I don’t drive at the moment, I’m just learning. But Andrew (Daisy’s Dada) drives and sometimes Daisy can make it a very stressful occasion. Even when I am just a passenger It can be so stressful and off-putting having a little one in the back of your car screaming their head off. It makes it even more distressing when you know there’s not much you can do about it! I tend to make sure before we go on car journeys that Daisy has been fed and changed recently and ensure she’s wearing the correct amount of clothing so she won’t over-heat. And if it’s very sunny outside, getting some car side window shades will help shield her little eyes from any harsh sun rays. It’s not necessarily always the case though so here are 5 little things to try to make the journey a little more stress-free.
1. Buy a little baby mirror
You can arrange it in the car so that the little one can see you. Even if they are screaming or crying it may make it less stressful for you to know that at least they are ok and it may calm them down a little bit as they can see your face too (if you can get their attention!) Sometimes Daisy will just stare at whoever can see her in the mirror pretty much the whole car journey which is pretty darn cute. A mirror is also a good way to check that they are actually okay and that they don’t seem as though they are in pain. I had a ‘bad mum’ moment a while back before we had the mirror. She was screaming and screaming and I just kept talking to her to calm her down – it wasn’t until we got out of the car that I realised her headband had fallen down over her eyes!! Poor little love. Luckily it was only a 5 minute car journey.
2. Music (or singing!)
We usually talk to Daisy but in singing. She loves it and it surprisingly actually calms her down. A lot of the time it is literal gibberish and we thank god that no one can actually hear us at the time. But if it works then it works! Anything to make it just that little bit less stressful. We also turn the music up quite loud and that will sometimes help. She loves certain songs at the moment and hates others! (She loves a bit of ‘Sam Smith’!)
3. A mobile or toy
We’ve found that especially on longer car journeys Daisy might get a little bit bored, so to make it a bit more interesting we put toys around her and maybe hang a little mobile up from the top of her car seat. We can hear her playing away with her toys. I also put Daisy’s little comfort blanket down the side of her a little so she can cuddle that if need be.
4. Remind her you are there
At traffic lights or in traffic one of us (usually me, being the passenger) will lean my arm behind the chair and just stroke her hand or try find her dummy to put back in. Just letting her know that we are there and she’s not alone really can help. I’ll also try and jiggle the car seat a tiny bit because it’s the movement she loves. Either that, or I’ll shake her toys and distract her with little things!
5. Pull over
It can be so unbearable hearing your baby scream without being able to soothe them. If they really aren’t stopping and you are not able to listen to them much longer, pull up to the nearest service station or somewhere safe where you are able to get out the car and check what is wrong. They might be hungry or too hot or just need a nappy change.