You'll need a properly installed infant car seat in order to take your baby home from the hospital. Do not ride in the car while holding your baby, even for a short distance.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a complete car seat guide at their website,
Whichever style you choose, be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before installing and using the seat.
Here's what you need to know about car seats:
Use a rear-facing car seat, installed in the backseat of the car.
A five-point harness is preferred, keep chest clip at armpit level, not on the neck or tummy. Harness straps should be at or below the shoulders.
Newborns should have a 45-degree maximum recline (built-in angle indicators and adjusters will help you get the right recline).
If you have questions or need help installing your car seat, you can find a Child Safety Seat Inspection Station by state or zip code on the NHTSA website at
www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm. This site will also tell you which nearby inspection stations have personnel who speak Spanish.