Mom’s hack for getting her baby to stop crying in the car? Take a selfie!

When it comes to parenting, it’s always best to work smarter, not harder, and this California family came up with the ultimate hack when it comes to calming down rear-facing babies in the backseat of a car. Sometimes, all baby needs is to see mom’s face, and this was proven by the Ciccone family, when Jacquie Ciccone’s husband Matthew had a genius idea by taking an extremely close-up smiling photo of Jacquie on her cellphone, blew up the photo into a massive size, and placed her face on the back of the seat for their 5-month-old daughter to see.

And it worked like a charm.

In an interview with TODAY, Jacquie told the publication, “I tried everything … pacifiers, singing, a portable sound machine, her big brother would try to make her laugh, you name it, I tried it.” 

“Nothing worked. She just wanted me,” she said.

This is in fact science at work and it totally makes sense, because from 1 month to 6 months old, babies still feel like their moms are an extension of themselves. You know how once your baby is born, it’s like your heart lives outside of your body? That’s similar to how your baby feels about you (or any predominant caregiver). 

This theory is called Separation Individuation, and it was proposed by Margaret Mahler, according to Psychology Fanatic. “According to the theory, children go through different stages of development, gradually becoming more autonomous and independent while establishing a separate sense of self from their caregivers. The process involves the child’s exploration of the environment, the formation of a sense of self, and the ability to develop meaningful relationships with others,” the website notes. 

Maher’s stages include during the 1 month to 5 month stage, babies are going through a “normal symbiotic stage,” which is where the baby recognizes the caregiver as the source of need fulfillment but doesn’t see them as a separate entity from themselves. 

According to a Babycentre article, babies are only aware of their immediate needs, e.g., food, love, warmth, security, and attention, and they’re dependent on you for every need. So they don’t view themselves as a separate entity quite yet. Which is why this hack worked for the Ciccone family.

In the reel they posted on Instagram, which has been viewed more than 65 million times, their daughter is shown smiling, cooing, and giggling at the cutout of her mom’s smiling face.

Jacquie captioned the photo, “When your baby hates the car but loves your face. Thanks to my hubby for printing this terrifying photo and for the idea. We love you.”

While it’s frustrating to deal with a crying baby in a car, at least you have this hack to help — and perhaps knowing they feel like you’re an extension of them may make you feel less annoyed and even shed a few tears at the sweetness. Take a great smiling photo and put it in your baby’s sight while driving for a happy and stress-free commute. 

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