Do you have an anti-car seat baby/toddler too?
The very thought of stepping outside with a toddler was a nightmare- yes, trust me its agonizing to see them scream the minute you put them into a car seat. And it does not stop there it continues for the whole journey, be it a quick grocery shopping or a road trip.
Unfortunately it’s not just once, but an everyday story!
Just hang in there, you are not alone. Many parents of young babies and toddlers out there are survivors/sufferer of this everyday tiff. That difficult moment to drive a car with a screaming baby while you try to soothe them from a distance with no other option left is understandable. I have been there, done that. There were times, I had to pull over to the shoulder and just get them out of the car seat for a break from that continuous roar.
What can you do to help your baby/toddler cope? Here are a few tips I tried and it did work like a charm:
1. NEVER put them in the car seat before you are ready
Plan such that you leave as soon as they are tucked into the car seat. Always load your car, make all necessary arrangements and then put the baby/toddler into the car seat, as the amount of time they stay in a car seat is directly proportional to the distress.
2. Back seat mirror
As many young babies are still coping with separation anxiety and the car seat adds onto it as they fear abandonment. For such a scenario, a large mirror attached to the back seat might help. You can now see how is your baby doing and also the baby can see you. With toddlers you can communicate via the mirror as they don’t feel left out.
FYI: I got mine from walmart stores for 10$.
3. Companion for rescue
When both the parents are traveling with the baby/toddler, it’s advisable one of the parents sit behind with the child. This reduces their distress drastically as they feel secure with a person next to them (be it a parent or a guardian/caregiver). They can talk, play peek-a-boo with the child and keep them occupied throughout the journey.
Carry as many as games/toys as possible to keep them occupied. If your child is preschoolers carry few interesting activities like coloring books, puzzles, etc. For a baby, carry musical toys, rattles or teethers.
5. Music to calm your mind
Soothe your nerves with some music. It not only distracts you, but also helps soothe your baby. If your baby/toddler has any favorite rhymes just make sure you have a CD of the same. The days if I have no choice to play any music (if I forgot my phone/CD) I sing her favorite songs all through the ride. I literally shout and try to keep her entertained. Just have your own karaoke party in the car and sing like no ones watching. There is nothing else that can soothe your baby than your voice
6. Books/dvd player
A DVD player works best for a long trip. All you have to do is attach the DVD player to the back seat and VOILA it’s done. If your child doesn’t rely on screen time for a long like mine, the best bet is loads of story books. Just read out to them with all the voice modulation and funny faces. They will have a gala time back there.
7. Regular Breaks at rest area
See to that you take regular breaks and try to stretch yourself every 2 hours if it’s a long trip. If it’s a short visit to the grocery store, then pick your baby’s nap time. So either they sleep off in the car seat or you can plan after their nap time as they will be all fresh after a good sleep.
8. Snacks and water
Its good to have the child’s favorite snacks handy. Buy ample amount of healthy snacks and keep the baby hydrated. If it is a very short trip to a grocery store just keep the water bottle accessible and hand over a snack so that by the time they munch on them you reach the destination. I usually give my daughter the teething biscuits(no sugar,no salt, gluten free) and the straw bottle(of course opened).
9.Comfort is all they need
See to that the baby is comfortably seated with the seat belt fastened (not too tight, not too loose). Make sure there is no direct sunlight through the window. Maintain proper temperature in the car and dress the child accordingly with comfortable clothing.
Babies are safest in a car seat particularly rear facing car seats. The chances of being in a collision are less, but it’s important your child is protected and safe in case one occurs. In a rear facing car seat, the stress on the child’s neck is minimized. A baby’s neck muscles are not strong enough to withstand the force of collision. Do not get carried away with all their distress and turn car seat to forward facing or stop from using them.
Do let me know if these tips helped you in any way in the comments section below. For more updates subscribe to my website.
Until next time…..