Parental experiences of infant car bed use after failure of car seattolerance screen

Christina M. O’Connor, Jacqueline McGrath, Michele DeGrazia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Failure of the car seat tolerance screen (CSTS) during hospitalization often leads to a recommendation for automobile travel within a car bed at discharge. Purpose: To describe the parental experience utilizing a car bed for infant automobile transportation. Methods: A descriptive, qualitative study design was undertaken with a purposive sample of parents recruited for a single interview in the pulmonary clinic at the time of the follow-up CSTS, approximately 1 month after hospital discharge. Interviews, guided by a semistructured interview tool, provided a holistic understanding of the parental experience utilizing car bed travel. Findings/Results: Data from 15 parental interviews revealed an overarching emotional journey consisting of 5 themes: (1) an adjustment period; (2) decision-making related to the car bed purchase; (3) encounters with varied provider education and knowledge; (4) safety and security of the car bed during transit; and (5) space and mobility restrictions imposed by the car bed. Implications for Practice: While recommendations exist for infant travel in a car seat, supportive recommendations for parents with an infant who needs to travel in a car bed do not exist. Based on study findings, providing parents supportive guidelines, education, and recommendations for their infant requiring travel in a car bed may be a strategy to ease the stress experienced in this situation. Implications for Research: Findings indicated a need to develop policies and standards, as well as comprehensive education, for providers and parents related to car bed travel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-512
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Neonatal Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Car bed
  • Car seat
  • Car seat tolerance screen (CSTS)
  • High-risk infant
  • Infant
  • Infant car seat challenge
  • Preterm infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Parental experiences of infant car bed use after failure of car seattolerance screen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this