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This Dad’s Simple Hack Might Keep Baby From Crying in the Car

Prepare to say “cheese!”
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published July 9, 2024
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Image: Garnet Photo | Shutterstock

Traveling with a baby has to be one of the most underrated challenges of parenting. From struggling to install a 30-pound car seat to ensuring the baby has enough snacks, entertainment, and other necessities to stay busy, the outcome of whether the baby sleeps or screams during the car ride often comes down to chance. If you’re looking for a way to keep both your little one and yourself calm during the next car ride, this simple hack might be just what you need.

In a now viral post, nurse, pumping consultant and mom of two Jacquie Ciccone shares the easy, hilarious and somewhat frightening new approach her husband took in hopes of calming their baby on car rides. “I tried everything, pacifiers, singing, a portable sound machine, her big brother would try to make her laugh, you name it, I tried it," Ciccone told Today in an interview. “Nothing worked. She just wanted me."

Since having his wife in the car every day wasn’t feasible, Ciccone’s husband came up with the next best thing. “I was standing in the kitchen, and he comes up to me and asks me to smile—then he snaps a picture really close to my face,” Ciccone said. His clever solution? A massive printout of Mom’s face.

In the video, as the car door opens, the camera pans to a happy baby staring at a full printer-paper-sized image of Jacquie. “When your baby hates the car but loves your face,” she jokingly captioned the post. “Thanks to my hubby for printing this terrifying photo @ciccone81 and for the idea. We love you—a few well-placed character stickers.”

In the comments, parents chimed in, thanking Ciccone for the idea and joking about how the simple, albeit out-of-the-box, idea just might work. “Why didn’t I think of this! All the other parents are smarter than me,” wrote one parent. “This is working smarter instead of harder,” joked another.

“Oh my goodness! Her cute little face when she sees you,” wrote a commenter. “This is how you know you’re a good mommy,” added another. “Of course, it’s the most terrifying photo that you would NEVER choose. This is the sweetest thing, though,” added a mom sympathetically.

Since adding the photo, Ciccone says things have gotten a lot quieter, at least for now. “I took her to physical therapy that day—it’s about an hour each way—and I was absolutely dreading it in Los Angeles traffic, but she did great,” she said. “Sometimes she coos at the picture when we’re driving. It’s pretty adorable."

Looking for more solutions to your car-time terrors? Check out these 12 Awesome Car Seat Toys for Families on the Go.

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