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A Calm Car Ride: Tips for Soothing a Crying Baby in the Car Seat

A Calm Car Ride: Tips for Soothing a Crying Baby in the Car Seat

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As a parent, you know that feeling of helplessness when your baby starts wailing in the car seat during a car ride. Oh! It starts off by some innocent cooing, but that slowly morphs into a whimper and before you know it, the car is vibrating with the high-pitched alarm sounds of a distraught baby. And that cry has the power to press all mama-nerve touchpoints. 

It can be stressful and distracting, making the entire ride uncomfortable for both you and your little one. Especially if you’re the driver.

However, there are waze! (see what we did there?) to turn your car rides into smoother, more enjoyable trips for everyone involved. 


Begin your journey on the right foot

Before hitting the road, ensure that your baby's basic needs are met and that they’re comfortable. Your baby should be well-fed, changed, and calm. A hungry or wet baby is more likely to be a fussy traveler, and rightfully so - they can't wait until the next pit stop to attend to themselves.

Make the car seat as cozy and inviting as possible. Use soft, breathable padding and ensure that your baby is securely strapped in but not too tight. 

The Doona is an all-time favorite for the newborn stage, and when your baby is ready to transition to a proper car seat, the Nuna Pipa RX is a parent/baby preferred choice. And for an adaptable option, the Maxi Cosi Pria is an amazing, all-in-one convertible car seat.

Adjust the temperature inside the car to a comfortable level, keeping in mind that babies can be sensitive to heat and cold.

You may also want to set up a mirror so you can see your baby at all times. (Because, let’s not get started on the inevitable shoulder-pull-result of being a front-seat paasenger and turning to the back and craning your neck to check if your baby’s pacifier fell out).

When your baby is rear-facing, which is the opposite direction you’re in, you may not realize that the sun is shining right in their cute eyes, obstructing their view and causing discomfort. Installing shades  on your car window helps keep the sun out.

Music to their ears

Music has a calming effect on babies, so consider playing soft lullabies or gentle tunes during the car ride. If you have a newborn on board, the Fridababy portable sound machine is a great idea for providing a continuous stream of calm and comfort.

Older-tyke passengers, who aren’t due for a nap, will likely enjoy lively music, so turn up the volume and clap to some kiddy tunes.

Engage in Conversation

Babies love the sound of their parents' voices. When your baby starts that tell-tale whimper, nip it in the bud by talking to them in a soothing tone. Narrate your surroundings or simply express your love and reassurance. Your voice can be a source of comfort and distraction during the trip.

Use Toys and Comfort Objects

Car seat toys can provide great entertainment and distraction to help in diverting their attention from crying.

Keep a selection of your baby's favorite toys or comfort objects within reach.

A fun rattle, soft plush toy, or teething ring, are great options. The tiny love stroller arch is also a very popular baby toy – it can attach to infant car seats and strollers.

And because pacifiers tend to fall down and get jammed in all the impossible-to-reach crevices of the car, be smart and attach your baby’s pacifier with a clip.


Keep Calm and Journey On

When you’re behind the wheel, frantic car seat crying can make you feel out of control. It's only natural to feel stressed or frustrated when your baby cries in the car seat. However, it's essential to remain calm and composed. Your baby can sense your emotions, and staying relaxed will help reassure them that everything is okay.

It’s extremely hazardous to turn around and try helping your baby as you maneuver the wheel with your feet. A survey conducted by emergency medicine researchers found that almost 70% of the 570 accident respondents had fed a child passenger and 40% had picked up a child’s toy while driving.

So, if there’s no immediate threat or emergency, your job is to stay focused on the road and not let the crying affect your driving.

If your embarking a longer drive, plan frequent breaks to give both you and your baby a chance to stretch and relax. Use these stops to feed, change, and cuddle your little one, making the car ride more manageable for all fellow travelers.


For the final leg of this guide

Try your best to implement these great tips in order to have a smoother car ride. 

But, when you’re driving, and the baby is driving you crazy, remember: there must be a special place in heaven for parents who can remain calm while driving with a crying baby in the back seat.

Safe travels!

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