car travel woes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-14-2007, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 11 weeks now and often screams while we are in the car. I was hoping to have some reprive with the car travel woes by now. Not many have had advice for me because so many kids are lulled to sleep by the car...not my girl. She can be fast asleep, I get her into the car seat, start driving and within 5 minutes the ramp up (little whimpers) to screaming has started.

Heres the thing. We initially thought she didn't like the car seat itself, so we practiced a for 5-10 minute sessions in the house, then in the car, that all went fine. She wasn't even in her car seat or the car until she was 2 weeks old, so we thought maybe that was it (not that I can change that nor would I). Now she'll sometimes be fine in the car. Even had to do some car travel for the holidays and she was mostly fine. But more often than not she will be OK for about 5 minutes and then SCREAM for the remainder of the ride.

Does anyone have any ideas. I feel horrible cuz it feels like cry-it-out often...even though many times I'm right in the backseat with her, talking to her, touching her....she still screams. I'd never put her in the car if I didn't have to, but alas we are a travelling society (I get to bring her to work with me, this is the most frequent time she travels in the car).
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#2 of 9 Old 01-14-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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Our DD was the same way. She would scream every time we were in the ca no matter if it was for 5 minutes or 5 hours. She would be totally fine in the carseat in the house, but riding in the car was different somehow. She did it until she was 2 months and we bought her a convertible seat. That did the trick. I hope it gets better for you!

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#3 of 9 Old 01-14-2007, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
She did it until she was 2 months and we bought her a convertible seat. That did the trick. I hope it gets better for you!
I have a Britax Marathon that I've been waiting to put her in because she so darn small and WI winter has finally set in. It's been nice to have the car seat inside and warm for her. I've been thinking of switching though to see if it would make a difference - you've just convinced me.
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#4 of 9 Old 01-14-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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My DD1 did this, NOTHING helped. We tried a new britax marathon, toys, I could go on and on, I literally just had to wait it out. It got better when she was about 18 months old. I rarely went anywhere until then, she still just tolerated the carseat with the help of toys until she was 3. She is 4 now and has no carseat issues. But enter DD2 who is 2.5 months old and does the exact same thing.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-14-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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Peony- so glad to read your post! DD is almost 11 months and we've been dealing with the carseat screaming since birth! YIKES!! Nothing has worked for us, either- different seats, toys, sounds, etc. So hearing that it got a bit better for you at 18 months is encouraging!!! Usually other people who deal with it have found something that helps or their babies grow out of it shortly...so that was always discouraging.

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#6 of 9 Old 01-14-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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Honestly, we went through this for several months, but because the infant seat (ours was a SnugRide) was safer when she was so small, we waited to switch her to our Britax until recently.

Things I found helpful when baby was miserable in the car: Rescue Remedy before we went anywhere, and a full tummy/nursing prior to leaving in the car. Also having a toy that lit up or made some sound was a helpful distraction -- thing is, I pretty much hate those kind of toys, but we were pretty desperate, and one toy like that helped if it wasn't too obnoxious.

I personally think some babies are just overwhlemed by the car: noises, vibration, bright light, etc. And so having anything you can to help make it not so overstimulating is good (like shades on the windows, etc.). Obviuosly if it's overstimulation in your baby's case, a very bright light-up or noisy toy would not help.

We got a little stuffed bug from Target (said surface wash only but it was fine in a pillowcase) that would light up and play music, and had a hook thing to latch it to her carseat. That way when everything else failed, it would sometimes work to focus her attention so she could relax. The Gloworm also helped.

And try singing! Singing helped us a lot too.

And when in doubt, find a safe spot to pull over and nurse. (I love church parking lots for this. )

Even though the Britax might fit your child well enough at this age, try putting baby in it before you install it, and make sure it's reclined in the infant position to check the fit so she's secure. Ours was just too big for our baby when she was 11 weeks old. Yours may fit fine! But we found over time, taking some shorter trips in the car just to get her used to the sound, etc., was helpful. (I'm talking drive around the block a few times.) You can also try sitting in the car with it running (not in a garage obviously) and nurse her, so she can start to associate the car with a calmer activity? Then after nursing, put her in the carseat. Or just take her back in the house. But have the car running while you're nursing so she'll hear the sound, etc.?

I think it's an association thing sometimes with some babies, so trying to find a better association might help.

And in our case, she just eventually grew out of her car-hatred. But I'm convinced it had less to do with the seat and more to do with the experience (though that might not be your case -- and we were very careful about adjusting the seat and straps so it was safe and snug but not uncomfortable -- our baby gets hot easily and that was one big factor this summer). And honestly, during the worst of it, I found myself staying home and not taking her out if I absolutely didn't have to. It was better on us both that way.

Yours will grow out of it eventually! But try some of those tricks and if it still doesn't work, then switch seats (just be sure to keep it rear-facing).

GL!! And you're certainly not alone. And I'm sorry you and your wee one are having a hard time. It does suck.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#7 of 9 Old 01-15-2007, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I'm super glad to hear that others are in the same boat. Up until now, all I've heard is, "my xx loved the car, blah, blah, blah." Not helpful when I'm going in to stress mode each and every time we need to go into the car.

Thanks nighten for all the suggestions. We have tried a few of them, but not lately. We can make it through the round again. Also have not put DD in Marathon yet because she was too small. I tried it out last night and the straps are finally -at- her shoulders. I imagine if we can wait another month, they'll be below which seems even safer in the rear facing position.

Wish I could be a SAHM - I wouldn't really need to be in the car much then at all. We can do almost everything in this neighborhood by walking - even small grocery shopping. However, I do need to work - I thought I was doing good because DD could come with me. Guess we'll see how the love for the car (or lack there of) progresses.
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#8 of 9 Old 01-18-2007, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, we tried to use our Marathon seat today to curb the meltdown - NO GO. I was so hopeful. The first few minutes were bliss, I thought we had found a solution. But then the small little whimpers started, and grew and grew. The 15 minute ride left me feeling frazzled and DD sweating with a tear stained face.

Love to figure out a way to keep her out of the car as much as possible, but as I previously mentioned it won't always be possible.

Wish there was a magic solution!
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#9 of 9 Old 01-18-2007, 04:26 AM
 
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If anyone finds one, I sure would like to hear about it! We have a Britax Boulevard, which DD has been in since birth, and she has never liked it. There are magical times when everything comes together and she sleeps in the car, but if she is awake she is screaming 95% of the time. I second toys, although we learned that we had to carry an arsenal with us at all times because of her habit of flinging them aside after a few minutes.

And, we tethered a pacifier to the carseat at 9 months. : Sometimes it works like a charm--she often goes right to sleep with it in her mouth. It's no magic cure, but it works sometimes.
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