Babies: 0 - 3 Months

How do you soothe your Lo while you're driving??

So my LO HATES the car and cries basically the whole time, Especially if he has a dirty diaper or is hungry, He screams. My LO likes to be moving, so I reach into the back and kinda jiggle his car seat... and majority of time it calms him down. Are there any other Mom's that do this? Or would a better option be to just let him cry until we get where we are going? On another note, Should I be worried about SBS with this, because I know I am not doing it violently but his head must be moving a bit. Thoughts? 

Re: How do you soothe your Lo while you're driving??

  • My LO is 8 weeks old..
  • Most of the time my LO loves the car and goes to sleep or just looks out the weekend.  On the occassions, when he's a little fussy cause I've been out too long and he's hungry I talk to him or play one of the nursery cds and it'll calm him down. I also reach back and rub his head when I'm stopped at a light.  There has been one time when I had to pull over cause he was crying so bad and another where I just let him cry cause I was close enough to home and didn't want to stop and none of the other stuff worked.  

    I'm not sure about the jiggling the seat, hopefully someone else can comment on that for you. 

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  • not sure about MUD, but a properly installed carseat shouldn't jiggle.  I don't worry about SBS with jiggling.  You get SBS when the brain actually smacks the inside of the skull so it takes a bit more than a jiggle to do that.

    I give her the paci and if that doesn't work then she gets to cry.

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  • I wouldn't worry about SBS from jiggling the seat. I would be worried that your seat is loose enough to jiggle. It sounds like you need a tighter install... My DD hates the car seat as well. When she feels like taking a paci, we have a Wubbanub to help her keep it in. She also has soft toys with chimes in them hanging from the handle. I reach back on occasion to divert her attention to them.
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  • I have tried the paci, he isn't really into a paci and wont suck on it longer than a couple minutes, and I tried the music as well, he just hates his carseat and the car, but thanks for your advice:) 

  • My carseat is in a base, and I don't mean that it jiggles, it's just when I kinda jiggle or bounce the front part, it kind of in a sense rocks him? Does that make sense? So you think even if I pushed up and down it wouldn't cause anything like SBS? Rocking or shaking a carseat wouldn't cause it? I know that probably sounds stupid and I won't do it again since it kinda freaks me out.  
  • Why would you put your LO in the car seat if he was hungry or had a dirty diaper??? I can see if you were going on a long car trip that he may get a bit hungry or soil himself on the road, but at 8 weeks old I can't imagine that you have had many long trips with him. I'm not trying to be rude...just wondering why this happens often enough that you commented that it is ESPECIALLY bad when this happens, suggesting that it happens frequently. I agree that you shouldn't be able to "wiggle" the seat. It sounds too loose. 

    To sooth my LOs I do several things. I sing to them. I have also put up some black and white pics for them to look at. I find they get really hot in their seats very easily (especially if they get worked up at all), so I always have the air on to some degree and that also seems to keep them more comfortable. 

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  • I do not put my LO in the carseat with a dirty diaper or hungry. I feed and change him before we leave. My LO is one of those babies that does not like to have a dirty diaper at all. As all the nurses in the hospital had said as well, I change him the second I know he has a dirty diaper. I just can't stop on the side of the road every time we go anywhere as I wouldn't ever get anything done. And even on a short trip to the grocery stores he had a wet diaper. And especially instances today when we have to drive an hour to the doctor for his 2 month check up... that is why I am asking. My LO doesn't like the car at all,and I have done everything I can think of to keep him calm and happy. Fed and changed before we leave, he gets overheated easily so I dress him light in a onesie and have a cloud b giraffe that plays soothing songs hanging from his car seat...we have a   wubanub paci as well and he doesn't like that at all... I am just out of ideas, and the one thing that seems to settle him down is jiggling his car seat. The car seat is installed with the base, it is in there snug. if you push down on the part where your babys head is, it springs back up does it not? that is what I mean by jiggling??
  • I usually try to sing to my DS.. He likes music ( I know you said yours doesn't) but maybe a song sang by you would help. I can't change my baby's dirty diaper while driving either so don't feel bad... Hope things look up!
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  • Um, first, make sure he is fed and clean before putting him in the car...

    I will reach my finger back and let DD suck on it at stop lights (after she spits it out). Stop a few feet early and go on and off the brake to keep the car moving.  And sometimes loud white noise on the radio (unused station w static) works. 

    Eta: you shouldn't have anything hanging from the carseat while driving.,.not safe.

    As far as the diapers, maybe try ones that have more of a stay dry feel? I don't know much about sposies, but my dd hates wet cotton, but will be happy for hours in a suede cloth or fleece lined diaper (we use CDs).   

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  • aciaacia
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    First off I don't think you'd be able to give the baby SBS from jiggling the car seat - and I know what you mean about being able to jiggle it even if the car seat is installed tightly and securely. Your probably not doing much more than what happens when you go over a bumpy road, right?

    Anyways, I don't really have much advice, but I just wanted to say I've been there and can relate. It's so stressful, I know! My first DD was awful in the car. Even for short trips. I'd feed her, change her, and the second we got in the car she'd start screaming. I tried everything - she didn't take a paci, but I would talk to her, rub her head, play music, etc. Nothing worked. It made even short rides to the grocery store so stressful for me, I was tense the entire drive - and it definitely stopped me from getting out of the house much.

    Honestly, the only thing that worked was turning her forward facing. When she was about 14 months I turned her around and she suddenly liked the car. Now, at almost 3, she has no issues and is so happy in the car that sometimes she just asks to go for a ride for no apparent reason lol.

    My 2nd DD is completely the opposite. She is fine in the car and I can't even think of one time where I've had to calm her down. She does take a paci (thank god) so that helps. Usually she's asleep within 10 minutes of being in the car - what a different experience than my older one!

    I guess what I'm saying is that some kiddos just don't like the car - but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

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  • I don't have any suggestions other than the ones already posted.  When DD fusses, it's nearly always because she's woken up and lost her pacifier.  The wubbanub often helps that problem (or at least lets me find it easily).  The times that hasn't worked, she's either fallen back to sleep after we get moving again or she's cried until we've reached our destination.  There simply isn't much I can do.

    As for SBS - it sounds like you aren't doing much more than most of us do when we bounce our babies in our arms or on our laps.  And that doesn't cause SBS (or if it does, then most of the kids I know  are affected), so I wouldn't worry overly much.


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  • I sing to her... but sometimes they will just cry and you keep driving if you know they are ok.
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  • It's so awful to hear your baby scream and not be able to help, I understand how stressed you are.  It may just get better as baby can self soothe.  You could also try a different carseat.  I noticed you have an older child - if that carseat is a convertible that can be safely adjusted & used by an infant it might be worth a try.  If that does work then you can buy another seat.  

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  • my sister had this problem with her first son. she had to get a convertable carseat when he was 3.5 months old b/c he hated the infant seat. just a thought.
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  • She is usually happy in her carseat and falls asleep but when she does scream or cry I will talk to her or sing to her and it usually gets her to stop and listen to me.

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  • Don't be too concerned, my little one hates the car too. Nothing soothes him once he gets irritated especially in this summer weather. He's most comfortable at home. Sometimes I may have to hold one of my hands to his face to calm him because he doesn't like nuks (paci's) at all! Other times he may have to cry himself to sleep if I can't pull over. I have learned to feed him and put him to sleep right before we leave so that he is asleep for the ride. Latley that has worked really well.

  • Thank you everyone for your help. I think I may just try the convertable carseat, maybe that will do the trick, And just try to plan ahead. ugh!

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