The Fussy Baby Site

Driving With a Hysterical Traveller

Crying baby in car

I hate leaving the house. It is almost as bad as staying home.  Some days I honestly don’t know which is worse.

When we stay home Lillian tends to be fussier than when are out in public. But driving is usually such a nightmare for us.

There are days I wish I had a personal assistant to drive us around so I could sit in the backseat with her to keep her calm.  I’ve driven around with a hysterical baby more times than I can count.

I’m not going to give you a list of things to try and keep your baby calm while travelling but if you search the internet you will be given many things to try out and/or buy.  You name it, we most likely tried it.

Turns out what worked best for us wasn’t something you can buy at a store. I wish it were that easy, but I am quickly learning that parenting is not always easy.

I hope my experience helps you feel like you aren’t alone.  I don’t know why I am never asked if Lillian travels well. Traveling ranks right below sleeping as far as she is concerned.  She fights them both!

There have been a few times where I have gotten lucky and she has fallen asleep when riding in her carseat. I think it has recently gotten better in some aspects, because I have learned how to minimize the triggers of her carseat meltdowns.

I have brief daydreams…I mean, who really has time to daydream with a high need baby? I have hope that we will get through the stage of hysterical car rides soon. After all, it’s not like you see adults screaming in the car, so surely she will grow out it, right?


I sure hope so.

When we first changed to the convertible carseat, Lillian was an angel the first few times we used it.  After that she was back to her hell-raising self in the car.  I was definitely bummed to learn that the convertible seat wasn’t the ‘solution’ to our problem.

I remember one time (the only time, actually) that I drove the nearly two hour trip to visit my family out of town, without my husband.  Just me and Lillian. It was the worst. I haven’t traveled long distance alone since.

We were barely getting on the highway, and she had been mostly good until we got up to speed.  Then out of nowhere she started having a meltdown.

When the high pitched screams started I could no longer focus.  Something is obviously wrong, because babies don’t just cry for no reason…

After the stress of getting over and finding a gas station to exit the last thing I needed was to pull over for ‘no’ reason. She didn’t need/want anything other than a quick nursing session (albeit more for comfort than nourishment).

I used to (and sometimes still do) get so worked up over those ‘unnecessary’ situations.  I will tell you here now that I am in a concious state of improvement, and after taking a long hard look at things (seriously, meditation is important!), I have made more of an effort to be understanding and patient.

While some other babies may be fine with sleeping for hours while traveling, my baby wasn’t.  My baby wants and expects close contact and comfort.  I have to remind myself of this daily.

There are definitely times I feel it’s not fair, but that’s okay.  Because life isn’t fair, and I love my child regardless of her temperament.  She is MY child, and that is what makes her so special.

So there are times I have to remind myself to take a deep breath.  Because sometimes pulling over for ‘no’ reason to me means everything to my child. Sometimes things aren’t worth Mommy getting all worked up about.

When I started to let things go, or at least try to let them not get to me, I swear life improved.  Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe my baby, myself, and our family are learning out our new rhythm.

Whatever it is, it has affected us in a big way.  When I am happy,  the rest of the house is happy.  That’s golden in my book.

So here’s to my hysterical little traveler.  Thanks for helping Mommy see the world a different way.


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Photo credit: DSC 0036 via photopin (license)