Is Too Much Time in Strollers and Car Seats Harming Your Child’s Development?

Experts say “container babies” can experience health issues due to a lack of movement.

Your friends throw you a fancy baby shower and you get some pretty impressive swag: a car seat, a stroller, a carrier, and a bouncy seat.

However, before you get too excited, here’s something you should know.

If you leave your precious bundle too long in any or all of these, you may run the risk of them developing “container baby syndrome.”

You may not find that term in a medical dictionary, but it’s been coined by physical therapists to describe what can happen if you overuse baby containers.

They say the trouble is because children are bouncing from one piece of equipment to another.

“The child is being held in an infant carrier by the parents, then placed into a bouncy seat, then moved into a car seat to ride to an appointment. Then it’s into a swing later in the day. The child is spending so much time in these devices that aren’t allowing their bodies to move,” Lori Grisez, PT, DPT, a board-certified pediatrics clinical specialist and developmental therapist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, told Healthline.

“One of the common issues we see is the diagnosis of torticollis, where the child has developed a tightening of the muscles in their neck. It causes the head to lean to one side or rotate to a specific side,” Grisez said.

“Another issue is the increased risk of plagiocephaly. That’s where the baby develops a flat spot on the back of the head or on the side of the head because they’re being held in that one position,” she added.

“When they’re not able to kick their arms and legs, lift their head, or move their muscles, that’s setting them up for developmental delays,” Grisez explained.

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