My baby is losing her voice... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-15-2005, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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... from screaming so much.

I'm sort of at a loss for what to do here. I THINK shes teething... I took her to the doctor who pretty much said the same thing. But I just don't know.... I worry. She gets SO upset.

Last night, for example. We had to go pick up DP from work last night. She was awake for several hours before, and I nursed her off and on a lot, right up until before we left. She was somewhat uninterested in nursing but I still tried... then I changed her diaper, and we left.

Well, not 5 minutes down the road -- SCREAMING. It was around 9:45pm, and I had thought the timing was perfect for her to go to sleep. I really needed to get some gas, so I flew to the gas station. I got in the back with her while the gas was being pumped, and she calmed down. I gave her a few toys, which she seemed happy with. But as SOON as I got back in the front seat..... screaming again.

Here's the strangest thing too -- if I can't stop the car, I actually have to ignore her, or she gets more upset!!! I've tried talking to her -- the second I do, she screams twice as loud!! I've tried giving her my hand, even letting her suck on my finger while my arm goes numb.... it just makes things worse!

I pulled the car over again, tried nursing her.... she was distractable, but okay. Maybe I didn't nurse her long enough, I don't know (but remember, I nursed her RIGHT before we left, and she wasn't even interested... )... but I gave her some toys and got back in the front seat. As soon as I was gone... screaming again.

At this point, it leaves me wondering what I'm supposed to do! I have to get DP from work, I cannot actually stay in the backseat when I'm supposed to be driving... stopping only helps for as long as I'm back there, so it isn't even practical.

She finally fell asleep right as we got to DP's work, and stayed asleep once we were home.

In general, it would sound like I need to avoid being in the car. She usually IS okay in the car though -- but nights seem to be consistently worse, I really don't know why. Isn't being afraid of the dark something people learn? ...

Anyway, we've finally started to give infant tylenol a try, and I THINK it might be helping. She actually plays with her toys without constant whining / cranky-ness now. I don't know what else to do. We've had no luck with hylands products.

Well... I'm not really sure what I need here. I'm baffled and confused and frustrated over how upset my baby gets. I cannot believe the screaming last night. I really don't know what she needed! -- unless... maybe she just needed me? But in that situation, I don't know what I could have done for her. Talking to her and touching her wasn't enough, apparently. And I couldn't sit in the back with her until I picked up DP.

I feel like such a bad mama because my baby is so UPSET all the time. Its funny.... I can say that I have such a happy baby and such a cranky baby, and BOTH ARE TRUE! I just don't get it.

p.s. Oh, part of what I'm confused about is I don't know if this really is teething, or what. Maybe she just is unhappy. I don't know! I have yet to see any teeth, although it does feel like they're coming. Its felt like that for a while, though. :\
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#2 of 8 Old 07-15-2005, 01:38 PM
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My first DS was a screamer in the car. It was a nightmare. He got better as he got older and was in the bigger car seat. But, he didn't like riding in the dark unless he was asleep (and therefore didn't know it was dark). I would leave the interior overhead light on for him if we had to drive at night and he wasn't asleep. Once, we even used my DH's little head lamp (like you would use for camping or backpacking) strapped over the back seat to give him light without disrupting the driver. I don't think he was scared of the dark, but just couldn't see anything fun. Who knows. He would also get more mad if I talked to him or touched him. Hope future car rides go better for you.

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#3 of 8 Old 07-15-2005, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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There are a couple of overhead blue lights in the back, that we sometimes leave on. They give a dimmer amount of light so as not to distract the driver, plus theyre pretty! They don't seem to help, though.

Maybe I'll look for a light like the one you described... maybe she just likes to be able to see in the dark.

It has always seemed strange to me that nighttime car rides have been significantly worse than in the daytime. Honestly, I would think things look more interesting at night... there are so many lights out!

Anyway, thanks for responding. Its really difficult to know what to do when we're in the car at night, we HAVE to keep going eventually, and she will not stop screaming. It makes me feel panicked to think of being stranded because my baby won't stop screaming. I always feel weird "ignoring" her, while in the car..... but it never fails that if I say or do ANYTHING to her without getting back there... she screams twice as bad. I guess it means she really wants me? Either that, or she hates me. Heh.
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#4 of 8 Old 07-15-2005, 03:07 PM
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I just wanted to say that my dd used to scream forever if she was in the carseat at night. I think it was because she knew it would put her to sleep. Day times in the car were fine. It was just night time. So I avoided taking her out when it was dark. But we recently (for 4th of July) had a few family picnics requireing us to be out after dark and she fell asleep on the way home without screaming. It was such a relief, but then again, she was totally exhausted too.

One time I had a two hour drive and she screamed for more than 45 minutes while I was trying to navigate through downpouring rain. I couldn't just stop and it was hard to concentrate. I tried talking to her singing, everything.

hopefully it's just a phase
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#5 of 8 Old 07-15-2005, 03:21 PM
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My son went through this at around the same age. If he was tired, or it was getting to be evening, he just could not deal with the car at all. Talking to him didn't help, I think he felt goaded to cry more because I wasn't picking him up. I was always the one driving him in the evening, my dh would bring him to me at work earlier in the day and he'd be fine, but by the time we left work--it was too much already and he couldn't take it! I think it's the "too much stimulation at night" thing, the second phase!

It is just a phase, something rotten that I had almost forgotten! We had to get through it, it was just the way things were arranged. Sometimes if you play their favorite music they calm down. Or if you nurse them RIGHT before you stick them in the carseat, and then buckle them in and quickly drive away, they fall asleep.

When they are old enough to turn the carseat around, this problem goes away almost like magic.


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#6 of 8 Old 07-15-2005, 04:31 PM
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Our ds does the exact same thing, only it doesn't matter if it is dark or light. He cries so hard it breaks my heart! We've had to pull over (once in the pouring rain, and recently I was alone and had to hold him), we've tried with me sitting in the back to play with him (works for about 15 minutes), singing to him, touching him. I always make sure he has just nursed. I've nursed him in the car. Nothing works (and as you say, some of it seems to make it worst). Even after I pull over and hold him, he continues to cry when we get back in. Often, he cries until he just falls asleep; this kills me because I think how is that different from letting him cry it out? The only difference is that he is not in bed, really. It's the only time in his little life when he is not picked up when he is distressed. I keep thinking what must he be feeling, that I abandon him every time we get into this weird machine that goes fast and takes us places?

We live in the city and don't drive all that much, and never for long distances. But sometimes, I just have to go! Especially recently in these heatwaves, our only respite is driving to somewhere airconditioned. But even a trip to the farmers' market today, which is 10 minutes away, sent him into a fit of tears. He has tear streaks when I take him out (BTW, ds has also been having teething pain, but the car troubles preceede this. We're using camilia, which seems to work if administered frequently).

We talked to our doctor about it and she suspects it may be carsickness. I'm not so sure, because he doesn't seem nauseous, but who knows? I wonder if he's scared because he's facing the back, or too hot, or can't see me.

I know he will grow out of it, but it's really rough in the meantime. It's hard to not feel guilty and like a bad mother when it happens.

Anway, hugs to you! I'll let you know if I find a magic trick.
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#7 of 8 Old 07-15-2005, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you!!

I hope this phase passes quickly. I usually do try to avoid going in the car at night, unless I get the timing right (knowing that shes fed, changed, and sleepy -- that usually means going to sleep. ). I think the teething may have gotten worse lately, and added to her distress. I don't know!

She just screams SO MUCH. It drives me insane! It makes it so hard for me to drive well, and I feel kind of panicked because I know that pulling over will only alleviate the problem for as long as I sit in the back. Eventually I HAVE to start driving again...

Gah. I just feel like such a bad mother. My baby is actually LOSING HER VOICE. She sounds really cute ..... but thats bad! And it probably hurts her throat. She can't even scream very loud anymore because its all.... used up.

Thanks for the support. I think we're just going to have to make it through this as best we can. Its really hard to know what to do because -- she DOES like the car during the day, and sometimes it helps her not be cranky. But at night, or... even just whenever, she might end up HATING it, and then I might be in a bad spot.

OH, and it also makes it really hard to keep commitments... like, going to the doctor, chiropractor, meeting with a friend. I HATE canceling on people, and I feel bad that I'm late all the time. Every time I'm on my way to an appointment, I start to wonder why I bother making plans AT ALL. I never know if I'll get the timing right, and it stresses me out.
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#8 of 8 Old 07-15-2005, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jocmtl

Our ds does the exact same thing, only it doesn't matter if it is dark or light. He cries so hard it breaks my heart! Nothing works (and as you say, some of it seems to make it worst). Even after I pull over and hold him, he continues to cry when we get back in. .
ditto. E hates the car...cries cries cries unless I sit in the back while DH drives and occasionally lean over with my boob in her mouth :
so basically i'm a hermit

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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