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My 11 m old DD screams and cries every time we put her in the car seat and I have no idea what to do! We have tried giving her toys, snacks and even my Dh or I sitting in the back with her, but nothing seems to work. I made sure the straps aren't too tight, everything is adjusted to fit her. We haven't given pacifiers up to this point, but I am considering it as its really hard to think straight, much less opperate a moving vehicle with a screaming baby.<br><br>
Any other ideas?
 

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Hugs mama, this is a tough one. Ds didn't outgrow car screaming until 14mo and then it was still touch and go for a few months more. It took me a few months longer to not tense up all the time about driving.<br><br>
For us, once he could express why he didn't like the car seat thing improved enormously. Why did he scream? The upshot of it is that Ds feels trapped in his seat, and it makes sense for him since he has other signs of being claustrophobic. Yeah, not much can be done to fix that one.<br><br>
This all came out one night when Ds was having a major meltdown and Dh tried talking to him using the caveman style Harvey Karp describes in his Happiest Toddler on the Block book. I swear, I rolled my eyes at Dh for trying it, but Ds quieted almost instantly and then 'talked' to us about how he felt. In single words because he was still really young but it was quite clear. Now we use his words and talk about why he doesn't like the seat and things go much smoother.<br><br>
Here are a few other things that worked once he was a toddler: 13-16mo.<br>
1. Talking endlessly. Keeping up a running commentary on where we are and where we are going. For us, this was much better than music or singing.<br>
2. Making sure he isn't too hot. Common problem for us.<br>
3. Not riding in the car when he was tired.<br>
4. Finding the right car snacks for Ds--dry and crunchy foods only.<br>
4. Not trying to shush or comfort or sing over Ds but to empathize and explain. No more, "Its okay honey, you're okay. You're fine. " We went to "I know you don't like it in the car seat but we're gong to be done soon (ony if its true)" "Its hard to ride your seat when you are _______ (tired, hungry, excited, antsy) as soon as we arrive you can _____ (have a snack, read, run around, etc)." "I know you don't like riding in the car but we need to drive to ____ (fun location = Grandma's house, the museum, etc).<br><br>
At 11mo we still just really limited our driving to short trips and tried to keep Ds from unnessary time in the car. It was the only strategy that worked then and we tried a lot. BUT, we just drove 14 hours cross-country at 20mo and it went great. Granted, we really only drove when he slept with a little time on either side, but that would not have been a option even 6 months ago. We would not even have dreamed of making this trip last year.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Hugs! Don't have any advice, as I swear we tried EVERYTHING, including pacis, from birth to 14 months when DD FINALLY started settling down in the car. It was an awful time, so you have my sympathy!!
 

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My YDD is an awful car rider. We realized on a roadtrip over the summer that it is because she gets carsick :puke So yeah, after that, we were a whole lot more sympathetic.<br><br>
Some things that really helped us: We had her in a rear-facing Evenflo Triumph. The seat is really built up around the edges. We switched to a sunshine kids radian. When we switched over, things got a whole lot better. The radian is really open and she is able to see more of the car. Also, she can also kick her feet off to the edge. I'm not sure I understand completely why it is so much better for her, but she really likes the new seat.<br><br>
Also, we moved the radian to the center of the backseat. The closer to the center of the car they are, the less motion they experience.<br><br>
We try not to ride with coats on, and we crank the air conditioner if it is the slightest bit warm. It really makes a huge difference, especially if she is crying.<br><br>
HTH!
 

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My little guy hated the car seat too. We brought the seat inside and put him in it (without restraints) and played with him and even let him take some naps in it. He loves the sound of water, so I would bring him in the bathroom with me and let him sit in the seat while I showered. Eventually, he would let us put the restraints on him without screaming. And, now he does great in the car (unless his hungry or almost ready for a nap.) Best of luck, I definitely remember what it is like to try to drive with screaming in the background.
 

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We're going through the same thing right now... my son is almost 10 months and he has been getting really worked up in the car lately. He never "loved" car trip but now he has major meltdowns... it is so stressful. I have been avoiding car trips, too. I have been planning to keep him rear facing as long as possible but I'm beginning to look forward to the 1 year b-day so I can turn his seat around... I'm hoping that will help.
 

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Oh, I so hear you here. My DD and I drive an hour each way every weekday to and from work/ day care. She is 12.5 months old and just now starting to get a bit better, mostly because she is only in the car during sleepy times. If she is awake, she is screaming still. I found that giving her a small snack helps. Graham cracker sticks work well. She is still RF and in the center position in the back. I used to have to sing endless rounds of Twinkle little star to her, but now I have found one magic song that works for her. It is on the new Smashing Pumpkins CD (the one out in 2007) Song #12 and 13 (the last 2 songs). She quiets instantly and usually falls asleep to them. Magic.<br><br>
Also talking incessantly works, but is hard on my throat. I also keep a toy arsenal in the car at all times. Pass her a toy, she tosses it after a minute, pass back a new toy. Repeat as necessary till you arrive or toys are gone.<br><br>
On the paci subject, she probably won't take it. We kinda forced a paci on DD when she started DC (because she refused to eat anything there, so at least she could sleep). She gave it up completely at 7 months old. Now they are just another toy for her.
 

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I haven't read the replies, but this was a phase for my DD at the same age and I've heard the same story from others around this age. We did realize that the seat was not reclined as far as it should have been (45 degrees), and that seemed to help a lot. But mostly I think it's a stage they will get over. She is happy as a clam now (still RF).<br><br>
FWIW, I wouldn't think introducing a paci at this age would hurt anything, if she would accept it.<br><br>
Another thing that helped when she was in that stage is to experiment with how I strapped her in. At first, it seemed like she was better off when no one else was around. Like, when you leave the park and there are friends or dogs or whatever nearby, then she feels like she is leaving the party and doesn't want to get in her seat. So saying bye-bye first and THEN going to the car worked for a while.<br><br>
Then it seemed like she did better when whomever we were with (like Grandma) would come and strap her in the seat, singing songs, playing games with stuffed animals, introducing a new toy, etc.<br><br>
HTH! Good luck!
 

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ITA with trying a different carseat. I also read recently that newly-mobile or more mobile toddlers often hate hate hate their carseats because they are suddenly all too aware of what they are missing.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>leila1213</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9856256"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We did realize that the seat was not reclined as far as it should have been (45 degrees), and that seemed to help a lot.</div>
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You know, it's interesting that you should say that. When we were in the worst of it, a carseat tech mentioned to us that we should try reclining the seat less, because older infants don't need to recline as much and often are more comfortable in less of a recline. (In countries where it is typical for children to ride rear-facing to 30 pounds, the carseats are made to be able to adjust to minimal recline in the rear-facing position for the comfort of older toddlers). And the radian we use now is significantly less reclined than the old seat.<br><br>
I guess it probably just depends on the child.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mrsboyko</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9855325"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also keep a toy arsenal in the car at all times. Pass her a toy, she tosses it after a minute, pass back a new toy. Repeat as necessary till you arrive or toys are gone.</div>
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This is exactly what we do. Oh, the horror when I run out of toys and we're not there yet! DS is still in his infant seat, but I'm planning on getting a convertible soon and hopefully that will help. We'll see.
 

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My DD hated the car seat for the longest time. It was dreadful. it had to be the "right" toy or snack that could distract her, and if it wasn't - watch out. Arching, kicking, screaming, etc.<br><br>
90% of the time, a portable DVD player worked well for us. It calmed her down, and I was able to place her in the car seat, with a snack too.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I so hear you...my son who will be 1 next Friday screams and cries the entire ride to and from work which is 40 min each way unless I hold his hand...which is so hard to do and drive...I've tried everything...food, songs, paci, special toys, mommy things. He just doesn't want to be in his seat now that he is cruising. It wasn't a problem until he went from army crawling to full on crawling about 3-4 weeks ago which is when he started cruising too...he wants to out and about. I'm beside myself b/c I find it so hard to drive and focus b/c the crying is blinding to me...it truly visually impairs me. I have two posts on the subject from a few days ago b/c I'm so tempted to turn his seat although I know it is not the safest thing to do...but driving distracted with one hand on the wheel over a windy mountainous soon-to-be snowy parkway isn't either...oh and with a big old growing pregnant belly too...Not driving with him isn't an option either as leaving him home by himself when I work isn't safe either...I have to make it to April when I stop working again...I don't know how I am going to manage...<br><br>
I wish I had advice...nothing works for me for more than a few brief minutes other than the hand holding...oyster crackers do buy me a bit of time lately...<br><br>
Best wishes and safe driving!
 

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I'd try a new carseat. If she's in an infant seat, try a convertible. If she's already in a convertible, consider a more padded one. Try changing the recline.<br><br>
good luck!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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If your daughter is screaming like mine (bloody murder screaming nearly every time she's in the carseat), I honestly don't think there's anything we can do. I've tried everything imaginable, and nothing works, because she simply wants to be held (and why not? she's held all day...she doesn't understand the importance of carseat safety). I do my best to console her, and she surely doesn't feel abandoned due to the fact that I still talk to her and reassure her.
 

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Yes, talking incessantly! That works too! When my DD was in that stage I started saying, "Just 12 more blocks to go, just 11 more blocks to go, blah blah blah." My DH thought I was nuts, but she really wanted to be talked to!!
 

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Story of my life! I know it is sooo hard.<br><br>
DS is slowly getting better. I've tried everything and the only thing that was moderately successful was a book with audio cassette tape (found a Barney one for $2 at a garage sale).<br><br>
Hang in there!
 

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Mine is only 7 weeks and driving is tough. It is like a balancing act trying to get him in and happy. He doesn't like to be in a swing or anything upright but does like to be reclined. Unfortunately his brand new car seat is quite upright.<br><br>
I am banking on him outgrowing this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:
 
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