by on September 30, 2021  in Baby Education /
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Some babies love car rides, here are 8 helpful tips to prepare your baby for their car ride that the whole family will appreciate. Putting your baby to sleep by placing them in their car seat and driving around the block is often a very effective way for them to go to bed. But other babies hate riding in a car, and they especially hate the car seat. If your infant gets carsick easily or has extreme separation anxiety, then you might have a bit of a problem on your hands. But handled correctly, car riding should be a pleasure for the whole family most of the time.

Here are eight ways you can help make car riding more pleasant for your child.

1. Spread a towel or even one of those foil windshield screens over the car seat and the metal buckles that might touch your baby. Metal heats up quickly, especially in areas where outdoor temperatures can exceed 110 during the day. Always check the temperature of the metal before buckling your child into the seat, as some metals can become hot enough to cause burns.

2. Make sure the seat is the right size. The carrier or seat that seemed to be “just right” last week can become too small very quickly. Unfortunately, a good car seat is an expensive purchase. One way around this is to join a parent exchange where you can trade in your too-small seat for a sanitized hand-me-down from a slightly older baby.

3. Add a toy to the seat but do make sure that it is age appropriate and not likely to have any parts that can be pried off and swallowed. As with all toys, a choking hazard is not the goal. “Exercise” boards with things to pull, push and move around are ideal if there is some way to secure them to the car seat. Toddlers love having their own baby steering wheel, so they can play at driving.

4. Provide a small bottle or sippy cup. If the day is hot, give sips of distilled water rather than milk or juice. Snacks are an option for babies who can hold food but could be a choking hazard.

5. Play soothing music or sing songs. Babies have a very short attention span, and the anticipation of going to Grandma’s house just might not be enough to sustain patience with being forced to sit still for a long time. Interactive entertainment can make a difference.

6. Velcro or otherwise mount a small tablet on the back of the forward seat, just at eye level. Play soothing music or an age-appropriate video. Those videos with fish swimming can sometimes be enough.

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7. Play something active with  your baby before getting into the car, then feed him or her just before the trip. With any luck, you’ll be able to enter the vehicle with a clean, well-fed, sleepy baby who will snooze out for several miles of the trip.

8. If the crying persists consistently every time you go for a car ride, talk with your pediatrician to see if there is a physical cause for your child’s discomfort.

Riding in a car should be a pleasurable experience, and for many children, it is. Keep in mind that long road trips are very difficult for active youngsters. Even if your youngster decides to relieve his or her boredom by pelting the driver with snacks provided as part of the in-vehicle entertainment, try to hold on to your cool. Do, however, pull off the roadway at the first opportunity and relieve your young bombardier of any and all potential missiles.

Not all children enjoy riding in a car, but most do. If your child begins crying as soon as you approach the car, try doing some detective work to learn what might be the problem. In many cases, the remedy can be simple. When the problem is complex, such as a child that has motion sickness, then you might need to consider getting your pediatrician’s help.

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