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What to do if Your Baby Hates & Cries in Their Car Seat

Does your baby hate their car seat? Do they cry every time you strap them in? You’re not alone.

Kids these days – they don’t know what’s good for them! Car seats and booster seats are certainly good for kids. Indeed, they’re a legal requirement, and they can make the difference between life and death.

But not all babies and small children like their car seats. Some babies cry when put in their car seat, and some small children will stubbornly refuse to sit in them. It’s no point telling them it’s for their own good – they still won’t like them!

So if you’re an exasperated parent wondering just how you can make life easier for you and your child, read on.

Are They Comfortable in their Car Seat?

What if your baby hates their car seat because it’s simply not the right seat for them? What if it’s too big, or too small? What if they’re just not comfortable in their car seat, and this discomfort causes them to cry?

It’s vital that you choose a car seat that’s the right size for your baby. This is mainly for safety reasons – different seats are specifically designed to protect children through various stages of their development. But it’s also for comfort reasons. And if you’re not using the right sized seat for your baby, it might explain their crying.

Head here to read our guide to choosing the right seat for your child.

There might be other things making your baby uncomfortable and unhappy too, like:

  • Their clothes – are they too tight, or too itchy?
  • The temperature in your car – is it too hot? Too cold?
  • Unfamiliar smells – babies can be really sensitive to smells,

The point is, it might not be the seat at all that’s making your baby cry in the car. Make every journey as comfortable as possible, and your problems may be solved.

Travel within your Babies Routine

What if your baby doesn’t hate their car seat at all? What if they’re crying for other reasons? They could be tired, unwell, or just generally unhappy.

If possible, time your journeys so that they coincide with certain parts of your baby’s daily routine. Don’t travel just after they’ve fed, for example, and you might help to avoid any nasty car sickness.

Babies need their sleep, and many parents talk about taking their babies for rides in the car to help them drift off. Maybe you could time your journeys so that they happen before nap time, and not just after they’ve woken up? That way, your baby may sleep peacefully through the whole journey.

Make the Journey Fun for Babies

Finally, if you make the journey as fun and friendly as possible, you may help your baby move past whatever it is that bothers them about their car seat.

Ideally, you could:

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Even play with your baby throughout the journey. Obviously, if you’re the one driving, this won’t be possible.
  • Even if you’re driving, you can ensure that they always travel with their favourite toy.
  • You could find some music that keeps them happy, and make it the soundtrack to every drive.
  • And though you’ll have to keep your attention on the road ahead, you could still talk to your baby throughout the journey.

As your baby gets older, they’ll start to understand you more and more. So eventually it’ll be possible to prepare them before every journey. Think about how you could make the car journey fun and exciting, rather than boring or scary. For example, you could brightly exclaim that you’re going to grandma’s house!

Be Patient with Them and Yourself

Things might be stressful and frustrating at the moment. But 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, and as they get increasingly 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 straightforward and stress-free as possible for parents who drive. If you’re insured with us, we will 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 refer to your policy wording.