Car Seat Head Support Safety (Full Guide)

Welcome to the ultimate guide on car seat head support safety!

When traveling with a baby, I always ensured they were safe and comfortable. One way to do this is to use a car seat head support for added protection.


There are different types of car seat head cushions you can use. You can find these supports in several shapes, materials, and sizes, but they all function for one purpose: safety.

A car seat head cushion can support your child’s head throughout a bumpy ride. However, before you use one, I recommend you learn its proper installation and setup.

As a mother of three, I’ve got a lot of experience in child safety and car seats. So, if you’re a parent and learning about the installation, safety, and other information about car seat head support, you’re in the right place!

Okay, just give it to me!

Newborn Head Support for Car Seat

The headrest of a car seat can’t always keep your baby’s head in place. Thus, in long, shaky rides, their heads can move quite a lot—which is heartbreaking to watch as a mother!

An infant head support, also called a baby cushion, offers increased comfort for a newborn. Long car travel can be uncomfortable for us adults, how much more a baby.

That said, while the soft material does offer excellent comfort for our children, it’s ultimately for protection. It acts as padding to protect the head of your child in the case of a car accident.

Babies are vulnerable, so an unsupported head and neck can be dangerous in the instance of bumps and crashes. Head and neck injuries can be fatal, especially for children.

With head support in place, your baby is less likely to slump and flop about while you’re driving.  It will also align your child’s head with their body and support the spine.

Are Car Seat Head Supports Safe?

There’s a mixed consensus between experts and parents about the safety of head supports. Some argue that they’re unnecessary, while others attest to their importance.

That said, it’s true that a wobbling head shouldn’t cause alarm for any parent. Your child’s ligaments and tendons are flexible, so they won’t get injured easily.

However, their bones and muscles might be stretchy, but they’re not impervious to sudden impacts. Any parent would want that additional protection and cushioning.

In addition, issues commonly arise when a baby’s head slumps forward. A child’s airway is still narrow, so the weight of their head can hinder their breathing.

We call this case positional asphyxia, and it can be dangerous to a child. In fact, a study concluded that 31 out of 47 infant deaths occurred in car seats through asphyxiation.

You can prevent unfortunate accidents like these with proper head support. If you notice too much head flopping during your travels, it may be best to invest in baby cushions.

That said, the most crucial consideration for a baby cushion is its installation. Keep in mind that the head support shouldn’t push the baby’s head forward!

Best Infant Head Support for Car Seat

You may come across several car seat head support products claiming maximum safety and comfort. As promising as they sound, always prioritize your baby’s safety when choosing one.

The safest choice as head support is a brand approved by the car seat manufacturer. Companies typically crash-test these with a car seat to meet safety requirements.

Fortunately, most modern car seat models offer head supports with their products. So, before purchasing a car seat, be sure to inquire about this concern.

However, not all car seats have this feature included. If you already have a car seat in hand, check the manual or contact your dealer for further information.

Alternative Head Support Brands

If your baby’s car seat didn’t come with a head support, there are reliable brands you can purchase. Here are some of the best infant cushions you can choose from:

1.   JANABEBE Baby Cushion

JANABEBE is one of the most popular brands of baby cushions. One advantage of this brand is the hypoallergenic properties of its materials—perfect for babies with sensitive skin.

2.   Eddie Baby Head Support

This baby head support has slots for the car seat harness, which is a good security measure. It comes in a 2 in 1 design, meaning you can use it longer than other brands.

3.   Lebogner Support Pillow

Lebogner comes in different designs and is perfect for toddlers. The fleece material, contoured to fit your baby nicely, is an excellent choice during cold seasons.

4.   Nuby Infant Pillow

Nuby is a waterproof infant pillow, perfect for babies under one year. Its removable head and neck support are reversible, with one side for warm weather and the other for cold.

5.   Brica Head and Body Support

This breathable head and body support pillow is excellent at absorbing moisture. Its design emphasizes ergonomics while fully supporting your child’s neck and body.

Installing Your Car Seat Head Support

Proper installation of head support is crucial for your baby’s safety and comfort. That said, here are some general steps to follow when mounting an infant cushion:

Step 1: Locating the Headrest Slots

The headrest slots are the anchor points of your car seat head support. You can locate them on the upper portion of the seat.

However, some brands don’t have this feature in the car seat. In such cases, they usually have a slit below the head support where you insert the car seat straps.

Step 2: Strapping the Head Support

Once you locate the slots, thread the car seat straps through them. Ensure that the head support is tight enough not to move down your baby’s shoulder.

You might readjust the straps a few times to get the perfect fit. The straps shouldn’t be too loose or tight to get the ideal comfort and security.

Step 3: Securing the Baby

After strapping and adjusting, don’t forget to fasten the clips into place. Observe the body position of your baby and take note of their reaction.

Reposition the head support if your baby’s head is leaning forward. Your baby’s head shouldn’t be in an awkward position to prevent breathing issues.

Properly Installed Head Support

As a worrywart parent, I constantly think about my kid’s safety and comfort in a car seat. If we’re on the same boat, here are some pointers to note when installing head support:

1.   Baby Positions

The first thing to note is to avoid restricting your child’s movements. This mistake is common among first-time mothers, wrapping their babies too tightly in an airtight bun.

It’s crucial to remember that the safest position for a newborn is when their head is turned to the side. The point is to avoid forward slumping, not restrict your baby’s natural movements!

2.   Head Wobbles

Another thing to observe after installing head support is the degree your baby’s head wobbles. This sign can indicate whether you properly mounted the baby cushion.

Too much head bobbing is a poor sign. While we don’t want to restrict the baby’s movements, we also don’t want their head rocking back and forth.

3.   Neck Movements

As mentioned above, the head on the side is the safest breathing position for a newborn. So, don’t use the baby cushion to force your child’s head to face forward!

The physiology of a child is different from adults in many ways. Car seat companies include head supports to minimize forceful neck movements while your baby’s body develops.

When to Stop Using Head Support in Car Seat?

Car seat manuals typically don’t include the time to remove the head support, as companies believe their products can function well with or without it.

Of course, babies grow fast, and there will come a time when they won’t need head support. After a few months, your child may want to move their head freely without constraints.

That said, the most precise indication to remove the head cushion is your child’s ability to control their head. This capability typically occurs when they’re 5 to 6 months old.

You may observe your child lifting their chest and head with their arms. During this period, feel free to remove the head support from your car seat.

Final Thoughts

Ensuring your child’s safety and comfort is one of the most crucial jobs for a parent. Babies are vulnerable, so any added protection is most welcome.

Using a car seat head support protects your child’s neck and head from sustaining injuries from a bumpy ride. So, remember the installation process and tips we discussed above!

If you find this post helpful, share it with your fellow parents!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

1.   Do Babies Need Extra Head Support in Car Seats?

While companies consider baby physiology, they can’t account for all children. Head supports can help keep your baby safe inside a car seat.

2.   How do I Keep My Baby’s Head Secure in the Car Seat?

One way to keep your baby’s head secure is to ensure a reclined car seat. Use head supports, straps, and pillows for additional security.

Last Updated on March 26, 2023 by Danny Reid

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!