Car seat trauma-rama . . . HELP! - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-07-2008, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems like just yesterday that Lily would conk out minutes after being put in the car, and 9 times out of 10 would stay that way for the duration, even up to an hour's drive! And when she did stir, only rarely did she cry. Maybe twice during her first 3 months.

But for the last month or so, this is increasingly not the case! Any drive over 10 minutes or so, she starts to fuss and then, almost invariably, to cry, often to the point of screaming. It is AWFUL.

I was once stuck by the side of the road, at night, for 45 minutes, trying to calm her - she'd calm down, I'd try to put her back in her seat & she'd start again, over and over. I even had her asleep at one point & sure enough, she woke up when I put her in her seat. Finally it was almost 10 at night and I had to just grit my teeth and cry with her and drive the remaining half hour home. She screamed the whole way. I even tried to give her my pinky to suck, and all that did was make her vomit she has an abnormally strong gag reflex). So then I had a sobbing child covered in puke to boot.

Not all drives are that traumatic - that was the worst, but a lot of them lately are very close to it.

PLEASE tell me this is a phase! She is usually so well-tempered except for this! I am starting to feel trapped in my house. Any suggestions?

Halp.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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i wish i could say its a phase.
my 14mo still cant ride for longer than 10 minutes without hysterical screaming. we will stop at a red light, she will slightly calmdown then once the light turns green and we start rolling again the sobbing and screaming gets worse.
and thats with me in the van seat next to her talking to her, stroking her face, singing to her, trying to calm her.

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Old 10-07-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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My ds hated the car seat from early on. It's to the point where dh will drive and I'll sit in back between the car seats and nurse ds (both of us buckled in) until he is calmed down.

Things that have helped are - make sure he's well fed. If he's totally tanked up he's good for a few minutes. Dry diaper. Favorite blankie. Then I try to have a few interesting toys, we try the radio, I'll sit with him and make faces at him, and we keep the trips short if possible. He's starting to get better. If we have to go on a long trip we try to time it around his morning nap and he will zonk out. I've also heard that having a mirror and a light up mobile that she can interact with might work. Good luck, I know exactly how you feel about having an upset baby!

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Old 10-07-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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What kind of a carseat do you have? I have known kids who HATE the infant bucket seats and do really well when switched to a convertible seat. We found music that helped our kids, too.

I hope you find something that helps. I hated the few times I had to drive while my child was crying.

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Old 10-07-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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dd was/is a really placid baby, but she HATED being in the car and screamed inconsolably after 5 mins in the car when she was a newborn. Ugh.

I took her to the chiropractor (for her reflux), and after a single adjustment, she fell asleep in the car and hasn't had a screaming fit since. She'll happily play by herself for an hour or more on longer drives. It's a miracle!

We did also switch her to a convertible seat (we have a Radian): not sure whether it helped, but it definitely seems more comfy.

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Old 10-07-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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I agree about the infant seat. Our kids were better once we got them into a convertible. We didn't even use an infant seat with DS.

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Old 10-07-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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My dd was the same way until I caved and bought a toy that attaches to the headrest of the backseat. It lights up and plays classical music as well as says the colors. This along with me singing to her keeps her happy, otherwise every.single.car ride was a nightmare and I'd all but stopped leaving the house.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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Since she used to be fine in the car, maybe she has just gotten uncomfortable in her seat? There is very little padding in most infant seats, or she could just be getting too big for it even if she technically fits the height/weight specs. My son screamed until we put him in a Britax convertible seat at 2 months. Plus, he was higher up and could see better in the convertible.

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Old 10-07-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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[QUOTE=rebeccajo;12337626] I have known kids who HATE the infant bucket seats and do really well when switched to a convertible seat. QUOTE]

: My DD did MUCH better once we switched from the infant bucket seat. Like night and day difference
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all the feedback! Good ideas all. I do think that she's in an odd developmental space; old enough to be much more mobile & interested in everything that's going on (thus hating being restrained), and yet not quite dexterous or focused enough to really play with toys beyond just fiddling with things, which gets old after 5-10 minutes. I'm hoping that she will, therefore, be betting better.

I definitely do feed her right before we go, though it's frustrating when I try & she's just not hungry at that particular moment. I may take the suggestion of buying that toy, Aries! She calms for a bit when I reach back and shake her moose toy at her for a while, which is less practical for long stretches, but just proves that some toy action may help.

Also, enough people have given the thumbs-up to getting out of the bucket seat and into the next one that I may try that too.

Again, THANKS!
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