Auto Pacifier

The answer to the young couple who used their car to put the kids to sleep raised some questions for me. Isn’t the real problem how to get the baby to sleep rather than how to minimize the CO level in the vehicle? Shutting off the engine occasionally might help improve the safety issue, but not solve the problem. The somnifying effect of cars - and trains and planes and boats - comes from a combination of the sound, vibration, and movement in the environment. Turn off the engine and you might as well strap the child in a car seat in its bedroom. Driving around the neighborhood would be more effective at sedating the kid, but the risk of a collision might exceed that of CO poisoning in a parked vehicle. Check that with your statistician.
On a more basic level, the problem is related to the Generation ME parents unwillingness to put up with a few days of whining. It’s not going to permanently damage a kid to miss his scheduled nap a couple of times. He will sleep when he’s tired enough, and achieve a significantly lower maintenance level with less mollycoddling. Where but in America (and maybe Abu Dhabi) would people run a 400 horsepower gasoline engine for hours to avoid the trouble of humming a lullaby? All the while consuming irreplaceable fossil fuel, polluting the air I and my kids and grandkids have to breathe, increasing global warming, and possibly damaging their car’s engine?

I used to rock my oldest left and right of a running faucet when she was inconsolable. She went to sleep faster that way. It seemed to me that it mimicked Mom’s plumbing. And water was a lot cheaper than gas, even all these years ago. JW, how many children do you have? All the parents I know would do do just about anything to quiet a child down. We’re just a tad bit older.

Just a tad. Five kids, all reasonably successful and responsible adults now, and five grandkids.

JW, while I think the issues of air pollution and global warming are much more politics than science, I agree that the issue is reallly getting the baby to sleep rather than the emissions output of the car. I too beleive the car rides as a sleep aid are a bad habit to get into. A rocking chair would be a far better and healthier solution.

JW, we’re about the same age. I guess we all have buttons that get pushed. Ours seem to be different.