When Baby Number Two came along I was desperate to get out of the house as much as possible. I had an active toddler as well and I felt cooped up in the house. However, what I never expected was my newborn to hate the car. With Child Number One, the car was our saving grace and many times we actually used the car to get him to sleep. With Baby Number Two it was the opposite. As soon as we started to move, the howls would start. And they wouldn’t stop until we arrived at the destination and she was taken out of her seat.
Many new parents will feel like trapped when it comes to dealing with a newborn. You may feel like you are barely able to leave the house as is with the constant feedings and sleep patterns. However, what makes it even worse is if your little one hates the car, which many babies do. If your little one hates the car and the car seat then outings, even to the shops, can begin and end with extreme frustration and stress. After all, no parent wants to put their child through constant crying from A to B. However, sometimes you simply need to get out of the house, whether it is to meet up with a friend and save your sanity, to do the shopping or to attend an appointment.
There are a number of reasons why your little one may hate the car. Some babies will be in pain when placed in that position; some babies will feel car sick, especially in the first year when they are rear facing; some babies will get bored and others will simply feel lonely or trapped. If only your baby could talk and tell you what is wrong…. So what can you do to help your little one accept the car and hopefully reduce the amount of tears every time you hit the road? Below are a few tips that will hopefully work for you!
Make The Trip as Comfortable as Possible
Make sure that your baby is as content as possible before jumping into the car. This means feeding him, bumping him and changing him before you get into the car. Most babies are the most content after a feed and you may just get away with a few minutes of no tears before he realizes where he is.
Try to Plan Around Nap Time
Car rides are a sure thing to put baby to sleep right? Nope, not always. But if you’re lucky, your little one will go to sleep after a few minutes of crying in the car. If not, then you can try to put him to sleep beforehand and move him into the car when he is in a dead sleep. This takes a lot of planning and good fortune but it just might work.
Consider a Chiropractor
If you’re willing to spend the money or have private healthcare, then you can see a chiropractor to see if your little one may need an adjustment. Chiropractor adjustments are completely safe and many parents swear that a couple of visits to the chiropractor worked wonders in stopping the car seat crying.
Create a Stimulating Environment
If your baby seems bored in the car you can add a soft toy to his capsule straps. Anything that lights up, makes noise or is colourful may be enough to keep him occupied until you arrive.
Check the Car Seat Position
Your child may be in pain in the seat. You could try adjusting the seat belts or adding a towel to prop him up a little more. If your baby is windy, then this could definitely be the reason why he hates the car seat so much – the position doesn’t leave do much for the bowels! Furthermore, make sure that the sun is not glaring in his eyes by investing in window shields or placing a sheet over the car seat straps.
Plan Shorter Trips
Until your little one is a little older, you may be housebound for a while. Consider walking to the store or park; look for a doctor nearby and try to limit the amount of driving you do.
Jenna Gallina is a WAHM mum of two children under four and an overactive dog. She relies on nap time, Jimmy Giggle and daycare days to keep the house pseudo cleaned and complete her work before each week is done. And she rarely gets through the day without a glass of wine.