Why Some Babies Hate Car Seats and How to Fix It

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It seems like babies either love or hate riding in a car seat. Many moms get instant feedback when their baby doesn’t like to take a ride in one. Reactions can be as strong as constant wailing and screaming or less intense like fidgeting or general fussiness from the moment they’re placed in their car seat.

Many moms ask themselves, “Why doesn’t my baby like the car seat?”  If you’re new to the experience, you might think your infant just doesn’t like riding in the car or they don’t like being confined, or the car seat is uncomfortable, or dozens of other minor reasons. But consider this: Your little one may not just be acting fussy; your baby may be crying from pain. That pain may be a result of misalignment that could be rectified with a pediatric certified chiropractic adjustment.

Many car seat-crying babies we see in our office have a tightness in their hips or mid-back. This can cause them discomfort in a car seat because they can’t bend easily. The seat position puts pressure on their tight vertebrae and those associated muscles and it just plain hurts. After some adjustments, viola!  They start to enjoy being in their car seat for the first time. 


Some Things to Try Before You See Us

As we mentioned, there can be many reasons why your child does not like riding in their car seat. If their reaction is inconsistent – sometimes ok and other times not – or they’re not crying but just are not enjoying the experience, read on for a list of possible reasons why and some suggestions.


Why Babies Don’t Like Their Car Seat

An uncomfortable position is one of the first things to check. Their straps could be too tight and putting pressure on their tummy or even choking or breathing restriction.  The first place to start is to make sure that they are in they are properly installed in their car seat.  Always follow the Safe Kids Worldwide guidelines on how to correctly install your baby or infant and other additional car seat safety. 

Once you know your baby is installed correctly and baby still doesn’t like their car seat, it could be related to not enough padding, uncomfortable angle, or the seat puts baby in a hunched position … not to be considered lightly. Other reasons:

●        Movement upsets baby’s tummy if they have eaten recently

●        Motion sickness

●        Dislike of being confined. Some babies want to play with their hands and can’t

●        Hates being alone

●        Boredom

●        Air temperature in the car too hot or too cold

●        Bunched clothing

●        Medical conditions such as reflux or other tummy upsets

●        Tight muscles or ligaments


Easy Solutions to Try First

●        Check and adjust the angle of the seat and straps. Following the Safe Kids Worldwide guidelines.

●        Play music they like: nursery songs, lullaby CDs, playtime music box, turn on the radio.

●        Give them toys to play with, objects that have lights and/or motion to keep their attention.

●        Avoid putting baby in the car immediately after a meal.

●        Offer them a pacifier if your baby already takes a pacifier.

●        Burp them before putting them in the car.

●        Look into an upgraded car seat.  Every car seat on the market has been tested for safety, but different prices and brands can reflect a different level of comfort, such as extra padding or updated design.


Don’t assume baby will stop crying or fussing on their own. When nothing will soothe your screaming baby, choose a certified baby chiropractor!


We Are Pediatric Chiropractors

We are Doctors Michelle Parker and Darcy Goode. Dr. Parker is certified by the Academy Council of Chiropractic Pediatric Association in pediatric chiropractic for pre- and postnatal specialties. She is the only chiropractor with the C.A.C.C.P certification in Parker County. Both of us have specific chiropractic expertise in working on the muscles and bones of newborns by integrating craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, and gentle pediatric chiropractic adjustments.


Centrally Located near Fort Worth

The office of The Chiropractic Place for Mommy and Me is in Aledo, Texas, just 15 minutes west of downtown Fort Worth or 10 minutes east of Weatherford, Hudson Oaks, and Willow Park. 

Feel free to visit our social media pages on Instagram @TheChiroPlaceforMommyandMe or Facebook @TheChiroPlace to get a feel for our atmosphere and how we work with mothers and children.  We are proud to offer a family-friendly, kid-approved, and mother-oriented space to the community.  Give our office a call to get your baby’s appointment scheduled today at 682-214-0408.