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Baby Cries While Riding in Car

My 9-week old baby cries while riding in the car. At first, she only cries when the vehicle is stopped. After a few red lights, however, she cries continuously. I have tried stopping the car to console her, and she's OK as long as her binky is in, but once I start driving and the binky falls out, it's all over. I don't think it's the car seat because she rides in it just fine on the stroller. I am currently feeling trapped in the house and worried about going back to work (and the 45-minute drive to work and daycare). Will she outgrow this? Is there anything I can do? Thank you!

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So What Happened?™

I am glad to say that with your advice she now rides in the car without crying!! Hooray! I did some test drives to try out some different things before actually trying to go somewhere. It's kind of a project to get her out (careful timing plus lots of stuff) but we are no longer housebound and I'm not dreading the commute to work (well, not for the crying reason anyways). Thanks everyone!

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It's probably too early to say what's going on, but I'm wondering if the time that you are going for a drive is the time that she may be due (or overdue) for a nap and the vibration of the car coupled her being cranky tired makes it hard to settle herself for a nap on her own without her pacifier to suck on. If that's the case, then I would continue taking her on car rides so that she can become accustomed to the vibration of the engine and learn to develop her self-soothing skills (or learn to hold onto her binky). You may also want to put her in a vibrating bouncer for a few minutes each day to get her used to the sensation.

I'm really thinking that you should give her a little time to get accustomed to being out in the world and eventually her nervous system, sleep cycle and ability to self-soothe will smooth itself out.

Good luck.

I wish I had advise for you but I know exactly how you feel. It will get better. My oldest did this. It was awful but after a few months she stopped. I found that classical music helped at times.

good luck and hang in there,


yes! she will outgrow this. i hate to say it, but with my son it came and went. i would think the spout was over and hed start all over again weeks later. sometimes playing kids songs with childrens voices actually singing worked the trick. my friend said rap music actually helped her! is trial and error. It will pass, I promise!

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It's normal, and common. My son did that too, when he was an infant. The phase will pass as they get older.

I would just grin and bear it, whenever we had to drive somewhere... it can't be helped.

Perhaps, put one of those baby mirrors on her car seat so she can "see" other things besides the back of the car seat. Sure the binky will fall out... but well, as they get much older they will be able to put it back in by themselves.

Perhaps attach a "Crib" toy type thing to her car seat... anything to distract her. Or, calming music.
For me, I used to have to keep talking to my son... as we drove... he couldn't "see" me since they are rear facing in the car seat... but if he heard my voice talking to him, he felt better.

Also, sometimes, I would attach one of those helium balloons to the rear seat of our van (not next to him, in case he grabbed it or got tangled to it for safety sake)...and this seemed to entertain him and keep him distracted. Those helium balloon lasts awhile.

Don't feel home-bound...just do what you a have to do. Go in the car. No worries. They will cry, but it will pass. Our son did that for a couple of months... then it slowly subsided. Oh well. It's just one of those things. Many more phases will come up.

There are also "tether straps" you can buy, to attach her binky to it and the car seat... and you can also use these tethers to attach toys to the car seat as well. That's another thing I did.

Your babe is only 9 weeks old... they have so much to adjust to at this age.. so new to our world yet. But yes, she will outgrow this "phase."

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

My son did this for a few car trips... Do you have the head support thing in the seat with her? My son got way too hot with this and once I removed it he was a content little man.

I am the mom of four, and my first three loved being in the car right from the start, so it was a big shock when #4 came along and DID NOT! He cried and fussed and was generally unhappy in the car until about 5 or 6 months of age. I never figured out why. It was just him. I certainly did not let it stop me from driving. And he did grow out of it. I know, as a first timer it is difficult, but she will grow out of it. Hang in there for a few more months. :0)

My daughter did the same thing and for her it was just a phase she had to outgrow. I always felt like it was because she wasn't able to entertain herself very well yet or see everything. My daughter is now 7 months old and she has her moments but has been happy in the car for a while now. I definitely know the trapped in the house feeling but it will pass and hopefully very soon as you will be returning to work.

yes! she will outgrow this. i hate to say it, but with my son it came and went. i would think the spout was over and hed start all over again weeks later. sometimes playing kids songs with childrens voices actually singing worked the trick. my friend said rap music actually helped her! is trial and error. It will pass, I promise!

AM radio static works like a charm for me!!!

Don't worry! My daughter was exactly the same way!!! And she definitely out grew it :) It took some time and she still doesn't LOVE being in her car seat, but it's a world of difference now. She probably started not liking it around 6 weeks and gradually became more and more used to it by the third and fourth month. She's 7 months now and never complains at all! Unless she's hungry. For quick fixes, have you considered a pacifier? Also, we found that cracking the windows caused a white noise distraction for her. We also played a certain song when we comforted her in our house that she associated with mom and dad, and then played that in the car when she got upset, which seemed to help calm her too. Hang in there!!!

They will outgrow. it just may take a while depending on the baby. both of mine have, the younger still does, 4m. She just hates to not see anyone. I just plan trips around her nap. so when i go somewhere I will be there for 2 hours and then i know she is about to go to sleep then I will hop in the car and take off. btw toys never works for me.
It is a delicate balance for me. Some I think just let them cry. as long as they are not hungry or so. I only did this out of desperation, traffic is the worse cuz i couldn't even go anywhere.
It gets better but my daughter didnt truly adjust until she was two. I mean she was fine, but she didnt like and and just put up with it, better than screaming
once they get turned around then they seem to feel better about being in the car.

Both my boys would fuss at the stoplights. Sounds crazy, but reach back and gently move the car seat so she doesn't realize the car stopped moving. I only had to do that a short time until they outgrew this phase. Also, with #2 I did tilt back the seat a little more - still in the safety range but he is leaning back more so more relaxed. I agree the seat isn't the problem since she is ok when it is attached to the stroller. If you can reach her to pop in another binky, maybe carry 3 like I did with #1? He was tossing the doggone thing across the back seat by 9 weeks. The best thing though was the mirror with the remote. When #1 would start crying, I could use the remote to turn on the lights and music - and I could change the songs. It distracted him. Also, maybe she is going through a growth spurt and extra hungry? I had to pull over and nurse #1 a couple times. For what it is worth, I think a baby between 6-9 weeks old is the hardest time and a lot of Moms I have spoken to agree with me. You are over the initial "aww" stage, and are currently horribly sleep and society-deprived. But WITHIN DAYS, your girl will start lighting up your world with her regular smiles, and she will start feeling a little more settled in this new outside world, and you will start feeling a little more settled, too. Hang in there, it is about to get much, much better ;)

My oldest did that when she was around the same age. Funny thing I figured out one day. The only thing that would calm her was the CD Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits. You could try this or any CD you think might be calming. Anything is worth a shot when your little one is fussing!
Good Luck!

most every baby does that. i got used to riding with one arm stretched backwards holding my daughters paci. try giving her a toy to look at that clamps on the car seat.

There are some toys on the market that you can hang in front of her view. My daughter has one for my granddaughter that has blinking lights and Mom has a remote to control it from the front, and I have seen other ones that hook to the car seat that they can grab with their hands but are completely safe for the car. Sometimes babies cry because they can't see you and they are bored. So talking to them helps too and I used to sing in the car. I hope this helps.

Dear R.,

Lots of babies cry in the car, and the family just has to continue to do what it has to do. The baby will get over it, she isn't hurting, hopefully, and that is just what babies do....they cry , it is o.k. Learn to just set your mind straight that she is o.k., then plan dinner, or drive carefully, just think of something other than the baby crying. I used to laugh when my grand daughter would leave here with both children in the back seat car seats were crying. No funny to her, but funny to me.
C. N.

Your post brings back memories. My second child was the same way. She was fine for the first 10 minutes, after that she would cry cry and cry.
My daughter grew out of this phase when she was big enough to be in a front facing car seat, which is about 1 year old. I know this is not what you want to hear, it is torture to listen to our babies cry and not able to console them while driving, and concentrate on the road as well.
Some things that helped me on occasion was to have soothing music playing. Something calming and relaxing. Also try a few different car seat toys to keep her interest, and alternate them. I also tried to time my outings with nap time, so that she was sure to sleep in the car. I know this is difficult with a 2 month old. Best of luck to you. Heidi

Hi there.

My son did the exact same thing and now he is AWESOME in the car. He just turned three, we have a mini van and the DVD player thing and he doesn't know it exists because he's just so good in the car when we travel...long or short distances. BUT, he used to scream his head off at red lights and then just scream when he was just done being in the car after a few red lights. I so remember all that...

I used to try and put some music on for him, sometimes that worked, a lot of times it didn't. Mostly, I just learned to tune it out. He was fine...no diaper issues, no hunger issues, he just didn't like being in the car for a while. It really didn't take long before he out grew it. I remember, first it went away during the day and it was only at night and then the night time part went away too...I'd say it was probably all gone by about six months. I know that seems like ages, but now that my son is three it feels like he's always been so good in the car!

It will get better...I just decided there was not much I could do about it, he would be fine and I would survive and tune it out. It wasn't fun, but we made it!

Good luck!

Hi R.,
I feel your pain...my DD did/does the same. I don't have time to check your responses so forgive me if this is a repeat. The binky helps a little...but what I found works best are two things:1) a lovey type cloth object (doesn't get lost as easily) that she can grab and suck on (we have a velour clown lovey), she also likes the burp cloths or cloth diapers we use as burp cloths, I lay these on her chest after she strapped in, she grabs them and sucks on a corner or puts it up by her cheek....helps her a lot! Now that she is older, we give her a soft toy (not a hard one that may injur her if in an accident). 2) I keep foam earplugs in the car for me and my passengers because she is LOUD! It is legal and just takes the edge off the screaming pitch so it doesn't drive me crazy.

Oh also...my daughter hates the sun being in her eyes, so a sun shield on the back window/passenger windows and pull the seat canopy over her helps.

Lastly....hopefully she will just grow out of it or get used to it. Don't let her crying keep you stuck at home...you need to get out or else you will go stir-crazy and may become resentful. I wish you the best!

i had (have) the same dilemma. i barely took her anywhere when she was younger. since our rides to her day care every morning and evening were soo long (topanga to west la) I got her used to napping at this time. It helped me out tremendously until recently since I am trying to break her of those 20 to 40 min naps. I don't want to have to drive her around on the weekends just for these naps. But some things that helped me were: a mirror with light up animals around it. the air conditioner on full blast (more for the sound) or AM radio white noise really loud. I try to not have radio or use cell. And of course keeping the car moving which is next to impossible. I often pump the breaks to give the illusion of moving. Maybe I am trying too hard but all of these things have worked for me. If your going to be doing a day care situation the good news for you is your baby wont be in the car that much anymore.
good luck! if anything try and get her to nap during these drives. it helped her and my sanity for the last 10 months.

My daughter just plain old didn't like being strapped in to the carseat. We went through some really hairy months -- including our first trip to my mom's in Oregon, where she literally cried (screamed, really) for an hour! We also tried stopping. Well, she stopped crying when we got her out of the carseat -- but immediately started crying again when we put her back in. :( So with that, we learned that we had to keep driving and just let her cry -- which was extremely hard because we weren't "cry it out" parents otherwise. But we did eventually get her a toy that she could kick (it worked a little), and then found some music that she liked to play in the car. It got to be a bit much sometimes listening to kiddie music all the time, but it was worth it! Now she's 3 1/2 and we rotate music. :-) (Plus she likes a lot of "adult" music too...which helps tremendously.) Good luck, I really do feel for you, but it won't last forever.

My daughter is an excellent traveler now. I recently drove with her alone to my mom's house with a stop in San Francisco...two days of driving, 8 and 9 hours respectively. And she was great! We do have a DVD player now which my MIL bought us last year. That helps too but it's sort of inconvenient...obviously I can't stop and change videos all the time. But she learned that she gets one video and then she has to wait til our next stop for another one.

My daughter also cried in the car at that age--especially when the car was stopped (idling). My daughter is six months now and doesn't cry in the car anymore. I think it stopped at around 3 months.

HI R.,
I also drive a 45 commute and music works for him and me. I have a CD case with his own music and I change the CD in there everyday, so I don't get bore of the songs. I also have his pacifier attached with a ribbon to his clothes, so if it falls it is still within his reach. I found the ribbon thing (sorry don't know the name) at babies r us.
Good luck and he'll get use to the commute.

My husband put a heating pad in the car seat for 10 minutes before we left the house for the first few months and it worked great.

The other thing I always do, is add a small towel or cloth diapers under the "padding" of the car seat. Once you really check it out, there is very little padding between the hard plastic on their backs and the car seat cover.

Hi! This totally happened to us. Our daughter once went into shock and just stopped moving but gratefully she was fine. I felt like I was the only mom pulling over the side of the road to make sure she was okay and that it would not happen again. Gratefully our doctor said she was getting car sick. She advised us to do the following and we did it all. It worked and her advice was a blessing because I felt I could drive again. She said to roll down the back windows about a quarter of the way down, she gave us a classical cd that we use to this day, and a small soft blanket.(we had one of those small square Giraffe ones that any boutique sells and it was a perfect size) The combination of these things soothed her and she was fine. The classical cd was a free one from enfamil but I would just buy a baby classical cd from target, walmart or bbrus. It is all instrumental with mozart and other classical artists. I wish you the best!

We went through this with my son when he was this age! For us, the issue ended up being that he was overheating in the polyester car seat cover, so we got a sheepskin cover and it worked wonders for us. (you could also try a 100% cotton cover for her - you can get them on eBay) He also didn't like to be able to see out the window at that age; it was just too overstimulating for him, so we kept the carseat shade pulled down - he was much happier.

The last thing for our boy - he outgrew his infant carseat much sooner than we'd realized; we thought he'd be in his Graco SafeSeat until he was close to the 30lb limit; by the time he hit 18lbs (around 4 months - yeah, he's a big kid), he just didn't fit right into the SafeSeat. It took us a couple more months to figure out that he was uncomfortable in the SafeSeat; we switched to a Britax Marathon and have been able to go on 2+ hr trips with no issues.

I hope this helps! Hang in there; it will get better.

Hi R.,

I used a "loud" rattle and shook itin a ... 1, 2, 3, 4, rythem while we were driving. Both of my babies cried for several months in the car.

Hang in there,

It's probably too early to say what's going on, but I'm wondering if the time that you are going for a drive is the time that she may be due (or overdue) for a nap and the vibration of the car coupled her being cranky tired makes it hard to settle herself for a nap on her own without her pacifier to suck on. If that's the case, then I would continue taking her on car rides so that she can become accustomed to the vibration of the engine and learn to develop her self-soothing skills (or learn to hold onto her binky). You may also want to put her in a vibrating bouncer for a few minutes each day to get her used to the sensation.

I'm really thinking that you should give her a little time to get accustomed to being out in the world and eventually her nervous system, sleep cycle and ability to self-soothe will smooth itself out.

Good luck.

OMG, are you ME 3 months ago? lol

I'm the same age, first time mom with a baby girl... was on maternity leave, live about 45min from work... spooky ;-)

DD definitely had to get used to the car seat, she didn't like it at first and would cry and fuss. I don't think it was the car ride itself because they grow to really like the motion. At some point she will start falling asleep if the drive is over 5-10 min... as you said, red lights don't help so try the freeway. Mine was also very colicky at the start so that didn't help. I've had plenty of times of reaching back to stick the binky back in her mouth...

First let me say that we were told not to use a pacifier by the breastfeeding folks, and after a month we started using it and never looked back! DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. I can't stand the crying so I had to take whatever would help. There's definitely mixed opinions on the binky.

I feel you on the "feeling trapped" thing. I would try to make one trip out of the house a day, whether grocery shopping or going for a walk. Do you have a stroller? Our infant seat snaps into ours, so this was another way to get DD used to it. Going for walks will make you both feel better and don't be terrified of her crying in public like I was at first :)

Another thing I did that really worked for me was to start using a babysitter a little bit (4 hour days x 3 days a week) so she could get used to another caretaker before full on day care. This was in conjunction with starting work part-time from home... which was a very nice transition back from leave for me and something I recommend discussing with your boss if you think it might help you.

Hang in there. Things will get better!

My heart goes out to you!! My daughter did the same thing. I didn't do anything for the first 3 months unless I absolutely had to. I switched my baby to the Britax seat at 3 months which helped, I also bought the Baby Einstein remote control mirror, which helped entertain her. It seems like those things would work even more with your baby, because with my daughter she just hates to be restrained and screamed in her carrier period. It sounds like your baby is just scared and lonely, because she can't see anyone or thing. It will get better, maybe just start with short trips every day and work your way up in time. She may also get car sick, so maybe you could open the windows a crack and ask your pediatrician about what you can do for motion sickness with her.
Good luck,
S. G

To keep the binky in her mouth, what my sister used to do with her son was tightly wrap a blanket on him and really push it into his side against the car seat so it'll stay nice and tight. She'd wrap the blanket high enough so it would half way cover the binky. He liked being wrapped tight so it served 2 purposes while she drove. Good luck!

Riding in the car was terrible until my daughter turned a year old and I was able to turn the car seat face forward. She typically cried with out fail in her car seat. As soon as she was facing the opposite direction, she stopped. I understand how you feel, I used to dread even short distances! Good luck

We had this problem too. And while he did eventually grow out of it, it was heartbreaking to go through, for all three of us (him, his dad and me).

We found a mirror that we could attach to the back seat (so that I could see his face) that had lights around the edges, played music, and had zoo animals. It also had a remote control so I could turn it off after he fell asleep. It was FANTASTIC.

BTW, keep extra batteries in the car. Having the batteries die when you're out and about is NOT an experience I recommend. Good luck!!

I know for me when my baby was about that age, she didn't really cry but I found singing to her worked great and describing the environment to her worked that way she always knew mommy was right up front. I think for our little ones, they need to feel secure even riding in a car, it is a new experience but most of all prayer worked and the more communication, whether it be verbal or singing or turning on some light music may work. My prayers are with you and now my little one is 14 months and we have the best time in the car, she really enjoys going places just as long as she is dry, fed and we are in constant communication with each other unless she happens to fall asleep.

My baby was/is the same. She is none-too-keen about riding in the car. When she was your daughter's age I literally had to pull over every half block to nurse her/ soothe her / pop the binky back in, etc... She is now 9 months old and is much better about it, but far from thrilled. Mainly, I think she dislikes being strapped down, and not being able to see me. Things to make it a bit better: put up a mirror so that you can see each others reflections, musical pulls buy you a little time, attach the binky to a binky string so you can find it quickly, sing to her and talk to her while you are driving. The best thing is when someone else is in the car with you -- have them ride in the back with her. Best of luck!

A couple of my friends had the same issue early on...problem is they were driving with just the car seat and NO base!! The baby was not "secure" and kept moving around. The car seat NEEDS A BASE for stability and protection. The base is where the level indicator normally is and this will ensure the baby is at the correct level. Also, make sure the straps are where they should be in the car seat. A good sugguestion is to have your car seat checked by your local CHP or Fire Dept. to ensure it's proper fit and installation.
Hope this helps :)

Make sure the straps on her shoulders are not too tight. They should be snug but not extremely tight. That is a possibility of the discomfort and crying.

Have you checked the car seat? There might be something bothering her. Are the belts too tight?

Our second child cried from the moment we'd put her in the carseat to the moment we took her out from birth to four months. Then, suddenly, she stopped. Just do what you need to do and don't worry about the crying. Obviously, that's just the way she is in the carseat. She'll grow out of it eventually. :)

Hi R., First of all, I would get rid of the binky, you don't want her relying on inatimate object for comfort, console. Babies cry, that'ts what they do, and aside of it being nerve racking while you are driving, it's not going to hurt her. My second child now 21, did not like riding in the car, and he too would cry evderytime we went some where in the car. You should not feel trapped in the house, do not give your baby that kind of power over you, the more she rides in the car, probably the quicker she will get over this
quicker, but by no means to allow a crying baby to seclude you to the house. J.

I wish I had advise for you but I know exactly how you feel. It will get better. My oldest did this. It was awful but after a few months she stopped. I found that classical music helped at times.

good luck and hang in there,


I have a 10 month old and he loves to hear baby music, like the old classics "old mcdonald had a farm" etc. During play time at home I sing these songs to him and taught him to clap along so now when he hears the music in his car seat he begins to clap and tap his feet. Another thing is I hung different toys from his car seat, they have these plastic links that are about $3 for 25 of them and you can hang her favorite toy. I also purchased a mirror where I can see baby and baby can see me, I actually found it at Rite Aid but they have various kinds at baby stores ranging in prices. Best of luck to you.

didn't read the other responses, but I just wanted you to know that my (now 1 yr old) hated the car, when he was first born... as a matter of fact he cried the whole way home from the hospital. lol he's fine now. don't remember when it stopped, but I didn't let it change the fact that HEY we got to go! I just made sure that there wasn't a physical reason for the crying... then strapped him in and ignored the crying. I swear unless something is really wrong your baby will be fine! :) you're a great mom to ask!

Yes, she will put grow this. I have a 6 month old and when i read your post i thought, "oh yeah, my baby used to do that". It makes for difficult car rides sometimes, but as long as you know your baby is fed and diaper changed, just keep driving until you hit your destination! This phase will pass and you too will forget all about it. I used to keep like 3 pacifiers in the console of the car so at each light i could reach back and pop another in! Hahahaha. Now she falls asleep anytime we ride in the car (:

Yes, thank goodness they outgrow it! Mine did the same thing. One trick you can do is to buy a baby, car mirror. There are a bunch of different kinds out there and they give the baby something to look at (themselves, the reflection, and mine is a panda bear design so that in itself is comforting). Also I like it because I can see him! My baby never did take a pacifier, but all of my girlfriends who did had the same problem. What's so great about a pacifier when they eventually lose it and that upset them?

The crying problem went away for me as soon as I upgraded my son from the Graco snugrider infant car seat to the convertible car seat- Britax marathon/roundabout. He's much more comfortable in it. Occasionally, he will get bored in the car and will start to fuss. I have a nursery song cd which I play for him in the car as soon as he begins to fuss. It works like a charm.

Make sure the straps are secure, but not too tight. My nephew cried every time he was put in his car seat. A friend told us about Sleepy Bee, a little stuffed sound machine that has 2 levels of ocean wave sounds. He is very soothing. We used it to calm down the baby. It's also great to drown out all the noise of the world so he can nap in the car seat or stroller because it attaches to most everything. (sleepybees.com)

Best case scenario: She is just a fussy baby protesting and seeing if it gets her anywhere...which if it doesn't, the behavior will stop. It could be she is simply too hot. It could be the view...maybe a window shade to block sun/light/movement would help.

Worse case scenario: She is prone to motion sickness and all you can do about it is drive as smooth and steady as humanly possible and a stream of fresh air helps too.

My second son started the crying a lot in the car as an infant and it just got worse the longer the trip. We didn't realize the problem until he was nearly a year old. The poor child has to now take Dramamine whenever we go on an outing because if I forget...he is sure to vomit. I have heard that some people outgrow motion sickness, but I'm not sure about that (I also get it -still!). We help my son, in addition to what I mentioned before, by keeping the atmosphere calm and soothing, classical music or quiet time.

Your daughter is still so young, just do what you have to and go where you want to go and enjoy things. Hearing your baby cry and not be able to stop it is against our nature but, babies just have their own issues they need to work out sometimes and they will get through them with a loving parent near who checks in with a calming comment now and then. I wish you a lot of patience!

Word for word that is what happened with my baby boy! I thought I was going to loose it. The only thing that worked for him was The Wiggles music. I know this sounds odd. I tried playing soothing music that might calm him down but nothing worked until a relative gave us The Wiggles, The one with HOT POTATO as the first song. It was like magic. As soon as it came on he would stop crying and as soon as it turned off he would start up again. He even got picky about the songs he liked and didn't like. We still listen to it in the car when things get tuff and it does the trick every time. I always say I have a love- hate relationship with the Wiggles because I am sooooooo sick of the songs but they stop him from crying. I hope it works for you like it did me.

Hi R.,

Believe me, this stage of car driving is awful!! My daughter is now six months old, but for her first few months of life, she screamed constantly in the car. If I could ride back there and give her a bottle, she was fine. If not, she does what your little one is doing now.

She got better when she became interested in toys. I gave her toys to play with, hung up a toy on the seat belt and I know other friends have bought toys that light up & make sounds to keep them entertained. A friend also told me that a static station on the radio helps. I tried that and she didn't care. =)

So yes, it's a stage she'll grow out of. I too was scared to drive by myself because of the crying, but I finally had to just do it and let her cry. I would talk to her the whole time, letting her know what I was doing. That made me feel better even if she didn't understand. =)

Then one day she just got it. Now she only cries when she's over tired and doesn't want to be in the car seat. Which fortunately doesn't happen very often. Good luck and hang in there.

Oh my gosh. I know you have gotten a zillion other responses, but I just wanted to add on! My kids both cried EVERY time they were in the car. It was HORRIBLE. One time there was traffic and a 20 minute ride took me an hour and a half, with a screaming baby. I don't remember when my son outgrew it, but my daughter stopped crying in the car around six months. It was miserable. They outgrow it.

My little boy was the same way. Keep practicing--start with short trips--but honestly I think it just gets easier as they get a little older. My 15-week old goes on car trips maybe 3 times a week now, and as long as he is fed & his diaper is changed before we go, he doesn't cry (even when he drops his pacifier). About a month ago we did a 2-hr drive, and had to stop halfway to feed & change him again, but ut was still MUCH more pleasant than those early car trips. Hang in there--and get out of the house when possible. Good luck! - J.

My daughter is 3 1/2 months now and she still does the same thing! She is fine in the car with a pacifier, once it falls out, 2 minutes later the crying starts and it doesnt stop until the pacifier is back in! It's very annoying, considering that I'm not able to reach over and give her a pacifier so I have to pull over, remove seat belt, move seat back, put pacifier back in, put seat back, put seat belt on, and bam it starts again. Sometimes I have to pull over a ton of times during a short ride! But what else can i do, I can't sit inside all day long so thats how we travel :) I did get her a mobile for the car and it keeps her busy for a few minutes sometimes before the crying fit starts, but unfortunately it didnt eliminate the fits. Good luck!

Hi there. My friend's daughter is exactly the same. I recommended a product that helps keep the pacifier in place. Her sister, a NICU nurse, said that they also use them in the hospital to help the babies keep their pacifiers in. It is a stuffed animal that is designed to sit on the baby's tummy and is called a wubbanub. It can be purchased at Star in the Sky online:


Hi R.,
Our little girl would cry in the car too. Usually at stop lights but when we finally made it onto the freeway/tollroad she'd quiet down. It will pass - I promise. Now (6 1/2 months) she is content with holding onto her toys (which we started giving her pretty early on). Soft toys, something hugable, maybe that play music, or has a blanket attached.
Also, the sunshade is great advice. And music -- for some reason Jack Johnson really soothes her.
Good luck!

Oh I feel for you. Both of my babies were like this. To this day we never found a reason why this happened but the good news is they both outgrew it after some time, around 3-4 months. I think the only silent car ride we had was on the way home from the hospital, then after that it was screaming until they were both sweating and so was I out of frustration. If anything, stay calm obviously while you are driving and know that they are save. Unfortunately nothing worked for me but time.
Good luck.

I just wanted to chime in... we had the same issue and tried many things. Nothing worked, but he eventually grew out of it. I, too, felt trapped at home. It's so difficult to hear them cry. Thank goodness he now rides like a champ!

My baby boy is a few days short of 4 months old, and I was in your shoes just a few weeks ago and even posted a desperate request here that sounded just like yours. I tried many things...white noise, music, windows open, mirror my baby can look at and see himself and mommy...nothing really worked. I also felt trapped and I avoided car trips at all costs.

Miraculously for us, the problem just stopped suddenly. For the past 2 weeks he's been absolutely great in the car. Now he only begins to cry after he's been in the car for a long period of time, like half an hour. He's in the exact same seat, same surroundings, and nothing has changed. The conclusion I've to is that it's a developmental thing...they grow out of it. So if you can just hold on for a few more weeks, it will hopefully end for you too.

This is normal, both of my kids did this - mine both stopped right about 7 months old, and then they would be OK and sleep in the car.

Hang in there, it gets better.

This happened with both of my children.
It usually stops around 9 to 10 month old (sorry - I know it seems YEARS from now).
One thing I did with my second child was that we actually got an older car (suburban) without airbags for the front passenger, and I put my daughter there, ofcourse turned toward the back, and she was perfectly content now that she could see me.
I know perhaps changing cars is not an option - just to let you know there ARE baby carseats available that are SPECIFICALLY made for cars WITH airbags that can go in the front seat, they are quite expensive though.
As she gets older-perhaps a toy or something that plays music might a good idea as well.
Also make sure that the seat is properly leveled so that she is not hunched over, she should be comfortably reclined.
Good Luck!


Dear R.,

My daughter cried incessantly in the car as a newborn - it turned out that she had acid reflux and the shape of the standard "carrier" car seats is that they "scrunch" the tummy and force acid into the throat (if your baby has that problem). Does she also arch her body at other times you are holding her (or after drinking?) Does she seem to be trying to "mouth" words to speak? Both of these can be symptoms of a baby with pain in her esophagus. We were not officially diagnosed until 3.5 months, and not on meds until 6 months, but we did buy a Britax Decathalon Carseat early on (because we read babies loved it in epinions) and that really solved the crying problem in the car.

I hope this helps you.

L. U.

I have an 11 month old and find that playing baby and kid's music really helps calm her in the car.

Hi there!
I had the same thing with my son. I was commuting with him from Tustin to Inglewood everday. It was heartbreaking to hear him crying every time we got in the car.

There are a few things that I tried. First, check to see if her car seat is installed correctly. If it's at the wrong angle, it could be really uncomfortable for her. You can put a couple towels under it to get it just right. If the binky helps, bring a few extras with you in case you can't reach hers while you're driving. I also put on music. I made a playlist on my iPod of soft songs that I like and wouldn't get bored of because, really, how much baby music can you handle every time you're in the car. As soon as he started crying, I put the music on and started singing along. He could hear my voice and be soothed. To this day, he will stop crying when he hears the first song and will be sound asleep by the third song. I found a mirror still comforts me while we're driving. I can look back to see if he's just fussing or is really hurting. (and to peek at him when he's sleeping!) I also attached a couple toys to the headrests so he has some bright colors to look at.

I hope this helps. My son is 8 months old now and can ride in the car for about an hour without fussing or falling asleep. Good luck!

I know it doesn't help to hear this...but it will pass. We went through a rough 5 months of my DD hating the car. We tried everything and finally at 6 months, she outgrew it and is very happy now to ride in the car. We even took a 7 hour drive over this past weekend and she did great. I would almost break out in a sweat sometimes over her fits in the car. I do know that a binky and her lovey (a stuffed doll) and music, all of which helped a little...but not for long. She will outgrow it. I know it is hard...but it won't last forever.

my son used to do the same thing. he just didn't like the carseat and they can't really see anything but the sky and the inside of the car. do you have a car mobile with toys hanging from it so she can have something to look at? don't worry they outgrow it but trust me i know it is a pain in the butt. they aren't even really crying about being uncomfortable they just don't like the carseat in the car. it will get better....

I had a niece cry for car rides-yes she grew out of it.

Hi R.,
My son used to cry if the sun was in his eyes. A shade on the back windows may help.

Good luck. The baby will out grow this eventually.

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