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DS HATES the car! Help!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
DS (3 mos) hates the car! As soon as we get on the way he screams bloody murder! And I mean SCREAMS. There's only so many times I can pull off and go back and comfort him.
For a while I thought it was carsickness but if someone is back there with him he's usually fine. I thought it might be there mirror, but removal of the mirror doesn't change the response. I give him a toy, he ignores it and screams. I don't hang anything from the handle as I put it back for safety so nothing's hanging in front of him.

This has been going on for a month now EVERY time we go somewhere in the car. Its so hard, I feel so badly for him but what can you do? Its not possible to only drive when my DH is home to be in the back seat (or vice versa). Has anyone else had a baby who hated riding in the car? I thought babies LOVED the car and immediately fell asleep?

Anyway, as I am SAHM I can't NOT leave the house, I need some social interaction that isn't all baby (joy that he is...but you know). Also, we live in a city that you have to drive to get anywhere. Its very annoying. *sigh. Thanks for any suggestions.
post #2 of 19
Is he in a baby-bucket seat?

My daughter was the same as you describe, but we figured the baby bucket made her lay down too much. As soon as we switched to a convertible seat (still rear facing, of course) she stopped hating it.

From that point on, no problems, and that was more than 6 months ago...
post #3 of 19
Agreed with PP. A friend had that exact problem, changed seats and viola...happy kid...
post #4 of 19
Our DS has had a love-hate relationship with the car over the past few months. One thing that helped was to give him Hyland's Colic Tablets (homeopathic, like the teething tablets) and his pacifier to get him calmed down before I started driving (without the pacifier the tablets just liquefied and ran down his chin : and the pacifier alone did nothing). That helped for a couple months. Now he's fine in the car unless he gets tired and then he SCREAMS endlessly and absolutely nothing helps. I hate hate hate it. But like you said, you have to go somewhere sometimes! He recently switched to a rear facing convertible and that helped a little but not much. I don't know what else to suggest other than this too shall pass!
post #5 of 19
I had this same problem with my DD. She would scream and cry so hard she would be sweating and gasping for air. I would cry every time we had to go somewhere. It was so traumatic for all of us that we limited where we went. Luckily it was summer and we could go for nice walks around town to avoid being cooped up. I came here looking for some answers and so many Mamas said that she would soon grow out of it - I really didn't believe them!

Well, they were right! :

She is now 5 months old and for the last 5 weeks she has been so content it's kinda scary! I don't know what magic switch got turned on in her head, but it happened. She'll even SLEEP in the car seat. Wow.

I guess I'm just trying to say hang in there! It should get better!
post #6 of 19
My newborn hated the car til I took her to the chiro. He adjusted her neck and she was much better after that. Now she only cries in the car when she's hungry.
post #7 of 19
If you look through this forum you'll find LOTS of posts from mamas whose babies hate the car - you're definitely not alone!
I also thought that all babies loved the car and instantly fell asleep in it (after all, don't some people recommend driving around as a way to get your baby to sleep??) and couldn't figure out what was wrong with DD that she screamed bloody murder in it. Now I've heard of lots of kids who feel the same way. Luckily, we live in a city and rarely use the car so she doesn't have to put up with it much, but it's still painful when it's occasionally unavoidable (like our recent trips to/froom the airport).
DD is 5 1/2 months, and I still haven't found anything that really helps. We switched her to a convertible seat at 3 months and that helped moderately - if she's in a really good mood and has just nursed and has someone in back with her she can sometimes make it for 20 minutes without crying. She definitely prefers it to the bucket. The mirror and frog kick toy that a friend recommended (attached to the back of the backseat that she's facing) don't seem to do much. The few times that I've had the time to stop the car and try and comfort her I've found that it makes it worse when I put her back.

At this point, I'm guessing she's going to hate it until I can turn her forward-facing, which seems to be the thing that's helped many similar babies, but that feels like a LONG time away....
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great responses!

I guess I'll hope that it passes in time. We do have a bucket infant car seat, but it sits pretty upright (the first month was hard for him to sit, I had to use a head support) but now he's grown into it.

I don't know if it's that he's just so used to being with me right near him, or that he hates his seat but I guess we'll just have to wait and see. DH was pretty un-enthused about getting a convertible seat...But I'm glad to read that I'm not alone. Thanks!
post #9 of 19
Our worst time period was 6 weeks to 4.5 months. It was ear piercing screams every second we were in the car. And, everyone seemed to poo-poo me with "oh babies love the car." Not mine.

I think the convertible seat helped, a musical light up toy that attached to the back to the seat in front of him, listening to books on tape or talk radio (no music), and limiting trips all helped some. Mostly, it was the tincture of time.

Now, at 15 months old, he isn't fond of the car if he's tired or hungry, he never naps in the carseat, we can listen to music occasionally, and every trip isn't a scream fest. Every trip isn't fabulous, but it's soooooo much better than it used to be. So much better.
post #10 of 19
Both my DD's have been car seat haters, and nothing has ever helped. I just really limited my trips anywhere until they were old enough to tolerate it or I only drove while the baby was sleeping.
post #11 of 19
Mine hates it too. He is a year old now and still going strong on the hating it thing.

The only thing which helps is his 10 year old brother sitting back there with him taking care of him. On the rare occasions that my partner is with us, he drives so I can sit in the back and hang over the carseat to nurse the baby.

: I know, I know but I'd rather be questionably strapped in and keep the baby happier. Sometimes even that doesn't help though.
post #12 of 19
I posted the same question when my DD was about 4 months. It was so horrible driving with her. We would both be in tears. At the 6 month mark she started getting better, and would just cry for a little bit in the beginning. Now I put Raffi's "Bananaphone" on and she is fine. She loves that song so much. After listening to it a couple times I turn it off and if she doesn't fall asleep, I hear her "talking" to herself. I got lots of great suggestions here, but the only thing that seemed to work was time.

My heart goes out to you.
post #13 of 19
Hugs to you mama! I've so btdt! I'm actualy still going through it myself.
I first got a nicer car seat that sits higher so ds could see out the window. That helped a bit. It made it possible to travel for 5 minutes instead of 2. Then we found that if we crank the rap and R&B on the radio that lets us travel for up to 10 mintues. Now, our new find is that if we give son a special snack while driving (he loves gorilla munch right now) we can last 15 + minutes! It's a miracle! Hang in there! You too, will see the light at the end of the tunnel...eventually
post #14 of 19
I'm new but I have some suggestions. I'm a car safety geek. We went through a lot of trial & error to make Milo happy in the car. It can be really stressful.
We switched to a convertible seat at 3 months.
We also didn't have the seat at the full 45 degree angle. The seat can be a little more upright as long as the baby has good head control.
Milo had problems with reflux & it made a big difference for him.
He can also see outside which is another big bonus.
He loves the radio & "sings" along.
A mirror can be useful as long as it is secured really well. You wouldn't want it to come loose in an accident. I have friends that use the "ouch test". If you can smack you SO with it & they don't say "Ouch!", then it is safe in the car.

He is now happily rearfacing at almost a year & will be until he reaches the 35 pound limit on his carseat. I always encourage others to check out the benefits of rear facing beyond the legal minimums. There truly are safety benefits.
post #15 of 19
My first thought was - is he 4 mo? very typical that by four months they discover they hate the car... I remember this vividly. a fellow momma of a same age baby as mine went through this at the exact same time.

I would suggest atleast one thing... really feel around the car seat with your hands, using pressure to feel out for uncomfortable bumps or things to maybe explain the complaints. I discovered part of my problem was our car seat was missing some padding.

Also I suggest never go anywhere - including home from the grocery store without feeding and checking the diaper. Every errand should include two checks, befor eyou leave and before you return home. Always. It will minimize your misery.

your ds has no idea how long they will be trapped in that carseat - so each misery seems unbearable.

This too shall pass...

for us it meant pulling over to check out baby's comforts... always pulling over and checking - and giving kisses if nothing is found.

Now 15 mo my ds is a seasoned veteran of looong car trips and errands and does a wonderful job tolerating it ... oh and I would also suggest telling dc you are going to be putting them in the car... explain the trip ... talk it through.... like a count down ... soon we will have to get back in the car soon...etc.

I have found that having done that - I layed a really good foundation for ds to understand what we were doing. and it has furthered cooperation now that he is older
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the good tips! I'll definitely keep in mind that this will eventually pass. I've checked out his car seat for comfort issues. It's not the softest seat in the world, but he seems okay in it if we take the seat out of the car and he sits in it somewhere else, say, a restaurant. I've played around with him in it while in the house and he seems happy, so I'm ruling out seat comfort, but maybe the fact that he can't see out the window could be bothering him.

Anyway, I"m glad to hear I'm not alone! Thanks again, everyone.
post #17 of 19
I have had two friends with this problem and switching from the infant seat to a convertible fixed it! Good luck mama!
post #18 of 19
We also had the same problem with our DD. She would scream, gasp for air, and sometimes even throw up. It was horrible!! I did not go anywhere alone especially on a highway where I couldn't pull over for fear that she would choke to death. I read so many posts from moms saying that it would pass and fortunately it did!! At 5 1/2 months old her crying stopped and she would sometimes fall asleep. At 7 months we switched her to the convertable carseat and she sleeps like a queen! She still sometimes fusses if she feels she has been in the seat too long and isn't sleeping but it is sooo much better. I can actually go out. Just wait it out. As they say it too shall pass!!
post #19 of 19
That is so hard! I've been there. Now, still happens on occasion.

We had great success with books on tape that have an accompanying book. I found a Barney book with a read along cassette for $2 and DS loved it!

Best of luck!
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