You will have some worries about keeping your baby in the car seat for an extended period of time.
It is important to keep in mind the fact that car seats are for vehicle safety. The purpose is to keep the baby safe while in the car, not provide a place to sleep for hours. This does not mean that you do not want your baby sleeping, of course. There is nothing wrong with your baby taking a nap in the car seat while you travel. The one thing you have to remember is that you do not want to let your baby sleep continually for a long period. The design of the car seat is not suited for continued sleep.
Continued sleep in a car seat may result in difficulties with breathing as well as physical problems. A car seat is only for safe travel in the car and cannot offer the type of comfort and support a baby needs while sleeping. During the early years, it is especially important that you do not allow your baby to sleep in the car seat for too long. They are still in vital developmental years when a car seat can become even more dangerous. You want to use a car seat only when driving and you want to remove the baby from it when it is no longer necessary. It is not a suitable replacement crib.
While you do not have to worry about short term use of a car seat for travel, long term effects can cause serious issues with the baby’s growth and health. Do not use a car seat as a replacement crib. It serves its purpose well in the vehicle, but only because it was designed for that. It was not designed for use as a crib and you should not use it as such.