When your Child Doesn’t Love the Car


My experiences with parenting (all two months of it! :-/) has made me more aware that a lot of life is about experimenting.  And that the more experiments I make, the better.  Before I had my daughter, it never occurred to me that my baby might not like the pram.  Or that she might not take the bottle of expressed milk.  To me they were just actions that babies did – they travelled in a pram and they often drink from bottles.  Afterall, that’s what I see the babies on TV and at shopping centres do.  (As you can tell, I had very limited contact with newborns/ babies before my own).  The only ‘research’ I did into buying baby things was whether the items looked pretty, whether I could afford it and whether they fit my aesthetics.  Naive and a bit vain I know.

Little did it occur to me that babies are people with very individual personalities.  And that they might not like a bundle of things, or that it might take them awhile to get used to it.  Lo and behold, my daughter does not like the car.  In fact, she dislikes it with a passion and makes it vehemently known.  Here are some strategies we have tried below (with a vague success rating next to it) – – in case you happen to have a spirited child who does not love the car either.  These might come in handy?

Strategies to make the Car Seat/ Car Ride More Tolerable for All Involved

  • Play sounds (Classical Music/ Nursery Rhymes/ Child’s Favourite Song/ White Noise).  Rating 3.5/5 Our little girl seems to like Mozart, the songs her giraffe toy makes, the womb sound on the white noise app we have and the Bobby McFerring Don’t Worry Be Happy song.  But there’s no sure win success and there’s only so many minutes of womb sounds I can take.
  • Hold her hands.  Rating 2.5/5  This seems to settle her a little, but needs to be combined with other strategies.
  • Put up Sunshades on the car windows.  Rating 3/5.  The sun and hot weather does seem to bother her a bit.  She’s much happier on cloudy and rainy days.
  • Talk to her / narrate a story to her.  Rating 3.5/5.  This strategy is extra successful if someone is sitting next to her.  My hubby would narrate whole narratives about her toys whilst sitting next to her and this seems to work quite well.  Only down side is that this is rather hard to do if I’m the only one in the car with her, and I have to concentrate on the driving.
  • Making sure she’s in a good mood before entering the car.  Rating 4/5.  This strategy is very successful but difficult to achieve.  Sometimes when you’ve got to get somewhere, you’ve got to get somewhere – regardless of little bub’s mood.
  • Timing car rides with nap times.  Rating -1/5 or 4/5.  This one can go either way.  She can either fall asleep in her car seat (dream!) or she can get extra, extra cranky and yell louder.
  • Take her on more car rides.  Rating 3/5.  Only time will tell.  Out of necessity, our daughter takes at least 2 car rides a day when we drive Daddy to the train station.  We’re about to take a LONG drive over Easter – – so that will be an extra exciting adventure.  Who knows what will happen!  She’ll either hate or love the car even more after that?
  • Things we are yet to try:  Putting a mirror in the back so we can see each other, sticking a photo of me right in front of her in the back seat, getting a Noggle, feeding her before the car ride.

If anyone has any other ideas for us to try, please do share!  I’m all ears and willing to give most things a go.