‘Oh my baby falls asleep the second I start driving.’
‘The humm of the car puts my newborn right to sleep.’
These are things you would never hear my husband or I say.
Why you ask, because our son HATES the car.
It isn’t a phase (everyone has told us this) it is sheer torture for everyone in the car when we have to go somewhere. He screams, cries, starts to get sick, and sincerely hates it, with every inch of his little 17 pound body.
We noticed it when we took our first road trip (we never really drove with him before that) to the other side of Germany, 700 km away. It was a daring move to take a 6 week old on such a long car trip but we split it into 2 parts and spent the night half way. Thank goodness we did, because it was torture.
I was crying, my husband was trying to stay calm and drive, my mom (who was visiting for Easter) was trying to help and O was the most uncomfortable little guy in the world. It was not a nice drive.
Needless to say, we’ve flown back to my husbands hometown ever since.
But I digress.. 20 minutes is his absolute max, he cannot go any longer in the car without starting to get seriously upset. I swear most other moms (including our moms) don’t believe us until they witness it. And let me tell you, you will never forget it after being in the car with him past the 20 minute max.
So, over the last 8 months we have been trying to find ways to help him in the car, because if it is hard on us, I can only imagine how horrible the little guy must be feeling.
We’ve spoken to doctors who only tell us that we can’t medicate him. (Thank you, we know that and wouldn’t want that anyways.) They’ve told us we have to tough it out, asked if we have installed the carseat properly (ugh, yes.. ) and told us that when we can move him to a forward facing car seat it should get better.
Well friends, that means it won’t be for another 16 months.
If you are reading this because you’re going through the same thing, first, I feel for you, and second I know you are probably getting desperate! So here are some ways that we have tried to help him, I hope they help your little one too!
First, I sat in the backseat when he was exclusively breastfeed and would breastfeed him while we were driving, I know I know, you cannot take him out, so I did this miraculous thing and leaned over the carseat and would feed him. Yes, at times it felt like I needed to remove a rib, but if it meant he was comfortable I was fine with it. (a mothers true love is like no other)
Once he stopped being exclusively breastfed, I made sure to always bring a bottle of water with me for him to sip on. It helps having something going into his tummy, and well, food is just too messy for the car when its a puree haha.
We also have moved his carseat to the center of the back bench. Not only is this the safest place in the car, but it gives him a chance to be slightly higher and be able to look out the windows, kind of.
We have also positioned mirrors in the back seat for him to be able to see things moving outside. It really helps, when he is able to look at them. Sometimes he isn’t interested.
Bring toys, a lot of toys, preferrably something they can chew on. ,This helps them stay happy and not cry because they have something in their mouths.
Lastly, if we have to drive somewhere longer than the 20 minute allowance, we make sure someone is sitting in the back with him to keep him happy, give him new toys, point outside, sing, laugh, blow raspberries and feed him if necessary.
All in all, we avoid driving like the plague. We fly as much as we can and we don’t do social acitivites which are futher than 30 minutes max. I know it isn’t ideal but it stresses me out having him so upset and we just don’t find it necessary.
Does your child like the car?
Have any tips for other parents suffering with car syndrome? Please comment with your tips, share the knowledge!
Hope you’re having a great day! xx