uggh... the car seat - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I told myself I was no longer going to physically force dd anymore... no forcing into car seat, no forcing into clothes. I've also been trying to never yell. Well, today I failed on both accounts.

after being totally patient and trying every trick up my sleeve, dd informed me that she was not going to get into the car seat. Well, this was not an option for us, so I told her I would count to three and then put her in myself. She struggled so much that I ended up yelling at her while I pinned her down. :
Then she said "I'm so sad!" over and over and cried for 10 minutes.


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ds (2-23-09)
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#2 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 09:15 PM
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I didn't want to read and not respond, but I've got nothing. I'm just sorry.

Have you had any luck figuring out what the deal is with the car seat? Does she not want to go in the car, or not leave the house, or is it the actual car seat? How difficult!
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#3 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 10:28 PM
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The thing that works for us (at the moment!) is asking her "Do you want to climb in yourself, or have Mama put you in?" That way she has an option and gets some say in the matter. If she picks climbing in herself, we count to ten together while she does it, and she knows that's how long she has before I help her in.

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#4 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 10:58 PM
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BTDT! I also have an April girl who has always had a mind of her own and oh my the struggles we had over the carseat. My best advice is this: use whatever gentle strategies you can to get through it and don't worry if there are a few times when you have no choice but to physically put her in her carseat (i.e., you're running late, it's cold or raining outside, someone is waiting for you, etc.). This stage will pass all on its own - I promise!

I recall bribing, begging, waiting, rationalizing, etc. They all worked some of the time, and then there were those times when nothing worked... And then one day, the struggles ended - magically. It's a phase. She'll get through it. In the meantime, hang in there!
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#5 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 11:05 PM
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I had to do that a few times and I felt terrible, too. Fortunately this phase doesn't last long.

Because its so hard for them to choose to get strapped into that terrible carseat, I think its better to go ahead and do things you might not ever use under any other circumstances - treats.

I kept a stash of special treats in the car that I would give to DD after she was in the seat, saying something like, "I know its hard for you to be in this seat. Is there anything you would like that might help make it easier for you? How about a fruit leather?" If she said something like "hot cocoa" I'd do that (go to the drive through coffee store for cocoa). I figure if I have to do something enormously unpleasant, I try to make it easier on myself, too. I'm not bribing myself, I'm being kind to myself, I think, like getting a vanilla latte for having to get on the road in the early morning or for a long drive, and a nice music CD.

I didn't use it as a reward (e.g. "if you get in the seat you can have X") I just gave it to her regardless of whether it was a fight or not. I also turned the seat forward facing as soon as I could, and had special car toys. After a while she allowed me to put her into the seat without protest (although it was a lot longer before she actually climbed into the seat herself). I was just happy to not have the protest anymore.

Incidentally, if you are worried about her expecting a treat every time she gets into the carseat, that doesn't seem to have happened as DD got older. Now she has the capacity to know where we are going and often that is motivation enough ("we're going to the park and then to the store").
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#6 of 8 Old 09-26-2008, 12:23 AM
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I don't know if it's possible with your life situations, but I stopped forcing my DD in her car seat. She had just become uncooperative, and we had only done it a couple of times. And we've never forced clothes on. When DD won't get into her carseat we just don't go. Usually a combination of a snack, drink and some toys work. Even if my DD is upset leaving somewhere, giving her ice water or cold juice while I put her in her seat usually calms her and gets co-operation. Sometimes we have our ipod handy with a movie on it to give her as soon as she's seated. We still don't go occasionally. But the times she won't get in her seat, she usually wouldn't have behaved well once we got where we were going. If possible, I just go alone after my husband gets home when that happens.
With clothes, my DD knows I won't walk out the door with her naked. So if I need her dressed, I go to the front door and unlock it. Then DD runs up, we put on clothes and shoes and leave. She loves going places so it works well for us.
Don't know if any of this helps.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-26-2008, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
I had to do that a few times and I felt terrible, too. Fortunately this phase doesn't last long.
If only that were always true. My nearly three year old has been doing this off and on for two years. I suppose it's better now than it was a year ago, but it's by no means resolved. I do still occasionally resort to physically forcing her into a carseat. I hate to do it, it doesn't happen often, and it is a last resort. But it has happened, and probably will again.

Worse still is air travel. When a plane is leaving the gate and a child is not strapped in... well, there's really no room for negotiation.
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#8 of 8 Old 09-26-2008, 11:35 AM
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I had carseat problems yesterday when picking DS up from my Mom's. He wanted his 'b00bie juice' and I asked him to wait until we got home (don't want to get into the habit of getting home even later cause he'll just want it there too). Well, it got pretty bad and he is a strong guy and arched his back. Finally I gave him about 2 minutes worth, but it did not help a bit. I don't know how we finally got him to settle down enough to get him strapped in. Poor thing was sweating and crying, took over 20 min. Then he was whiny off and on all the way home (about 1/2 hr drive).

I'll have to remember the giving him a choice thing as I do that with most other things, but I don't think it would have helped yesterday. I even have toys/books that are car only.

Of course, my Mom kept saying "I think it's time to wean him if he's going to be like this" :

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