Monthly Parenting Magazine

Keeping children calm and comfortable on long driv...

Keeping children calm and comfortable on long drives

keeping children calm on long drives

If your baby cries every time you hit the road, here are some tips that are great for keeping children calm and comfortable on long drives.

Having a baby that hates the car is annoying at best, a huge inconvenience if it limits your ability to go places. Upset babies are hard to deal with all on their own. Throw into the mix distracted driving and the situation can become pretty stressful. There’s no one trick that will keep children calm and comfortable on long drives, but thankfully there are a number of things you can do to immensely help the situation. If your baby cries every time you hit the road, here are some tips that will make the journey easier for you both.


If your travel-adverse little one is upset getting into the car, it’s unlikely that they’ll settle for the duration of the journey. Get off to the best start by making sure they have a full tummy and a fresh nappy. If possible give yourself an extra half an hour before you leave to ensure that baby is burped – hiccups can be agitating at the best of times.



Temperature can be a problem for babies when in the car. It might be cold outside but most cars will be temperature controlled meaning that the little one can get too warm. Remove jackets and extra layers before you place them in the seat. Not only can these feel suffocating for the little one, they can also keep the straps of the car seat from working as effectively as possible. Save the jackets or extra layers for when it’s time to get out of the car, but consider taking a blanket should the temperature drop. As you will no doubt have experienced yourself, loose, bunching or pinching clothing can make anyone uncomfortable in the car. Something like a loose-fitting onesie is one of the least constricting things you can dress baby in for the journey.


Proper use of car seats protect an infant’s head and spine should you have a crash. Unfortunately, babies don’t understand these benefits. They just know they can’t see mama and no one is holding them. As such, you’ll want to find a product that makes baby feel comfortable and cocooned. This i-Snug carrier is not only one of the lightest i-Size certified products on the market, it has an exclusive Tri-Protect™ headrest which offers three layers of protection inside the side wings and infant pillow. Another top choice for safety and comfort is this i-Level carrier-to-carry cot. It works as a flat reclining car seat with i-Size security plus stretch and snooze tilt for the most secure and cosy carrier. Lying a baby flat promotes a healthy spine and improved oxygen levels; this seat is as close as it gets in a vehicle, reclining all the way back to a 157° angle – an ideal choice for long journeys. Rearward facing, it’s suitable from birth to 85cm and is compatible with most Joie pushchairs and with other pushchairs using Maxi-Cosi® style car seat adapters. For the ultimate car seat companion for busy parents, the i-Spin 360 is another product we love. It pivots to face forwards, rearwards and every way in between, so that getting them carefully in and out couldn’t be easier, even when they’ve nodded off.




It might be an idea to schedule a few short practise runs into your week while your baby is awake, to create a positive association with the car. While the vehicle is parked, try sitting in the backseat with them so that you can help them get used to the sensation of being strapped in. Move to the front seat for short stints after they get used to the setup and when the time comes to hit the road, a car seat mirror will enable drivers to safely see their happy baby.


Some parents swear by music as a means of soothing a young child during long journeys, and researchers support the idea of using it to calm babies. Compiling a playlist of soothing songs can work, as can singing to the baby if it’s not too distracting while driving. Experimenting with different sounds while you drive may help your child calm down in the car, and simply talking to them can help reassure your baby that you are still there. There is also a huge variety of toys and gadgets aimed at soothing babies in their car seats. You can’t go wrong with toys that have lights, colours and sounds.

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