DD has never cared for the car and cries the duration of the trip if I am compelled to drive and she has sit alone in the backseat. We figured out pretty quickly that me sitting in the backseat with her= contentment and tranquility for all of us.
Mirrors don't help. Singing and making animal noises helps... sometimes. Music doesn't help. White noise doesn't help. Me reaching back to stroke her face only makes her more agitated. Stopping to nurse/comfort her/take her out only angers her more when I have to put her back in her seat. Me reciting our favorite books helps for a minute or two. A pacifier doesn't help.
The bawling and screaming during our car trips have really put a damper on our excursions. I'd love to take her to the zoo (we have a membership), orchards, the pumpkin patch, etc but the drives cause us both so much anxiety that it is hardly worth the 20-30 minute drive. Of course we still go out and grocery shop and complete bare necessities. But the fun stuff is kind of... on hold.
Given that she is almost a year old, what is a developmentally appropriate expectation for her? I want to respect her discomfort and avoid putting her through stressful experiences that can be easily avoided. But we have a just as valid need to get out and interact with the world. She thrives on it (once we arrive).
I would really appreciate words of encouragement and reassurance, as well as coping techniques.
I can't wait for the day that she enjoys car rides. That probably won't happen until she is FF, which will be awhile... :(