babe hates his car seat - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sigh, not sure what to do -- DS (3 1/2 weeks old) hates his car seat. Every time we have gone for a drive, he cries the whole time (even on very short trips). I thought most babies fell asleep in the car (DD certainly did and still does when she's tired)?! It is one of those Graco bucket seats, and I even put a sheepskin cover in it to make it more comfy, but he really doesn't like it. Do you think it is something he will eventually outgrow? Should I try a different kind of seat? I don't want to be trapped in my house all the time -- I have to be able to get out once in a while! Also, we usually visit my parents and my inlaws about one weekend a month, and that is a three-hour drive -- I don't want to be tortured with three hours of crying, ugh! What to do?

Christine, Perpetually Sleep-Deprived Mama to Sylvia (01/2005) and Stefan (07/2008)
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#2 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Does he cry in it even if it's not in the car? Maybe you can bring it into the house between drives & put him in for short periods of time (& buckle it) to get him more used to it.

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#3 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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My DS was the same way. He's 3.5 months old now and seems to have outgrown it. We did switch him to a Britax Marathon a couple weeks ago and he seems to like it much more than that Graco. We even took a looong trip (2 full days of driving each way) that was relatively painless. Thank God.
Can you sit next to him in the car and have someone else drive? The only way we got through that was me sitting next to him, nursing him in his seat. Sometimes he'd fall asleep after some nursing (until we came to a stoplight!) and once or twice he needed to nurse till we got home. I found it much easier to nurse him once I removed that obnoxious click-in base, and strapped his seat directly to the vehicle's seat to lower it several inches. HTH!

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#4 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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nak my ds was like that, and has sort of outgrown it but still sometimes has to be taken out and nursed to sleep, then veeery gingerly put back in if i need to go anywhere during naptime or for longer trips. i'd be careful about letting him asociate being in the car seat wth nursing... you'll never get anywhere on your own!!! i second lifeguard's idea, it's a good one.

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#5 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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I hear you big time. My 3 month old is totally like that. He is more tolerant of short (under 30 minute) rides now, but longer than that he gets fed up and screams. It is sooooo stressful. We drove about a 1 hour 20 minute drive the other day. We ended up stopping, I put him to sleep in the mei tei, then transferred him to car seat. He slept about 40 minutes, enough time for us to get most of the way there. The way home, he just got so upset there was no calming him down (well, he would calm but not fall asleep, and then start back up as soon as back in seat...we stopped twice).

It seems like he doesn't fall asleep in the car, so putting him to sleep first is sometimes helpful. You might try that. The suggestion of getting him used to it in the house might work, it's worth a try. Other than that, it's possible it's the seat itself - be sure the straps are placed in the right spots and all that.

We are switching DS2 to DS1's Marathon shortly and hoping that will help, as it did for elleystar
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#6 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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Sometimes babies do not like the bucket seats as it pushes the esophagus very close to the top of the stomach and can cause irritation, and reflux symptoms. So you could try moving him to a convertible car seat as most babies do much better in them if the problem is that they are uncomforatable. Otherwise I would just try and do short trips with him being fed, dry and sleepy.
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#7 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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I would switch to a convertible carseat. A lot of babies don't like bucket seats. I would also not put anything between the baby and the carseat, because that makes it less safe.

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#8 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 08:51 PM
 
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Not to scare you or anything, but my daughter HATED the car seat almost her entire first year. She was in a bucket for 2 months, then we switched her to a convertible to see if having more room would help, but she just HATED it no matter what we did. We tried everything - toys, music, blinky light things, a mirror, Rescue Remedy, nothing worked. So, we limited our car trips to only ones we really needed to, and I got her out of the seat as soon as humanly possible once we got to our destination. Basically, DH ran our errands and the only time I went out in the car was to take DS to activities a couple times a week, because we felt it wasn't fair to make him homebound because his siter hated a 10-minute car ride. Sigh. As soon as I would pick her up out of the seat, she would be fine within about 2 minutes. She just freeking HATED the seat. Looking back on it, I think she either got motion sickness facing backwards, or just hated being backwards because she couldn't see me at all - she was a very attached little girl and had severe separation anxiety for her entire first year as well, so it kind ofmakes sense she would hate being in the back seat if I was in the front driving, and she couldn't see me but could hear me. She was, and is, a very intense little girl....was perfectly happy so long as she could see me, and that went on for a long time.

I cancelled trips to my parents house (2 hours away) until she started getting better and would fall asleep if I timed the drive right around nap time. But that wasn't until she was about 9 months old, so my parents just came up to see us once a month instead of us going there.

Stopping to comfort her only made it a thousand times worse, so we would just grit our teeth, I'd talk to her about knowing she was unhappy and I was sorry that she didn't like the seat, but that it was for her safety and we would be there soon....and just get there as quickly but safely as possible. DS would just zone out...sigh. She was off the charts in height and weight at a year old (26 pounds and 33 inches) so we turned her around very shortly after she turned a year old in a desperate attempt to see if it would help, and.....it did.

Until you have a child who screams every single time they're in the car, you have NO idea how stressful and draining it can be. I know I didn't. If she had been my first, I would have honestly just stayed homebound, but it was not fair IMO to keep 3-yo brother homebound when he so enjoyed going to events and classes.

It was a LONG first year in a lot of ways with my intense little nugget. She has taught me a lot about patience and compassion.

I just thought I'd post so that if it *does* continue for you, even after trying "everything", that it will eventually end, though perhaps not nearly as soon as you would hope.

Hang in there, and hopefully changing his seat or some other trick will work for you (and anyone else reading the thread with the same problem). DD will be 26 months this month and now loves the car. Go fig.

**EDIT** - I was just looking through my previous posts on this topic, and it would seem she started getting better at around 10 months, based on a post made at that time.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#9 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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Mmm... brings back memories! This is one of the saddest things. DS hated the car seat until he was over a year old. I always thought it was something he'd get used to, but he didn't. The best advice I have is to stop and take him out when he cries. I can pinpoint the time it happened with us. We were on our way to the doctors and running late. DS was about a week old. He started crying and I didn't have time to stop and it's like from that point on all he remembered was, "Oh, yeah! I don't like this place. WAAAAAA!". All I'd have to do was open the front door and he'd start to get upset. With DD I went a different route. Everytime she got upset I got her out for a while. A pain, I know, but it paid off. She has no problem with the car rides. I'd take a couple of 10 minute car trips turned into 30 minutes for a few weeks over a year of hearing my LO cry. Good luck!
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#10 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thechuzzle View Post
Sometimes babies do not like the bucket seats as it pushes the esophagus very close to the top of the stomach and can cause irritation, and reflux symptoms. So you could try moving him to a convertible car seat as most babies do much better in them if the problem is that they are uncomforatable. Otherwise I would just try and do short trips with him being fed, dry and sleepy.
Switching my son to a convertible was like getting a completely different baby. Constant crying to silence. I only wish I had gotten him out of the bucket earlier.

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#11 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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using the sheepskin cover (or anything) in the carseat is unsafe. i would remove that regardless.

Learning Curve has a new convertible that is pretty well padded. you may want to see if you can find one of those (some believe smaller babies fit in them better than the Britax seats).
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#12 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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My dd was like this. WHen she was about 2 months old I was driving to the store and she cried so hard she spit up in her carseat and I had to pull over on the freeway because she was choking! I just sat in the car afterwards thinking, "OK, my life is officially OVER!" We ended up finding out that she was born with cataracts in both eyes and was essentially blind and now I think that maybe the movement and lack of sight was making her ill. She had surgeries at 3 months to remove the cataracts and got classes and was pretty happy in the car after that.

I'm not saying that your child has cataracts! I just thought I tell my story.
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#13 of 23 Old 08-05-2008, 11:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jaam View Post
nak my ds was like that, and has sort of outgrown it but still sometimes has to be taken out and nursed to sleep, then veeery gingerly put back in if i need to go anywhere during naptime or for longer trips. i'd be careful about letting him asociate being in the car seat wth nursing... you'll never get anywhere on your own!!! i second lifeguard's idea, it's a good one.
Yeah I can see how one might set themself up there lol. Fortunately we only do this when DH is driving and we are going on a longer drive. DS doesn't seem to expect it.

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using the sheepskin cover (or anything) in the carseat is unsafe. i would remove that regardless.

Learning Curve has a new convertible that is pretty well padded. you may want to see if you can find one of those (some believe smaller babies fit in them better than the Britax seats).
Yeah, if I had a smaller baby I don't know how I'd feel about him in the Britax just yet. However he's a huge boy-29" and 17 lb at 3.5 months old. So he does really well.

Life with a toddler: it's not so much the volume, it's the pitch!
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#14 of 23 Old 08-06-2008, 03:35 AM
 
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I would switch to a convertible carseat. A lot of babies don't like bucket seats. I would also not put anything between the baby and the carseat, because that makes it less safe.
:

My baby likes her Britax Boulevard better than the Graco Snugride. You should keep your baby rear-facing for as long as possible (not just until 12 months), which means that you'll need to get a convertible seat at some point anyway.
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#15 of 23 Old 08-06-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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Yeah I can see how one might set themself up there lol. Fortunately we only do this when DH is driving and we are going on a longer drive. DS doesn't seem to expect it.



Yeah, if I had a smaller baby I don't know how I'd feel about him in the Britax just yet. However he's a huge boy-29" and 17 lb at 3.5 months old. So he does really well.
my son was in a BV from birth. i have tall kids. i just laways have to make that statement for clarification purposes otherwise someone will come and say infants dont fit in convertibles. mine did and fine but i know the TF is believed to fit some small kiddos b/c it has more padding. AND it RF's to 35 lbs. also. of course if $$ isnt an issue (when is it not), i do prefer our BV's.
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#16 of 23 Old 08-06-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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Neither one of my DD's have loved the carseat for the first 1+ year no matter what we did. We just limit our driving. They have a max of one hour in the car before we need a long break, and this is with DH driving and me in the back. We only attempt a drive longer then 30 minutes once every few months, it just is not pleasant, so we avoid it unless we have to. DD2 is 21 months and will happily ride around town now as long as I have toys to hand back to her, and the drive does not last longer then 20 minutes.

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#17 of 23 Old 08-06-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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Oh, I feel for you. My 7 month old dd hates her car seat and only recently has stopped crying so much--now she usually cries only at the very beginning. When we took out the head support, that helped too.

I live in Doha, Qatar so we have no choice but to use the car for absolutely everything--it is not pedestrian friendly here (and right now, too hot anyway).

I sing to her. It doesn't always work, but it drowns out the crying.
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#18 of 23 Old 08-06-2008, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have already tried getting him used to the bucket seat in the house -- He has actually slept in it and tolerated sitting awake in it (for only about 10 minutes at a time), but has not been buckled in during those times. Perhaps it is the combination of the straps/buckles and the motion of the car that he does not like?

Unfortunately I can't sit in the back seat with him, because DD's car seat is next to his, and there is only room for two car seats.

I have a Britax Roundabout that DD has outgrown (she is in a Sunshine Kids Radian 80 now), perhaps I could switch DS to that to see if he tolerates it any better? I really really really hope that solves the problem, because I will go insane if I have to listen to him scream every time we have to go for a drive.

Christine, Perpetually Sleep-Deprived Mama to Sylvia (01/2005) and Stefan (07/2008)
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#19 of 23 Old 08-06-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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My four month old hates riding in the car too for longer than 10-20 minutes (sometimes less). It does help a lot if I ride in the back with her, but of course, we can't always rely on someone else to go along with us. I have taken up walking more, just to get out of the house. I am also trying to get more organized when I do get a chance to get out and shop.

I heard that it will pass....don't know when...but I feel your pain
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#20 of 23 Old 08-15-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Oh, I feel for you. My 7 month old dd hates her car seat and only recently has stopped crying so much--now she usually cries only at the very beginning. When we took out the head support, that helped too.
Taking the infant headrest really helped for us too. We didn't do that until she was almost 3 months though.

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#21 of 23 Old 08-15-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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Not to scare you or anything, but my daughter HATED the car seat almost her entire first year. She was in a bucket for 2 months, then we switched her to a convertible to see if having more room would help, but she just HATED it no matter what we did. We tried everything - toys, music, blinky light things, a mirror, Rescue Remedy, nothing worked. So, we limited our car trips to only ones we really needed to, and I got her out of the seat as soon as humanly possible once we got to our destination. Basically, DH ran our errands and the only time I went out in the car was to take DS to activities a couple times a week, because we felt it wasn't fair to make him homebound because his siter hated a 10-minute car ride. Sigh. As soon as I would pick her up out of the seat, she would be fine within about 2 minutes. She just freeking HATED the seat. Looking back on it, I think she either got motion sickness facing backwards, or just hated being backwards because she couldn't see me at all - she was a very attached little girl and had severe separation anxiety for her entire first year as well, so it kind ofmakes sense she would hate being in the back seat if I was in the front driving, and she couldn't see me but could hear me. She was, and is, a very intense little girl....was perfectly happy so long as she could see me, and that went on for a long time.

I cancelled trips to my parents house (2 hours away) until she started getting better and would fall asleep if I timed the drive right around nap time. But that wasn't until she was about 9 months old, so my parents just came up to see us once a month instead of us going there.

Stopping to comfort her only made it a thousand times worse, so we would just grit our teeth, I'd talk to her about knowing she was unhappy and I was sorry that she didn't like the seat, but that it was for her safety and we would be there soon....and just get there as quickly but safely as possible. DS would just zone out...sigh. She was off the charts in height and weight at a year old (26 pounds and 33 inches) so we turned her around very shortly after she turned a year old in a desperate attempt to see if it would help, and.....it did.

Until you have a child who screams every single time they're in the car, you have NO idea how stressful and draining it can be. I know I didn't. If she had been my first, I would have honestly just stayed homebound, but it was not fair IMO to keep 3-yo brother homebound when he so enjoyed going to events and classes.

It was a LONG first year in a lot of ways with my intense little nugget. She has taught me a lot about patience and compassion.

I just thought I'd post so that if it *does* continue for you, even after trying "everything", that it will eventually end, though perhaps not nearly as soon as you would hope.

Hang in there, and hopefully changing his seat or some other trick will work for you (and anyone else reading the thread with the same problem). DD will be 26 months this month and now loves the car. Go fig.

**EDIT** - I was just looking through my previous posts on this topic, and it would seem she started getting better at around 10 months, based on a post made at that time.

This has been pretty similar to our experience. ds is 8 months old and while he has gotten better, we're still in for a world of hurt if we drive longer than 10 or 15 minutes. What we try to do is run errands together - dp and I take turns driving and sitting in back with ds. We've tried all kinds of different toys back there - what's working mainly right now is books (with us reading to him).
I also don't hesitate to pull off at a safe place and nurse when ds gets too upset.
Hope you find some peaceful drives soon!

Mama to DS (12/11/07) and partner to DH (08/08). Expecting #2 late November 2011!
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#22 of 23 Old 08-15-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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Getting DS1 out of the bucket and into a convertible made a HUGE difference. Prior to that, he would scream the entire drive, whether it was 5 minutes or 50. Like The4ofUs said, driving w/ a screaming baby is a nerve wracking, stressful experience. Now I have DS2 who seems to be the same way. I'm about to order a Boulevard for him b/c poor DS1 is turning into a mushroom.

Oh, and FWIW, I got the convertible around 4 months, HUGE difference. I turned him FF a little over a year and it made zero difference. I did/do have the mirror thing that you hang where they can see you in the rv mirror, tho'.
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#23 of 23 Old 08-16-2008, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update -- The Britax convertible does make it a little better... He still isn't exactly thrilled about car rides, but at least he doesn't throw a screaming fit as soon as I buckle the straps anymore. Yesterday we went for a short ride without him crying the whole time, so that is good! For next week's trip to the inlaws (a three hour drive), I'm sure that we will still have to endure a bit of crying, but maybe it won't be as bad as it was with the bucket seat...

Christine, Perpetually Sleep-Deprived Mama to Sylvia (01/2005) and Stefan (07/2008)
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