Singing fun songs only works sometimes -- for a little bit.
Food/water bottles only work for a short time.
My cell phone works for maybe like 2 minutes, until she drops it. Same with any other toys/books.
ANy Ideas?? We're in the car for about 45 minutes each day and it's horrible -- she just cries.
She has a high end (equals comfort?) carseat and has always dislike being in the car since birth.
Same problem. Mine is 3 1/2 and has always screamed about being in the car seat. As anti-TV as I am, I gave in and bought a TV for the car. It worked wonderfully for a couple of months. Now it works sometimes. I hope he outgrows it soon!
Is she facing forward yet or still rear facing? If she is over 20 lbs and still rear facing you might consider switching her. I know rearfacing is safer, but if she is so upset it distracts you from the road it's time to turn her.
Also I'm not familiar with your seat but when DS out grew his infant seat and got a convertible he was much happier b/c he could look out the window (the sides of the infant seat obstructed his view.)
I keep loads of lift-the-flap books on hand. I pick them up at Goodwill for cheap because the flaps get torn off invariably.
Oh man, I don't know what I would do without a DVD player in the car! DC only watch it when all else fails, but when I'm stuck on a 5 mile stretch of I84 that's going to take 1/2 an hour just to get through that, it's a lifesaver. I don't have much luck with toys & books because once they are dropped I can't turn around to hand them back. I ask lots of questions about she may be seeing around her, "do you see all the trees?", etc.
I would try every option before turning her around FF. DD is still very happily RF. A portable DVD player helps, but we only use it for long drives (over 2-3 hours). Other than that, she loves looking at soft books, or looking out the window and pointing things out to me. We talk alot about what we see out the window, or I'll turn on her favorite CD and sing along. Also, putting snacks into different containers entertains her very well. Figuring out how to get to the snack, and then eating it, and then putting the lid back on gives her something to do. We also try to schedule long drives around nap time, so she'll fall asleep in the car.
My 17 month old is terrible in the car, even for short trips. I've tried snacks and milk but am not 100% comfortable with that either. Anything I give her to play with she drops and then screams.
As much as I hate to admit it - I have caved and I use the DVD player too - we started off allowing it just for long trips - and now I will give in if the trip is over 1/2 hour - sometimes we don't need it - but more often than not she asks for elmo or baby einstein when we get in the car....
But beware - if you start using it - it is a VERY slippery slope.....
We once had a difficult phase with the car seat too. Here's how it worked out- two types of snacks, each 'buys' us 5-10 min, 2-3 toys, each would buy us 5 min, and whenever I can, I try getting my hands on good smallish books that arent too bulky to hold in the carseat. Also, I make sure I have a good supply of kiddy songs that my dd likes. Thats all we did I guess.
Both my sons hated the car. At 18 months my youngest is finally getting better. For us 45 minutes in the car a day is nothing. This is what I always have on hand: a bottle, a back up bottle, extra juice to fill bottle, various snacks and a couple of toys for car only including one hanging next to him he cannot throw away and one baby einstein music cd waiting for me to hit play, extra bouncy kids music all set up on my ipod. We do have a dvd player but while it entertains my 4 yr old, my 18 month old could care less about tv of any sort. After all of that sometimes my son still whines but usually that means he is tired and will whine/cry himself to sleep. The baby einstein cd always worked well for both boys and actually encourages them to quiet down and relax, usually they go to sleep with it on.
I will say with both my sons they screamed non stop in the car until the seat was turned forward facing. NON STOP. So any errand like food shopping involved 40 minutes of non stop screaming both ways and rarely did baby ever sleep in the car. So at this point being able to distract my 18 month old a little and keep the whines & crying to a minimum is actually a breather for us. We have 2 baby car seats. A Britax Roundabout which both boys were happy in forward facing and a Britax Wizard which both boys hated forward facing. The extra neck things actually increased screaming because they could not get comfortable in them.
snacks. that's the only thing that really does it for dd. books and toys inveriably get dropped, so i try and gather all car toys up front and hand them to her one by one as dropped. when that doesn't work, i go for the snacks. dd really loves fruit leather as a car treat. okay, she loves it all the time, but it works well in the car. i rip off two pieces for her at a time, so she can have one in each hand, and she's generally happy as a clam this way. plus turning the carseat ff helped out too.
Our son absolutely hated the car seat and would usually scream non stop--the record was 45 minutes because I couldn't drive any farther w/out a nervous breakdown. FF him made all the difference.
Also, I got one of those rear view mirrors that hangs down so we can see each other. Lots of Raffi sing alongs. Windows up and down per his request. Small toys like a little slinky, little noisy annoying Elmo phone, etc that stay in the car. He likes trucks and we live in the exurbs where there's a construction vehicle every 3 seconds and that helps too (pointing it out). We got him Mighty Movers Diggers and Dumpers and took it from there re: id'ing them. Anyway, HTH, he did outgrow it but we've yet to take a trip home to the GPs (2+ days). Isn't it weird how some kids just hate the car seat?