How To Make Car Rides Less Stressful: When Your Baby Hates The Car
Most babies hate the car and unfortunately, for parents, this means a lot of screaming, tears and stress as they try to get their child from point A to point B.
However, do not worry; there are ways to make your journey a little bit easier.
In this post, we'll talk about some methods you can use to get your baby to tolerate – and even enjoy – the car ride.
Keep reading for tips that will help make your life a little bit easier:
1. Babies cry in the car for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes they're hungry. Sometimes they're tired, or they need to be changed (at the very least, it's a good excuse to take them out of their car seats and give 'em a cuddle).
Sometimes though, there is no logical reason behind it all; your baby simply hates riding in the car.
Many parents suggest carrying around one of those big stuffed animals with you everywhere you go, the idea being that once your little bundle has tired himself out by his hysterics, you can then distract him (and yourselves) with a more pleasant activity, like playtime.
2. It's important to stay calm and understand that your baby is probably absolutely fine.
We realise this is much easier said than done, but the average baby doesn't like riding in cars because they're trying to torture you. And if your baby seems perfectly fine and happy every other time you go for a ride (even if it's only 2-3 times a week), they probably aren't doing it to deliberately upset you.
Try not to take it personally – babies are totally self-centered at this age and will cry over just about anything.
Don't let their screams get to you or start believing that they're really crying because of something YOU did by taking them out in public... They're not.
If you're looking to make your trip much much more enjoyable for your kids, then check this article out.
3. Experiment with different positions and techniques to see what works best for your baby.
We know this sounds like a complete no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at how many parents don't take the time to experiment with different things until they find what works for their baby.
Once your little screamer is old enough (usually about 3 or 4 months), they'll probably be happier sitting up than lying down in their car seat.
Sit them upright and try strapping them into either the front or back seat of your car. Or buckle them into their carrier and let them face outwards if it's not too much trouble for you.
If your baby won't sit upright but still hates being strapped into their car seat, try getting one of those carrying bags that strap onto the handlebars of strollers.
You can leave your baby in their car seat and secure the carrying bag around the handlebars, then take a walk with them to calm them down.
If you can't do this for whatever reason, strap a stuffed animal onto the carrier, or carry around one of those big plushies every time you go out.
That way, whenever your little one gets fussy, you can pull it out as a distraction.
4. Bring along plenty of toys and snacks to keep them occupied.
If your baby is already over the age of 4-6 months, they're probably ready for solid food. So try feeding them something healthy before you go out.
If that doesn't work, bring along some snacks or toys to bribe them with.
Even if it still doesn't work, at least there was a chance it might have helped… and if they're entertained by whatever you brought along, then they'll be less likely to keep trying to get your attention all through your errands or trip.
5. Try singing or talking to them in soothing tones.
Speaking softly and calmly will help soothe your little screamer no matter how loud they get (trust us). And since babies are such big fans of silence and darkness, you can always try sticking a pacifier in their mouths to keep them quiet and calm.
If your baby is a little older (usually about a few months), they might respond better to music or soft singing.
Of course, this all depends on the age of your child and what works best with them, but do try doing these things before you lose it.
It's also important not to shout at your child when they're screaming – babies usually don't like loud noises either.
The only thing all that shouting will do is scare your little one into crying even more… and nobody wants that!
6. Don't get discouraged and try not to take it personally
It's easy to get discouraged when your baby starts crying, but try not to take it personally.
Your baby is only doing this because they need you… because they don't know how else to tell you that something's wrong or that they want something. And if you're getting upset about their behavior, chances are, they can sense it… and will start getting even more frustrated and upset themselves.
7. Try to get them used to traveling in a car before they're 3 years old
Nobody wants to be stuck in a car with an angry baby – and it might end up even scarier for you.
If you want to keep their screaming down to a minimum, try getting them used to traveling in a car before they're 3 years old - it will make everyone's that much easier.
Again, these are all just suggestions, so feel free to experiment with different things until you find what works best for you and your baby. And if nothing seems to work… don't beat yourself up about it!
Just take some time out instead of trying desperately to fix the problem at hand - sometimes, this is enough for your little one, especially if they can see that something's bothering you too.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas for coping with a car-hating baby.
Whether it be giving your child more time to explore the area before loading them in, or buying an activity toy that will distract from any discomfort during transit, there are many ways to make this experience easier on everyone involved.
If none of these methods work and your little one is still not enjoying being cooped up inside a vehicle, don't worry!
There's plenty of other things you can do together as a family without having to rely on driving - just remember that sometimes less really is more. 'Til next time!