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Dd hates the car... Need help from BTDT mamas

672 Views 20 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  ajsgirl
I can't even drive to the end of my street without her starting to scream. I try not to leave the house, but when I just *have* to get out (for food, sanity, playdate for ds), I drive like a bat outta hell, jiggling the car seat, turning the static radio way up, singing, anything I can think of.

So now I'm turning 30 and dh has planned this beautiful party for me Mid-May in an apple orchard and is inviting all our friends and family.... 4 hours away... where they all live. I'm considering having him cancel the party, because I just don't know how we'll possibly be able to make it. My parents (who just don't get AP) say "put her in the car, she'll figure it out..." Um, no, I won't let her cry for 4 hours EACH WAY. Having someone in the back with her helps for only about 5-10 minutes.

I'm going to try a new car seat, pics of me & dh, driving at night, etc, but if nothing works, what can I do except cancel the party? And if I do, no one will understand ('cept my AP friends). My family already thinks we let our children "control" our lives. Not that I'm going to change my philosophy so that they won't say bad things. I can just already hear the comments...
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Definitely been there. My ds is seven months now, though, and LOVES the car. I think it changed for him around five months. When he didn't like it, I would sit back there with him when dh and I both went somewhere, and that helped A LOT. Maybe worth a try, if you haven't already?
Sorry! Just noticed you've already tried that! I personally would cancel in your situation, though maybe your babe will like the car by May...
I would try a new seat and just start taking her on small trips everyday. I think part of the reason some kids hate cars is b/c they're not used to them. My kids have been in the car everyday since a few days after birth and I've never had a major problem w/ crying in the car. They both love their carseats (and everyone else's) and I think it's b/c they know what to expect.
For the first three or four months of DDs life we could not go anywhere. She hated the car with a passion and I was starting to feel very isolated. Two things we did helped to get her settled in the car. First, we switched from an infant carrier to convertible. The reason that worked and on to point two, is that she was diagnosed with reflux and the position of her infant carrier exacerbated her symptoms. Once those two things were figured out car trips began to actually SOOTHE her. Honest to God I thought the day would never come. It was like night and day.

In your position, however, I would cancel the trip unless you can come up with something that works for her. You don't owe your parents or anyone else any explanations. Just a simple, we're postponing the party. You don't have to tell them you don't feel comfortable with the baby crying if you don't think they'll understand. The party is far enough away that I doubt it'll be a major inconvienence to anyone. There'll be lots of parties and lots of long drives in the future.
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I had the same problem with my first DD. Nothing helped. She was in a carseat regularly too so it wasn't a matter of getting used to it. The only way we could do long trips was for me to sit in the back and nurse her while she was in the carseat. A feat of acrobatics....but a sanity saver. It did not make the trips pleasant...but at least they were bearable for her and for us.

It wasn't till we turned the seat forward facing and she got bit older that it got ant better.....
i have been there! it just took time for ian to get used to the seat.

i know you'd hate to cancel but it's so hard to tell what will happen in the next month: she might be ok with it by then but might not be!
Exactly like my DS. We felt like prisoners because he would instantly scream in the car. Like other posters, a few things helped:

new carseat. The convertible was a LIFE-SAVER!!! We switched at 3.5 months. Got a Britax, very comfy with lots of padding. Love it.

reflux meds. DS had silent reflux (no spitting up or weight gain issues, but fussing during/after eating). Zantac helped, and we were able to quickly wean off them by 6 month.

short car rides to get him used to it.

I wouldn't cancel yet. Try a new carseat, take short rides, and make sure nothing medically is wrong. If it's still bad in a few weeks, cancel. There's no way you want to put your baby through that trauma of 4 hour car ride.
Both of our children absolutely hated the carseat. We kept a pacifier strapped to the carseat--which helped, sometimes. We also bought a crib vibrator and attached it to the side of the handle with the screws provided for attaching it to a crib. This helped a lot but we would have still avoided 4 hour rides--I was unable to drive safely with a screaming child for even 4 miles on the highway. I always remember it was a challenge to hold it together until the next exit. Good luck.
Have you tried feeding her to sleep and then transferring her to the seat?

having been in the same situation I'd cancel if you can't get it worked out - no fun for either of you - you'll dread it every day until it happens and then regret it for months.

(and hang in there, my DD grew out of hating th car seat by 8-9 months).
My ds absolutely HATED the carseat, car etc. I think he may have been afraid that he wouldn't get out! I just took very short trips with him (seriously...around the block) and then took him out and I talked to him the whole time or sang to him. He is now 3 months and although he doesn't absolutely love it, he can handle it now and even smiles and watches out the window. When he gets tired of it, he doesn't cry anymore...just sort of talks unhappily at me. I avoided the car a lot at first.....I hope it gets better. How old is your dc? Hang in there! If your babe isn't anywhere close to about three months by May then it may not improve enough to go to the party. I really think around three months his eyesight has just improved so much and he's much more calm in any situation.
My DD hates the car as well. She used to start crying the second she got into the seat although it is a bit better now - she starts once we get into the car. There isn't much that I have found that helps.

We were really afraid but we eventually ventured out of town on a longer trip (about 2.5 hours) when she was about 4 months old. She cried as usual for the first 1/2 hour or so and then fell asleep and stayed asleep for almost the rest of the drive. I sat in the back with her and the only way I could keep her from crying during that first 1/2 hour was to have her suck on my finger (she doesn't take a paci). Anyway, I am glad that we went. Maybe you could take a shorter drive (like 1 hour??) and see what happens.

Good luck! it cold where you are? I know that what ended up working like magic was taking our little snuggly thing off the carseat (you know the things so you don't have to put them in snowsuits?). He must have felt crowded and he couldn't see around it or something. The second I took it off, he was looking all around and much happier. Just an idea I guess since it helped us....
My DS tolerates the seat for about 20-30 minutes. We just took a 8.5 hour drive to Texas. We drove at night. We waited until about 15 minutes before DS fell asleep for the night. Then, we got on the road. He slept for the first 4 hours straight. THen, we stopped, he nursed, got back on the road and slept. My DH and I were misreble but DS was happy and probably cried a total of 15 minutes, which is pretty dang good for that long in the carseat!
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Yep, been there too! DD hated her car seat, I think it was uncomf. as she was outgrowing it...We got a Britax wizard (Brand New on e-bay for cheap)
Let's say it didn't fully cure her from screaming...It was a stage for sure! I spent the 1st 5 months in the back seat w/her!!!! Most of the time when we all went somewhere...Now DD is 11 months and she's happy to go most days
If you and you DH will be driving for your b-day, I'd say go and ride in back if ya can to help ease your DC??? Just a thought...Don't worry it will pass!!! I know it's soo hard to go anywhere when they scream!!!

hang in there!!!
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my dd also hates the carseat. I just sit back there with her and give her a bottle (can you pump? will she take a bottle? I know nursing with her in the carseat is literally impossible for me), sing, make faces, let her play with toys....basically I'm a one man (woman) circus act. It definatly helps, we can make 1-2 hour trips with her with no tears.
I know it's tough. I don't think I'd cancel though, if you can entertain her til she falls asleep you can avoid mst tears. If she does cry, as long as you're with her it's not really CIO, but I do know how terrible you would feel, so do what you want, family can either understand or not, it's not your problem.
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Thanks for all your suggestions. Ds has been sick, so I've been negligent in responding.

Dd won't take a bottle or paci. I've tried. I do sit back with her when I can, but that only lasts about 10-15 minutes. She'll only suck on my finger if she's not upset.

We took the snuggly thing off the carseat already, no headrest either.

She doesn't transfer well once asleep. it doesn't help that I've got a preschooler who doesn't know how to "be real quiet so the baby stays asleep".

We're going to get her a new carseat and post some pictures of us in the back seat. A big one of her, since she likes to look at herself in the mirror. and I'm going to hang a musical pull toy that I can keep pulling if I need to. We'll see how that works!
mine hated her carseat until i realized i was making the straps too tight (when she wore fewer layers of clothes, she didn't seem to mind the car at all). i loosened them a little and now she is fine.
Another vote for a new car seat. A lot of babies hate the lying down and do much better in a convert. car seat.

good luck!

My dd is o.k. on trips up to about 20 min. during the day. She likes the radio on and the window cracked. Also, a fresh, new toy keeps her entertained for a while and she likes a blanket by her face if she's at all tired.

Night trips are another story - much less tolerant. I cannot imagine a 4 hour trip! We have a family wedding to attend in Sept. that is 5 hours away and I hope dd is more entertainable then.

dd 8 mo.
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