It is no secret that most babies start crying and fussing once they are put in a car seat. This is especially true if they are facing backwards and older siblings are forward facing. They feel like you are ignoring them and often throw tantrums.
Hearing a baby scream while you are trying to drive is nerve-wracking, distracting and not good for anyone’s safety. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to take the child out of their car seat and drive with them on your lap, or have them held by another passenger.
Driving without having a child in an adequate seat is not only against the law it is just downright dangerous. Unfortunately people see no harm by justifying its only for a few minutes but accidents can happen when you least expect them.
If you are driving and your baby is screaming you may have no choice but to pull over and calm your child down. It is impossible to placate the child and focus on your driving at the same time.
How to keep babies comfortable during road trips? Here are some tips to help your child who is fussy in the car seat and for keeping baby occupied while you are on the road.
10 Tips to keep young children safely occupied during trips:
1. Make sure your child is not suffering from motion sickness due to an ear infection. If the fussing in the car is new it might be time to see the doctor.
2. Make sure the car seat is installed tightly so it doesn’t jolt or jerk as you drive. This can be quite irritating to a sleeping child. Make sure the child is comfortable and that harness system is positioned correctly and are not twisted or way too tight as this could be what is distressing the child.
3. Make sure a rear facing infant seat is reclined appropriately at 45 degrees, otherwise the child may be to upright with their chin buried into their chest. Not only is this not safe, it is uncomfortable.
4. Sometimes your child simply needs some air; open a car window and let the breeze in as this helps the baby get over the feeling of being confined in the car.
5. Get your child used to the idea of the car seat by bringing it indoors or in your yard and letting him sit and play in it. Once they are familiar with it there might not be so much resistance to being in it in the car.
6. Before you go out on the road, make sure that your child has soft toys to play with and keep him distracted. Never bring hard toys along as these could become harmful flying projectiles or injure the child or another passenger if there is a sudden stop or collision. Make sure that you do not use hanging materials that can tangle or cut the skin like fishing line.
7. Hang a mirror if the child is rear-facing and that way they can see you all the time and you can see them while the car is not moving. Remember while driving to keep your eyes on the road. If a mirror is causing you distractions, do not use it. Do not use regular mirrors, specialty mirrors that are shatter proof are made for this purpose.
8. Hang a child-friendly poster facing your child. These are usually learning posters that have charts and pictures on them that they find entertaining and educational.
9. Play music that your child loves or sing to your child while driving. Singing is only really a good idea if you can focus on driving at the same time.
10. Play a soothing rhythm that block out all other noises. However, remember that whatever you do decide to play you have to be able to tolerate it while you are driving. It cannot be a noise that puts you in a trance or to sleep!
Remember, babies cry because they cannot talk. However, sometimes all the crying in the world never ever gives you a clue as to what is really wrong. As it is difficult to drive with a screaming baby don’t forget it is dangerous.
Mohammad Bhorat is a certified Car Seat Technician with Baby Car Seat Installers located in Markham, Ontario. For more information visit www.carseatinstallers.com.