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Car Seat Nightmare

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I hope everyone is doing great and getting ready for some good times with your families : )

 

I'm having an issue with my one year old girl and her absolute hate for the car seat. I think I played a major role in making her feel this way today but really the wailing has got to stop!

It doesn't matter how long or short the drive is, my daughter will start crying from the moment I put her in the seat until the moment I take her out. And it's not just any crying, it's screaming at the top of her lungs. It's very distracting for other drivers, although I've gotten used to it, my husband cannot take it at all! 

I think she's this way because I sat with her in the back from the day she was born until 2 weeks ago. I took away the opportunity for her to learn to entertain herself, I was always there. I think it's also because we don't go out much.

I realized though (and I hope it's not too late) that if we continue doing things this way that she will never learn to sit by herself. 

So I started driving us around every day, she cries and cries and cries : ( It's so upsetting. Once I even started crying myself while driving cuz she just sounded soooo sad! I sing to her and talk to her, but nothing has worked. And it hasn't gotten any better. Has anyone else had this experience? What can I do to make her stop crying? Should I continue going out for short distances every day to get her used to sitting in the back by herself?

 

Oh I also changed her car seat from the infant bucket seat to a convertible one, and she still cries, so I know it's not the seat. Even when I distract her with something before we drive off, she'll be quiet for 2 minutes then the wailing begins : (

I really hope this stops because I don't want us to stop going out (I'm getting to that point!) If anyone has any tips, advice, I'd greatly appreciate it!

 

Thanks so much!

Zoe 

post #2 of 14

Maybe you could give her a fav toy or new "car" toys?  

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your response Jenni!

I've tried! I give her familiar and new toys but it doesn't work. Sometimes a biscuit will keep her quiet for a few minutes (and only at the beginning of the ride) but then she realizes where she is and when the crying starts it does not stop. greensad.gif

post #4 of 14

Is there any way you can just avoid the car for a (relatively) short period of time?  You may find that if you just don't go in the car for a week or so, and then reintroduce it in a different way (with new toys, new proceedure for getting in/out, etc...) that she may have forgotten her hatred of the car.

 

It sounds like you just driving around for the sake of getting her used to it is backfiring and reminding her over and over how  much she hates the car!

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you! Today was a somewhat successful outing. I gave her something to eat and she seemed content for much of the way. I hope she gets better with time. I think what made it all so horrible for her was the fact that we rarely went out and when we did I was sitting right there with her, so even though now I'm the one who's sitting in the front seat, she's the one feeling out of place! 

I'll give it a few more tries and if the crying doesn't decrease, I'll give it a break and try your idea! Thank you!

 

Wish you both a wonderful holiday weekend!

post #6 of 14

I'm so glad to hear that you had a good trip!

post #7 of 14

I've had the same problem with DD recently.  She's 15 months, and I decided to turn her forward facing thinking that this would solve the problem.  Turning her around made it easier to communicate with her and hand her things, so I'm glad I did it, but it didn't stop the wailing.  With her, it's pure frustration that she's not getting 1 on 1 attention and she wants OUT of the restrictive seat.  I think a lot of this is age, because I NEVER sat with her in the back seat.  So I do all of the same tricks, snacks, special car toys, music and singing, etc -sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I have thought recently though that maybe it would be a good idea to play in the car once a day or every other day without getting int he seat and going somewhere?  Or what about bringing her car seat int he house and play getting in and out of it, having snacks in it, etc?  Perhaps this would start changing the idea in her head that the car is this horrible place?  I was also wondering about putting a mirror in the headrest of the front seat so she could see herself and maybe the look on her own face would convince her to stop.  LOL, IDK good luck!

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by brneyedmama View Post

I've had the same problem with DD recently.  She's 15 months, and I decided to turn her forward facing thinking that this would solve the problem.  Turning her around made it easier to communicate with her and hand her things, so I'm glad I did it, but it didn't stop the wailing.  With her, it's pure frustration that she's not getting 1 on 1 attention and she wants OUT of the restrictive seat.  I think a lot of this is age, because I NEVER sat with her in the back seat.  So I do all of the same tricks, snacks, special car toys, music and singing, etc -sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I have thought recently though that maybe it would be a good idea to play in the car once a day or every other day without getting int he seat and going somewhere?  Or what about bringing her car seat int he house and play getting in and out of it, having snacks in it, etc?  Perhaps this would start changing the idea in her head that the car is this horrible place?  I was also wondering about putting a mirror in the headrest of the front seat so she could see herself and maybe the look on her own face would convince her to stop.  LOL, IDK good luck!



Since she's still wailing, it would really be safest to forward face.  The AAP now recommends a *minimum* of two years rear-facing and longer is always better.

 

post #9 of 14

It's true that rear facing is safer.  I have to admit though, that the wailing has decreased by at least 50% and made leaving the house much easier.  She's 5 pounds heavier than the suggested weight to turn around and she's in the middle, so I feel ok about it.  thank you though.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by brneyedmama View Post

It's true that rear facing is safer.  I have to admit though, that the wailing has decreased by at least 50% and made leaving the house much easier.  She's 5 pounds heavier than the suggested weight to turn around and she's in the middle, so I feel ok about it.  thank you though.


Each parent gets to do what they feel is right for their family.

 

I didn't want someone else to read this and be misinformed, though.  There is not a suggested weight to turn around other than the one that the car-seat is no longer safe to use rear-facing.  For most car seats, now, that is 35-40 (sometimes higher) pounds and children are always safer rear-facing (well, everyone is, lol, but we only have the ability to rear-face children).  It is especiallly imporant before age 2.


Edited by TiredX2 - 11/26/11 at 8:47pm
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post


Each parent gets to do what they feel is right for their family.

 

I didn't want someone else to read this and be uninformed, though.  There is not a suggested weight to turn around other than the one that the car-seat is no longer safe to use rear-facing.  For most car seats, now, that is 35-40 (sometimes higher) pounds and children are always safer rear-facing (well, everyone is, lol, but we only have the ability to rear-face children).  It is especiallly imporant before age 2.



Yeah, it's not about weight.  Weight is the legal minimum.  Your child shouldn't be a minimum.  It's about the child's bones being able to hold the spinal cord from SNAPPING and INTERNALLY DECAPITATING your child in an accident- weight has nothing to do with it.

 

post #12 of 14

Kids under age 2 need to be rear facing. Older, if possible. They have a five times higher risk of getting seriously hurt or killed in an accident forward facing. Weight is mostly irrelevant. There are car seats that will rear face to 40 pounds. Just because the seat says it can be forward facing for a 20 pound child doesn't mean that a 1 year old or a 15 month old's bones are strong enough to tolerate the crash stresses of that position. 

 

My eldest is 18. When she was small, the recommendation was 20 pounds OR 1 year, and we had her forward facing at 4 months old because she got so big so fast. I'm just eternally grateful we never had an accident during that time. My 6 year old rear faced to age 3 1/2, I think she was 33 pounds. We know better now.

 

We used a well-anchored, soft padded, unbreakable mirror, designed for the purpose, strapped to the back seat to keep DD2 entertained until her arms got long enough to reach it (at which point we removed it). Having a mirror there was incredibly helpful, she would spend the entire car ride signing to herself in the mirror. 

 


I second the "wait a few days" suggestion. Going out for a short time every day reinforces the pattern, sometimes you just need a few days to break it.

 

post #13 of 14

That sucks, but I think there is no reason to blame yourself for it.  My daughter is 8.5 months and I sat in the back with her (still often do) when I could, i.e. when DH was doing the driving.  And despite that, she is fine when I sit in the front, unless she is hungry, tired, or cranky.  Now that winter is coming I've also learned that she doesn't like to sit in the back by herself when it's dark out - I'm guessing it either frightens her a bit or is just boring with nothing to look at.

 

I wouldn't drive around with her crying in hopes that she'll "get over it" unless you really need to get somewhere - that seems like it might make it even more upsetting to her in the future.  I like the suggestion to bring the carseat in the house, or really if it's not too cold out I would hang out in the backseat with the carseat installed with a bunch of toys and play for a bit.  Don't put her in the seat for now but if she seems interested let her sit in it and cheer her on.

post #14 of 14

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1333322/dds-car-anxiety-is-interferring-with-regular-interactions-with-the-outside-world

 

 

We are going through the same thing. Here is a thread I started a couple months ago about it. 

 

Short errands are getting better. It's taking time. It has nothing to do with me sitting in the back with her. I didnt make her this way, it is part of her personality. She feels more secure and at ease with someone beside her, and you know what, that's ok. When it is possible, I give her that security with no guilt on my part. I am not setting her up for long term car issues. When she can understand simple reasoning, then I'll consider weaning her from a backseat partner if she hasn't self weaned already. It's just one of those things that we'll have endure until she grows out of it. I avoid long trips alone with her, and unnecessary errands. I have DH or a friend keep her if I'm running from place to place (getting in and out of the carseat several times exacerbates her anxiety). She has and continues to get plenty of experience in her seat just by our necessary errands and family road trips alone-- I think me exposing her to the situation again and again to condition the anxiety out of her won't work. She just not ready, and that's ok. 

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