When driving with your baby in the car, their safety is everything so it's understandable why you might want to consider some of the best lie flat car seats when thinking about buying a car seat for your newborn.
If you're not already familiar with lie flat car seats, they're a cart seat that allows baby to lay flat when travelling in the car. Research shows that lying flat is the healthiest position for newborns to be in when they're sleeping or lying still for prolonged periods of time, so it's understandable why you might opt for a lie flat car seat. Whatever car seat you decide to go for, remember that here in the UK, car seats are mandatory for transporting babies and all children under 12-years-old (or who are less than 135cm tall).
Lie flat car seats allow baby to breathe easier than car seats where baby is sat up slightly as it can make them slump over slightly, restricting their breathing. Laying flat is also the best position for encouraging the healthy development of baby's spine and hips. If you see your baby having to regularly be on longer car journeys (over 2 hours), where stopping frequently isn't an option then it's probably worth getting a lie flat car seat. The biggest downside to a lie flat car seat is that the seat may only last until your baby is around 6 months old so in terms of value for money, they aren't great as you may need to consider a toddler car seat as well.
Lie flat car seats are ideal if you're keen to keep your baby in the car seat when taking them out of the car to visit a friend's house or eat out at a restaurant without having to take a pushchair in as this is where many parents might exceed the two hour mark.
We've done all the research for you and found the best lie flat car seats for newborn babies. We've included some Mother&Baby Award winners that have been reviewed by our real parent testers that'll keep your baby safe when travelling.
The best lie flat car seats
Best overall lie flat car seat
This is a lie-flat lounger when strolling and allows baby to lie-flat for snoozes in the car. This
- Lie flat for both car journeys and strolls
- Machine washable insert
- Includes sun canopy
- Hood isn't sturdy
Best lightweight lie flat car seat
This carry cot car seat provides a very comfortable place for your baby to nap during car
- Fully reclines
- Toxin-free fabric
- Very large
Best rotating lie flat car seat
Enjoy all-round flexibility and comfort for you and your child with the Cloud Z2 i-Size. The
- Swivel feature
- Easy to fit
- Difficult to carry
Best multistage lie flat car seat
This car seat comes with lie flat technology allowing for baby to rest in a safe position.
- Rotating base
- Includes sun canopy
- Narrow in size
Best lie flat car seat for baby comfort
Available in a wide range of colours, this seat allows your baby to lie in a flat position at all
- Washable cover
- Comfortable for baby
- Doesn't last growing baby's very long
Best designed lie flat car seat
The Nuna Arra newborn baby car seat provides a smooth transition from crib to infant carrier. Its
- Easy to transition from car to stroller
- Small colour choice
This car seat offers four different recline settings, so your baby can travel in an upright seated
- Four recline settings
- Great for long car journeys
- Heavy and takes up a lot of space
Choosing the right lie flat car seat for you
Before you purchase a lie flat car seat, you'll want to consider whether or not it's worth the investment for you. The majority of lie flat car seats are Group 0 car seats so will only last your little one until around the 6 month mark. However, if you expect to be regularly travelling on long journeys with your baby, then they're worth the money for your peace of mind and baby's safety in the car.
Some lie flat car seats are combination seats that can take you up to the next age stage (12-15 months). The only downside with this kind of car seat is the choices are fairly limited and they tend to be rather large and bulky so aren't ideal for smaller cars.
If it's a lie flat position you're looking for when out of the car, then you might be best to opt for a car seat that can lie flat in the buggy. These are great for visiting relatives, restaurants and shopping trips. These can also last longer up to around 12-18 months.
Lie flat car seat safety
It is a legal requirement for children to travel in a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall. While standard car seats are perfectly safe for your child, young babies are safest in a lie flat position to help the healthy development of baby's spine and hips.
According to the Lullaby Trust, babies should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time and they should be taken out frequently. If possible, it's ideal if you have another adult sat with baby in the back to make sure they're okay. If baby changes position and slumps forward, then you should immediately stop and take them out
of the car seat and reposition them before continuing on your journey.
What age do babies not need to lie flat?
Where possible, it's advised that babies should lie flat until they're a year old. This is most essential in the first six months, particularly the early months. Usually, it's when your child can confidently sit up by themselves they don't need to be lying flat.
Are lie flat car seats worth it?
If your baby is premature or has other medical conditions then your baby should be in a lie flat car seat for safety reasons. Standard car seats are perfectly safe for most children, however, make sure your car journey times are kept to a minimum and baby can regularly have a stretch.
If this isn't an option for you and you regularly see yourself having to do longer car journeys with baby (that's over two-hours), then you may want to consider a lie flat car seat for their safety and your peace of mind.