“My baby does not like the car seat? How do I get him to lie in it?”
Your friends throw you a spectacular baby shower, and you walk away with a car seat, a stroller, a carrier, and a bouncy seat. However, not every infant enjoys riding in a car seat. This is also true: some babies who start off adoring their car seat for the comfortable, warm security it provides may grow to despise it as they become older.
When the anti-car seat baby sobbing (or wailing or thrashing) begins, it’s a nightmare for parents who, of course, want their kids to be happy and safe when they go where they need to go!
“My baby does not like the car seat.” Here are some possible reasons why
Some babies cry a lot in their car seat, bouncy seat, swing, and/or stroller for a variety of reasons, including:
After being shielded from the outside world for nine months or more in your cosy womb, the hustle and bustle of real life can be difficult for some babies to endure. Younger newborns, in particular, might suffer from overstimulation, a condition that happens when there is simply too much going on and the baby becomes overwhelmed.
Too much noise, movement, or visual stimulation, such as when jumping around in a jumper or strapped into the backseat of a moving car, may be too much for sensitive babies, causing them to cry.
If your baby appears to be fussing, consider a calmer path or lower the canopy to provide a barrier between them and the outside world.
Your baby could have reflux.
Did you just breastfeed your baby? Consider carrying her first in an upright position and wait for her to burp before putting her in the car seat. Being in a reclined position might make your bub uncomfortable especially if there are air bubbles in her tummy.
Check the recline of your stroller and be mindful of when you feed the baby when you take him for walks – no one wants a gut full of spilling milk.
Baby doesn’t like car seat? Maybe he is uncomfortable.
The baby is uncomfortable.
Some babies thrive in chilly temperatures, while others adapt effortlessly to heat and warmth. Pay attention to which conditions seem to make your infant the most comfortable, as well as when they become fussy or sweaty. It may be as basic as requiring light cotton layers.
Your child may dislike the straps that hold him secure in a car seat or stroller, or he may dislike being restrained.
There’s not much you can do about it in some cases — car seats are specifically designed to keep babies safe, not to cater to their mercurial whims — but make sure you’re following the manufacturer’s usage instructions, and that all straps and fasteners are snug and secure without cutting into baby’s skin to make your little one as comfortable as possible.
He’s used to having someone hold him for the majority of his waking hours, so switching to a car seat, bouncer, or stroller — where he can’t feel the constant contact of your body — may be stressful for your little one.
Your baby could be bored.
Older babies, in particular, are often preoccupied and may not be pleased to simply sit on a ride. Bring some toys that can be safely attached to the pram straps, take the slow, more scenic route, or bring food and chat with him to keep him entertained.
Babies are fussier by nature.
Personality is another potential influence on why your baby doesn’t like the car seat. Some newborns are simply fussier than others, and this is a natural aspect of their personality. Your infant may just dislike car seats or strollers, or he or she may be bothered by the abrupt changes in routine that they frequently bring.
Baby has motion sickness.
Your infant can be irritable because he’s car sick. While motion sickness is more prevalent in toddlers and older children than in infants, it does occur in some babies. Again, making sure to burp baby and waiting a few minutes after his last meal before putting him in his car seat can help prevent fussiness and vomiting episodes.
Baby is premature or colicky.
Premature newborns and some colicky babies are more sensitive to light, noise, and movement, which may cause them to dislike car seats, strollers, or bouncers.
Is it okay to let a baby cry in a car seat?
Image source: iStock
Never, ever remove a crying baby from a car seat, no matter how tempting it may be. It’s incredibly unsafe and unhelpful, making your child’s transition to riding in her car seat much more difficult.
Making poor driving judgments while your infant is crying endangers everyone in the car. Either stop the car and calm your infant down, or concentrate on going from point A to point B safely—don’t try to do both.
If he seeks closeness to you, carry him in a sling or other carrier that keeps him as close to you as possible. While you will still be carrying a tiny companion with you wherever you go, your hands will be free to take care of other things while you’re wearing your baby.
Don’t be tempted to wear your baby in the car; he has to be in the car seat when you’re driving or riding about, no matter how fussy he becomes.
How to train babies to stay in their seat
The good news is that with a few fresh ideas, some time, and maturity, your baby can become a joyful traveller. Any one (or more) of the following tactics may be useful in resolving your car seat quandary.
If the first one you attempt doesn’t work, try another, then another; ultimately, you’ll find the ideal answer for your infant.
Examine your child’s health.
If your baby is screaming in the car for the first time and has been fussy at home, she may have an ear infection or another ailment. A trip to the paediatrician is necessary to rule out any potential health hazards.
Bring your baby’s car seat into the home and allow him or her to sit and play in it. She might be more comfortable sitting in the car once she’s gotten used to it at home.
Avoid putting your baby in a bouncer, car seat, or stroller if he is already fussing or crying. When you put him in, he’ll simply get angrier (and louder! ), so wait until he’s quiet and happy before attempting again.
Baby doesn’t like car seat? Settle him down, calm him, and keep him entertained.
Calm him down and divert his attention.
Put your baby on his back on a play mat, a blanket on the floor, or in his crib before attempting to strap him into a car seat, bouncy seat, or stroller (you should always put your baby down to sleep on his back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS).
Then provide some distracting sights and sounds, such as a mobile or toys to swat at, as well as music or white noise to listen to. Try putting him in his seat or stroller once he’s nice and calm.
Here are some simple ways to keep your kid entertained:
- Keep a separate box of soft, safe car toys, like furry buddies or foam blocks, that you’ll only use in the car.
- Place a baby-friendly poster on the back of the seat facing your child.
- Try out different sorts of music in the automobile.
- Listen to “white noise” in the car.
- Sucking or chewing on a small, soft toy can help calm your irritable child.
- Hang a mirror that allows you to see each other to let your baby know you’re nearby.
- Tape or hang toys on the back of your baby’s seat so she can look at them while driving.
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To prevent long car rides, try to combine as many trips as feasible. If you live near a grocery store and a drugstore, wait until you’re on your way home after supper to buy additional shampoo.
If you believe your baby is distressed because he can’t see you, try to stay as visible as possible, stroking and talking to him to see if that helps settle him. If you’re not driving, sit in the backseat next to him and talk, sing, or play with him. It might just be the comfort he needs to unwind.
If your infant has a better view, he might settle down. Try putting the car seat in front of a mirror (your child will like looking at himself in the mirror) or attaching safe toys to his car seat for him to admire and play with.
If your baby hates his car seat, you may bring it inside and play with him while he’s strapped in, so he learns to feel a little more comfortable (and happier) when he’s buckled in.
Your baby may dislike her car seat right now, but experiment with changing up her environment, entertainment, and stimulation while driving. Trial and error will eventually help you build an optimal driving environment to keep your child safe—and your sanity intact!
Baby doesn’t like car seat? Not every infant enjoys riding in a car seat.