Posted: Thu 22nd Jan 2015 17:29
Here we are... about to get in the car! Happy as a lamb but Mama knows!
It's time to go on a baby play-date! You're not driving too far... maybe it's a 30 minute drive to your friend's house. You pack the nappy bag, you get your baby (who is usually very, very happy indeed) and bundle her into her seat.
Is your baby like mine? Does she NOT like the car?
My first babe was totally different! As soon as we hit 20 mph she would settle right down. Maybe it's a misguided memory but I am pretty sure that she liked it more than baby number two!
This one, just like our first is a happy, smiley baby who strangers coo over as she tilts her head to one side and gives them her biggest beams!
Until I try to get her dressed... or put her in the car!
It's not every time that she cries... and I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
The title to this post is a a little misleading! I want you to come and interact with this post and tell me how YOU got YOUR baby to settle and not cry in the car! I will go first... here are my ideas that have worked!
1. If husband, me and first child are all going somewhere, I always sit in the back. Sometimes, on a couple of longer journeys when we couldn't stop and there was traffic, I managed a quick breastfeed! Not that I am going to officially recommend this (and yes, baby was still safely strapped in and so was I... there is a knack!) but after 15 minutes of baby crying and us not being able to stop... I needed to feed! I am there in the back to entertain, to stroke a hand, to offer different toys and things to look at and play with. I have to do all of this whilst mainly looking forward as I get motion sickness! Some parents insist on sitting up front but it is SO much easier if I sit in the back. Husband doesn't mind - in fact, he is in favour of it as the crying makes it harder to concentrate on driving!
2. So I have a load of things to capture baby's interest. And I offer them to her one-by-one. Different textures are good. She gets bored of the same fluffy bunny so I try and bring a bag of exciting and different things! She sometimes interacts with something for longer if it feels different to her.
3. If baby is on the verge of sleeping and is getting upset because she wants to go to sleep and wants more comfort, I sing on repeat a prayer: 'Armed with the power of Thy name, nothing can ever hurt me and with Thy love in my heart, all the world's afflictions can in no wise alarm me.' Thank you to Sky Music for writing the music to this beautiful prayer... I couldn't be without it!
This works a charm! It is soothing and the melody is beautiful and she loves it! You don't have to sing this one but find a cue song that is a lullaby or a prayer. This does NOT work if she is not feeling sleepy!
4. So what if I am driving and baby is alone in the back. This is the tricky one! I am still working on this. Part of me feels that it is a lot to ask a baby to sit in their chair for an amount of time. The key here is to not let yourself get upset or frustrated. If you start to feel like this, try and find a space to pull over. Put baby's needs first, as you would at home. Does she need a feed? A change? A cuddle? I know that mine just wants to get out, be free and romp around as she is in a very active phase at the moment! You need to assess how far you are away from your destination. I have taken babe out, tried to feed her, realised she just wants to play, we still need to be somewhere so I put her back and she gets even more upset. Then I feel sad for her and vow to never travel on my own with her again! But this is not always possible!
5. When you are not sitting next to them, you are limited. Music may not always be the magic trick but how about talking? If you have a story tape or the radio... try that!
6. Babies pick up on our emotions so if baby is crying, try to not say 'We are nearly there! Calm down' etc in a panicked voice. Speak calmly and soothingly and even if they don't stop crying, they can still hear your voice and know you are there.
7. Ewan the Dream Sheep is starting to come on our journeys to pick up older child from school. She loves Ewan and the lullaby he plays. There are also ocean waves... I got my Ewan second hand so hunt around before spending full price on one first!
8. Consider staying more local! Ok, I know this is not an option for many mums (and dads) but ask yourself... do I need to go on this long journey? Is it important? Is it worth it? Whilst baby is not enjoying the car, could your friends come to visit you instead? This is a good as any reason to pick a school within walking distance and find friends near you! (yes, yes, I know!! We drive to our school and our friends are dotted around everywhere! Just something to consider:)
9. Get the bus!
So tell me... what did you/do you do to get your baby happy and not bawling her gorgeous little heart out? Thank you for sharing x
ps Important! One thing I would NEVER advise is to give your child a snack whilst they are on their own in the back and you are driving. x
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