How to Swaddle Baby in a Car Seat


Photo credit: SurprisePally via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

Does your baby get fussy while riding in the car seat? Have you tried ways to swaddle your baby in the car seat, but haven’t had success? Here is an easy way to calm your baby, particularly a newborn, while riding in the car seat.

Asher was not much of a sleepy newborn. We could go places with him in his car seat and some times he would fall asleep, but not very often. He always wanted to see what was going on. Such a silent observer, like his dad. So, we would try covering the car seat with a blanket to block out too much stimulation when we wanted him to try and catch a catnap while we were out, but he’d begin to scratch his face off. Newborns look so funny when they do this. It’s sort of like watching a monkey hit himself in the head over and over. He gets mad, but he just. Can’t. Stop.

I wish I could say that this ingenious idea came from me. I was too sleep deprived to come up with something like this. But it did come from a friend of ours. How many of you use the Summer Infant swaddle with velcro tabs? We were able to use these on a regular basis for only a couple of weeks before Asher figured out how to get out of them BUT we were able to use it in the car seat!! Here’s how.

First you got your Summer Infant Swaddle. Duh.

Ever wonder why there is a hole in the back??

Lay the swaddle in your car seat and pull the straps over it, as pictured below.

Pull the snap part of the buckle through the hole, as pictured below. Aha!

Place baby in seat and buckle in.

Place baby’s feet in the bottom pouch of the swaddle.

Pull the baby’s right side of the velcro over his body and attach the velcro to the center like you would normally. When I do this. I gently put baby’s arm to the side so it’s not rubbing on the seat buckles.

Finish by gently pulling baby’s left side of the swaddle over to velcro across the baby’s chest. Again, I gently put baby’s arm to the side so it isn’t rubbing on any part of the buckle.

There you have it! Easy way to calm baby while riding in the car seat!

If it was warm out, we had Asher in only a diaper and t-shirt. We were always in air conditioned locations so we never had an issue with heat. If I got paranoid, I would leave his feet out of the bottom pouch. I would not do this if you are planning on being outside when it is warm. I can’t say this is technically pediatrician approved, but our pediatrician saw how I did this with Asher and he thought it was super awesome. Seriously. He said super. He planned to pass the good news on to his patients if they had a fussy baby in the car seat!

Please, pass the good news along! Live long and prosper, my friends.