Listen to your gut/instincts. RESPOND. Your baby is communicating. You are the expert on your baby. (I've read some but not all other posts - this is my 1st forum ever... but felt compelled to reply. It seems that the view of a few people is to come down on mom for being "over reactive or over sensitive or some other "over" something. There is a reason you have the impulse to respond to your babies cries! You are designed that way... physiologically... hormones release). I have been in your shoes twice. I have 9y old & 11 mo old boys. Neither liked the car (understatement!!!)... both have GER. Both got better over time.... but until then it was stressfull on everyone. I spent lots of time on the side of the road nursing and calming my babies. (Often there was a reason...needed to burp or toot... needed a diaper change... or as quite a few MDs said it common for reflux babies to be in discomfort in the confined sitting position). But nevertheless I needed to be able to go some places. I tried everything: I finally tried a pacifier with both (not something I am even for) but neither would take one. The things that helped... helped in increments over time: mirror so I could see a he could see me, music, and yes - even baby einstein video in dvd player (even though they really couldn't see it except thru the mirror - the music calmed them both (all the video naysayers for babies... I would rather have 20 mins of soothing video for my baby than 20 minutes of uncontrollable crying with no comfort (imagine being a disabled senior completely dependent upon a caregiver... and you soil yourself, or you're hungry or lonely or you're in pain and you call out and cry and noone responds and you are left waiting to some unknown time for a response.. imagine how long seconds would seem.. imagine what that would do to your quality of life... imagine how stressful and emotional... imagine the impact physically - but I digress); baby crackers (lifesaver) & cup of juice (both drank ones with straw at 5 mo); toys; oh and with my youngest I changed the carseat to a britax and saw a big difference. But until it got better I was selective when and where I went...not so easy when you have 2 and you need to drive to/from school & sports etc and planned ahead with my (bag of tricks) and planned for extra time so that I could pull over as needed. I changed my mindset to expect to pull over rather than expect to get from point A to point B without a problem. I tuned out all the other moms who have babies that love the car and fall asleep in the car and everything is tra la la in the car. They will never understand and will tend to be overcritical... assuming there is something wrong with your parenting. Even pediatricians can be this way. One doctor said "just keep driving - it won't kill him". Yeah well, giving my baby diet coke and candy bars won't kill him either - but I'm pretty sure no one would advocate that. By tuning into your baby... you will become your babies expert... you will be able to discern underlying issues/concerns...believe in the value of his cries. I still go to bat for my 9 yr old... when others want to disbelieve him... I trust what he is telling me... and sure enough whatever it was gets validated. Be patient with yourself and your baby. This period of time will pass. Oh and ask for help from others... dad, grandma, friend etc to drive your eldest child...and/or watch your baby for a short while. Show your eldest child how to soothe your baby in the car. I hope some of my suggestions help.
CIO in the car and I HATE IT!!! - Page 8
No, I didn't. You even quoted what I said, but I'll quote it again, bolding the important parts that you missed: "CIO in a room by themselves, or CIO in a seat by themselves (while hearing a voice) is really no different, regardless of your intention." Where in that sentence did I say anything about "a crying baby in arms"?
The difference is TOUCH. If I'm really upset or scared, talking to my partner on the phone might help a little. But having him here right next to me, holding me or touching me, and not even saying a word? MAJOR DIFFERENCE.
I don't know why what I said is so offensive. I'm not telling anyone they are a bad parent because their baby cries. My babies cry. I try and make them feel better as much as humanly possible. If you can't make them feel better, then you can't. But for me personally? Letting an infant scream when there is something I can do about it is not ok. For me personally, my almost-4yo has the mental capacity to understand that she might have to miss a class if baby is too upset to be in the car. My infant, on the other hand, does NOT have the cognition to understand that I can't touch her for 20 minutes while she screams because we "have" to be in the car for my (almost)4yo. If we're 2 miles from home and baby starts crying, I will continue driving. But if baby is screaming when we get into the car to leave, I wait until she's ok to drive. Sometimes that takes a while, and it sure is a pita, but that's what I feel is important.
It's not even that it may be offensive to some....my own problem is that it's your opinion being presented (by you) as cold, hard fact. I do understand the distinction you made about touch. And I'll ask you about that, again: If a baby crying uncontrollably = a baby that is possibly terrified or traumatized (your words), then how would being held in his mother's arms while he's crying/screaming/terrified make any difference to the baby? If the baby can't understand the mother's intention and can't be soothed by her presence, scent or voice, then what is so different about being in her arms?
If the baby can't understand the mother's intention and can't be soothed by her presence, scent or voice, then what is so different about being in her arms?
I am not who you are speaking to, but would like to respond (briefly) anyways. I have 3 children. None were good in the car, and my oldest was awful! My voice, scent did not seem to cut it - they really did respond much better to being picked up (something impossible to do while driving). Perhaps you had a baby that was able to be soothed to the point of not screaming by voice? If so, you were lucky! That does not work for all babies.
Hi there -- I have huge empathy for what you're experiencing. Nothing helped my son, who did the exact same thing until he was about 1 1/2 or 2 years old. At that time he had become verbal enough to converse with me about what we saw out the windows. That changed everything. Until then, nothing worked, not switching to face front, not new seats, not music, not singing parents. Often when we went on long car trips to visit family we had to unexpectedly get a hotel room halfway. There was no stopping the crying. I think he just felt "wrong" strapped in a seat, and knew that my body was unavailable to him as comfort (trying to twist to nurse him never worked for us), and he couldn't bear that separation. I hope your child will outgrow it sooner than mine did, and I advocate your use of any tool that helps you to get through in the meantime!
I wouldn't be able to handle my baby crying for 80 minutes a day at all! No way, never! Just throwing out some ideas:
My first question would be, do you really think camp is so important for your 4 year old? Compared to the suffering of your 3 month old who can't understand at all what is going on (and also your suffering at not being able to follow your powerful maternal instincts to pick up your crying baby)? I'm pretty sure the negative for the newborn would much outweigh the positive for your 4 year old?
Can someone else take your 4 year old to camp (travel with another family who also go to camp, could a grandparent take him/her)?
Is there public transport that could get you to the camp? My baby hated the car because he couldn't be in my arms....public transport was no problem at all.
Is there some one else who could look after your baby while you drive your 4 yo to camp? (I know you are an attachment parent, but I think leaving baby with some one else would be better than the 80 minutes screaming).
Could you stay around at camp, take a book with you, hang out at the lake if they have one? At least then you'd just have to drive there and back once?
Does baby take a pacifier? Even if you don't like them, in this case I think it's called for.
I wouldn't show a 3 month old a DVD...no way...I think this comes back to the question of whether the benefits for your 4 yo really outweigh the negatives for your baby.
I hope you find a solution, it sounds like a really difficult situation, feeling for you xx
Holy crap. I thought my baby was the only one that did this. I have PPD and the docs and midwives told me to "get out" but he hates being in the car. The first five minutes he's okay and then he's just like yours, screaming, crying beet red. I hate it. He does this when I sit in the back with him, when his papa sits with him, I can sing, talk or even touch his head and nothing helps. He just hates it. There's a heatwave here where I live and if I want to get exercise I've got to drive to a mall and walk around. He falls asleep in the sling but as soon as I pop him out and we get moving he wakes up and cries all the way to destination. At least I'm going back to work soon and will get exercise there. He's 10 weeks by the way. I hope it helps to know you're not alone, it helps me but when we get in the car and the baby starts screaming it's cold comfort. From all the other posts it sounds temporary so lets hold on to that.
My LO is the same way, but when we open the windows she quiets down very quickly. Maybe you could start the car and then get the kids in, or get the baby in the seat on the opposite side of the car so you're not shutting the door directly next to him? With my first, I nursed him after he got buckled into his seat. Maybe put a cool water bottle next to him if he is getting too sweaty or protecting him from the AC flow if he is too chilly? It is so hard to drive when the baby is that upset : (
ETA: I just saw how many posts there are! I just wanted to add in case it wasn't said, I like to make sure the baby has on a collared top so the straps aren't sitting right on her neck.
Edited by abiyhayil - 7/24/11 at 7:21pm
I'm going take a different approach, and it's coming late in the discussion. Crying it out is a terrible thing to do to a baby. They are in great need of comfort and asking for it, and intentionally refusing to give this to them is, in my opinion, criminal. That said, babies will cry, because they are really traumatized by being in the world, they are so brand-new, and that is how they communicate. I honestly don't believe that our jobs as parents are to be perfect at every moment, as a matter of fact I see this search for parental perfection as an act of self-aggression. If you can't be preventing crying at every opportunity, you have not failed. So you do the best you can at all times, and you be gentle with yourself when you're not 100%, and maybe you'll reach 80% on a good day, but all of that is better than parenting with the idea that your child should bend to YOUR will, should be convenient and that there are no consequences to your parenting choices.
The car seat is one of those times when it is simply impossible to meet that baby's needs. It's a necessary evil, and it's one that has brought me to tears many many times. I know it's not optimal but I also know that there is something to be said about our voices, even sometimes our touch if you're flexible enough, or our songs, that do help a little and do tell our kids that we are there even if we can't be holding them at that moment.
A happy baby is one that has a happy family. A happy family is one where the needs of all members are met as much as possible. This means that the older sib may sacrifice some things because of the baby's needs, but it also means that the baby might not get the same level of interventions that a person can give to a single child. I know that the transition to being a big brother has been really difficult for my son, and if having camp twice a week would offer some salve for his sweet wounded soul, I would do it. Even if it meant some crying in the car for the baby. Because that baby is more resilient than people realize. The kids who aren't as resilient tend to be older kids. Look at babies coming out of horrible conditions in Russian orphanages - the ones adopted younger can grow up normally, the ones adopted older, let's say around two, end up with higher rates of RAD. So yes, cortisol will be released in the car, and the baby will hear mama's voice but not feel mama's touch. The baby will be really happy to be back in mama's arms, and the baby will survive, because that's what babies do. They're resilient and flexible and adaptable. The most important thing is that the baby will form a secure attachment to its parents, and a car ride twice a week is not going to change any of that. And trust me, I have gone through hell and back not crying it out with my kids, and I am deeply opposed to it. I still don't see the necessary evil of the car seat as crying it out.
So, OP, I'm really glad to hear things are going better. Ease up on the guilt, mama. You're doing the best you can and it's a hard thing to go from one to two kids. Your baby will be fine and already feels so loved. I just think about the teenagers I saw once on the bus with a baby in a car seat. The baby was never touched or held, no one looked at the baby or talked to the baby, it just sat there, not talking or crying. There were four girls with the baby, heading to a high school basketball game, and there was no way I could tell which one of them was the mother. That's pretty uncool. A baby who hates the car seat and a mama who is so upset about it that she's crying - that's an empathetic and caring parent. Word.
I had a car crier, and I know, it's awful, but you can release this particular worry.