My baby always cries in the car – what can i do??

My baby always cries in the car - what can I do??

Every now and then, readers write us e-mails or messages on facebook and ask short questions that are particularly burning under their nails. We would like to answer the most frequently asked questions here in more detail.

What helps when my baby hates driving and cries all the time??

There are children who hate driving abysmal. as soon as you put them in the car, they start screaming and often don’t stop until you take them out of the car. Some people start screaming at the mere sight of the baby car seat. If you have children who hate driving, you will leave your car as often as possible anyway – but sometimes there are simply no alternatives.

There can be many different reasons for crying, but unfortunately babies are still very limited in their ability to express themselves, so you often have to use the principle of elimination to find the cause. Sometimes surprisingly small changes lead to resounding success. But sometimes unfortunately not.

Reducing centrifugal forces in the infant carrier

Do you know this? You’re lying in bed at night, gently dozing off, and then suddenly your whole body jerks up. Often you had the uncomfortable feeling of falling before. There is a theory that the brain receives the current position of the body not only through the equilibrium organ in the ear, but also through feedback from the muscles. During the process of falling asleep, the muscles gradually slacken and the brain goes into sleep mode. If the muscles fall asleep exceptionally, while the part of the brain that is responsible for balance control is still awake, it perceives: "help!! Loss of control! Falling!" the twitching is supposed to restore the (supposedly missing) equilibrium, that is, to animate the muscles to work.

In the first weeks and months of life, a similar twitching can often be observed in babies. As soon as they feel they are out of balance or are falling, they immediately raise their arms upwards. this so-called moro reflex is an ancient remnant of evolution – in the past, it made a human baby immediately cling to its mother’s fur when it felt it was going to fall. This is an emergency reaction that puts the body on alert.

Now, when a car brakes, a baby is always pressed against the backrest in the rear-facing car seat. Some children are extremely uncomfortable because they have the feeling that they are falling. So if in city traffic every two minutes (and that completely incalculable for the baby) this unpleasant feeling arises, it is understandable if the car driving is hated. This may also explain why the screaming often improves abruptly with the change to a forward-facing child seat.

You can tell that this is the child’s problem because he or she cries, especially when braking. However, babies very quickly associate driving in general with the feeling and then cry all the time and no longer only when braking, so that the braking process cannot be clearly identified as the cause of the discomfort.

The situation can be improved by positioning the baby’s seat more flat in the car. If, for example. A towel folded several times under the front part, can one influence thereby the inclination. The flatter the baby lies, the less force is exerted when starting and braking. However, this procedure is strongly recommended only for test purposes, because the baby car seats should stand in the intended inclination for safety reasons. Maybe try another baby car seat (from friends or acquaintances) – the models from Romer are generally a little steeper than those from maxicosi. Some children are also bothered by the fact that their head keeps falling forward (especially when they are sleeping) if the isofix is too steep.

Some isofix systems offer the possibility to adjust the inclination (e.g., the seat can be tilted). B. Familyfix by maxi-cosi, romer offers a tilt adapter that can be ordered for free). There are also infant carriers that allow a very flat lying position, such as the cybex cloud Q or kiddy evo lunafix or evolutiuon pro.

Lack of body contact or lack of visual contact

Especially infants often have problems being separated from mom or dad in the car. children who spend a lot of time in carriers or carriers are this way used to transport. They have no understanding whatsoever when they suddenly have to lie alone in an uncomfortable plastic shell. It is simply not clear to them why something that is otherwise always readily provided – love, closeness, warmth and physical contact – is suddenly so vehemently denied. It is not surprising that the car is quickly rejected as a matter of principle. Unfortunately, this is a problem for which there is no real solution.

It is important to know that small children in particular do not yet have object permanence. H. They know they simply do not know that someone they cannot see can still be in the immediate vicinity. So they lie in the back of the car in their seat, stare at the backrest, can’t see much else and therefore feel alone even when mom or dad talk to them. Although the seat behind the driver is the safest place for the infant carrier, if the baby is constantly crying there, the driver is stressed and distracted, increasing the risk of an accident. Therefore, it is worth trying to put the baby in the passenger seat. Some children simply feel much better when they can at least see one of their parents.

If the child rides in the front, please never forget: the airbag must be switched off. It is also very important not to be distracted. If the child is in the field of vision, one is naturally inclined to look there more often. This is also at the expense of attention in road traffic. Therefore, if the child is crying in the front, stop the car and do not try to soothe it while driving.

If the child has to ride in the back: maybe mom’s pajamas, which smell like her and are so cuddly, will alleviate the cravings a bit. There are also special rear view mirrors for the car, which are actually designed to see children in reboarder. These can be used to allow the baby to see the parents from the car seat.

Too much or too little movement

Some children have a problem with the fact that they have to lie in the car seat permanently in a fixed position and can hardly move. Unlike us, of course, they do not realize that the seat belt is essential for safety. Here, too, babies simply do not understand why they are allowed to move freely all day and here quasi "tied up" become.

It may be that a larger baby seat could temporarily provide a little more comfort. In my experience, the child seats from romer offer much more space than the models from maxicosi. Maybe you know someone with a larger baby car seat who will let your child test drive it.

Look at the straps – they should come out of the back exactly at the shoulder level – not higher and not lower. An incorrect adjustment can be very uncomfortable and cause nagging (and also have a detrimental effect on safety).

Removing the cushion from the newborn insert/seat reducer has also led to a significant improvement in crying behavior for some people. If your baby is old enough, try taking out the wedge pillow.

Other children have the problem of becoming increasingly fussy because there is no one to comfort them during the ride. Rowing with their arms makes them more and more angry. On such children pucksacks can have an enormously calming effect. This keeps the arms close to the body and prevents flailing. The baby feels secure because of the closeness (because it reminds him of the mother’s womb). There are models that have special slots for car seatbelts, such as the one in the. B. My favorite swaddleme backpack.


You often hear the tip to put the child in the car as tired as possible and thus use the sleep phase for a more relaxed drive. This works very well with many children – but others will not close their eyes in the car. If you have for example. If you have a stomach sleeper, it is especially uncomfortable for the baby to sit tired in the car seat because he or she cannot turn into the preferred position. It does not find its way to sleep, the overstimulation causes it to scream even more and of course it does not find its way to sleep.It can be useful to try out whether the baby cries less in the car after a good night’s sleep.

White noise

For many children, a white noise has an extraordinarily calming effect. Many parents instinctively make the "shhhhhhhh" sound, to reassure their children. Quite a few babies spend the first few weeks of their lives near hairdryers, extractor fans or vacuum cleaners because the noise is so soporific. this white noise is available as an audio file for the cell phone – just try out the effect on your baby. It is important that there is really according to rustles. If it works, then you can consider buying a baby-shower, which allows you to place the sound relatively close to the baby. If the noise does not bother you, you can also simply turn up the car radio loudly on a frequency in whose vicinity there is no transmitter.

The wrong temperature

It may be that the baby is too warm or too cold. Neither of these can yet express it adequately, so it may be worth experimenting a bit. The covers of the child seats are usually made of synthetic fibers. This can cause children to sweat unpleasantly. Cotton covers for the seat can help somewhat. But even a simple cotton diaper can make for a more pleasant sitting environment.

Maybe the child is too cold. especially small children can’t keep their temperature very well and freeze faster than we think – besides they have to lie there mostly motionless. Therefore, it is worth trying to cover the child with a blanket. In winter, this is necessary anyway, because children should not be strapped into the car seat with a thick winter jacket, otherwise the belts will not be tight enough. There are special covers for the baby car seat that have suitable slots and cannot slip out of place.

Missing or "too much visibility

Some children are bothered by not being able to look outside. The baby seats are too flat to see out the back, and they often can’t see out the side because the sun canopy gets in the way. Just try to remove the sun canopy of the child seat during the ride – in some cases this was a resounding success. But please: ONLY remove the sun sail, do not fold down the carrying handle. This must always be folded up while driving, because it serves as a roll bar!

Sometimes the opposite is true – the baby sees too much and quickly becomes overstimulated. When looking out of the window, it tries to catch the objects rushing by, often in vain because the car is going so fast. The rapid eye movements and the overstimulation caused by the sensory impressions flying by can make children very restless. Some children cry much less in the car when the windows (e.g., the car window) are closed. With a muslin diaper) are covered with toys.

My baby always cries in the car - what can I do??

If the child cries a long time after the ride: nausea?

Driving a car can irritate a child’s sense of balance. Nature has not designed people to move in any other way than walking (or riding at best). Normally, we orient ourselves in a room by what we see and what our sense of balance tells us. It can put the brain in a massive imbalance if what children see (in the car seat, in doubt, almost nothing) and feel (I move away, it wobbles, the body feels centrifugal forces in a curve) do not match up.

The body can react with discomfort, dizziness and nausea due to the conflicting impressions. Babies are not yet able to express this discomfort sufficiently, but they very quickly associate this unpleasant feeling with the car, so that many of them already scream as soon as you want to put them in the car seat. Possible travel sickness can be recognized by paleness, increased salivation, sweating and increased yawning. With my daughter, the surest sign that we should stop immediately was that she suddenly took her pacifier out of her mouth of her own free will.

Normally, travel sickness develops around the age of two to three years, but it is not completely impossible for babies to suffer from it. Sometimes a (forward facing) child seat can help, but for safety reasons children should ride backwards for as long as possible. We had no choice but to administer suppositories/tablets against travel sickness on longer journeys (45 minutes or more).

If you suspect that nausea could be the problem, you should make sure that the child is distracted as little as possible (e.g., in the car). Of toys) and looks out of the window as much as possible.

If you have any other tips that have helped you to make driving a little more comfortable, I would be happy to hear from you!

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