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Carseat blues...

513 Views 15 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  sdmoose
My 7 week old just hates the carseat! She is breastfed and loves to be held all the time. How can I make it easier on her when traveling in the carseat. It just makes it impossible to go out when needed and for leisurely activities.

She loves to be held and I know that it is great for the nursing relationship but it is taking a toll on me (as mean as it sounds it does break my heart). I'm close to stopping the breastfeeding. Any tips?
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What kind of carseat do you have? Is it new? Some carseats don't have much padding and that makes some babies more uncomfortable.

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its one of those 3-n-1 that comes with the stroller. Graco.
hmm. Does it seem to be the position she doesn't like? Or being strapped in? Or just not being held?

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i think its being strapped in and not being held. As soon as she's in and ready to go she cries.
Does she calm down when you get moving? Have you tried strapping her in in the car and in the house? Is it better if you ride in the back with a hand on her?

: to you. Evie does it too. In desparation we bought the convertible carseat this weekend hoping it would help, it didn't. I'm hoping it's just a phase and that she'll come out of it eventually. In the meantime, we have a big trip planned for this weekend, so I'll be watching to see what suggestions you get.

If it makes you feel any better, within the last week or so, Evie's been much happier about letting dh hold her. She's even tolerated her swing and bouncy seat when I had to jump up to do something for Caleb. It's rough, but it does get better.
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I just want to offer a hug to you and let you know that you're not alone.

My dd hated her carseat for the first 3-4 months of her life (and to this day, it's still not her favorite place to be). To be honest, we just didn't leave the house unless we had to and walked when I needed to get out of the house.

She had to be held all the time too and that about killed me (and my house looked like crap, but oh well). But I bought a sling for when I really needed to do something, perfected the 90 second shower, and spent most of my time in our nursing chair (dealing with bloody nipples, no less).

Those first few months sucked a lot of the time, but I'm hear to tell you that it does get better. I promise. At about 4 months, we finally got comfortable nursing and she put up with her carseat. She still wants to be held a lot (I still hold her during her naps), but not so much that it's killing me anymore.

My advice to you, and what helped me, was trying to rember that it goes by quickly. I just tried to tell myself that one day, I was going to wake up and she would be 13 and wouldn't let me hold her anymore and how my heart would break, so I just tried to soak it up while I could.

I know that doesn't stop the craziness right now, but I hope that knowing that I've been there and gotten through it gives you a little bit of hope.

It gets better. I promise.

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I wonder if it might help to try one of those little soft, small blankies (they're like handkerchief size) or I guess anything would work... anyway, something that is designed to comfort baby by absorbing your smell and then you place it with the baby as a comfort measure. Does that make sense? Someone gave us one and my dd seemed to like sleeping with it for awhile; supposedly it gives them a sense of you being nearby.

Maybe a soft t-shirt that has some breastmilk on it? (heck, maybe a soft bra that's had a few leaks soak into it?)

Good luck, mama - I'm sorry you and your little one are having this hard time!
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well i havent tried having her sit in the carseat at home which i'm going to do. i've thought about sleeping with one of her blankest or better yet a burp cloth for her. I've tried the shirt thing w/my scent but it didnt help much. She'll last maybe 8 min in her swing. And your words emcare make sense to me and does remind me of how long I waited for this child and that she will get bigger soon and faster.
my first hated the carseat so much, we ended up putting it in the front seat sometimes (horrifying to the everything must be safest types), but I drove an antique tank of a car and, well, it was that or no groceries. make sure there are no buttons or snaps on the back of the baby's clothes (dd1 would scream if there were snaps etc on her neck), and that inside seams are soft. set up a mirror system so she can see you. a chiropractor can often help (I never had the money), but it makes sense to me- it could actually be hurting her. it's a great idea to bring it inside and try to create positive associations about it, by setting her in there when she is happy. you can buy soft, pillowlike carseat covers instead of a new carseat- and sleep with it or something to get your scent on it. with dd1, we only went anywhere when she was totally full, burped, etc and I would stop whenever she got uncomfortable, pull over and attend to her needs. I also talked the whole time when she was in the back seat (she hated my singing). when my husband drove i would nurse her in the carseat.
we don't talk about it, but restraints of the type that carseats are are a seriously debilitating psychological issue, no matter the age or mental capacity of the person. our society tends to treat kids like they are not people by hitting them, forcing them into jail-like cribs and playpens, and extended stays in carseats (my mom investigates nursing home abuses so we talk about excessive restraint alot). Frankly, I question your assertion that she 'loves' to be held, because it sounds to me like she needs to be held. Babies in the womb are touched 24/7 and some take awhile to assimilate to the outside. I'm also struggling to understand what her dislike of the carseat has to do with breastfeeding. If you bottlefeed, she will still need to be held, even if she learns to suppress that need and just be sad because her needs aren't being met.
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wow. For a second there I thought you were giving me advice. To each their own I guess. But there was no need for the questioning as though I am not fully taking care of my child. For your information I lost a healthy daughter for no reason last year this August (I dont need your sympathy). Dont you think someone who has lost a child would fully care for her children? My childs' needs are being met but I also have a 4yr old who needs his mother. I've never cared for other than one child and I needed advice. And CARSEATS are a way of keeping the child safely in the car. Dont you wear a seatbelt for your own safety? Why would you put your child in jeopardy while holding them when your husband drives? I question your car safety. And if you have a hard time understanding breastfed babies and their dislike for carseats, then ask the other mothers who seem to think so and maybe they can clarify for you.
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We had a problem with the Graco Snugride carseat too. DD just didn't like being in it and most of her issue is also that she'd rather be held. But we did buy a new Graco Snugride with the temperpedic (Gracopedic) foam because it's much softer and DD is much more comfortable in it. The regular Graco just has a little cover over hard plastic and it's quite uncomfortable for babies. Getting that pillow soft cover or a new carseat might help. My DD (3 1/2 months) is getting better being in her carseat for short drives, but still it's not her favorite place to be and it helps to have someone sit back there with her and entertain her (with toys, singing, talking, showing her a mirror, etc). Hang in there!! It'll get better.
I spent close to two hours today walking to the bus stop and taking the bus and doing the same coming home just to avoid putting the baby in the carseat. If I'd used the car, it would've been a half an hour trip, with screaming. I hate riding in the car with the baby. With boy1, we didn't even have a car until he was 1.5. The occasional ride in a rental or with grandma was the pits until I figured out he just wanted me to cover him with hugs or nurse him in his carseat.

I don't think you were getting dumped on, butterfly, except to the extent you threatened to stop nursing to get the baby to stop crying. And fwiw, with some babies, you can nurse in the backseat w/o unfastening the baby - I did it a lot with boy1.
I don't think you were getting dumped on, butterfly, except to the extent you threatened to stop nursing to get the baby to stop crying. And fwiw, with some babies, you can nurse in the backseat w/o unfastening the baby - I did it a lot with boy1.
I agree...learning how to nurse in the back seat while my baby is strapped into the carseat and I am in my seatbelt has been a lifesaver! Sometimes, its the only way to go someplace.

Most of the time though, we try to walk,talk a bus or for longer trips, a train or plane. It is amazing the way we have gone out of our way to avoid using the carseat. And my older sons loves all the adventures he has in subways, buses etc. So much more exciting than a car!

I can understand why the baby hates it so much. He/She has nothing to look at but the back of a seat and can't see mom at all! Maybe some kind of mirror system where the baby can at least see your face? Sometimes, that's all my son needs is just to remember that I'm still there.
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My ds is just 5 months old and was/is the SAME WAY. Hates his carseat!!! It has brought me to tears on many days and I've had to rearrange my expectations more than once and keep reminding myself to slow down, stop trying to do too many things, etc. Then there are the days when I absolutely HAVE to get out. Things that helped me:
1) nursing, nursing, nursing babe before going out. Make baby as fat and happy as possible.
: Sometimes he would fall asleep. If it was after a good nap he could then "play" with things.
2) There was a HUGE leap during week 12 when he could finally see his mirror in front of him and feel this little zebra stuffed musical toy at his barefeet, and had something to hang onto (for him it was the carseat belt...we were travelling that week and didn't have the base with us).
3) Plan only ONE car trip a day. I lowered my needs/expectations for getting out and this helped lower my frustrations. My husband is awesome and does the grocery shopping on his way home from work.
4) go out and walk as much as son LOVES to be outside now and its healthy for me, too! If I could rearrange my life I would move somewhere where I could walk to a lot of things (parks, walking trails, stores, etc.) As it is now I've not got nice places to walk to, but I do with what I've got and at least I get out.
5) invite people over to YOUR house for social time
6) Have someone else drive so you can be in the backseat with babe
7) When we went on 3 long car trips trips in 1 month I thought I was going to lose it. I resorted to giving a bottle of expressed breastmilk to him while he was in the seat and then formula when I couldn't pump enough to keep up with him. It's a comfort thing and allowed him to calm down while being in the carseat and he would often fall asleep. I did this when stopping to feed wasn't working anymore. I'm sure others wouldn't recommend this---but it saved my sanity.
8)opening the window a little can help...white noise and fresh air
9) and always remember my new acronym: NIPL (nursing in the parking lot). give yourself much more time than you think you'll need for each outting. Don't be resistant to stopping and feeding babe in parking lots. I find parking lots that make me laugh to nurse in lots, funny restaurants. Just think of all the stories I'll be able to tell him!
10) find the shortest routes, fewest stoplights and sometimes you just go and apologize and kiss them a lot when you get home.....

IT WILL GET BETTER!!! Be patient...I really hope you don't give up breasfeeding?! Good luck
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