43 answers

Baby Hates to Ride in the Car.

I have a 7 week old boy that hates to ride in the car. All he does is cry and scream. I have tried everything, putting him in right after he eats, so that maybe he will sleep, after nap time, before he needs to be feed. I almost always have someone else in the car with me to talk with him, give him a bottle or binky, but nothing seems to be working. None of my other kids cried that much in the car, they would always fall asleep. Any ideas?

Update...I didn't think about my little guy being car sick, my daughter now 13 gets car sick, me too at times if I am not driving. I have tried toys, and it's my 13 year old that rides back there with him, when we are out and about. I do have a cover about the carseat to keep him warm, but now that the weather is better, I don't zip it up anymore. I will try to put him in the car seat while in the house to help him. I don't like to turn the raido on, because they I can't hear if he is crying or not. He has passed out once because he is crying so hard. Have to talk to the doctor about that, this week when we go in.
I can't put him up front with me because of the way the seatbelt and there is a airbag, and it can't be turned off. I will test out his straps, and it's a new car seat, seeing that about my now 2 year old was born we were done having kids we gave evertything away we had to get all new stuff with this one.
So will give the ideas a try, thank you all

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well sometimes the car ride is better. I had one of the womb sounds bear, it's one that goes on the crib, but I was willing to try anything. Turned it on, and the car ride was a little better the first 10mins then he went to sleep... I was excited! Then it didn't work at all the next time, so I played with the radio, he liked it when I wold keep changing the station, but I couldn't stay on one to long or he would start crying again. When someone else is in the car easy to do, but not when I am driving...
Just seems like he might just grow out of, as mow it just seems like it's the time of day or the day it's self.
Thank you all for all your ideas and help... I am waiting for the mail to get some of the cloud b stuff... seeing that will be smaller than the bear for the crib.
Best of luck to you all in loving on your own kiddo's

Featured Answers

My daughter hated the car too. As soon as she was old enough I got her a front facing car seat and it was all better. She loves looking out the window. If she is in a car where the seats are to low to see out the window, she gets upset again. You could try those baby mirrors that don't break. He could see you or outside.

My daughter would cry all the time as well until I put in Martha Stewart's Sleepytime CD - she loved it instantly! My husband and I love it as well.

Hi M.. When my baby gets fussy in the car, I sing/chant to him a song that he is really familiar with, a song that comforts him, and I try to keep my energy calm. You could also try chamomila homeopathic before care rides to help him stay calm too.

More Answers

My Daughter was the same way. It felt like we couln't go any where because she cried so much in her carseat. we went through 3 different carseats before we found one that she was happy in for short car rides. Her problem was that she was a baby with lots of gas. When we did go out it was miserable for all of us because she was so unhappy we would have to pull over all the time and soon as we took her out of the seat and held her for a few min. she would pass gas and feel better, but after about 10 min. of being the the seat it would start again and we would pull over and get her out of the carseat and she would again pass gas. So once we found the better carseat she was happier and I think that is because the way she was positioned in the other seats made her have bad gas pains in her little tummy and in the new seat she was in a different position and that gave her tummy relief instead of being cramped up in her infant carrier seat. so I would try a few differnt types of seats. They have seats that are used for the 3 stages (rear facing-forward facing-booster) that go from 5lbs to 100lbs that's the ones we ended up using and she has loved it since we bought it and still prefers that seat compared to others and she is now 3yrs old. Good luck with finding out what the cause of your little ones unhappiness is and I hope this helped some.

M....I have a great solution that has been tested by all of our friends. Our daughter did the same thing at that age. There is something about the 6 weeks to 12 week time period for some babies where they cry a lot, especially in the car and at night. We used white noise at a very loud volume. At first I just turned the car radio to a static station and she stopped instantly. Then we used a rain CD and have continued to use it for bedtime. She is 19 months old. I don't know why it works but we've all found it very helpful. Personally, there is nothing more challenging than driving with a screaming baby!

Good luck.

My daughter did this as well as my neighbors son. My solution was to buy a new carrier, because the one we had was one from a nephew, so I went out and bought one and she loved it and still does. THe new ones are a lot bigger than the older ones. (I'd say the one I borrowed was maybe 4 yrs old) My Neighbors solution was to put her son in one of those car seats that was comfortable and holds like 5lbs - 100lbs or w/e the weight limited would be and it can face the back also. Hope something works!

Is it possible that you've tightened the straps too tightly on his carseat? I'm NOT recommending that you make them loose, but they shouldn't be so tight that they are uncomfortable. I made this mistake with my son when he was tiny because I was so worried about making sure he was safe. I was just about squishing him with his carseat straps! There should NOT be extra slack, but it shouldn't be uncomfortably tight so that it's digging into shoulders, etc. Just a thought...


I'm sorry that I don't have any advice, but I just wanted to let you know that I just went through the same thing. I just had my 4th baby too, and he is now 7 months old...he, like your baby, was the first of my 4 to hate riding in the car. He wasn't a screamer in the house, but he would cry as soon as he was within sight of his car seat, and would cry for the duration of all car rides. I just wanted to let you know that hopefully for your baby it is just a phase, as it was for mine. After a couple of months, he just started getting used to it, and now he doesn't mind riding in the car at all. I hope your baby gets used to it soon. (Oh, by the way, 2 of my older 3 kids also get car sick, too (we have to give dramamine on trips), so perhaps there's more than a coincidence there, too.) Good luck.

My first little boy, also screamed in to car. It made going any where almost impossible.
We found that the motion of the car made him car sick. Not that he through-up or anything. We found that, we we turned the car seat around so that he could see out like you and me, life travelling with Kevin, was much easier.

Our first born was the same way, but at an earlier age. Looking back, it was probably a combination of different things, but motion sickness might have played the bigger role. We had to ride the turtles on the road if we wanted any peace (the bumps). A friend suggested that maybe he needed some non-nutritive sucking, which at the time we were trying so hard to not introduce the binky. Of course, at our witts end, we try it and low and behold IT WORKED!. So as crazy as it sounds, we introduce our son to a binky at 3 months, but boy did it solve some problems. Good luck!

I have a 21 month old. He was a cryer in the car from day one. I would just limit my time to be out of the house. When we went on trips my husband drove. I sat in the back. Moderately loud music worked and he would fall asleep, but it was only country music. We turned him around at 17 months to face forward (he is small and only weighed 19lbs.). Still the crying continued. We invested in a portable DVD player. Honestly the best purchase we have made. Car rides are pleasant. Me and my husband no longer fight after long rides, a crying baby can be frustrating for everyone in the car. I did talk to the Dr. about car sickness and she said to turn him around. When that didn't work she said he just didn't like the car. Well I kind of figured that out. Good luck, looks like you got a lot of advice and I hope some of it works for you.

My son used to cry all the time when he rode in the car. Turns out he was probably car sick. He was that way clear until he was 13.

I'm raising his daughter, who also didn't like to ride in the car. However, I learned one great trick from my adult stepdaughter. Sing! It doesn't matter how you sound to you..., your little one will probably love it. I sang to my "girl" and even made up new verses to "The wheels on the Bus!" I sang every nursery rhyme song I could find. I sang to the radio. I also learned that if you have the right kind of radio system, you can put on a CD of children's songs and turn it on so it only goes to the back speakers and keep the volume down on low. Your baby will be able to hear it, and yet you will still be able to hear your baby, since it's only playing in the back.

Hope this helps.

He may be car sick. My son is. The first year was awful! We could hardly drive ten minutes without him whining, for sitting backwards in a car makes motion sickness worse. I found that sitting in the back rubbing his head helped him, but we could only do that when his father drove.

We never figured out what to do to make it better, but when he turned a year old, and we could turn the car seat around, he was at least better. But he does not tend to fall asleep in the car unless he is VERY tired.

I wish I had better advice. You might talk to his pediatrician about how to make him feel better during drives.

I have one suggestions, but who knows if it will work, and it's kind of an expensive solution... my daughter had a similar problem, although she was a little older, and we bought a different car seat. We bought a convertible since we knew she could use it until she was 40 pounds. It's a Britax Roundabout and she loves it. Just a suggestion. :)

My daughter hated riding in the car around that age as well. She grew out of it eventually. In the meantime, I started playing different kinds of music, and that helped.
I have had friends who's babies were unahappy because they were actually car sick. So you might want to explore that as well.
Good luck!

I'm not a pro, but my sister-in-law had the same problem with her first baby. Turned out he hated the car seat. What model do you have? I think she ended up switching from a Peg to a Graco that he loves now. Is it possible your baby is just uncomfortable??

My daughter would cry all the time as well until I put in Martha Stewart's Sleepytime CD - she loved it instantly! My husband and I love it as well.

One thing not mentioned yet was have you been to a chiropractor? Many babies get motion sickness because they need an adjustment. Others, like my youngest, just hate the confinement of a carseat, so distractions/white noise worked the best. (we had a rattle that we had to rattle most of the way back from Canada to keep him happy at 4 months old). Now he's 10 months and is big enough that distractions out the window keep him happy.

Our son was just like that until the car seat was turned around to forward facing at 20 lbs. Sorry to say we never found anything to stop the crying. We tried a pacifier which he spit out, sitting in the back with him when I had someone else to drive worked. We bought one of those strap on car seat toys and that worked some. He was a completely different child once his seat was turned around.

My 12 week old hates the car too-youre not alone! Try the kiddopotamus travel swaddler, cloud b sleep sheep, and the baby einstein mirror with lights and music, it even has a remote. These are some things that have helped us with her. And since she found her thumb the other day, it's gotten easier too! My oldest had a binky and that seemed to help her in the car when she did get fussy on occasion. Good luck! It will pass then they will throw things at you when you're driving and you'll miss this stage believe it or not..lol :)

Oh...I feel your pain! My second daughter (now five months old) was the same, and I thought that I was the only one who had this problem.

I have to admit that I never found a good solution, but the crying (screaming!) did slowly die down and go away not too long after she was three months old. I think that it was just her personality and she had trouble adjusting to life outside the womb.

I did find that VERY loud white noise sometimes helped. Even when it didn't stop the crying, it drowned it out enough that it kept me from getting so rattled and I could drive more safely. The "Low-Commotion" track on the "For Crying OUt Loud" CD was the one that worked best for us.

Good luck and hang in there. It ends quicker than it seems like it will when you are in the middle of it.


could he be too hot or sweaty in his carseat? the carseat covers are frequently made of non-breathable materials.

my son, now 5... did the same thing at the same time. and it passed. it lasted a few weeks, maybe a month, and then it was just over. but i do remember putting in a soothing lullaby cd while we drove. always the same one. i also started to do this with nap time as well, and eventually as soon as he heard it, (car or nap) he would go to sleep (think pavlov's dog). IT WAS AWESOME... it still works to this day, only he knows it! and sometimes he will say NO! DON"T put on my sleep music... NOOOOOO!!! but then he goes to sleep anyway. may be worth a try.

The only thing I could think of was, have you thouroughly checked his car seat to make sure that it is comfortable and that there is nothing poking him in the back? It did happen to me with one of my kids.


Maybe he gets carsick? It took me a long time to figure out that this was the problem with my son. You might talk to your pediatrician about this. My son finally got old enought for me to use children's dramamine but I am not sure what you would do with one that little.

I would wrap my daughter with her arms tightly down at her sides and put her in a a little but ona an angle, kind on on her side but not all the way. I know it is not a safe if you don't use a car seat to the manufactuer specifications but I still belted her in and she didn't mind as much, read - she would calm down after a little while. she is three months now as is fine going in normal

My son hated the car from the time of driving home from the hospital. He proved to be super carsick, and still is to this day. Now that he is 17 and can do the driving, things are better. We did endure many years of him being carsick. Best of luck!

Both of my kids did this, but only for a month or two. You'll just have to listen to it for a while. You can make it easier on yourself if not him too by using a mirror set so you can see eachother, or by holding his hand. My daughter loved to hold my hand in the car.

My first intuition is that he has some kind of motion sicknesss.
Anytime there is motion sickness facing the back will make it worst. As a baby he doesn't know how to express himself but to cry. Been around kiddos for a many decades and now KNOW babies don't cry without a reason. His only experience until now has been the womb, so look into your pregnancy for any experience you had where you felt fearfull of movemnt. It is a start. Also inner ear stuff can be painfull when moving.

I think some kids just hate car seats when they are little. My daughter hated (!) the car seat and would scream and scream and of course I would feel horrible - especially since she was my first and I hadn't expected it. She of course grew out of it but not until she was about a year. I guess all I can say is to be thankful you live in Kodiak where it only takes a few minutes to go places instead of Anchorage where you get stuck in traffic for an hour (this was my experience!).

Hope it gets better!

I have never had this problem however, I have heard that it could be the car seat that is affecting your little one. Have you tried putting your child in a different seat?

My son did that all the time, and I took him to the doctor and he had ear infections the car ride causes his ears to pop and it hurt so he cried and cried...I hope you figure out whys hes crying...

depending on the kind of car seat he is in.... I had one that was in the type of seat with the handle for quite some time and I could hang toys off that handle for her to play with. If he is still facing back... consider hanging something along the back of the seat that he can look at. Though I can't say this is the safest thing to do.. if he is still facing backwards.. consider putting him forward.. I know I had some friends whose baby screamed until the faced him forward.. they tried it one day just a bit sooner than he was ready size-wise but it helped. If he is already facing foward.. hhmm. at home is he entertained by the TV ( I had one that could sit in the car seat and watch TV for hours at that age) consider investing in an inexpensive portable DVD player you could position on the seat in front of him to watch.

good luck!!!

I have had people tell me that sometimes a different seat will make a difference, but for me it just took time. Two of my three kids HATED riding in the car. My oldest son once cried for 4 hours on our way back from a wedding. Ouch. It gradually got better over the weeks and was definitely done by the time they turned around at a year. Both of my boys really loved to be held all the time, so I interpret the crying as being sad that I wasn't holding them. Needless to say I didn't travel much by car when they were tiny.

My son hated his carseat as an infant too, he screamed everywhere we went. Added to the fact that he was a fussy and colicky infant, my husband and I thought we were going to go crazy. Nothing I tried to do to help him/distract him worked - he finally outgrew it at around 5 months and oh my goodness, those quiet car rides were heavenly!!

I don't have advice for you, but wanted to express my sympathy and say that there is probably nothing you are doing to cause it, and nothing you can do to help it. Most other parents don't understand this issue as the vast majority of babies love car rides and sleep while driving. Good luck, I hope he grows out of it soon!

I would give it a little more time--it may not be anything other than a more sensitive, slightly more fussy baby than you're used to. We had some serious episodes in the car when my daughter was around that age, but she grew out of it around 12 weeks. It sucked until then most of the time, though sometimes she would fall asleep. My friend called me almost in tears from the car when her daughter was 6 weeks old and screaming in the backseat--and her girl is fine in the car now too! Hang in there and good luck!

For my kids, it was about finding the right music. When my son was a baby, it was Sara Brightman. With my daughter, it was the Spanish Mariachi station. (We were living in NM at the time.)

Good luck.

I hate to say that some children just hate the car. My oldest daughter was like that. The only thing that ever stopped her from crying was her cousin riding in the car with us. Nothing else worked.

That being said I would simply suggest to keep trying things. My 8 month old loves a mirror that has lights and sounds. It doesn't work every time but it has helped immensely.

If you can't find anything to make car rides smoother keep in mind that this won't last forever. Although I know with a screaming child it seems that way!

My son was the same way hun and we couldn't figure it out either till we realized about his acid reflux. I'm not sayng your baby has it but he may not like it for the same reasons. A lot of the car seats practically bend them in half so their little tummy's are scrunched. If he has car sickness and the car seat is scrunching him it may be making things worse. There are car seats out there with extra lumbar support that force them to get their tummy's out and if you can't do that you might try putting a small blanket at the bottom of his back -- enough to push his tummy out and head back more. Hope this helps cause it sure helped me.

who exactly is the 'someone else in the car'? I recall being tormented by siblings and always being the one who got in trouble for the "reaction" to what they did to me... As a Driver, do you actually SEE what is being done to the little person in the carseat in the backseat??????and perhaps the music toloud or the straps too tight... try keeping the little person in 'car carrier' around the house during Normal times off and on..so it is not an Alien part of life...but part of the day

My second child was that way as an infant. We bought hanging bugs [they velcro to the car seat handle] at target and they seemed to help a lot. He could try to play with them when he was in the car.

Maybe he gets car sick. Try putting the carseat up front. Does he like music? Have you tried the radio? You might be able to stick some cute things in the window and give him something to look at. Or maybe dangle some things from the handle of the carseat for him to look at.

Hi M.. When my baby gets fussy in the car, I sing/chant to him a song that he is really familiar with, a song that comforts him, and I try to keep my energy calm. You could also try chamomila homeopathic before care rides to help him stay calm too.

My first baby hated the car for the first couple of months. A friend gave me a carrier cover and when I started using that along with a blanket inside, he was fine. He was just cold. I felt silly.

My daughter hated the car too. As soon as she was old enough I got her a front facing car seat and it was all better. She loves looking out the window. If she is in a car where the seats are to low to see out the window, she gets upset again. You could try those baby mirrors that don't break. He could see you or outside.

My oldest son was like that and nothing I did could make it better - the good news is that he outgrew it sometime between 3-4 months old and started being happier in the car playing with toys. I just found ways to minimize driving. For example, I began grocery shopping online and having it delivered to my house so I wouldn't have to get in the car, etc. Sometimes I found a sitter to watch him while I did errands, or had friends pick up things for me. I think he did that because he really wanted to be held and in the car nobody was holding him! Good luck, D.

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