Ford says, OK, cranky baby: Let’s go for a ‘ride’

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It’s dangerous for an infant to fall asleep in a car seat unattended, because, until his/her neck is strong enough to hold up his/her head, a risk of injury exists from the head flopping forward and causing the airway to be blocked. For this reason, the use of products that attach to a car seat and simulate the motion of a vehicle so it soothes and lulls a baby to sleep is debatable. That’s why Ford’s Clever Cot is notable. It simulates the motion, sound and lighting of a ride in an automobile, but its design allows a baby to lie on its back.

We found no data that verify the effectiveness of calming a baby via a ride in an automobile, but Heather Corley, who is a member of Consumers Digest’s team that evaluates baby gear, says anecdotal information indicates that the practice is popular.

“It’s often one of the first suggestions,” Corley says. “If there’s a fussy baby, try to give him/her a car ride.”

Corley laid her hands on one of the motion-simulating car-seat-attachment models and wasn’t impressed by it. She found the durability of its construction to be questionable, considering the heavy weight that many car seats have.

Ford says the Clever Cot is more of a concept than an item that’s destined for production, but the company that designed it for Ford now is considering manufacturing the cot after it received inquiries about the product.