We’ve all been there, peaking back through the rearview mirror to see our tiny love snoozing away. Turns out, there is some science to how it works.
According to experts, the inside of a moving car is actually a lot like the safe, warm, and quiet environment inside your womb. The sound and vibration of the car’s engine recreate sounds and motion your baby is familiar with, helping her relax.
The motion of your car.
The humming of your car’s engine.
The soft humming sound that comes from a running car engine acts as white noise. This helps mimic the kind of white noise your baby heard when in your belly while also making loud sounds that could stimulate your baby’s brain. And, according to the National Library of Medicine, white noise influences sleep. It helps regular your baby’s brain and encourages it to maintain the slower, more rhythmic brain waves that help lead to sleep.
Your car is boring.
Babies are very easily stimulated and luckily, your car isn’t very stimulating. The car is often insulated, warm, and dark, again, just like your womb. And because the interior tends to stay the same, there’s nothing new for your baby to do, see, feel, or hear.
Is it safe?
A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics shows that when car seats are used as directed by the manufacturer’s guidelines, babies have a very low risk of suffocation or strangulation from the harness straps. However, experts note that you should not use the car seats for sleep in a non-traveling context as this DOES pose a risk to babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies who are still asleep when you’ve reached your destination should always be transferred to a crib or bassinet.