I was always jealous of those lucky souls blessed with car powers. You know the ones: they confidently buckle up their fussy little one, take a cruise around the block and like magic their baby is off to dreamland. My son on the other hand often had to be wrestled in his car seat like a cat to the bath tub.
The following strategies worked to calm his confinement fears and ultimately brought the noise level down in the car.
Never give in: First of all, it has to be said: Do not take a crying baby out of their car seat while driving – ever. Unbuckling a howling toddler or letting an older sibling hold a fussy baby just to have a little peace and quiet is not worth the danger. Besides, if your child connects crying with being released from the car seat, good luck with calming the car seat blues anytime soon! Instead try the rest of these ideas.
- Bring the contraption inside: Let your child get familiar with the contraption. You can let him sit in the car seat in the house sometimes, or just let him play around it. It may be easier to check the fit of the straps and how the baby is positioned. An uncomfortable seat may be contributing to the crankiness.
- Car toys: Keep favorite toys in the car. These dedicated car toys may hold your child’s attention. An unbreakable mirror positioned in their view, a favorite blanket, stuffed animal or toy with all the bells and whistles could do the trick.
- Car mobile: Create a nifty car mobile using plastic links strung from one side of the car to the other. Clip on stuffed toys or brightly colored objects to help distract your baby. Change the scenery frequently to keep this engaging.
- Music matters: Try different tunes to see what soothes your savage beast. Suspend your preconceived notions and try different genres; lullabies, children’s songs, Christmas carols, jazz, pop, big band or maybe a nature sound CD will do the trick.
- Comfort: If your child is too hot, too cold, or feeling stuffy try to address those needs. Cracking a window, placing a blanket over their legs or removing a jacket before strapping them in may help.
- Wait it out: My son eventually outgrew his car seat outbursts, and even started to enjoy car rides. I can’t say explicitly that this was because of something I did, maybe it was a combination of methods, or maybe he just matured enough to handle the situation.
More by Sylvie Branch:
Dressing Baby for the Cold
Ease Teething Pain: Tried And True Remedies
Simple Soothing Tips for a Fussy Baby and Mama