My 3 Life-Saving Tips for a Baby Who Hates the Car

One thing I didn’t expect as a new mom was having a baby who hated the car seat. Not just whined back there, but literally screamed the entire car ride until I took him out.

Actually, the first time Griffin lost it after being born was when we put him in his car seat in the hospital. Ha!

You might remember that Griffin and I had a rough start to motherhood. But one of the things that magnified my PPD was that it was very difficult for us to leave the house alone. Griffin’s crying was a trigger for me, so I didn’t really have the energy or willpower to take a car ride alone with him.

what to do when your baby hates the car seat

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*This post was sponsored by Diono. Though I received product in exchange for this post, all opinions are my own.*

That being said, Griffin was OK in the car seat if someone was sitting next to him. But I reached a point where I was desperate for a solution to leave the house together (just us 2!) without him screaming. So, here are my 3 life-saving tips that helped Griffin and I take more peaceful car rides together.

Get a Pacifier Clip for the Car Seat

Every time we left the house, I was equipped with at least 3 pacifiers in my bra for safe-keeping and one pacifier in Griffin’s mouth. During the ride, his pacifier would often fall out onto the floor, never to be seen again! LOL.

So, having a pacifier attached to a clip on his car seat was a LIFE SAVER for us! No more lost pacifiers! Plus, Griffin would sometimes just chew on the fabric instead. Whatever makes ya happy, kid!

baby hates the car seat – ipad

Try an iPad

Now, I know this is slightly controversial and I’ve gotten some backlash for this, but setting up an iPad in front of the car seat saved my sanity. I recommend this as a last resort, as I also believe that less screen time is always better.

However, if you’re losing your mind and unable to leave your house, it’s worth a shot! Netflix has select movies that you can download to watch offline, so I found 3-4 different ones to rotate between.

Now, mama, if this is a solution that works for you, don’t feel guilty about it. You are doing what you have to do to survive and if that’s letting your baby watch a movie while you keep your sanity running errands, then DO IT! I’m giving you permission. You are not alone and it is OK!

Griffin’s 15-months-old now and we’re still using the iPad, but we’re trying to wean him off of it in the car. It will be a lot easier once he’s forward-facing, but at the end of the day, the iPad has been a total life saver for us.

Make ’em Comfy!

Since Griffin was so unpredictable in his car seat, making sure he was comfortable was at the top of my priority list. Griffin loves his Diono car seat – we just upgraded to a big-boy Diono ranier 2AXT. He gets excited to climb in and even starts buckling himself in!

baby hates the car seat - diono

This Diono car seat is good from birth to 120 lbs (that’s almost what I weigh – LOL!), so he will get a ton of use out of it (and our future babes will, too!). It’s also airline-approved, ridiculously safe, and looks super-luxury. Honestly, I wish I had one of my own!

What helps your baby in the car seat?

I’d love to hear any other tips you have for keeping baby calm in the car seat! Leave a comment below and let me know your best tips!

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