Cars are primarily for transporting adults, and thus the challenge of ensuring the safety of infants or younger children in the vehicles. It is vital to understand that airbags can help protect adults but not infants and children. Airbags open with great force and can do more harm than good to a child.
In fact, some cars have systems to temporarily disable individual airbags to protect a child from their force.
Law mandates to transport children in rear seats. Additionally, there is a need to use special seats for transporting babies and infants. Since most of the time a baby would sit separately and bit away from caretakers, he or she may begin to dislike these special car seats – after all, young ones are so used to the attention, all the time.
What is a car seat for a baby? And why your baby may dislike it?
Caretakers need to know that there are two kinds of car seats, rear-facing, and forward-facing. Rear-facing seats attached to the car seat are for younger babies or infants. They are generally for children up to the age of 3 to 4 years.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants only be transported in a rear-facing seat until they reach a specific age limit. However, as one can guess, occupying a rear-facing seat may be quite boring for a child.
On the contrary, older children can be seated on the forward-facing seat. However, experts strongly recommend that such a seat be installed only on the car’s back seat.
When the child is seated separately from the parents or caretakers on a rear-facing seat, it creates some specific problems. A child may feel less secure and isolated.
Another problem is that infants or babies are still exploring the world, learning new things. Thus, they cannot stay fixed at a place for long. Infants are in a hurry to know more, learn quickly, and at the same time, they ask for huge attention from the adults. Providing all this in a car seat is challenging.
This article looks at some of the ways of keeping a baby happy in a car seat. These tips may help in some situations, as one may not like to be distracted while driving. It is a good idea to prepare beforehand, both for the safety of a child and self.
How to deal when the baby hates the car seat?
First, ensure that you choose the right kind of seat, that inclines within an angle of 30-45 degrees. Ensure that it fits well in the car seat – this is essential both for safety and comfort.
An inclination angle of less than 30 degrees might be uncomfortable for the child. It is also a good idea to experiment with various inclination angles to ensure maximum comfort for the child.
Here are some of the time-tested tips to make a ride enjoyable for a child:
- Make traveling pleasant. This can be done in many ways. One can play songs or music that child loves. Or, even better, if you sing something to your child. Babies or infants are more likely to enjoy a ride and feel comfortable when they hear their mother or father sing some song. Singing for your kids is much easier, as they are not critical. They just love you and your voice. It doesn’t matter what you sing and how – so enjoy the ride along with your baby.
- Keep your calm. There will be times when nothing seems to work, and your baby may keep crying, making noise. In such a case, never lose patience. Remember that both patience and stress are contagious. So, if you maintain your cool, a child is more probably to remain calm. So, keep talking and praising your child, thus helping him or her to settle down.
- Ensure comfort. Make sure that there is an optimal temperature in the passenger compartment. Also, ensure that the bay is in the shade. It is vital to understand that optimal temperature for a child may differ from adults.
- Ensure safety. Additionally, ensure that there are no plastic bags, coins, and other smaller items around.
- Consider essential oils for calming a baby. Some essential oils like lavender, chamomile is well known to reduce stress and anxiety, both in adults and babies. A child may not be much used to a passenger cabin, and a pleasant aroma may help calm down nerves and adapt better to the new environment.
- Siblings can be of great help. It is particularly true if the sibling is old enough to understand things. Siblings are just better at understanding a few things, better at entertaining the baby. Sitting them near each other can help immensely.
- Prepare your baby for longer trips. This is best done by initially taking the child to shorter rides frequently, and they slowly taking the child for lengthier rides.
- Experience counts. Finally, remember that there are no hard and fast rules for calming down infants or babies, and many things can only be learned through experience. Moreover, each child is unique. Therefore, what works for one child may not work for another.
Once your child is above 20 pounds, or 10 kg or more, you may consider a forward-facing seat too, which may also help your child stay calm. Since the forward-facing seat allows the child to enjoy a better view.
In most nations, laws mandate that kids under the age of 13 should only ride in the back seat. It is even better to seat a child in the middle of the back seat if that is possible.