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Help! My Baby Hates The Car


It’s generally assumed that most babies love travelling in the car. You can understand why — the gentle movement combined with the purr of the engine and a cosy car seat should guarantee a peaceful nap.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for my daughter. From her very first car trip on the way home from the hospital, she absolutely hated it. She screamed from the moment we strapped her in, until we pulled her sweaty and shuddering body out at the end of each trip.

Driving was understandably traumatic for everyone concerned, but for both practical and mental health reasons, I couldn’t stop using the car. For one, we all needed to eat and the shopping wasn’t going to do itself! In addition, it’s vital for a new mum to get out and about for her own peace of mind. It may have been tempting to stay at home, but I knew that I had to find a way for my daughter to tolerate car trips for all our sakes.

I did a bit of research and found out it was actually reasonably common for some young babies to dislike travelling in the car. Fortunately, there are some ways you can make the experience bearable, (and even enjoyable) for mum and bub.

Here are some things you can try:

Install a mirror
For some babies, they feel overwhelmed when they can’t see mum or dad and that was certainly the case for us. An easy solution is to attach a car seat mirror to the back of the head rest. Not only could my baby see us, but I could also check out what she was doing.

Get some shade
My baby was born in summer and she hated the hot sun on her face. Installing some shades on the backseat windows was a great way to block out the sun and reduce glare.

Change from a capsule
Capsules are so convenient, however some babies don’t like how enclosed a capsule can be around their bodies, particularly in summer when it can be warm. If your baby is in a capsule and seems to be overly uncomfortable, you might want to consider changing to a convertible car seat. A child car seat like the Britax Safe-n-Sound Graphene™ could be the perfect solution. It allows toddlers to be rear-facing until up to about two to three years, which is great, as it’s up to five times safer than forward-facing. Plus, its slimline design means its compact enough to fit three seats across the backseat.

Consider the temperature
If you don’t want to swap the capsule but you think your baby is getting too hot, there’s another solution available. I bought a little portable pram fan from a baby store which I clipped onto the edge of the head rest. They’re really lightweight and have a twisty head so you can direct the airflow where you want it. If you have a sweaty little bub, another thing to consider is the fabric the car seat is made of. The latest Britax car seats are made from Thermo5™—a high-performing Bamboo Charcoal fabric, which provides airflow and wicks moisture away.

Add some entertainment
Sometimes all they need is a little distraction. In-built DVD players—or even iPads mounted to the back of car seats—make for a great way to keep little ones distracted. Avoiding toys and other objects that can become airborne is also ideal.

Play some music
On more than one occasion, I resorted to singing ‘Old Macdonald Had a Farm’ at the top of my lungs, to help quieten down my restless little one. After a few months, I realised I could outsource my singing and bought a Play School CD to leave in the car. Every time we needed a little distraction, I would press play and ‘There’s a Bear in There’ would calm her down instantly. These days, there are even Spotify playlists that can substitute for a CD like this.

Plan your journey around naps and feeds
When considering a car journey, it’s vital to think about your baby’s routine and work out the best time to travel. One thing I learnt pretty quickly is travelling when your baby is hungry is probably not the most ideal time. There’s nothing worse than hearing their distress and knowing what it is they want but not being able to give it to them. I realised if my baby was tired enough, she might eventually (and probably reluctantly) nap in the car, so that was the best time to plan my longer journeys.

For us, it was a combination of all of the above suggestions that eventually helped my daughter to tolerate the car. Like a lot of aspects of parenting, it’s all about trial and error.

Experiment with different solutions until you find the one that works for you and your child. Bon voyage!

You can read the original article here.

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Who Even Am I? The Temporary Baby Bubble

The baby bubble — it is Mother Nature’s way. It’s primal. It’s how babies survive.

Does this sound familiar?

It’s common to feel like things that were previously vital to you and your way of living have suddenly faded away into the background, now that your bub has arrived. Often, a shift in priorities occurs and things that were deemed important suddenly don’t seem to be at the top of your to-do list anymore.

And among all these shifting emotions and priorities, your sense of “you” has undergone a significant change — suddenly, you’re a different person. I’ll never forget how completely un-me I felt after my first baby. I was in shock. I felt unrecognisable. My body, my brain, my confidence all seemed horribly unfamiliar.

But, trust me, that’s not a bad thing, and it’s completely natural.

You will get “you” back after your baby arrives

Let’s put something out there, as in really take it in and believe it: a happy mummy equals a happy baby.

I know it’s easy for me to say but looking after yourself is rule number one, and probably one of the most important there is in parenthood. If you’re paying attention to your own needs, you’ll be happier in yourself and you’ll have more patience—which will come in handy when you’re changing your fifth nappy for the morning.

If I feel positive, I’m able to take delight in my baby, just as any parent should. You’ll cherish all those new moments of parenthood that make it worth it when you tend to yourself.

Finding your feet after introducing a new addition to the family doesn’t mean you need to dramatically change your approach to everyday living. It just means giving yourself the time and patience to return back to all other aspects of your existence that you enjoyed pre-pregnancy. However, remember that the baby bubble isn’t a negative space of isolation; it simply means you have been focusing on different priorities while you’ve entered this new stage of your life. And that’s okay, but gradually you will remember all the other things that form who you are as a person. That baby bubble will slowly merge into your life bubble and normal service will resume.

Three key steps to think about

1. Reconnect with your friends

And not just other new mums and parents. I strongly recommend catching up with pre-baby buddies and see how their lives have continued while you’ve been in the bubble. They’re probably going to be excited to hear all about your new addition, but please remember to ask them about their lives too.

This will help you persevere when you’re feeling tired and emotional. After seeing pre-baby friends l find I’m able to reflect more peacefully on the world at large, despite how I’m feeling in those small hours of the morning.

Ultimately, perspective is a wonderful thing that helps you deal with those inevitable trying moments in parenthood.

2. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect miracles

Remind yourself that you’re doing your very best. I know it’s easy to say but you’re doing a great job. You are new at this and like your baby, you are learning new skills every day. Even though I did all the research to work out what the most functional stroller was and what car seat was the safest I continued to doubt myself. No point. No need. With all that worry, thought and agonising I put into my choices, I realised I could relax in the knowledge that I made the best decision for me and bub at that time. So don’t use that valuable energy for worry, just enjoy your little bundle. Don’t keep stressing over choices already made. Don’t think, “I wish I’d bought this” or “I wish I had done that differently.”

And beyond that, don’t put yourself under immense pressure to get back to your pre-baby body. It’s important to let nature run its course and for your physical and mental health to restore itself, before you head into strenuous workouts.

Sure, the dusting needs to be done, washing folded or ironed, dishes cleaned and vacuuming done. That’s fine. One day it willall get done. But for now, it’s okay to let a thing or two slip. It’s also okay to accept help from your wonderful friends who offer. Take it while it’s going, and do NOT feel guilty Trust me, people love to be useful.

Remember that your body has just been under a whole lot of stress, and your mind is getting its own workout, so be kind and patient to yourself from the get-go.

3. Self-care and downtime

Give yourself some “me time”, even if it’s just 15 minutes every other day.  Do at least one thing you enjoyed doing before the newest addition to your family arrived. This should be something that’s solely for you, and you alone. From reading a book, lounging in the bath, meditating, going for a run, sipping on a cappuccino or heading out for a shop—feeling good is the main aim.

Caring for yourself means going back to basics. Sleep at every opportunity, eat regularly and get dressed every day, despite how you’re feeling. These are simple, little things that many of us wouldn’t otherwise spare a thought on, but they’re also vital steps for getting you back onto the road of finding yourself after entering the baby bubble.

Only you will know when the time is to head back out into the wider world, so don’t stress about it. Trust that everything, in this very moment, is exactly how it should be.

You can read the original article here.