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crying in carseat = CIO?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I see that other posters have recently touched upon this issue, but I just wanted to start a thread about one very specific facet:

Is it right or wrong to travel with your baby when your baby will cry and wail very intensely for the duration of the trip?

DD is 4 months on Tuesday. She loved riding in the car up until very recently. Even if I am sitting in the back with her while DH drives, singing and making faces only does so much. I expressed this problem to my mother and my MIL and SIL, and ALL THREE tell me it is harder for me to handle than it is for Eden and to continue using the car whenever I want for as long as I want. I told them it just doesn't feel right because it is essentially CIO, and CIO is not only against my parenting philosophy but it could harm my baby, and for what? So I can drive 30 minutes south to visit you?

They laughed at me about it potentially causing brain damage. They say that my daughter is the least neglected baby they have ever seen and all have sort of implied that she is going to develop a princess complex because of it.

As you can see, I stand alone in my family about certain parenting philosophies and feel frustrated with their arguments. IS it okay to drive for 30 minutes when I KNOW my daughter will feel so tortured?? I don't even want to complain about how hard it is on me. I simply want to know your opinion about whether you believe it is right or wrong.

Thanks mamas!
post #2 of 31
First I love the name Eden! So pretty!

Anyway, I struggle with this as well. DD has hated the car since birth and it has always killed DH and I. We find it difficult to believe that it is not changing the structure of her brain with all of the Cortisol must be releasing, but I believe the main difference is that you are with her, soothing her the best that you can by either singing or talking when you cannot be in the back seat or by touching, hugging etc. when you can sit in the backseat with them. Just you being with them slows the release.

For what it is worth, in our case it has gotten better, she will nap in the car now.
post #3 of 31
It is up for you to decide. I have 2 DDs. My oldest hated the carseat from birth and my youngest is the same way. With my oldest we tried pretty darn hard to have her stay at home as much as possible, but sometimes we had to/wanted to go places and she cried.
With my youngest, we go out more since I have an older child, so by default she spends more time crying in her carseat.
I do still do my best to limit trips, as in I'm skipping a 3 hour trip to the beach this year, but she definitely gets subjected to more car time - aka we'll drive 45 mins to the aquarium.

In your case, are they asking you to drive to them instead of them driving to you? I get that from my family as well, apparently the road only runs one way (from my house to theirs). I would skip the brain damage stuff and just tell them it is just plain mean to make the baby cry for 30 mins each way just to come visit them. If they want to see her, they can come to you.
post #4 of 31
It's not CIO, because you are there trying to comfort her. CIO is when you try to "teach" a baby to sleep by letting them cry.

I completely understand not wanting to drive much when your baby gets so upset - I've BTDT - but it is definitely NOT CIO.

What kind of carseat is she in? I know that some babies hate the infant seat and then do better in a rear-facing convertible seat. My baby just sort of outgrew her hatred of the carseat even before outgrowing the infant seat.
post #5 of 31
I think some AP mamas go a little overboard sometimes in trying to prevent any and all crying.

"Crying it out" refers very specifically to sleep training. The baby is left alone to cry to learn how to "self soothe." It's not remotely the same thing as a loving parent being right there attempting to comfort him/her.

If you don't feel comfortable with your daughter's level of upset, certainly limit your car trips. But I am almost 100% positive she's not going to suffer any "brain damage" or trauma from the experience.

Definitely look into convertible seats if you don't have one already. DD loves her--much more comfortable for babes once they get past that newborn stage.
post #6 of 31
It isn't CIO, however, I always avoided it at all cost. By definition, it isn't CIO, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it does not have the same or a similar effect on the baby. To me, it's about how the baby feels about it and what the result of the situation will be, not necessarily what the correct definition of the term is.

You have to make the choice that you think is right for you. For us, I knew that letting DD cry in the car was wrong. She would turn purple and begin to choke. She would cry so hard that she would be sobbing and hiccuping for the next hour. It was horrible and I just couldn't do that to my baby. I may have been right there in the car beside her, but to her it was different. For her, she needed me and I wasn't there. As far as she could understand, I didn't care or didn't want to pick her up. To her, it was the same as being abandoned, so I just never let it happen. It was a huge PITA for a while because I would leave the house an hour or two early to go somewhere and I chose back roads to get there and always pulled over when she started to cry and would nurse her.

Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't long at all and then as soon as she was able to hold something in her hand by herself back there, she was usually just fine. I made her a little rag doll and would fill it's head with water and put it in the freezer before car trips. She would gnaw happily on that thing for quite some time.

Do what you think is right for you guys. If you think she's just crying and isn't totally flipping out and you think she will be totally fine if you just hurry and get where you are going, then do what makes you feel most comfortable. For some kids, dragging out the situation might be even worse. It depends.
post #7 of 31
My DD went through a brief period of getting upset in the car. We tried to find new things to distract her and drove less. Not only is the stress of crying not good for the baby, but the strong feeling of panic it gave me hindered my driving ability. Sometimes I'd stop in a parking lot somewhere, get her out of the carseat and nurse her awhile before trying to continue driving. Sitting with her awhile after putting her back in the carseat and then putting techno music on helped too. She loved techno and swing when she was really small.
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
the strong feeling of panic it gave me hindered my driving ability.



I also think some AP parents go a little to far with the CIO. It's NOT CIO if you are there trying to comfort her. Sometimes babies have to ride in a car plain and simple. It's not SAFE to take them out of their seats because they are uncomfortable. I also might suggest trying out a different seat, sometimes the seat is the problem.
post #9 of 31
I agree its not CIO I also agree that it is also not worth the tears if it can be avoided...
Most of my trips can't be, if I have to go do errends ect (say get food se the doctor ect) I HAVE to bring the baby.. In a week I'll have to pick up my oldest from school and itsa 20 minute drive to do so.. We just drove back from Texas back to AZ took 2 9 hour days... Lets just say some streatches were great others not so much...
But yea if I can I avoid going places its often just not worth the tears..

Deanna
post #10 of 31
It's definitely not CIO. We have a similar situation: DS, who's only 2 months, usually falls asleep in the car on the way to wherever we're going, and screams at least part of the way on the way back. When DH drives I sit in back with the baby, but like you it doesn't help much. When I'm driving alone and he's in back screaming it's awful! I then try to keep talking so at least he can hear my voice.
My baby won't take a pacifier, but we keep trying and if he ever does, we'll definitely use that in the car. Otherwise yeah, we also limit trips and just hope he outgrows this. Good luck to you.
post #11 of 31
it is not something i feel okay with. my dd hated the car and the bucket seat so we didn't go anywhere. my ds has always been okay with the car but the second he gets upset or isn't in the mood to be in the car we stay home.
post #12 of 31
Our baby cries in her car seat too. Not every trip but quite a lot.

I don't think it is CIO because, as PPs have said, CIO is a specific type of sleep training. However, I do think that, if the baby is alone in the backseat screaming, then the effects are the same. The babe can't tell the difference between "you will go to sleep" and "I'm so sorry Honey but we really have to make this journey". I think having someone sitting in the back with them comforting them (even if it doesn't work) helps to alleviate the effects of the stress hormones.

So far, I have been fortunate enough not to need make any trips longer than 15 mins without my husband so one of us can always sit with her if she's upset.

When I'm on my own I only make necessary trips or I time my social ones to happen when she is least likely to cry.
post #13 of 31
I know people say that it is not CIO - but I don't see how its any worse. I can understand its not CIO if you are there comforting your baby/child - but in any other situation, this means you are holding them (whilst trying to soothe them/figure out the problem/etc)... you are completely detached from your child in the car though whilst they are in their car seat. If they can't see you because you are not sat next to them, a baby has no idea where you are! - And if they can, they are probably wondering why you won't pick them up.
I know someone on here will say they HAVE to use the car - there is NO way around it. Perhaps that is the case for them (if this is so - I compeltely agree with waht Katelove has said).
For us, its not though. DS2 HATES the car. This is mostly because when he is sleepy - he wants to be on my chest in a sling. No can do if he is in a car seat! lol So for the moment we make very short trips during wakey periods. However - if it was more of a problem than it is, I would avoid using the car and take a train or bus because then I could hold my baby and travel. I would by no means let him cry in car seat. As soon as he starts fussing - we pull over! It does not feel right to let him cry in his car seat - espeically when I know that taking him out immediately stops him crying! It would be terribly limiting of course - but if I was desperate to travel farther than my legs could take us... that would have to be the way because I can not do crying in a car seat. I can not do crying at all! lol
Its highly annoying as it is - DS1 LOVED the car! lmao
post #14 of 31
To me it is cry it out. The baby is crying it out in that seat. They want to be picked up and are very upset that they are strapped into an uncomfortable device and feeling an unnatural movement. They are crying it all out (all those feelings of discomfort and either give up or keep doing so.
Its not cio for teaching to sleep, but its cio for car rides.

Having said all that... Im not willing to risk holding my baby on my lap while I drive. We have to go places so thats that.
Its terrible to not be able to comfort a baby who needs comforting.
I only make trips at times when I know she just ate, was changed, and will fall asleep. We have 2 other kids and are going on a long trip in 2 weeks. I know we will be stopping very frequently and that it will be hard, but Im not going to cancel the vacation. (This particular baby I have doesnt mind the car so much- lucked out w/ this one. The other ones couldnt take more than 20 min. w/ out wigging out.)

I think cio is cruel for teaching, or sleep training.
I think cio in carseat is very sad for babies, but its not the same- but they ARE still crying it out and dont know the difference- so to the baby its the same feeling as being put into a place he/she doesnt like and not being picked up.
Im just trying to be realistic here. I cant pretend that the baby is feeling any better about the carseat when they are crying than in a crib just because its something Im forced to do sometimes.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
It isn't CIO, however, I always avoided it at all cost. By definition, it isn't CIO, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it does not have the same or a similar effect on the baby. To me, it's about how the baby feels about it and what the result of the situation will be, not necessarily what the correct definition of the term is.

You have to make the choice that you think is right for you. For us, I knew that letting DD cry in the car was wrong. She would turn purple and begin to choke. She would cry so hard that she would be sobbing and hiccuping for the next hour. It was horrible and I just couldn't do that to my baby.
That's how I feel. It doesn't matter what it's called, but it is pretty hard on them and it's hard on ME, too. Both of my dd's have hated the carseat. Fortunately, number 2 isn't as upset by it as number 1 was - and when I say 'fortunately', I really mean it, because staying home all the time simply to avoid a ride in the car just isn't an option when you have an older kid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Not only is the stress of crying not good for the baby, but the strong feeling of panic it gave me hindered my driving ability. Sometimes I'd stop in a parking lot somewhere, get her out of the carseat and nurse her awhile before trying to continue driving.
I agree. My DH has trouble understanding why I need to stop to get her out sometimes, and I had to explain to him that regardless of whether or not he agrees with the philosophy behind it, it's just not SAFE for me to be driving with a baby screaming in the back seat like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren31 View Post
I also think some AP parents go a little to far with the CIO. It's NOT CIO if you are there trying to comfort her. Sometimes babies have to ride in a car plain and simple. It's not SAFE to take them out of their seats because they are uncomfortable. I also might suggest trying out a different seat, sometimes the seat is the problem.
Even if you aren't in the back seat trying to comfort her, it's still not like you're purposely making her CIO, although I do agree that it's not much different in the baby's mind. Still, you have to do what you have to do. Life still has to be lived. There have been times where I just couldn't keep stopping. For instance, the other day it was 100 degrees outside and my house is a long way from everything. It's a 45 minute drive from where I was to my house. I stopped 3 times, and by the last stop, DD was so upset she couldn't even completely calm when I got her out, because she was just so hot. There's no indoor, cool place to stop on my way home; it's outside or nothing. After the last time, I just had to put her back in, grit my teeth, and go home. She was crying either way - in the car she wanted out of the seat, out of the car, she was miserably hot and very tired from all the crying.

Trying another seat wouldn't hurt, but my DD1 didn't care what seat she was in. She screamed in the car until she was nearly 2, even though we tried multiple car seats.
post #16 of 31
While it may not fit the traditional definition of CIO, I personally consider it a different form as despite its unintentional nature it still prevents us from truly comforting our LOs. I cannot tell you how many times I have pulled over for DS due to his screaming in the backseat. DS is highly sensitive and high needs so he escalates quite rapidly and will then take a tremendous amount of time to calm. It is what he needs but also what I desire to do for him.

What has made a tremendous difference for DS was the switch to a convertible carseat and putting a video player in the backseat. Part of DS's crying was discomfort and the other boredom and fear. Now, we can actually take trips in the car, but we still schedule them so that he naps much of the time.
post #17 of 31
I havent read the other responses, but I will say the continued crying while in the car was the main reason I caved and gave DD a pacifier. I was going to end up having an accident as her hysterical crying always made me drive over the speed limit without noticing I was also reaching back and trying to rub her little head while driving - yeah, not the safest. She is MUCH better now she gets the paci!
post #18 of 31
You're lucky she takes one! When Cecilia still had lots of car issues, nothing at all would soothe her, not me, not my husband, not music, and she wouldn't take a paci.

Cecilia's thankfully gotten over most of her carseat angst, but we did limit our travels severely when she was still upset in the car. Unfortunately going without is not an option as we have very crummy public transportation in the form of a bus here, and it doesn't even come within a mile of my house. So we would take trips of 15 minutes or less only.
post #19 of 31
My two cents...I know a lot of moms have said that they sit in the back so that baby doesn't feel "alone" or whatever. I found that DS got MORE upset when I was in the back (and still will) because it was a "You're here and not holding me!!!" kind of thing. Even now he'll reach for me and get upset when I calmly tell him that I can't take him out because it's not safe. *shrugs* YMMV
post #20 of 31
Try a convertible seat. My DD would scream so bad to the point of choking in her infant seat. We got a Britax convertible and the difference is almost unbelievable! She is so much better in this seat. You will need a new seat at some point anyway so it doesn't hurt to try.
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