My baby HATES her carseat! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 06-05-2011, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My baby is 6 weeks old, and she has hated her carseat from the moment we first put her in it in the hospital. I try to not go anywhere with her unless someone else is with me, so I can sit in the backseat with her and try to console her. She usually screams so hard that she seems like she won't be able to breathe and we end up pulling over every few minutes so I can take her out of her seat. As soon as I pick her up she stops crying, and it makes me feel awful that I have to put her back in. I've tried exchanging her carseat, and the problem continues. She's not a fussy baby at home, but I do hold her a lot of the time, and she stops crying whenever I pick her up at home. I feel so badly that I have to let her cry when we're driving, but we live in a rural area and we have to drive to get anywhere. I can save many of my errands to do when my husband is home and can stay with her- but sometimes I need to get out of the house. 

No one I ask has heard of this problem- everyone tells me their baby "loved the carseat" and driving in the car. I'm wondering if I should try to keep her home as much as possible, or if it would be better to just keep trying to take her out until she gets used to it? We tried hanging toys above her seat and she has a sleep sheep and a mirror to look at. Sometimes these distractions help, but not when she really wants to be held.
Has anyone else had to deal with this problem?
Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 15 Old 06-05-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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My son had a lot of trouble with the carseat for months.  What ended up working was constant singing...and I mean CONSTANT!  If i was singing he was ok, otherwise he was crying.  This usually got us where we needed to go, but often on longer car trips we took frequent breaks for nursing/cuddling.  He needed a lot of contact and lived in his sling, so I suspect the carseat was just too much separation.  He's two now and loves the car!  It will pass, you will figure out something that gets you through but it is so tough right now!  I feel for you!

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#3 of 15 Old 06-05-2011, 03:48 PM
 
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hug2.gif i was there with my LO. it's so hard. i tried to limit the car as much as i could too, but there were times for my sanity that i would just get out even though i knew he'd be crying. my LO is 14 weeks now and much better, but will often still cry. i've perfected nursing while he's in the seat...and that seems to be the only thing that regularly helps, but i know it's comfort nursing, and not because he's hungry. 

 

there are lots of babies who don't like the car...sadly. some take a long time to outgrow this, some do it pretty quickly. hug2.gif


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#4 of 15 Old 06-05-2011, 04:21 PM
 
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My DD is almost 9 months and still hates the car. For us, it got a little easier when she was old enough to distract with toys and goofy faces. I try not to go more than 10 miles if it's just me and the baby. It's just so hard listening to her cry.

 

Sorry I can't be more helpful. But I can commiserate! It will pass.


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#5 of 15 Old 06-06-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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My baby was also a car screamer. I found I was able to sit next to his carseat, in the middle seat ~buckled in even~ and lean over to nurse him. It worked! After that I refused to drive anywhere with him unless my husband was driving and I could sit back there and nurse him.

Just last week we got him a bigger carseat (he's 12 months) that faces forward, so I can't nurse him anymore, but so far he seems to like it much better (we've only gone on one drive so we'll see). I think he just felt left out and hated facing backwards.

 


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#6 of 15 Old 06-06-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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DD was a car screamer until about 6 or 8 months?  Fortunately, we are also a single car family so we take public transit with her in the sling during the days.  But I have always been a bus rider so it was not a change in my lifestyle to choose the bus rather than buying a second car we could not have affforded anyhow. (or dropping DP off at work every morning).  Even when people would offer me rides, I just take the bus instead.  It was much more relaxing to me.

 

BUT there were times when we were taking the car and she did scream.  It was hard for me to hear, and I always did everything I could to make sure she was comfortable, but she did scream.  We'd sing and talk to her all the time.  Tried sitting in front and sitting in back.  I was never able to nurse her.  Sitting in front seemed to be better after a few months because she seemed to get more frustrated looking at me but not being held.  The screaming stopped one day when she was six or seven months? 

 

In the end, I don't think the screaming hurt her.  She loves her carseat now and she is still RF at 2 years old.  She is usually pleased as punch to climb right in and be buckled in, and she occasionally requests for one of us to sit with her, especially if we are going in the car with DP after she hasn't seen him all day.  But just as often we ride in the front and talk to her while she rides in the back.

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#7 of 15 Old 06-06-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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My little girl (5 months) does not love the car.  Sometimes she is fine, but when she's over it she is O-V-E-R it!  As mentioned above, I have also found that singing helps.  I think that she is so used to being connected to me that it's very difficult when she can't see me or feel me near her.  I have recently purchased a mirror for our backseat.  It allows me to see her while I am driving, to reassure myself that she is ok.  It has the added bonus of distracting her from how much she dislikes the car.  Here is the link if you are interested.  There are different brands and configurations available to suit your car and needs.  Good luck!


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#8 of 15 Old 06-06-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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My almost 6 month old DD has hated the carseat since day 1, too. Nothing really helped, although with time she did seem to handle it a bit better(crying instead of sceaming the whole way). Last week we bought her an upright convertible carseat(the Britax Marathon) and she is, quite literally, a different baby in the car now. She sits back there and happily babbles her little heart out. My DD has reflux, so we had been told that often the infant bucket seats can actually make the reflux worse because of the way they are seated in those low seats. If your DD has reflux, I would seriously consider getting her a convertible carseat. I hope things get better for you, I know how hard it can be to drive with your little baby crying her heart out in the back seat.

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#9 of 15 Old 06-06-2011, 10:49 PM
 
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My 10-month-old has never been a big fan of the carseat, and switching to a convertible didn't help a whole lot.  He now tolerates it but is not thrilled with it.

What has helped:

- making sure he is comfortable - he tended to overheat a lot in the bucket seat

- pacifier and toys

- mirror - I can see him and he can watch the road going by

- white noise when he was younger, singing now

- if possible someone in the back seat with him

- we EC, so offering plenty of potty time and stopping if necessary for him to use the car potty

- going places more frequently so he is used to it

 


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#10 of 15 Old 06-07-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebirdgirl View Post

No one I ask has heard of this problem- everyone tells me their baby "loved the carseat" and driving in the car.


Really? I'm surprised! It's a pretty common problem I think.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by milomama View Post

My son had a lot of trouble with the carseat for months.  What ended up working was constant singing...and I mean CONSTANT!  If i was singing he was ok, otherwise he was crying.  This usually got us where we needed to go, but often on longer car trips we took frequent breaks for nursing/cuddling.  He needed a lot of contact and lived in his sling, so I suspect the carseat was just too much separation.  He's two now and loves the car!  It will pass, you will figure out something that gets you through but it is so tough right now!  I feel for you!

YES- we had to this until DS was 6 months. Constant singing ALL. THE. TIME. Ugh.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by momma2alauna View Post

My almost 6 month old DD has hated the carseat since day 1, too. Nothing really helped, although with time she did seem to handle it a bit better(crying instead of sceaming the whole way). Last week we bought her an upright convertible carseat(the Britax Marathon) and she is, quite literally, a different baby in the car now. She sits back there and happily babbles her little heart out. My DD has reflux, so we had been told that often the infant bucket seats can actually make the reflux worse because of the way they are seated in those low seats. If your DD has reflux, I would seriously consider getting her a convertible carseat. I hope things get better for you, I know how hard it can be to drive with your little baby crying her heart out in the back seat.

Yep,we changed DS to a convertible and he has no problem in the car now! He can see out the window and is more upright. He even goes to sleep a lot of the time! He has lots of toys back there and a mirror to see us and so we can see him.  I think the convertible seat was the thing that did it though. He loves looking out the window and playing with the buckle. No more constant singing...thank goodness. I was beginning to lose my mind!
 

 

 


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#11 of 15 Old 06-08-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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My LO hated it too. What helped for us was singing a constant loop of Old McDonald. Got pretty creative with it too. :)

 

I hope this stage passes soon!

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#12 of 15 Old 06-08-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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My daughter hated it too. I really don't remember how old she was when it got better... she was at least several months old when she stopped constantly crying in the car, but still cried anytime I'd stop for anything (stop lights, drive thrus, etc.) and those times just sucked. I'd talk to her, sing to her, reach back and let her hold my finger. Nothing really helped. She's 2 now and still rear facing, but she does okay now. She still gets cranky if we stop somewhere too long and she can't get out, but now that she's verbal I can tell her how much longer it'll be and ask her questions to keep her distracted until we can go again. I think most of her problem is that she feels left out. She can't see us in the front seat and in our old car the seat sat down low and she could just barely see out the window. Now, we have a minivan and she loves all the windows she can look out, it's a whole new world for her back there!

 

I do think she'd like it better if I turned her around and seriously considered it when she was over a year old and still hated the car. I'm glad we stuck with it though, rear facing is the best way for her to ride. 


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#13 of 15 Old 06-08-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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Wow, when I saw this thread I had to respond because my son hates his carseat too, and he's almost 6 months. Actually, what I've noticed is that he doesn't hate his car SEAT necessarily, but hates the car seat and moving car combination.  When he is exhausted, he will sleep in the car, and if I put him in the car seat, he will play in it fairly happily for about 10 minutes. Then the whining starts. I did put some plasticky light-up rattling frog thing that attached to his seat handle that he liked a lot for a few months. Initially, because he couldn't grasp and manipulate it himself, I had to shake the thing the whole. entire. drive to keep him entertained. Not cool when you're driving with one hand...but honestly, I felt like I was a better driver doing that than trying to drive through his screaming.

 

It is funny, because what ultimately works best for me is that same thing that works for Milomama- constant singing, and yes, I mean constant! I have sung to him for over an hour before on long trips. It is exhausting, but it works- and I've looked back to see what my son is doing while I'm singing, and he literally just sits there listening to me. Singing has been a huge comfort for him since he's been born, and I guess for some reason it just soothes him. It doesn't work 100% of the time- when he is really upset, nothing works except taking him out and holding him for a bit. Whenever we go anywhere now when my husband is with me too, one of us sits in the back with him, and if he falls asleep, we just climb up front.

 

I, too, hope this stage passes and I'd love to hear any other advice. I feel your pain and commiserate with you!!

 

Oh, and googoogaga- our method is a constant loop of "Wheels of the Bus" and "If You're Happy and You Know It", to which over hundreds of creative verses have been added. It pains me just thinking about it- ugh!!

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#14 of 15 Old 06-09-2011, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the support- it's good to know that my baby isn't the only one who has had this issue! The last 2 days I've used a white noise CD, and she responds surprisingly well to one of the tracks (we call it torential downpour). She will stop screaming and look around- it isn't consistent but it distracts her enough that I can talk and sing to her. And I don't hyperventilate from constantly "shhhhhh shhhhhh" -ing her. We do have a convertible carseat that she could use as well- maybe I will try it since we never take the infant seat out of the car. 

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#15 of 15 Old 06-10-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebirdgirl View Post

Thanks for all of the support- it's good to know that my baby isn't the only one who has had this issue! The last 2 days I've used a white noise CD, and she responds surprisingly well to one of the tracks (we call it torential downpour). She will stop screaming and look around- it isn't consistent but it distracts her enough that I can talk and sing to her. And I don't hyperventilate from constantly "shhhhhh shhhhhh" -ing her. We do have a convertible carseat that she could use as well- maybe I will try it since we never take the infant seat out of the car. 



As referring to your original post - my niece and DS both love, love, loved their carseats from day one. LOVED them. So it astonishes me (still!) that my DD (4 mo) hates hers like no other. And oh my goodness, can my little girl scream! I honestly try to wait until she is asleep to run our errands if DH can't be with us. Even more so than her screaming driving me bonkers, poor DS (34 months)  just doesn't know what to do. He just sits back there going "It's okay sweetie, it's okay, it's okay". 

 

Rolling down the window or windows enough to let in a little air and noise, hanging some chew toys (she is teething too), and singing help some. But mostly I think she just hates being alone. When DS talks to her she does a little better, but mostly it seems she just knows she is the only one facing backwards and is not a fan. We just relocated to a (slightly) more walkable area, although most things still require car trips. Just the 4-minute ride to the park is crazy! 


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