Car Seat Struggles

I have tried everything to get my 4-month-old to like her car seat but she still cries when I put her in the car. We have a long drive to the in-laws coming up in a couple months and I’m wondering what I can do to prepare her.

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

Some kids love the car and some definitely do not. Most kids who don’t like it in babyhood do outgrow it. There are several reasons that kids might be unhappy in the car. Some feel motion sickness, which comes from a conflict between different signals our bodies get about motion. Trying to make the signals consistent helps. An open window will sometimes make a big difference, so the sensation of moving is matched with the moving air.

Some kids don’t like the car because they don’t like separation, so having someone sit beside them can help. You can also try putting some fun toys in the car for them to reach toward or watch. Songs to listen to might also help.

Another cause may be discomfort from the car seat, making it harder to breathe or causing the baby heartburn. Try borrowing a friend’s car seat to see if your baby reacts any better to it.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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