DS is almost 7 months old and has always been a car screamer. It did seem to get a little better around 4 months when he could more easily be distracted by toys, and he also started self-regulating a bit more. I could see he was unhappy but he wouldn't necessarily go straight into full-throttle bloddy-murder screaming every time. We do get some scream-free trips even.
I then started nursing him in the car when he started fussing heavily....I can sit in the next seat and still be strapped in and lean over and nurse him. Not comfortable, not the safest for me, but hey it worked. So I've been doing that for a couple months now.
Well, right now we're in the States (we live in Europe) for the holidays and been in various cars- my mom's, a rental, a car service, and for the next 2 weeks my dad's. There have been car rides where I just couldn't nurse him due to the position of the car seat. In our current situation it is very near impossible and last night I even unbuckled my own seat belt to do it, which I don't like at all. Anyway, it seems he's gotten used to the car seat nursing, and we've gotten used to peaceful, quiet car rides, because oh.my.god has the screaming gotten worse if I don't nurse him. I guess he's come to expect it, so it makes it even worse for him- not only is he unhappy being in the car seat, but he is mad and confused that I all of a sudden am not offering to soothe him with my boob anymore. He looks at me through tears like 'Come on Mama, why don't you give me your breast?'. It is heartbreaking.
I'm considering moving back up to the front seat so at least he might not expect it as much. I mean, when he's really upset and screaming, sitting next to him is no consolation. I can postpone the screaming by about 3 minutes by offering toys when I'm sitting next to him, but that's about it. Then again, it feels an awfully lot like CIO if nobody is right there next to him, kwim?
Do you think I've 'created a monster' by always nursing him in the car the last couple months? He seemed to be on the road to self-regulation and having more and more scream-free rides, and then I stepped in with the nursing and now he basically screams if he doesn't get it. When will this end? I mean, which will come first, weaning or not hating the car, lol? For more experienced mamas, when did your car-screamer finally stop hating car rides? Have any of you continued car nursing well into toddlerhood?
Sorry this is long but I feel desperate. I thought the car-screaming days were over, but that was only when I could regularly nurse him in the car. Ugh.