Baby Screams in the Car...

Updated on February 06, 2010
R.S. asks from Chicago, IL
9 answers

Hi there,

We have a 6-month-old who has hated car rides since day 1. Many of my friends reassured me that their babies grew out of this by around 4/5 months but our baby still seems to fuss and cry, and downright scream, during car rides. There are times when she’s busy playing with a toy, etc, but they are short-lived and then the crying begins. She is super active and energetic so I’ve always attributed this to her dislike of being restricted. I know some mothers who deactivate the air bags and keep their baby in the front seat but I’m not keen on this. Anybody else experience this and if so, how did you handle it? I haven’t allowed this to stop me from running errands, etc…I just try not to go too far with her. Thanks

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answers from Chicago on

Do you have power windows? When the screaming bouts start, put the window down momentarily (yes, I know it's freezing in Chicago right now...I'm talking only a few seconds). You may be shocked at how well this works. It's like it snaps them out of the crying jag.

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answers from Nashville on

LOL, I feel your pain. Our first born (now 6yrs old) HATED the car. I remember everyone telling me how their infants would "calm right down if they were in the car" and "loved the car rides" and it was a "sure fire way to get them to sleep"........HA! The one and only thing that helped our kids (yes...our second also hated the car) was the wonderful DVD player. Threw in some baby einstein, blues clues, mickey mouse.....whatever brightest and cutest thing we could and they were good to go! We bought one of the over the seat dual screen dvd players and that sucker was worth it's weight in gold to us!!! Now, our minivan has the built in DVD player and I don't think I'll ever have a vehicle without one again!!! =0) Since she is still rear facing, you would probably need just a plain portable player and I'm sure you could figure out a way to attach it back there. Good luck!!! And once you can flip her to facing forward, it does get better. ;0) (especially with a DVD player! LOL)



answers from Chicago on

My first kid screamed a lot in the car too. My pediatrician recommended that we hang photos of ourselves where she could look at them and kick them, and that did help her settle down a bit. I've gone on other drives with kids who scream a lot, and having another kid in the back helped a lot too. If you have another mom friend you could combine errands with, maybe that would help!

-- Florrie



answers from Chicago on

Absolutely do not put her in the front seat. along with the safety issues it is against the law in most states. But I would get her tinto a car seat that is more upright. another thought is to get a portable dvd player if your vehicle doesn't have one. its amazing how quiet kids are when their is a cartoon playing. and if she can see that or out a window she will be much happier. good luck



answers from Honolulu on

They outgrow it.
My son was like that.

Try, getting a balloon, and tying it somewhere in the car where he can see it (but not get tangled in it or grab it). That worked for my son.

Good luck,


answers from Minneapolis on

If she is still in her infant seat, consider purchasing a convertible for her. The more upright seat will likely pacify her, my boys never liked layng back in the car seat, but were perfectly content to sit in the convertible (and both rear faced the car for 18mos (oldest) and 35mos (youngest))

Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE is a great seat for around $130. It will rear face to 35lbs, forward face to 50lbs.

Graco MyRide 65- also a great seat! Rear facing to 40lbs, forward facing to 65lbs. $150, but you can find it at Bed Bath and Beyond right now for $99! GREAT deal.

If you need a car seat, Babies R Us is also hosting their 'Great Trade in Event' where you bring in a piece of old baby gear (like your old infant seat) and get a coupon for 25% off a new one. You can get the My Ride for $97 that way.

Also make sure she's not too hot. No BUNDLE ME covers, no BUNTING SACKS, no WINTER JACKETS! These things are all DANGEROUS in the car seat. All she needs is a polar fleece coverall or a polar fleece jacket and a blanket to stay warm in the car, with a hat and mittens. Nothing thick, bulky, or that reroutes the harness like the Bundle Me in the car seat. EVER. If you are using these things, remove them immediately.



answers from Chicago on

I feel for you!! My daughter (now 15mo.) did this. She HATED car rides. She would scream hysterically & nothing I could do would calm her down. I just stopped trying to sing to her b/c I think it made it worse. We took a 7 hr. car ride to MO when she was 6 months old. She did well & slept most of the way, though cried/screamed for the last 90 minutes of the drive. However, I think this more or less "cured" her. By about 12 months she was a lot better in the steadily, but slowly, improved since the long car ride at 6 months. I think some babies just don't like being backwards. Maybe it makes them car sick. I would recommend taking her on a long driving vacation to try to snap her out of it. Otherwise, just hang in there. She will eventually be okay with it & you will eventually have a peaceful drive. Until then, just turn the music slightly louder & try to relax.

Oh, BTW, make sure the heat/air is not blowing directly on her face. Also make sure she is not too hot. My babies sweat easily in their carseats. It could be something as simple as heat blowing on her.



answers from Denver on

Definitely DO NOT move her to the front seat! My daughter did this for a few months, but did stop eventually. It might be one of those things she will eventually outgrow. Have you tried music or singing to her as you drive?


Definitely DO NOT move her to the front seat! My daughter did this for a few months, but did stop eventually. It might be one of those things she will eventually outgrow. Have you tried music or singing to her as you drive?



answers from Los Angeles on

Maybe it is the car seat? Is she still in an infant seat? My daughter hated the car too. For the first 4 months I just dealt with it. I moved her to a Britax Round About and the crying stopped. She just did not lie the infant seat. She preferred to sit up a little more.

Just a thought.

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