WWYD: Baby crying when you're driving? — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

WWYD: Baby crying when you're driving?

..and alone in the car?

For the most part, I don't strap Sprout into the carseat unless he's been freshly fed & diaper changed.  And, for the most part, he likes his carseat & riding in the car.

HOWEVER, there are some occasions when he starts crying for no reason and I'm by myself...driving.

The scenario usually is like this: I put him in the carseat in our house (it never stays in the car).  He's fine.  I put the carseat (with him in it) in the car.  He's fine.  We start driving. He's fine.  We get halfway to our destination.  He starts crying.

The few times this has happened, I'm on 66 or the Dulles Toll Road or other high-speed road where pulling over (well, merging back into traffic) seems a bit risky.

What would (or do) you do?

Re: WWYD: Baby crying when you're driving?

  • Honestly, there's not much you can do if there is no good place to pull over.  I say to myself that they won't ever remember "the time my mean mommy let me cry and cry" and end up in therapy in a few years.  Stick out tongue  It gets a lot better once they start talking, because you can soothe them by talking to them, sing songs with them, and they can tell you what's wrong, etc.
    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
  • I agree--there isn't much you can do but keep on driving.

    DS loved the car and pretty much always fell asleep.  DD does not enjoy her car riders and starts crying about 75% of the time.  DS's facial expressions while his sister wails are pretty entertaining. 

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  • image Artslvr:
    Honestly, there's not much you can do if there is no good place to pull over.  I say to myself that they won't ever remember "the time my mean mommy let me cry and cry" and end up in therapy in a few years.  Stick out tongue  It gets a lot better once they start talking, because you can soothe them by talking to them, sing songs with them, and they can tell you what's wrong, etc.

    OK, this makes me feel better.

    I totally feel like a horrible mom just letting him cry, but you're right, there's not really much I can do other than get to the destination as quickly (safely & legally) as possible and do the soothing then.

  • It's sooooooooooo hard when this happens!  DS is usually great in the car, but there have been a few times where he just loses it to the point where he starts spitting bubbles.  One time, we were on Route 15 and there was NOWHERE to stop until we got to the outlets.  We finally pulled over so I could feed him. Another time we were on our way home from Fairfax and I pulled over in the Harris Teeter parking lot. Luckily, it was fairly easy to pull over but I can see not wanting to pull over on 66.  This post has absolutely no advice in it, but I wanted to say I know how you feel!
    A Tale of Infant Cataracts eyelovejack.blogspot.com
  • For a local drive, I generally just keep going.  This is especially true now that I know DS's cries pretty well, and I think I would recognize a cry for something unusual (like if he was hurt or sick).  If he's crying in the car now, it's usually more of a bored/annoyed with being cooped up cry.  Even when he was really little, I usually just kept going at least long enough to find a safe place to pull off and check his diaper and/or feed him.  (And if our destination was fairly close, I would have just waited until we got there.)  The only way I would pull off on the side of the highway or somewhere like that would be if he were vomiting or if I thought he had gotten hurt somehow.

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  • neither of my kids loves the car, they seem to do OK while we are on the side streets when I could pull over but the moment I turn onto a major road, the screaming starts, It's so hard to take but I just say soothing things and tell myself that pulling over is much more dangerous than the crying and let him cry.
  • Can you give him a pacifier? When J was in his infant seat, I could pretty easily reach back and pop one in his mouth and that would help (sometimes). Other times I would sing to him - sometimes that would calm him down, other times it just helped drown out the crying . . .
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  • I will just add that singing did sometimes help.  My staple is the ABCs.  We also had a "Mikey Mix" CD of songs he seemed to like.  There were times when nothing worked, but sometimes one of those things would help.

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  • Ugh, so hard...on major roads like you're describing I wouldn't stop. I usually sang to him, but honestly I think that may have been more to give me something to do because I'm not sure how soothing it was to him! He is a much better traveler now - or can at least appreciate a toy passed back to him in desperation!
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  • As others have already said, there's not much you can do.  I did like you do and made sure they were fed and changed just before getting in the car.  So their cries were almost always out of just not wanting to be in their car seat.  If I pulled over and got them out to soothe them, they'd start crying as soon as I put them back in.  So it was better for all involved if I just got wherever I needed to go as quickly as possible.

     

    Three helpful things I learned through experience:

    1) Taking highways / roads without lights and stop signs to keep up a consistent higher speed that they preferred.  Constantly stopping and starting and going 25 mph made them mad!  (I know, easier said than done in DC traffic).

    2) Finding a radio station with poor reception and cranking the static to ungodly levels.  The volume was key - it had to be LOUD.  Often the white noise calmed them down and made them zone out.

    3) Using a mirror so you can see them and they can see themselves.  Extra good if it has flashing lights / moving parts.  DD had one like that and loved it.  I tried to find the same one for DS because hers had burned out, but I had no luck and settled on one with just music.  In retrospect, the lights would've been much more interesting to him.

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  • Pull over when I can. otherwise, suffer through it
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  • Matthew would start crying whenever we were stuck in traffic or waiting for the light to turn green. In these ocassions, my life saver would be "white noise" (a smart phone application), I would select the rain sound and put it really loud, it's the only thing that could settle him down. Either that or "shushing" really loud, (following "the happiest baby on the block" advice) this would soothe him and soon he'd stop crying...
  • I used to blast a CD. Her favorite was Jason Mraz. LOL.
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  • I figured the priority was getting to the destination safely, so I could address the crying. Ditto CDs / radio. Motown was surprisingly soothing.
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  • DS hated his infant seat, so he generally screamed the entire way wherever we were going.  There's not much that can be done.  He didn't take a pacifier, and screamed louder if I sang to him.  I downloaded some white noise from iTunes and played that in the car--sometimes it worked.

     The worst was when I'd hit every freaking red light from my house to my destination!

    image
  • If he'll take a pacifier, I've heard of a clever trick of keeping a stockpile in your cup holder so that you can continually replace them when he (inevitably, in our case) spits them out.
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  • Ooohhh, getting a CD is a great idea (which didn't even occur to me)!  He really likes Colbie Caliet.  :P but a baby one would be good too.

    I can't reach him to put the pacifier in his mouth, unfortunately.

    PP is right: Mostly he's crying b/c he's over being in the carseat and wants to get out.  He stops crying once I take him out.

  • This was DD, hated the car, wouldn't take a paci, although she liked it when I sang songs.  Which I did.  Loudly.  Her favorite was the Wheels on the Prius - we had everyone I ever met come into the car and do something funny.  Mostly that was for me since she didn't understand the lyrics.  You got to self entertain too to keep sane.  

     

    image AgrippaRidesAgain:

    DS hated his infant seat, so he generally screamed the entire way wherever we were going.  There's not much that can be done.  He didn't take a pacifier, and screamed louder if I sang to him.  I downloaded some white noise from iTunes and played that in the car--sometimes it worked.

     The worst was when I'd hit every freaking red light from my house to my destination!

  • I meant to add, I saw this clever battery powered mobile for the car seat at Buy Buy Baby when DD was little that I should have bought.  I regretted not spending the $25 on it.  I think ti would have helped - DD loved the mobile in her crib and it might have entertained her.

    When there were two of us in the car, one of us always sat in the back seat with DD.  I don't think we moved to both in the front until she was nearly 6 months old for local trips.  We still sit in the back for long car rides.  

  • as pp said, pacis and music/singing... my voice must be hysterical b/c he always laughs when I sing, but music from a CD or the radio keeps his interest a lot of the time.
  • We had the same issue.  I read somewhere about turning on a radio station that didn't come in.  The static always does the trick.  She would calm down super quick.  It's like magic!

     

    GL!

  • Toys, and books usually did the trick for our little guy.  Even at ten months.  I'd put a stack of them in the passenger side seat and hand one whenever he got fussy or bored.   

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