Have you had a baby cry while you were driving the entire time you were on route? It’s the most uncomfortable and challenging driving obstacle, I have ever had to tackle. Talk about hazard perception in a new dimension.
I remember the day we took Baby T home from hospital. He was fast asleep and slept throughout the drive home.
However, I noticed over time that he was showing signs of discomfort when placed in his car seat (maxi cosi pebble). It wasn’t too long after this that it all began. He would literally cry and scream during car journeys, especially when it was around his nap time.
I often wandered what happened to the car motion sleep remedy. Isn’t car rides and motion meant to be soothing to babies? (one of the plus of the mamaroo so glad I didn’t jump to make this purchase).
I am not saying it doesn’t work I have had a morning where I just couldn’t get him to sleep and I was tired. I tried rocking, swaying and so on for over an hour from 3am to 4am then I did something different and out of desperation, I put him into his car seat and went for a drive. It worked.
For the entire journey, I cleared my thought, prayed he started crying and few minutes later he was fast asleep and remained this way even after transferring to his crib. I was in no state to be pulled over by a patrol vehicle -still in my nightwear…..
I blamed the car seat as it was way too narrow for him. Fast forward to 6 months and he is still using the same car seat and naps in it for car journey. I also noticed that with the car seat base, the car seat recline was a lot lower than without the base which wasn’t great for baby reflux. I fitted in my car without the base and it also helped.
Here are some of my survival tips
1. Keep calm
It is easy for someone to say o you “Keep calm” than to actually do it. I found singing and focusing on positive thoughts helped. I sometimes talked to my baby. It was important that I remained focused while driving.
2. Get a driving substitute for longer journeys or alternative arrangements
It sometimes helped to seat at the back with Baby T, while my husband drove. Other times it didn’t help because he wanted to be carried out of the car seat regardless, which wasn’t always possible.
3. Comfy car seat
I couldn’t justify buying another infant carrier at 4 months and for a baby that already weighed 8kg so I thought of the next car seat for our second vehicle. I came across the joie every stages which can last until your child is 12 years of age. Keep an eye out for my review of Joie every stages.
We used this on longer journeys and he slept for most part of the trip . It is so comfy he sleeps in it with ease. (He also now sleeps in his maxi cosi car seat during trips back home in the evenings or night)
I always remind myself of the fact that before car seats were invented our laps or the laps of the caregiver was the baby’s car seat, Babies love being held and staying close which isn’t wrong and they are at that age not trying to be manipulative.
4. Get a car seat toy or companion
I noted some of my friends had dangling toys on their baby car seat handles and for some babies was enough to keep them busy so my first purchase as Freddie-the fire fly .This is one of baby T’s favorite toy, his face lightens up till date when you hand over Freddie to him. However when he was very tired Freddie got tossed around and wasn’t enough.
The toy that helped on our first long drive was the Tiny love Sunny Stroll. Look out for my review. I still use for most journeys till date including on the pram, walks etc. He falls asleep holding on to this toy. It can be tricky to transfer when we get home
5. Time is a mender
Newsflash, “It does get better with time as they grow a lot of the discomfort colic, reflux, separation anxiety and so on improves and in most cases resolved. So hang in there and brace yourself. There is light at the end of this tunnel.
I drive home now must days with a happy and content baby which is what every mum want for their child. I also try to be reasonable and avoid getting him overtired or overstimulated.
Please share what worked for you and your baby.