The day we brought Jesse home from hospital was a magical day.
After spending those first few days cooped up within hospital walls trying to figure everything out it was an incredible feeling to finally be leaving with our beautiful bundle. The sun was shining and we were both grinning from ear to ear. And our gorgeous, tiny baby boy was snug in his carrier in the back seat of the car and didn’t make a sound the whole way home.
Over those first few weeks when we managed to venture out of the house we were so proud of ourselves, it all seemed so easy with a newborn.
But something is different. Something has changed.
I now feel dread every time I even think about having to put the boy in his car seat and drive somewhere.
Nothing raises the blood pressure quicker or the stress levels faster than being in a car with a screaming, petrified 3 month old.
Oh yes, those days of a tiny, sleeping newborn in the back seat are over and now it is like we have an entirely different child.
And I have tried everything. Talking to him in soft, soothing tones, playing relaxation music, playing classical music for babies (which by the way sounds god-awful and only adds to the stress), playing motivational audios, singing to him, giving him toys – nothing has worked!
Our car trips as a family have resulted in one of us sitting in the back with him, dummy and bottle at the ready. Which seems to work well. He even drifts off to sleep a lot of the time. But when it is just me… a 15 minute car trip is suddenly my worst nightmare.
I thought babies love going in the car. It puts them to sleep right? Wrong! Well not ours anyway. I guess I should consider myself lucky in that I don’t need to drive my kid around the block at 3am because its the only way to get him to sleep.
As frustrating as it is I really can’t blame the poor little guy. He’s scared. It is dark back there, he is strapped down at an awkward angle and though he can hear mummy he can’t see her.
When I swoop in to rescue him he has worked himself up into a hot sweat and the look of sheer terror on his face breaks my heart. I undo the seatbelt as quickly as I can and hold him close whispering reassuring words into his little ears.
I can only imagine how scared he feels back there but boy, I really hope this phase ends… soon!
One remedy I have heard of is printing out a giant photo of mum’s face and sticking it up where baby can see it.
So if you happen to walk past a car in the car park and see a woman’s big smiling face taped to back seat, it’s me. A desperate mother willing to try anything to stop her baby screaming his lungs out in the car.
If you have any other ideas or if you too have a baby crying uncontrollably in your back seat, let me know I’m not alone. Please.
Don’t let the smile fool you.