During drop off in the mornings, we often get asked by family members if we would allow their infant to continue to finish their sleep in the car seat. In response, we continue to ask them to carry their infant out of the car seat, remove extra layers of clothing, and place their infant in the designated crib. Let us explain why we never let an infant sleep in a car seat when the car seat is outside of the car (on the ground) with the aid of the diagrams below. These diagrams were provided to us when we completed our safe sleep training through courses.mihealth.org.
As you can see from the diagrams above, the airway may become obstructed in an infant who is allowed to sleep in a car seat that is outside of the car (on the ground). An obstructed airway will prevent your infant from breathing. Additionally, a lack of close observation of a sleeping infant may make it difficult for you to be aware that they are struggling to breathe. Transporting your infant from car seat on the ground to crib means that your infant may wake up from his or her sleep. When you place your infant in the designated crib he or she will fall back asleep if tired. If they do not go back to sleep, take them to the designated play space and let them play. Another opportunity for rest will always present itself in the future.
Additional resources can be found at www.michigan.gov/safesleep.