If your kid is anything like mine; he/she gets bored and fussy on drives over than 15 minutes long. This is why I have to make sure that those 30-45 min of me driving with her by myself very entertaining while keeping safety in mind.
First, I recommend installing a separate mirror that will allow you to see your child more clearly. I used to have this one when the car seat was rear facing. Now that I have a front facing car seat, I use this one. Also, my girl gets extra fussy when the sun hits her right in the face, so I have this stick on sun protection however, I think this shield is good too. I have not yet found a solution that has worked for me, for when the sun is hitting from the front, if you know of one when please drop me a message below (it would be much appreciated!). I do give her sunglasses in those cases, but they hardly last that long on her face before she rips them off and tosses them into the car’s black hole.
Here are some tips that have helped:
1. Snacks and lots of them:
Pack cereals in the morning in these containers by Munchkin which are absolutely lifesaving and a must have. Also, put few other snacks in the car seat’s cup holder so you are not struggling to hand it to them while driving. You can even give them their milk bottle/cup in the morning in the car and then hand them the cereal after. The trick is not to dig for the snacks while you are driving and have it be reachable before you depart.
Download the you tube app. I turn on Peppa pig episodes and place the phone either in the car seat’s cup holder or use this back seat phone holder that I purchased from Amazon.
3. Listen to music and sing:
Sing the alphabet. I try to make the alphabet longer by singing and spelling for example: A is for Apple, B is for Boat, etc. Also, sometimes I play random songs on Kiss FM and sing along, she seems to like that. You can even play baby songs (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, etc.)
4. Bring on the toys and books:
There is this remote by Vtech that we like, every time you press a button the remote says something like a number, channel, etc. This one seems entertaining on the road. Books with lots of images are good too. Also a magnetic doodling board would kill a few minutes on the road before they get bored of it.
5. Call people on speaker:
Call dada and talk to him; call grandma, grandpa, uncle. Sometimes it is entertaining to hear their voices on speaker, but other times, it doesn’t really work.
6. Open the windows:
I haven’t tried this one but it seems to work for my friend’s kids. The air hitting their little faces could be fun if you are not on the freeway.
7. Leave during their nap time:
This is the best case scenario, but I know that you will not have an option or control over this most of the time. We often do this when we are going on family trips that are around two hours long. It definitely helps alleviate the anxiety of a fussy baby in the back. However, I am hardly ever alone on those longer trips so I can always attend to the baby when I am in the passenger seat in case of an emergency.
8. When in doubt pull over:
I had to do this a couple of times; it could be very never racking to have a crying baby in the back seat and not being able to reach them for comfort. Sometimes you just have to stop before you reach a freeway exit. The important thing is not to panic and concentrate on driving while the baby is crying… you will get to them soon enough.
I hope any of these help. I am planning on giving more tips on longer road trips, and tips on how to get out of the house when alone with a baby.
If you have any other ideas to add and help someone out, please drop them in a message below.