creating a car-loving baby

With all these wonderful baby adventures, baby must make friends with the car.  Not every place is walkable unfortunately.  We never thought we’d have a baby that didn’t like the car.  In fact, for the first 6 weeks or so, baby B loved the car.  He was either content back their checking out the toys hanging from his car seat or just dozed off and took a nice snooze.  But some where along the line he decided the car seat was not for him, and he began to scream as soon as he was strapped in.

Being such active, adventurous people, we were very disheartened.  Every outing became a production and a wee bit frustrating.  In response to B’s car hatred, we scrambled for ideas.  Some we found in books, some from other moms and dads, internet searches, baby classes…you name it. Some we also just came upon by accident.  Here are our tricks to creating a car-loving baby:

  • Keep the car moving.  Do whatever you can to keep going.  Is there a route you know of that has just a few lights? Take it.  I will go out of my way sometimes because I know I will get a nice long stretch of road without any lights.  If you encounter a red light and have to stop, give yourself some room between you and the car/crosswalk.  Then you can inch forward, and keep the car moving.  Pumping the brakes also helps.
  • Dance music.  I don’t know why, but baby B loves him some ridiculous dance music.  There is a high school run radio station here in Seattle that plays music almost continuously.  It seems they never have commercials.  Perfect.
  • Static.  Find a point in between stations that makes that beautiful shushing sound.  It reminds babies of being in the womb with all the fluid rushing around.  Very soothing.
  • Toys.  Hang fun toys from rings on the car seat handle.  Baby B loves toys that crinkle. Toys with a mirror can also be quite facinating.
  • Pacifier.  I know these aren’t for everyone, but apparently they work really well for some babies.  Baby B? Not so much.  He never took to the pacifier much to our dismay.  I’ve seen some really fussy babies become quite calm with the insertion of this tool.
  • Photographs.  We found this idea  in one of Slaed’s dad books (Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg).  Take a towel or blanket and tape photographs of familiar people (parents, grandparents, siblings, the baby, pets, etc.).  Then place your masterpiece on the seat back that the baby faces. How could they be sad looking at their loved ones?
  • Baby Mum Mums. This is for an older baby starting at around 4 or 5 months.  Baby Mum Mums are delicious little rice crackers made just for babies.  They are a type of teething biscuit, and practically dissolve in the baby’s mouth the instant you put them in. Since baby B isn’t fond of the pacifier, we’ve found these help him get through those rough patches in the car.  This is of course easier if you have 2 adults traveling in the car: one to drive, one to feed mum mums.
  • Travel Sleep Sheep. This is along the same lines as the static.  We received this wonderful invention as a gift when baby B was first born. It has been a life saver.  It’s a little sheep that hangs from his car seat that plays various types of white noise.  A babbling brook, rain, mother’s heart beat, etc.  The sounds seem to calm Baby B and help him stay asleep.  It’s very soothing for me too!
  • Temperature.  Make sure your baby isn’t too hot or too cold.

What car tricks do you have?

Good luck on your adventures.  Here’s to many happy, car-loving babies!

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3 thoughts on “creating a car-loving baby

  1. Great ideas! We also have a car hater in the family. Well, besides me. Dek has never liked them. As he got older it got a little easier to entertain him, but like your little adventurer, Dek just wants to be up and moving. It’s probably why we love plane travel so much. He can walk the aisles for hours. You are so right about the music too. Dek was a big fan of Muse. Anything with a good drum beat and he was happy. I am a little sad to say we now also turn to the Kindle Fire and Laptop for movies on long haul trips. We try to make him entertain himself with toys and books as long as possible, but sometimes it’s just not enough. It keeps all of us sane until we get to our destination though, so you won’t hear me complaining too much 😉 Happy adventures. Can’t wait to hear about DC!

  2. Thanks, Keryn! And Thanks for checking out “Wild Tales of…” It’s so nice to hear how smoothly plane traveling is going for you and your toddler. Bergen has been on 2 plane trips so far, and every “leg” has been different. He definitely keeps us on our toes, and keeps us guessing as to how he’ll be! Preparation has been key. I’m looking forward to sharing our D.C. trip.

  3. Pingback: Travel with Baby: Why We Love Public Transportation « Wild Tales of…

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