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Nervous breakdown from car seat...help!!!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Omg, I'm at the end of my rope. My LO is 11 weeks old and hatessss the car seat. He cries almost from the second we put him in, and he's otherwise a very happy little guy.
This is my second babe- so we have tried all the tricks of the trade, but no luck. He gets so worked up that I nearly lose my mind. I never ever let him cry at home, so it makes me insane to not be able to get him to calm down. If I am driving by myself (with my 3 year old) I am worried I am going to go 90 miles an hour and mow down other drivers because his frantic cries make me so frantic!!!
Even if I can be in backseat with him-like I was for a recent miserable 9 hour trip- he rarely calms down. He won't take a paci with me - so the only thing that stopped the crying was to throw a breast in his mouth....which I can assure was miserably painful the 3 hours I contorted myself to do so!!!
He hates a 5 minute trip as well...it isn't just long rides.
I would love to never subject him to the car seat. It I have a 3 year old and need to leave the house with them most days.
Any help, or at least empathy anyone?? Lolol smile.gif

I am honestly worried about emotionally scarring him. This feels like what it must be like for a baby who is subjected to CIO tactics which I never want to do!!

I am just at a loss right now.....but thought I would reach out After today when we took two 15 minute car rides that had me in tears with him. My husband and 3 year old were not pleased with TWO crying people in the car!!!! smile.gif
post #2 of 19

I've had several babies who have not been impressed with riding in the car. It was pretty stressful listening to them cry. My youngest, who is six months now, is a lot better about it than he used to be, but he still gets annoyed when he cries and we're not able to pick him up.


What helped me was reminding myself that he may not be happy in the car, but it was more important for him to be safe when we had to go places. I would also occasionally nurse baby (with him in the car seat) when dh was with us to drive.

post #3 of 19

My daughter was like this until she was almost four months old.  She's only four and a half months old now, so it's only been two weeks or so of her actually being able to tolerate the car.  I think a lot of it comes from that self-soothing they begin to be able to do when they hit around 4 months.  I hope it gets better for you then.  I tried everything and nothing worked well.  On one long family car trip with my folks my mom actually suggested taking her out of the car seat while we were driving to nurse her because the crying was so bad.  Obviously I didn't do it, but it was awful for everyone but especially for me.  I hope you find some relief soon!

post #4 of 19
My son also hated his car seat! When his seat was turned around and he had something to look at besides the back of the seat, he was better!

Comiseration I can give. You are not alone with a crying baby in the car. They do eventually grow up and it stops, but meantime, .... it was miserable!

Advice, not much. See if the car seat is the problem. Will he cry in the car seat in the house? If yes, can you try him in a friend's car seat. If he doesn't cry, then maybe he's uncomfortable in your car seat. A new one would be an expense, but maybe you could swap with someone? One style fits all doesn't always work.

Suggestion. Create a construction paper mobile to tape to the ceiling to give him something to look at, in case he's bored to tears.

I hope something here helps!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much Mammas...it helps to know that I am not alone in this crazy experience!!! smile.gif
post #6 of 19

Is he still in an infant seat? Some people have better luck with a convertible. Loud music or static/white noise can sometimes help too.


Nothing shreds my nerves quite like listening to my baby cry- sending a hug your way, and hopes that in a couple more weeks he'll be able to handle it better.

post #7 of 19
I've got one just like this, too. Almost 15 weeks and screams in the car. I hate hate hate it. He is such a calm, happy little love bug- except for the darn car.
My daughter was not a fan, either, but I don't really remember when she grew out of it...
post #8 of 19

My son was just like this. It gets better. But it can take a while.


Bob Marley, very loud, was all that got my son to stop crying. Maybe it's worth a try?


No matter how bad it gets, you should never nurse in a moving car. Here's why: http://thecarseatlady.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/no-nursing-while-the-car-is-moving/


And yes, I've been very tempted to do it, even knowing it is dangerous.

post #9 of 19

My only advice is that it will pass and if you have him in a bucket seat, have you thought about moving him to a convertible one (that would fit a tiny one like the Graco My Ride or True Fit, etc)? I've read that some babies are happier in convertibles. Myself, we had the convertible from the get go and it never made a difference...she still cried in the car. I ended up just using the car the least amount as possible (ie-asking family to run errands, etc) until she was happy in the car around 6 mo old.

post #10 of 19
No advice really, just lots of sympathy! My DD who is now 3 HATED the car seat until she was ~11 months old. I don't know for sure, but I think she just did not understand why she was being confined in a seat and not being held by someone or allowed to roam free. She would usually do ok for a few minutes and then it would be the soul-piercing crying that I too worried about causing me to have a car accident as it just sets you on edge so much, so lots of sympathy there. We went on one long car trip (5 hours one way) during that time when she was about 5 months old and did not take another until she was older and did not take her anywhere that was not necessary until she got better about it. Having someone in the back to distract her, toys, snacks when old enough, etc. all helped a bit, but still! We has no luck changing from bucket to convertible, but it is worth trying for sure! I think by 11 months she had come to accept that riding in the car in a car seat was just how it was and as she has gotten older and was able to understand the safety issues at least a bit, it got even easier for her. After that rough time she got much better and would sleep in the car a lot and be pretty good for hours, so so much better! Now that she can watch movies and understands that long car trips = seeing Grandma or whatever, she actually gets very excited about them and is probably less cranky than DH about them smile.gif so there is hope!

For my coping, I would play music to help distract me from the crying and hopefully to soothe her, sometimes I would sing, sometimes I would talk to her with a running commentary of what I was doing what I could see or just telling her that I know she didn't like the carseat, but that she had to be in it to be safe, blah blah. All those tactics helped me to be less stressed and I think helped her some.

I just hope I luck out with car lovers in my twins, it would make life much easier!
post #11 of 19
What kind of car seat is he in? My dd HATED her snugride but once we switched her to her britax she stopped crying in the car. My sister had the same thing with her latest baby. She hated her keyfit 30 but once switched to her britax she stopped crying all the time in the car.
post #12 of 19
Definitely have empathy for you OP! My 8 month old dd has hated the car seat since the first time I put her in at 2weeks old and she still does. We recently moved and the distance was supposed to be 6 hours. Well dh and I decided to drive.through.the.night in order to help her and give her the best chance of sleeping thru most of it. Lol! Well we left at 9:30 pm and didnt arrive until 10 am the next day. Even with me nursing her back to sleep in the car all contorted. Yes it was insane! I feel your pain!. Cant wait for her to grow out of it.

Ive tried all the tricks but one thing that seems to *lessen* the crying for a time is a dvd player and mostly baby Einstein. I didn't ever want her to watch TV this young but we got it as a gift and sometimes it works for 5 to 10 minutes sometimes it doesn't work at all. Just letting you know you're not alone, and hopefully you dont get the shocked expression and question from everyone as much as i do: "what??!! she doesn't love falling asleep in the car??!! I thought all babies love the car!!" Lol. Hugs
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

So helpful to hear everyones comments. He is in the Graco Snugride now...and I hope to move him to the Britax pretty soon. Honestly- I think it's more that he is pis$ed off that mommy can't pick him up! He just doesn't get it.....and, why would he....he is only 12 weeks old!!! :) We have had a few trips that involved no crying which were awesome- but they are few and far between. Hope he grows out of it- or likes the Britax better. I think we moved my first son out of the snugride and into the Britax around 5/6 months....this guy is going to go earlier for sure!


Nilatti--- bizarre to say it, but I already tried the Marley. My older son (3) is a huge Marley fan (it was what I listened to over and over again during his birth-- so maybe that is why...lolol) ;)- so we have it on in the car often. Louder music just makes him more angry at this point! Ugh~!!!! And, I hear you about the moving car....you are right- it's completely dangerous!


All I know is that I will be taking him and flying back this summer for our out of state trip. My husband and older son can drive the 9 hours and we can meet them there.....I just can't manage another long trip if this continues for sure!!!!


I just wish that my body/mind/spirit could handle the sound of his crying. I know its biological- but its dangerous for me to get as worked up as I do when I am driving. The worst is when my 3 year old starts screaming at me to pick him up or give him "milkies" so that he stops crying on top of it. I totally understand why he's doing it-- but it doesn't help the situation! ;)


I am just committing at the moment to pull the car over if I get too worked up. It's just dangerous not to on certain occasions.... :( Sigh.

post #14 of 19
My boy is 11 months and he hasn't gotten over it. In fact it's worse then ever. He's been in a convertible for months, we've tried music, mirrors etc. It's awful. I hate leaving the house with him... greensad.gif wish I could.
post #15 of 19

We tried every trick in the book for my daughter ( different seat, toys, music, herbal remedies, me sitting with her,  etc) - she was my second born - and sadly, nothing worked until she turned facing forward.  Needless to say, we just didn't take long car trips for over a year.  10-15 minutes was my max, and only a few times a week.  And I'm not kidding.  We aborted a 6-hour drive about 35 minutes in because it was just horrific.  I made one trip to my parents house in 14 months, a 2-hour drive each way.  She wailed in her seat every single time from the trip home from the hospital, until the day we turned her around (with an inexplicable few-week respite around 9 months old).  She was fine as anything within a couple minutes of taking her out of the seat, as long as I wore her in a carrier ASAP.  


I'm not telling you this to depress you, just to let you know that it may just be the way it is; some babies grow out of it, some don't and you may just need to stick close to home for a while.  Hang in there!!

post #16 of 19
We had, and sometime still have, the same issue with our 6 month old. He still complains and tries to wiggle out of the carseat when we try to put him in. At the beginning we would change the radio station to a static stations pond turn the volume up (not too loud) and he would fall asleep. He has gotten a lot better but still has some issues. He likes it when we sit in the back with him and can play with him, it also helps when he has toys to play with.

I know exactly how you are feeling. It made me crazy sad to have to just sit there while he was so miserable, but he had to be safe.
post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by Philothea View Post

Just letting you know you're not alone, and hopefully you dont get the shocked expression and question from everyone as much as i do: "what??!! she doesn't love falling asleep in the car??!! I thought all babies love the car!!" Lol. Hugs
I think this was awful too, my parents especially did not get that I had a kid that HATED the car for so long, they just couldn't fathom it, not that they didn't believe me, they just didn't understand how bad it was. It helped so much to find others going through it just so I didn't feel so alone and misunderstood about dreading taking your child on a 5 minute drive to the grocery store!
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to update anyone who comes across this thread with the same issues...
My LO is now 5.5 months old and I am happy to report that he now is doing very well in the seat!!! Right around 4.5 months he started to play with toys and is generally calm in the car (not always, but nOTHING like the earlier torture trips!!!!).
The bottom line appeared to be that he just despised not being held 24/7 by mommy those first 3 solid months... smile.gif I tried every trick, every suggestion, different seats....anything and everything....but nothing worked until he finished that "4th trimester" and could tolerate a little time away from Mammas arms. smile.gif
So-- take comfort Mammas who have car criers! I'm not saying I want to take a long trip anytime soon....but I don't cringe when I need to run to he mall 10 minutes away!!!!
post #19 of 19

Oh no, I just realized this thread is old, I was going to warn you against the Graco seats... my son HATED them... we tried two (one was the snugride), didn't tolerate them for a minute, then I got the Safety 1st OnBoard Air and he LOVED it! He would even sleep in it in the house! ...I wish they made them in a bigger size lol

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