Help 8wk old hates car rides

  • Hello, I am new to the group and need some advice if possible. My new baby screams as if she is being tortured when we are in the car. She can be sound asleep, I put her in the car seat and she wakes up almost instanly and screams. This is EVERYTIME we go anywhere.  I tried gripe water and it seemed to help for a while but not anymore. She is 2 months old and has done this since birth.  It is heartbreaking to hear her cry like that.  Has anyone been through this and found anything that helps. I am at a point that I do not want to leave the house for any reason. Please help. Thanks

  • You are not alone. Both my children were this way and it did get better as they got older. One thing we did was buy ultra plush car seats. We ended up switching to Britax 5-65lb models both times and it made a difference. With my son we used a little light up aquarium mirror made to hang on the seat that the baby is facing. It worked wonders! It played music and all sorts of things. I think the more recent ones are a rainforest theme. It comes with a little remote that you can use to turn it on. We weren't able to use it with my daughter b/c the tether strap wasn't long enough for our van. You can only use them if they are tethered or they could become a projectile in a car crash. I also tried talk radio and different types of music. Turns out some babies like a little Metallica just as much as lullabies! :)

  • I agree with the toys suggestion. Especially at this young age, distraction can work wonders. My kids are also big fans of Barenaked Ladies, Naughty by Nature and Incubus. :)


  • My daughter must be entertained for any trip. Since birth any trip we took in a car has meant screaming if she doesn't have something keeping her attention. Early on we used mirrors so she could see us driving, and a dangling toy attachment for her to play with. After a surprise christmas present delivered us a portable DVD player we tried that. She loved it from the start! All trips now mean listening to xyz movie for the nth time but as long as she isn't crying we're all happy Wink.

    I don't know if you need to go as far as we did, but easy tricks are mirrors, music, and toys. If those don't work I agree with BabyNurse3 - if the seat isn't comfortable no one wants to use it, try adding padding/plush or seeing about a different seat.

  • I feel your pain! Or maybe that of you baby's. My son is almost 10 weeks old and I had the exact same problem. I ended up taking him into the chiropractor to find out that his neck is out of place from a traumatic vaginal birth and my pediatrician also thinks maybe he has torticollis. Turns out the carseat made his neck stay in a posisiton that was very uncomfortable for him and made him scream every time he was placed in the carseat. The chiropractor has done wonders for my son! He is sleeping better, happier, and doesn't spit up as much. I'm not sure how you feel about chiropractors, but if you're like me, you'd do anything to help your baby. Just make sure you find a chiropractor that is used to dealing with infants. They don't actually adjust them, but rather massage, hold on pressure points, and use mild traction to help work out the kinks. I'm a very "on-the-go" kind of person and if I can't get out of the house it drives me nuts after a while. But I, like you, didn't want to take my baby anywhere because I'd spend half the ride with my hand in the back seat holding in a pacifier. Another helpful tip was to put a small folded up cloth (I used a burp cloth) and place it behind his back across his shoulders in the carseat so that his neck would be in a more comfortable position. I also bought a wonderful car toy/backseat mirror by Baby Einstein. It plays music and lights up so it's a great distraction tool, especially driving at night with all the lights. I am happy to say our car rides are much more enjoyable now and my little man usually ends up drifting to sleep peacefully during the ride. Good Luck!

  • I played classical music to help calm her in the car!! It kept her brain focused on the music and not the ride!!!

  • That is so interesting. I've never heard of a baby getting adjustments before. It is also cool that it helped with spitting up!

  • I just read your question and don't know if anyone responded with what I am about to say.  Forgive me if I am repeating anyone.  One of my friends had the same problem and it turned out that her baby was car sick (or motion sick).  I am not sure if there is a treatment when they are so little (maybe those wrist bands?) .  She used to ask her doctor if that was the problem and they brushed it off all of the time.  It wasn't until her daughter was older that they figured it out (after a few years of suffering).  hopefully you can find a solution much sooner.  Good luck!

  • My son is going to be 4mons old next sat and STILL is crying in the car! He didn't the first couple of weeks but after about a month he wouldn't stop. When he is dead asleep and I have to leave somewhere I put him in the car seat and instantly he is screaming bloody murder.  I don't know what to do either. I am hoping maybe he will just grow out of it. I tried putting a rattle and some toys on his seat to play with and sometimes he will be alright for a few minutes but usually it doesn't matter. He just hates it!  I've tried all kinds of music, singing, even pacifiers he won't let down for anything. He is very tall for his age as well and his feet are actually getting to long for his car seat so I am hoping his next one will be more comfortable for him and he will like the car much better. Good luck though!

  • Hi trbaby08

    My son is a lil over two months and im having the same problem. i get so stressed out just thinking of being in a car with him by myself.  He gets to the point where he cant breath therefore im pulling the car over at least 1 just to calm him down but often its more like 3 times.  I dont know what to do either.  Most kids just fall asleep in the car.. I feel for ya

  • Oh yeah. I've been to several chiropractors to help with adjusting my very messed up back and they all recommend adjustments for babies and children. Though I don't buy some of the thinking behind it, I do have to say that when I was getting adjusted regularly, I had lots of benefits. I never got my kids adjusted, but I would consider it if I had the money.

  • My daughter, who is now 6 months, also hated the car.  She was fine in the car seat, but the minute the car started moving she would start screaming.  In the last month or so it has finally gotten better- she even falls asleep now!  We tried everything.  Here is what seemed to work.  First we bought a car seat gallery toy from which gave her something to look at.  Next, I play white noise.  I have a cd of all different sounds.  When she starts crying I turn it to a different track and turn it up...suprisingly the new noise gets her to stop.  When all else fails I gently shake the car seat side to side.  The side motion is usually what does her in and helps her to fall asleep.  Good luck.  I hope you find something that works.  Know that you are not alone and NO, not ALL babies love the car.  There are many like yours that do not like it.  She will outgrow it.

  • I definitely don't believe everything chiropractors believe in eitherAs a nurse who works in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, I know there are things that only traditional medicine can fix. It just amazed me when our chiropractor held my son and instantly asked me how he did in his carseat....I hadn't even mentioned that! We were more going for his spitting up, fussiness and that he wouldn't nap during the day. We are also very lucky that she doesn't charge for infants under 1 year of age, so we can take him as often as we need to for now and it won't cost us a dime, although I would pay whatever it cost for the benefits we have seen.  I bet there are others out there who do the same. We have a much happier baby who takes 2 good naps during the day and is only waking up once at night to eat rather than every 3 hours. This is all only after 2 weeks of treatments!

  • Thank you all so much for the great ideas and most of all just letting me know that we are not alone!!  I bought a toy bar for her car seat but that just seems to annoy her.  We made her car seat more comfortable, that did not work either.  I wondered if she may be carsick but the Dr thought I was a nut.  I asked the pharmacist about the bracelet for that but they don't make them for babies. And the chiropractor is my next step. Monday morning I will be trying to find one that will see an infant, actually one that sees them regularly.  Thanks again for all the great advice.

  • I'm glad everyone could help you! Big Smile

    Thank you all for gathering together, it really shows how we can all help just by being there for each other.


    Trbaby08 - Next time you go shopping with her take her down the toy aisle and see if any of the toys you can put on the carseat hold her attention. I know a lot of the toys we liked for my daughter she never looked twice at. I can't wait to hear how it goes with the chiropractor!