You’re driving somewhere, but your baby just cannot stop crying and screaming in his car seat.
It’s gut-wrenching, but never take a crying baby out of the car seat. Use these tips to calm him down instead.
Don’t wait until he starts screaming in the car before you resolve the problem. Think about this in advance, and try to appease him when he begins showing signs of distress, before it escalates to full-on screaming and crying.
NEXT: Change his diaper before the journey starts →
Sitting in a full or soaking diaper isn’t fun for your infant. Even if you changed him recently, put on a fresh one just before you go out. As well as keeping him clean, this will make him more relaxed during the journey, and he’ll be less likely to complain.
NEXT: Make him physically comfortable →
Check the car seat and seat belt thoroughly to make sure he’s comfortably strapped in, without, say, the seat belt digging too tightly into him.
NEXT: Provide a good line of sight →
Car sickness is often caused when travellers cannot see outside their vehicles. Looking at the passing scenery can stop travel discomfort, so do what you can to position your infant in his seat in such a way that he can see out the car window.
NEXT: Stop →
Even before your final destination. A trip to your local supermarket may be short as far as you’re concerned, but it may seem endless to him.
NEXT: Take toys with you →
He can become bored in a matter of seconds, so take along a few of his favourite playthings. A tip: Secure them to his car seat, so that he can’t drop them on the floor.
NEXT: Play music in the car →
Check that you have lots of children’s songs in your smartphone or CD player before you set off – ones he’s familiar with. He’ll be temporarily soothed by gentle tunes; noisier songs and nursery rhymes will distract his attention and keep him amused.
NEXT: Keep eye contact →
Depending on the age and type of car seat, your baby may not be in your direct line of vision. So try positioning his seat differently (but still within safety limits), or fix an extended car mirror, so you can keep an eye on him.
NEXT: But DON’T turn around while driving →
No matter how much he screams. That would simply be dangerous and counter-productive.
NEXT: Understand his perspective →
By Dr Richard C. Woolfson, Young Parents, November 2017
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