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MoonDragon's Parenting Information
CAR SEAT CRYING
By Elizabeth Pantley
Author of Gentle Baby Care




LEARN ABOUT IT

Some babies fall asleep almost before you are out of the driveway, but others won't spend five happy minutes in their car seats. Usually, this is because your baby is used to more freedom of movement and more physical attention than you can provide when she is belted into her seat.

Even if it is difficult to deal with, remember that you and your baby's safety are most important. Parents sometimes take a crying baby out of the car seat, which is extremely dangerous and makes it even more difficult for the baby to get used to riding in the car seat. Some parents make poor driving decisions when their babies are crying, which puts everyone in the car at risk. Either pull over and calm your baby down, or focus on your driving. Do not try to do both.

The good news is that a few new ideas and a little time and maturity will help your baby become a happy traveler. (I know, because three of my babies were car-seat-haters!)





THE TRIP TO CAR SEAT HAPPINESS

Any one (or more) of the following strategies may help solve your car seat dilemma. If the first one you try fails, choose another one, then another; eventually, you will hit upon the right solution for your baby.
  • Make a car mobile. Link a long row of plastic baby chains from one side of the backseat to the other. Clip new toys onto the chain for each trip.

  • Hang a made-for-baby poster on the back seat that faces your baby. These are usually black, white, red and bold primary colors. Some even have pockets so you can change the pictures. (Remember to do this, since changing the scenery is very helpful.)

  • Experiment with different types of music in the car. Some babies enjoy lullabies or music tapes made especially for young children. Others surprise you by calming down as soon as you play one of your favorites. Some babies enjoy hearing Mom or Dad sing, more than anything else! (For some reason, a rousing chorus of "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" has always been a good choice for us, even out of season!)

  • Try "white noise" in the car. You can purchase CDs of soothing nature sounds or you can make a recording of your vacuum cleaner!

  • Try a pacifier or teething toy. When your baby has something to suck or chew on he may be happier.

  • Hang a mirror. That way your baby can see you (and you can see your baby) while you are driving. Baby stores offer specialty mirrors made especially for this purpose. When in her seat, she may think that you're not there, and just seeing your face will help her feel better.

  • Put up a sunshade in the window. This can be helpful if you suspect that sunshine in your baby's face may be a problem.

  • Try to consolidate trips. Trip-chaining is effective, especially if you avoid being in the car for long periods of time, and you don't have many ins-and-outs.

  • Make sure your baby has not outgrown her car seat. If her legs are confined, or her belts are too tight, she may find her seat to be uncomfortable.

  • Try opening a window. Fresh air and a nice breeze can be soothing.

  • If all else fails... take the bus!

This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)
http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth





BOOKS & EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION

The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
By Elizabeth Pantley & William Sears M.D.

Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging & Pleading & Get Kids to Cooperate
By Elizabeth Pantley & William Sears M.D.

Perfect Parenting: The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips
By Elizabeth Pantley

Hidden Messages: What Our Words & Actions Are Really Telling Our Children
By Elizabeth Pantley

Gentle Baby Care: No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry -- Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby
By Elizabeth Pantley





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