No you don't!
We are regularly asked the question, ‘Do I have to have an Infant Carrier to leave the hospital?’. Well the simple answer to this urban myth is, no you do not have to have an infant carrier in order to leave the hospital BUT you do need a suitable car seat in your car if this is how you are going to transport your newborn home! We can not believe how many people actually think that this is fact and come into the store with the intention of buying an infant carrier purely for this reason!
All hospital trusts have different policies and some encourage you to take your infant carrier up onto the maternity ward before they discharge you. However, if you haven’t got an infant carrier, we recommend that you take evidence into hospital with you that you do have a car seat suitable from birth but that it is not easily portable!
You may, for example, have the Joie i-Spin 360, Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco or Cybex Sirona Z2 - all suitable from birth but designed to remain in your car on their base. If this is the case, snap a photo on your phone of the seat in situ in your car and pop the instruction manual in your hospital bag.
We are yet to hear of any parents and their baby left at the hospital for weeks as they do not have an infant carrier - in fact if you were traveling home by taxi or bus, legally you wouldn’t even have to have your newborn baby in a car seat... not that this is something we would recommend.
If you need any advice about car seats suitable for a newborn, please get in touch and one of our trained car seat specialists will be able to guide you.