How to get your child to sit quietly / not throw tantrums in the car
Handling a cranky baby is difficult. Imagine travelling with a cranky baby. It’s definitely not a pleasant sight. A 10 minute drive with a cranky baby is manageable but when you go on a long drive, on trips or even by a flight, you need to make sure you are prepared to deal with your kid throwing tantrums, crying or screaming.
If your baby is too small & has to be placed in a baby seat in the car:
Get her used to sitting in the car seat. Get the car seat inside your house & place her in it for an hour or two every day, to get her used to sitting in it.
Don’t try going on a 4-6 hour drive at the very first time. Get your baby used to the concept of a car ride by taking her out for a 10 or 15 minute drive when she’s in a good mood.
Hang some toys, or colorful posters with flowers & cartoon characters on the back of the front seat of your car. You can hang them from the roof of your car, so it’s within the reach of your baby & she can play by trying to reach it. This keeps her busy & entertained.
You can use a pacifier to soothe your crying baby.
Make sure you don’t take her out when it’s too sunny. Even if you do, place sunshades on the window to avoid Sun rays falling directly on your baby’s face.
If you are going on a long drive, try taking a break every half or one hour depending on the mood of your baby.
If there’s a lot of greenery on the road you are travelling, try keeping one of the windows open.
Fresh air & breeze is soothing & comforts the baby.
Playing ‘white noise‘ CD’s also helps to soothe your baby & calm them.
Hang a mirror in the car. Some baby stores sell mirrors for this purpose specifically. Your baby can see you constantly & feel safe. It will also help you keep an eye on your baby.
If your baby is big enough to sit in the front or back seat of your car:
Keep him busy by giving him an activity. Ask him to count in his mind how many black cars are on the road, how many coconut trees have we driven past, spot a KFC or a MC Donald on the left side of the road.
Either plan or play impromptu games. Its better you think of three of four games like, word building, memory games, spell bee etc. before getting into the car.
This is when you make use of technology. Give them a phone with educational games. This will keep them busy for at least half of the journey till they get bored with it.
Make your destination a bribe. If you are going to a toy store or a restaurant, tell him he needs to be quiet till you reach there. Or you won’t be able to drive fast & that, he might miss out on having the chocolate pudding or buying his favourite spider-man toy.
Get him tired just before you start. If you are going on a trip & you want to drive peacefully & not play impromptu games, the best thing is get him to play before hitting the road. Let him run around or play catch so he gets tired & once he gets into the car he will either sit calmly or sleep.
Playing his favourite music. Music helps pacify a cranky kid & picking his favourite CD will definitely keep him happy. You can even sing along & have a fun drive.
Snacks also helps to keep him busy. But make sure you don’t give him foods high in sugar & increase his energy levels. Avoid soda, candy, chocolate & foods which lead to a sugar high. Healthy snacks are the key to this.