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2 yr old won't get in to handle it?

809 Views 20 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Evan&Anna's_Mom
I have an almost 2-1/2 yr old dd who has recently begun lying on the floor of the car when it's time to get in carseat. This has happened in several different scenarios, tonight we left the bookstore where we had been playing with the trains and other kids. She said she wanted to go home, we got to car and she resisted getting in the seat - laid down on floor and cried (but not really in distress I think)
She did it yesterday too - leaving the fabric store.

She did it the day before - my husband was with me and is not as patient as I am. He ended up yelling at her which was pretty scary for all involved and had her hysterical sobbing, gasping for breath type crying. We forced her into the seat and I ended up hanging over her nursing her to calm her down.

when I am alone I handle it by sitting down and waiting her out - repeating a few times "do you want to get in the seat by yourself or do you want me to help?" Eventually, the threat of help will get her to climb in.

Keep in mind that I live in the south and waiting in a hot car is no fun. I have to start the car and run the ac which I am not thrilled about since there is no one "in the drivers seat"

Suggestions? I just thought of mentioning it to her while we are still in the store? Or will that cause more problems?
I thought i was being clever talking to her about staying with me in stores and not running away but now she thinks it's a game "look mommy I'm running away"

How can I give her some power over the situation and still have my own dignity intact? I feel a little silly sitting in a hot car waiting for a 2 yr old to decide we can go, ya know?

edited to add that I fairly recently weaned her on "nursing before car seat" almost every time. I'd just had enough and said no and waited her out. It only took a few times. Now, she knows the answer is no unless we're travelling.
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This is one of the few situations in when I count with 2.5 yo dd. Carseats are a non-negotiable. When it becomes clear that she's not going to be cooperative even after our car seat ritual (silly stuff like "here's your kiss"), I say,"OK, I don't want to count, but I can't see any other way to do this right now. I'm going to count down from 5 and then help you get in the car seat. I still hope you'll do it on your own though." Pause. Count down slowly. Usually she's in position by four. It took a few times "helping" though until she understood I was serious. If I have to help, I don't remind her about it later... so each time getting in the car I hold the fresh expectation that she will get in the seat herself.
hmmm...I will try that. We have done a little "1...2....3." counting but I hate it cause it sound so threatening. But, the only threat is that we will take over.
The problem is that she is big 35 lbs and 37" tall and I really can't force her in myself so I have to have her cooperation.


Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees
Carseats are a non-negotiable.

Yes, this is "health and safety" so at the end of the day, you rule.

Huge raspberry to the tummy, gales of laughter, wriggles, and into the carseat, and "Right, into you car seat!" in your (friendly) no-nsense tone, sets the scene (too late for resistance too), and follow that with a jelly to lick or a coockie while you lock up.

GD takes co-operation from a child, as well as respect from a parent. you can be as sympathetic as you can, as understanding as you can, as reaoning as you can, but for health and safety issues, health and safety ultimately take precedence over everything else. (and you are god.)

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I keep special toys in the car that the kids can have only in the carseat. Gameboy. Magna Doodle. Stuff like that. Let them do the buckles. "as soon as you're in safely, I"ll hand you your xyz"


One more idea- what kind of car seat do you have? Does it have a buckle that click together in the middle? When we started the car seat issues (the drama is just like you described...) we showed her that she can fasten the buckle together and "make it click." She loves it! She loves haveing the control of putting it on herself, and luckily, she hasn't figured out how to undo it yet. Now, when we're getting in our van, I open her door first and tell her "Get in your carseat and make it click" then I go to the other side, get the younger dd in her carseat, then go back around and finish fastening her in. We still have struggles sometimes, but it's not nearly as bad.
I have a BRitax marathon. She can do both buckles and does frequently.
The gameboy idea is a good one - provided I can wrestle it from her when we reach home and that it does not lose its allure ! This kid has never gotten attached to a toy, a blanky, a doll or anything like that. What I need is a personal dvd player hanging from the ceiling with dragontales playing over and over haha. She would be a little robot willing to do my bidding!
Lollipops would do the trick but i hate to give a sugar candy everytime we get in the car!

the crying on the floor thing is very new - and she starts the minute we get in the car. Not every time tho or I'd be nuts. I think she's going thru a developmental stage tho cause she's suddenly speaking in complete sentences and starting to do more imaginative play, singing, talking constantly, etc...I think for every leap she takes I lose a few brain cells lol!

my aunt was a public school teacher years ago. She studied art but was forced to teach history as well even tho she was not qualified in the least. She just stayed one chapter ahead and tried to fake it. That's me, desperately trying to stay ahead a chapter, or at least be on the same one as she is!

Maybe I'll just stay home huh?
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First off I too say Carseats are a non-negotiable. But I use the seatbelt song my dad used for me and my brother. My son starts singing it before I open the car door. Yes he is only two but I still explain to him that it IS the law and for his safety.
Oh, just physically force them into their seats. That does the trick for us.

: Just kidding of course!!! I use bribes to get dd into her seat. "If Sephie sits in her seat and lets mamma buckle the buckles, I'll give her a piece of this peach cobbler." Fill in the I'll give her_____ with whatever she seems to think she can't get otherwise. It works for right now. Today she went along with the bribe that I'd take her swimming, which I was going to do anyway.
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Hey I have done my share of jamming the kid into the carseat. For the record the Britax roundabout was more "force friendly" than the wizard. There's just more to fiddle with and the buckles work differently. IF she is not cooperating I run the risk of pinching her leg with the buckle. ouch!

I don't think my singing would help. It's NOT pretty!

Bribery may be my only option. I will stock up on cheap toys and treats heh heh I could give her a quarter when we get home after every successful trip. She lives to put money in her piggybank.
I never realized how lucky I am not to have to deal with this!

We don't have a car, so the only time we use a car seat is when my mom is visiting or we're visiting her. Ds loves his car seat and gets extremely upset if he thinks I'm not going to buckle him in. He even sits in it at home if it's somewhere he can get at it.

I think it must be because he loves car rides and he considers car seats to be part of that, so it's like a "treat" for him.

Is there any way to make riding in the car something special for your dd?
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Bribes can backfire, ime. My boss' son wouldn't get in the carseat without a donut after a while.

I'm just starting to encounter resistance with dd (26 months) - she insists that SHE is going to drive and tries to climb in to the front seat. I just tell her that she's not tall enough (it seems to work, lol) and that she needs to get in her "special" seat so she can see better.
What are the weight recommendations for changing to a booster seat? I was shopping for one with a friend, and was surprised to see that they are rated for starting at like 30 or 35 pounds. If that's considered legal, well, you could try taking her shopping for a new seat and let her choose it - perhaps she'll be more interested in it if it's her her choice of seat. Plus, the seatbelt is simpler and less constrictive than the five point harness.

Originally Posted by tboroson
What are the weight recommendations for changing to a booster seat? I was shopping for one with a friend, and was surprised to see that they are rated for starting at like 30 or 35 pounds. If that's considered legal, well, you could try taking her shopping for a new seat and let her choose it - perhaps she'll be more interested in it if it's her her choice of seat. Plus, the seatbelt is simpler and less constrictive than the five point harness.
It might be less constrictive but, in all the research I've done, it's also not as safe for a 2 1/2 year old. 5 point harnesses are safer than a booster, especially for a younger child who might not want to sit still anyway.

To the original poster.... I see you have a Britax Marathon... maybe an option would be to get a new *cool* cover for her? Let her pick something out that she likes? Good luck to you!
I really struggled with this with ds. I'd put him in his side and then put the diaper bag in or buckle dd or whatever on the other side. Then, as I shut the opposite door, I'd say, "Here I come! Can you get in your carseat before I get there?" A few times he was stubborn so I'd say, "You weren't fast enough, so I get to put you in." That was enough for him.
Yarnia-All I have is
for you... My DS (2.5 this month) has done this off and on for about 6 months now. We thought he was sort of out of this phase, but occasionally it rears it's ugly head again. I usually try to wait him out and say the same things you do. It's hard, it's frustrating. I like the idea of special carseat-only toys. Best of luck dealing with this phase.
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Thanks everyone!
Today she was a complete joy - we went to the post office, out to lunch with Daddy and THEN to the grocery store - all without a hitch. Granted, she had a box of cookies in her hands when we left the store so she may have been a little motivated to get settled in and have me open it
Still, three errands in one day is huge for us. Some days I can't even get her out of the house. I am in awe of you moms with multiple kiddos!

The carseat is a Britax wizard and is fairly new. I don't think there are any fun prints available for it. I am a big believer in the 5 point harness which is why I bought this seat. I plan to use it for several more years so she'd better get used to it lol!

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
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We had this problem and it was a big power struggle. Bribes stopped working. Finally I told him that car seat was not a choice and just had to force him a couple of times. Dh would apologize and stuff but I told him not to. That made it sound like we were wrong and he didn't have to be in there. It only took like 2 days and he was fine with the seat again.

Now he has mini power struggles about doing it himself, which is fine by us and then about who buckles him. That is a bit annoying but he's getting over it.
We try to make it as fun as possible--let him do the buckle, have a small bag of toys he gets to "pick a surprise" from, hockey cards to look through, snacks, his music to listen to, etc. If it's getting really hairy I'll say, "OK do you want to get in by yourself or do you need me to help you?" He usually opts to get in on his own.

Someone said something the other day that struck me as smart, she said: If my kids aren't comfortable, I'm not comfortable. I've been trying to be more mindful of his comfort and to treat him extra kindly in situations where we have to do something (like the carseat) that he doesn't want to do.
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