Carseat woes - do you think FF will help? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 08-09-2012, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 20 months, very spirited (he's on my shoulders as I type this), and the car seat has been a source of frustration since his birth.  It goes through phases, but when it's really bad (like now) I feel home bound because it's such a struggle to go anywhere.

 

This latest thing is that he wants to play in the front of the car.  If I do manage to get him into his car seat, he immediately flips out of it and climbs into the front to play with buttons on the dash.  I usually wind up giving him my phone or the ipad to play with, because that's better than physically wrangling him into the seat, but it feels like bribing and I'm not comfortable with that either.  

 

Once he's in the seat he's calm, but he does the same thing when I try to get him out of the car.  The second he's unbuckled he twists away and up to the front.

 

Now, I think that what's really going on is him trying to regain control within a transition.  I don't think it's the pure lure of the buttons.  All of a sudden this "difficult to transition" thing hit us like a train.  I used to be really good at waiting for just the right moment to transition him, but lately those moments just don't happen anymore.  Or rather, they happen, but the transition isn't any easier.  

 

He's still RF, and I'm so tempted to turn him.  Now that I'm typing it out, it seems silly and I'm realizing that I'm just wanting to do SOMETHING, anything, that might help.  My rationale has been that turning him might be exciting and new and fun and maybe distract him from wanting to be in the front seat.

 

I feel like it's either that, or permanently installing the ipad on the back head rest.  Ugh.

 

Any BTDT advice?  Or tips on transitions in general?  Even though I use warnings and tell him what we're about to do, he doesn't understand it yet.




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#2 of 17 Old 08-09-2012, 08:34 PM
 
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Honestly, I would rather have a unhappy kid, a really unhappy kid in the car, then ff a kid that age. I like spines and I like walking and it is just not worth it to increase the risk. 

 

I'd stop allowing the playing in the car prior to driving. Make it a fun activity for other days. But when you go to the car it is just for the car. Pack a special car only snack or a sticker book or a book for chewing/tearing *whatever* even the phone or whatever.

 

Car safety comes first.

 
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#3 of 17 Old 08-09-2012, 08:36 PM
 
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i doubt the newness  of being turned will last very long and  the significantly increased risk to his health and life far outweigh that short term possible benefit, please keep him rear facing.

 

the idea that popped into my head as i was reading is how about giving him something that "is there to help him with the transition" like a object that is there to back him up. his own personal transition object. its his job to carry it from the house to the car and then once he is buckled in it goes somewhere in the car like hanging on the handhold or something and then before he gets unbuttoned it get taken down and his job is to safely carry it into the house?

i may be totally of base and he may be too young I'm not sure, but if you think he could understand that enough you may give it a go.


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#4 of 17 Old 08-10-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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Well I am sure I'll be the only one here to feel this way, but here goes:

 

Our boy was a car screamer from a few weeks old on. It was sheer hell. We tried everything and the only thing that helped was if I rode in back (DH driving, obviously) and leaned over and nursed him (which I could do, uncomfortably, while still buckled in). Anyway we live in a big city and just used public transportation as much as possible so it wasn't as bad as some mamas who *have to* use a car if they ever want to leave the house, or who have older kids who need driving around so they have no choice, etc.

 

Anyway I sort of knew it was that he couldn't stand rear facing. Maybe it made him nauseous. I believe he also felt very left out being rear-facing, which it sounds like may be the case with your son too. He can't see much back there! Anyway the very minute he outgrew the bucket seat, around 12 months, we got the next bigger size car seat and it was forward facing. Viola! Problem solved! He never even so much as fusses in the car, ever, since then (he's 26mo now).  I have to add that I am in Europe and the next bigger carseats from the baby buckets (from age 1-3) are only forward facing. There is absolutely no option of having a rear facing child past infancy. The end. So there was no choice. However, I will be bold and admit that even in the US I would've done the same thing. I would've turned him FF.  run.gif I am not looking to debate and I do not have all day to sit here and write out a lengthy explanation of why I felt this was fine, but we all survived, as do most European children over 12 months who ride forward facing. It was simply causing us too much stress and agony and we needed a solution. Again....there was no choice as he outgrew his bucket seat and the next biggest size in this part of the world is only FF. I know Americans are different and Europeans tend to be slightly less concerned about child safety ~this does not mean lackadaisical and if you ask most people over here the perception is that Americans tend to go over the top with child safety concerns. I fall somewhere in the middle actually. I tend towards the "free range" type of parenting. I am American, BTW.

 

Again, I respect that many people are not willing to let their kid go FF until they are 2+, I am aware of the recommendations in the US (which are not the recommendations over here), and I am really not looking for debate, flaming or convincing. I am not trying to convince anyone either, just stating what worked for us and from what I hear has worked for many people.

 

Also, you say " I usually wind up giving him my phone or the ipad to play with, because that's better than physically wrangling him into the seat, but it feels like bribing and I'm not comfortable with that either."

 

I wanted to reply that I do not consider that bribing. It's distraction and I say if it works then so be it. Give yourself a break mama! It's not like you are plopping him down in front of the tv every day. We do what works and I do not believe that a young child playing with an iPad for a few minutes every couple days is going to harm them at all.

 

Good luck and in the worst case scenario this will pass, as all these childhood quirks eventually do.


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#5 of 17 Old 08-10-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

Well I am sure I'll be the only one here to feel this way, but here goes:

 

Our boy was a car screamer from a few weeks old on. It was sheer hell. We tried everything and the only thing that helped was if I rode in back (DH driving, obviously) and leaned over and nursed him (which I could do, uncomfortably, while still buckled in). Anyway we live in a big city and just used public transportation as much as possible so it wasn't as bad as some mamas who *have to* use a car if they ever want to leave the house, or who have older kids who need driving around so they have no choice, etc.

 

Anyway I sort of knew it was that he couldn't stand rear facing. Maybe it made him nauseous. I believe he also felt very left out being rear-facing, which it sounds like may be the case with your son too. He can't see much back there! Anyway the very minute he outgrew the bucket seat, around 12 months, we got the next bigger size car seat and it was forward facing. Viola! Problem solved! He never even so much as fusses in the car, ever, since then (he's 26mo now).  I have to add that I am in Europe and the next bigger carseats from the baby buckets (from age 1-3) are only forward facing. There is absolutely no option of having a rear facing child past infancy. The end. So there was no choice. However, I will be bold and admit that even in the US I would've done the same thing. I would've turned him FF.  run.gif I am not looking to debate and I do not have all day to sit here and write out a lengthy explanation of why I felt this was fine, but we all survived, as do most European children over 12 months who ride forward facing. It was simply causing us too much stress and agony and we needed a solution. Again....there was no choice as he outgrew his bucket seat and the next biggest size in this part of the world is only FF. I know Americans are different and Europeans tend to be slightly less concerned about child safety ~this does not mean lackadaisical and if you ask most people over here the perception is that Americans tend to go over the top with child safety concerns. I fall somewhere in the middle actually. I tend towards the "free range" type of parenting. I am American, BTW.

 

Again, I respect that many people are not willing to let their kid go FF until they are 2+, I am aware of the recommendations in the US (which are not the recommendations over here), and I am really not looking for debate, flaming or convincing. I am not trying to convince anyone either, just stating what worked for us and from what I hear has worked for many people.

 

Also, you say " I usually wind up giving him my phone or the ipad to play with, because that's better than physically wrangling him into the seat, but it feels like bribing and I'm not comfortable with that either."

 

I wanted to reply that I do not consider that bribing. It's distraction and I say if it works then so be it. Give yourself a break mama! It's not like you are plopping him down in front of the tv every day. We do what works and I do not believe that a young child playing with an iPad for a few minutes every couple days is going to harm them at all.

 

Good luck and in the worst case scenario this will pass, as all these childhood quirks eventually do.

I had fully intended to leave DS forward facing until at least 2 years as well.  When we moved him up to a Britax after he outgrew his infant seat we kept it rear facing.

 

We finally caved when DS was around 18 months old.  Like PJ, I would sometimes try to nurse him in the car while DS drove to calm him down when he was upset, thereby putting my own safety at risk.  It sort of worked, for a while, and sometimes he would even sleep.  But eventually, each trip over about 10-15 mins, he just screamed until he puked.  He not only screamed in the car all.the.time, even for short trips, he would usually also vomit all over the back seat even if I gave him gravol more than 30 mins before we departed.   We also tried those static strips as we'd heard then can help with nausea, but they did not. 

 

Perhaps adorkable is right and the novelty will wear off, but perhaps not.  But for my DS, car trips are now not a problem at all.  He has only puked in the car once since being turned FF (I think he just didn't feel well that day anyway, if I recall correctly), and actually is a good traveler (no TV, videos, etc. just some little cars he can play with and singing songs etc. with mommy and daddy) until we are about 3hrs into a long trip.  So, while I feel it should be a last resort, for us it was and it has made a lasting difference.  Whenever DC 2 comes along, I will keep that DC rearfacing as long as possible and cross my fingers they are a better traveler than DS was.


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#6 of 17 Old 08-10-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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remember that the OP said that once he is in the seat he is fine, it is the transition he is fighting, that is why i think the FF will have little to no effect on things.

 

on a side note there are many places in Europe like sweden that RF for a VERY long time, putting US standards to shame, it varies place to place but the science stays the same.  i feel a ton for folks that struggle with kids in the car, and I'm dealing with what seems to be a developing case of motions sickness in one or both of my twins, but we will make it thru and we will do that rear facing. (turning kids forward facing is not shown to fix motion sickness, giving clearer views out a window and less in car distraction will probably help more)

 

anyway i really dont want to derail this thread, lets get back to the help with toddlers and transitions that is probably at the root of the issue asked about here.


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#7 of 17 Old 08-10-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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20 months is more than old enough for FF.

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#8 of 17 Old 08-10-2012, 10:33 AM
 
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lets not let this thread get about the safety issues for RF vs FF and peoples pinions on that.  that is another thread and is almost sure to get out of hand. frankly it is off topic.

 

the OP is asking about the time frame of getting in and out of a car seat and was pondering if FF would help since she could not think of anything else to do. She has already stated that he does not have any issue riding in the car RF once he is secure in his seat.

 

i agree with Judi and PJ, i think focusing on a special item that he gets t have as he walks out of the house, or is waiting for him on his carseat each time and that he gets to enjoy when he is IN HIS SEAT, and making the car a get places thing not a play house.

 

i have two 19 month old wins and it is a common thing for me to get them both in and out of the car myself, they have car only stuffed animals and car only books, they actually have a basket of items in the center between their two carrseats. they seem to like to see "old friends" when they first climb in


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#9 of 17 Old 08-10-2012, 11:20 AM
 
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remember that the OP said that once he is in the seat he is fine, it is the transition he is fighting, that is why i think the FF will have little to no effect on things.

 

on a side note there are many places in Europe like sweden that RF for a VERY long time, putting US standards to shame, it varies place to place but the science stays the same.  i feel a ton for folks that struggle with kids in the car, and I'm dealing with what seems to be a developing case of motions sickness in one or both of my twins, but we will make it thru and we will do that rear facing. (turning kids forward facing is not shown to fix motion sickness, giving clearer views out a window and less in car distraction will probably help more)

 

anyway i really dont want to derail this thread, lets get back to the help with toddlers and transitions that is probably at the root of the issue asked about here.

Point well made, sorry for going off topic!


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#10 of 17 Old 08-11-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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Could you try to teach him to buckle himself? Since he likes playing with buttons, maybe he could try to buckle himself in. Being a "big helper" might be enough distraction to get him in the seat? Save the unbuckling lesson for way later though. smile.gif
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#11 of 17 Old 08-13-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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This is a really good suggestion. My DD would have love it. Also, can he get into his seat by himself? Have you encouraged it? DD really loves to be in charge. One of the reasons our Radian is such a hit. More comfortable RF and easier to get into.

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#12 of 17 Old 08-13-2012, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will try letting him buckle himself and see if that helps, although he is usually not in a state of mind to be open to suggestion. He'd probably yell no if I asked him if he wanted ice cream wink1.gif

On a more general note, I feel like this age is just rough, especially since he is on the later side of language development (maybe a dozen words at 20 months). He's highly spirited and knows what he wants but can't express it, and can't yet understand my explanations. When he has already decided he doesn't want to go or get in the seat, he's locked in and won't give up.



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#13 of 17 Old 08-14-2012, 06:35 AM
 
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I also don't think FF would really help.  I would give him special toys/books etc. just for the car, let him carry things to and from the car and stop letting him into the front seat to play with buttons.   Just don't let him up there, ever, ...make the car a place which is only for riding, not for playing in. He gets right into the carseat, you drive someplace and right out of the carseat again when you arrive or you get home.   My oldest was the only one I ever had problems with not wanting to get into the carseat, and that is because we used to let her play in the front seat at times.  With my younger ones, I never let them do that (didn't have time to), so it was never an issue.  They ONLY associated the car with riding in the carseat...never with playing in the front or anything, so they didn't resist the carseat.  Not to say they wouldn't still cry in the car....they would if we were on a long trip or they were hungry or something, but they never actually resisted getting into the seat because they wanted to play in the car.   Plus, I think it is safer for kids if they don't think of the car as a place to play...playing in cars is dangerous.


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#14 of 17 Old 08-14-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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While not being necessarily helpful, you may find this entertaining:

 

http://crappypictures.com/2011/08/toddler-hallucination-theory-car-seats.html
 

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#15 of 17 Old 08-14-2012, 11:30 AM
 
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oh my that was so funny, thank you thank you thank you of r that link!!!

 

here is a great one from the site, i hurt i was laughing so much!  http://crappypictures.com/2011/06/what-it-is-like-to-not-sleep-at-night-illustrated-with-crappy-pictures.html


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#16 of 17 Old 08-14-2012, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those comics are hilarious!

 

So, the problem with not ever letting him play in the front of the car is that we're in Austin, it's a billion degrees, and I have to start the car and wait ten or fifteen minutes before putting him in the car seat so it cools off.  Even the fabric parts of the seat are too hot to touch.  We don't have a garage so the car just bakes out there in direct sun.

 

Today I tried a few things, and one or all of them must have been successful.  I started out talking about what we were going to do.  Probably thirty times I said something like, "We're going to get in the car and watch a video, then go to the store," or just, "Car to the store."  I did have to fight with him over putting on underwear, but that's another issue.  I gave him the grocery bags to carryto the car, and that got him out the door although he dropped them before he got to the car.  I opened al the car doors and started it to cool it off.  I set the ipad with a video ready to go (but paused) at the foot of the car seat.  He stood in the back seat for a few minutes looking at books, then crawled in the seat by himself and started the video.  

 

He didn't want to stop watching the video when we got to the store, but got into the sling with minor fuss.  When we left I did the same thing, telling him we were going to get in the car and go home, and I was able to put him straight in without a fuss at all.

 

Hopefully we can keep recreating today!




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#17 of 17 Old 08-15-2012, 12:00 PM
 
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my daughter gets excited because she gets to go for a "ride." When that stopped working at 23 months we went FF and called it her big girl ride. It will last until she is old enough to fully undeerstand and do what she is told.
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