When your baby starts crying, your instinct will be to tend to their needs immediately.
But when you’re driving, your priority should be to keep yourself, and other road users, as safe as possible.
So what should you do when your baby cries while you’re driving?
What Should I Do if Baby Starts Crying in the Car?
Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, few things are more frustrating, distressing and upsetting than a crying baby in the car. You’ll want to help your baby as soon as possible, remember to:
- Stay calm. Frustrated and distracted drivers are more likely to have accidents. And a crying baby is very frustrating and distracting indeed – especially if it’s your own baby. It may be easier said than done, but it’s vital that you stay calm and focused.
- Find a safe place to stop. If you need to tend to your crying baby, find somewhere safe to stop first. And unless you need to feed or change your baby, try to avoid taking them out of their car seat while you calm them down.
- Stay focused on the road. It won’t always be possible to stop. If your baby starts crying on the motorway, or on a busy urban road, then it might be a while before you can find a safe place to pull over. In this case, you must above all focus on the road. Your baby will tire themselves out and stop crying sooner or later. But if you have an accident while you’re distracted, it’ll make things much worse for everyone.
Remember – even though parents are superheroes, nobody’s expecting you to do everything. You’re not a bad parent if you phase out your baby’s crying when it’s not possible to stop your car. What really matters is that you stay focused on the road, so that you can give your baby your full attention once it’s safe to do so.
What Not To Do When Your Baby Start Crying in the Car
But there are some things you should never do:
- Don’t make an emergency stop. When your baby starts crying, you might want to slam on the brakes so you can tend to them immediately. But doing this will put you, your baby, and other road users at considerable danger.
- Don’t take the baby out of their seat. This is a bad idea for two reasons. First, if the baby’s not in their seat, they’ll be at much greater risk of serious injury should you have an accident. Second, as we’ll see below, one reason babies cry in cars is because they don’t like their car seat. If you repeatedly take the baby out of their car seat, it’ll take them longer to adjust, which means they’re more likely to cry every time you drive with them.
Why Does My Baby Hate The Car?
Does your baby start crying every time you drive? They might just be hungry, or tired. They might need changing. Or they might be uncomfortable. Are their clothes too loose, too tight, bunched up or itchy? Or are their car seat straps biting into them? Do they have enough support in their seat? Is it too hot or cold in the car? These are all things you can check once it’s safe to do so.
How to Get Your Baby to Like the Car
Yet there are a few things you can try to get your baby to like the car. Above we talked about how you can make them more comfortable by adjusting their clothes, their seat, and the in-car temperature. It’s also a good idea to drive around their feeding and sleeping schedule – try not to start any journeys when your baby’s hungry, or when they’re just woken up from a nap.
Another reason your baby might be crying in the car is that they’re simply not used to their car seat, or to driving in general. If it’s new, it’s unfamiliar, so it’s potentially confusing or upsetting. But once your baby gets used to the whole driving experience, then they might stop crying in the car.
We have a full guide to making babies feel safe and comfortable in the car.
Help and Support For Parents and Babies
As we said above, if your baby cries every time you put them in their car seat, the best thing you can do is be patient. It could just be a phase. As they get used to being in the car and sitting in their seat, they may eventually stop making such a fuss.
At Go Girl, we want to make life as stress-free as possible for parents who drive. So if you take out car insurance with us, we’ll pay towards the cost of a replacement child car seat in the event of an accident – even if it doesn’t appear to be damaged. For more information, please check your policy wording.