My baby cries in the car

Why does my baby cry in the car?

Some babies hate to be placed in the carseat. While others like the carseat, they hate to be in the car itself. Car travel can be very distressing for a parent because you aren't able to console your baby using methods you've found effective in other situations. You can't easily or safely nurse your baby or hold him while you or someone else is driving a car. In addition those screams of distress can trigger panic or anxiety that is distracting while driving.

Rear facing carseats leave little distraction for a baby who is easily bored and they put parents out of baby's view. If your baby seems to like the carseat but cries as soon as it's placed in the car it could be that your baby needs more stimulation or assurances that you are still there. Music or a cd of special sounds babies notice can be very effective. An ookie or lovey that can be infused with mom or dad's scent can also help give baby the security that, when coupled with your voice, can be enough to assure your baby that you are still in close proximity. A bright image or soft toy can also be tied to the back of the headrest above your baby to provide him with some visual stimulation.

It could also be that your baby is too cold, too hot, or the sun is in his eyes. Be sure your baby is dressed appropriately for your car's temperature. You can purchase very inexpensive window shades to help block the sun out of your baby's eyes, or you can purchase a cover that attaches to your baby's carseat for more effective shading that can travel out of the car with your baby.

Does your baby spit up in the carseat?

If your baby hates the carseat itself then it is likely that it makes your baby uncomfortable. Most carseats are designed for larger babies, even though they are safe for tiny ones. Because of this your baby may be slumped in a way that makes him feel insecure or physically squishes him, causing him to spit up or silently reflux. You can purchase car seat positioners that fill in the well of the carseat and keep your baby snugly upright. There are also wedges that can go underneath the entire carseat to be sure your baby is the entire carseat is reclined comfortably for cars that have very angled rear seats.

Finally, consider that even with a car seat positioner your car seat may have too deep a well. Babies with reflux can be very sensitive to positioning. The combination of a carseat like the Radian 65, which has no well, and a Hug Me Joey provides good upright positioning from forward and side-slumping that can cause reflux and discomfort. Because the Radian 65 is designed for babies from 5 pounds to 65 pounds it works well for preemies as well.

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