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Thread: Hates the car or the car seat?

  1. #1
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    Default Hates the car or the car seat?

    We have found out that N will scream in the car non stop after about 30 minutes in the car. Before our trip, we never had him in the car for longer than that amount of time. Now we have to wrestle him in the car seat and even if he falls asleep he wakes to scream about every 15 minutes.

    The car seat he is our oldest seat. It does not expire for two more years, however, each of our children has sat in that seat thus far. I am not certain if he issue is just the car (it is hard to keep a not quite one year old entertained in a stationary position for long) or if it is the car seat making him uncomfortable. For what it is worth, he was also unhappy in the car seat on the airplane both ways. It was a two hour flight with me sitting next to him to keep him entertained. The flight out he spent half of the flight on my lap but I was able to get him to finally sleep on the way out (that flight was past his bed time and he was so exhausted that he did not wake up every 15 minutes to scream).

    Would you all try a new seat or just see if this improves as he gets older?
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

  2. #2

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    Can you put him in your middle child's seat for a drive or two to test out the theory? I always felt that DS2 hated his infant seat and considered testing out the theory but never followed through because, ugh, moving around a car seat was not high on my list of things to do. Now that I've moved car seats many, many times it sounds super lazy, but at the time I hadn't done a lot of car seat juggling. LOL.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  3. #3
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    He is RF, right? He might be better once you FF him. My nephew used to scream bloody murder in his RF seat, but travels extremely well in FF seats.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    He is RF, right? He might be better once you FF him. My nephew used to scream bloody murder in his RF seat, but travels extremely well in FF seats.
    this. ds was starting to have major issues with rf.. i finally figured it out when we were in the car for more than 20 minutes.. he got carsick and since he was too young to say so it took many difficult car trips to figure out.
    dd was starting to have issues too but her problem was that she grew and needed her seat heights to be ajusted. i would put him in a onesie and check for proper seatbelt placement and fit.



  5. #5
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    My two kiddos with moderate-severe reflux screamed in their seats (despite every effort to comfort them including stopping multiple times to bf) until we switched them to a convertible and positioned it upright with very little recline (still RF though)...use a pool noodle cut to fit if you have to. It also helped to move them away from the window (carsick maybe??).

    They could handle shorter trips, but more than 15-30mins and they'd start screaming...sometimes unconsollably (wouldn't even latch on when I pulled over to try bfing). Once they got a bit older they did develop an aversion to their seat and it was a bit of a battle to get them in it...I assume because they associated it with the discomfort (reflux, carsick, whatever). I was very close to calling ds's pedi and asking if there was anything we could give him for what I felt was nausea (he was already on an adult dose of prevacid every day), but switching seats helped.

    Anyway, I would likely try a different seat with less recline away from the window . I'd personally keep him RF until exhausting other options. If he's only upset on long trips you could ask his pedi about trying motion sickness meds or even a low dose of benadryl which is a mild anti-emetic (not everyone would agree, but I'd rather medicate than FF with such a young one *especially* on a long trip).

    thinking of you Jess...I know how awful it is to have a LO screaming on long trips !!

    Eta...we tried everything btw, to make sure it wasn't something else. We checked clothes/footwear, belts/straps/buckles to make sure they weren't rubbing/irritating/pinching, changed diapers, offered a snack if older, tried bfing, gave paci, tried a bottle of b/m, made sure they weren't too hot/cold, had an older sib sit next to them to try to distract/entertain/comfort, when dh drove I sat next to them, we tried singing/music/stories/etc..., lol, we seriously went to great lengths, but it really was seating positioning that made a difference (and it didn't eliminate all the crying, but it greatly reduced it).
    Last edited by kellyowens; 07-10-2014 at 11:56 AM.
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  6. #6
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    Yes, he is currently RF. He is also in a convertible seat as we stop using the bucket seat once our kids can sit. I could swap the baby's seat and M2's seat as long as he is still short enough for it. Good suggestion. We do hate M2's seat as it is VERY hard to have it rear face and be level, though. Now that I am thinking about it, M2 did enjoy the change from N's current seat to the other convertible. I'm not sure if the seat was more comfortable or he just liked the change to a new (to him) seat.

    N did FF on the plane, though, and it did not change his tolerance level. I don't think that he is having motion sickness but I could be wrong.

    Interesting point about the reflux. He's been off meds for a few months and doesn't spit up very often at all now. However, he still nurses every two to three hours and I was certainly reacting all vacation long. I had to increase my antihistamine medications and am back to a rashy, itchy mess. So, he was getting higher histamine milk again which could have caused a relapse of (silent) reflux. He was unhappy pretty quick but I was rashy pretty quick, too.

    With the van I'm not sure that we can get him rear facing away from a window unless we put him by himself on the back bench and the big kids FF in the two captain chairs. It might be worth a shot, though.

    We put around 1500 miles on our rental car over those two weeks and did have several long trips. It was pretty miserable with all N's crying and trying so hard to comfort him. We are SO glad to be home.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

  7. #7

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    I am wondering if a small soft teddy bear would provide any comfort or a soft book for him to hold and be distracted. We didn't deal with this much with Cody and Sophia. Sophia will still nap in the car if she's tired enough. Cody had trouble as a NB but, later on as time went on it got easier. If all else fails I certainly would try a new seat but, see about the acid reflex first.
    *** Lindsay ***



  8. #8

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    Micah hated his car seat. Its usually more then not , not an issue with the seat. I personally would not but another seat until I ruled out everything. For Micah he was just an extremely sensitive baby. I found just motion upset him for a while. Then I swaddled in the car seat and it was like magic. He hated the constant bouncing. But a secure swaddle worked and he felt safe. Toys never worked for him. Just over stimulated him. every car ride was miserable. He did grow out of that once he got older and Ff did help him a lot. But he was old enough to ff. Now as he is getting even older its more of a hate to be couped up issue. So its a different issue. I would say reflux maybe at okay. But maybe a sensory issue too. What comforts him when he's upset at the house?

  9. #9
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    Toys of all sorts did not matter once he was upset. I could use them to distract him for those first 30 minutes and then nothing worked except getting him out of the seat. Luckily, it should be awhile before he'll need to be in the car for more than 30 minutes. Thus far he does stop protesting once we have him buckled in so at least he doesn't cry from the beginning.

    N is normally an incredibly happy baby so I have never needed any sort of magic calming routine (usually just picking him up or holding him ends the crying). He is getting close to one so the normal things make him upset (taking something away, getting stuck, not able to reach something, etc) but he is nearly always smiling otherwise. This is why screaming in the car is so strange. He is a busy baby so the just being held stationary could make him mad, I suppose. He can see at least one of the kids at all times, too, and even when M1 was next to him on vacation she could not distract him, either.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

  10. #10

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    My youngest hates the car seat and we have tried all kinds of things. She is almost 3 now, and it is better than when she was a baby and really only an issue when we go on longer trips, like over an hour in the car. Though even when she knows it will be a long time she will start screaming at the beginning of the trip so the whole time is hell. She is also really hard to calm down once she is freaking out, it usually means stopping and getting out. I spent 2hrs or a 6hr drive (that ended up taking 9 with stops!) blowing bubbles. My 17yr old son had most of them popping on him with the way the AC was blowing, but he said it was better than her screaming. Now she knows how to unbuckle her seat so not only is she screaming but also taking her seat belts off and climbing out. this last time she added spitting and pulling her hair to the fun. For a week or so after that trip she threw a fit everytime we got in the car.

    for her nothing made a significant difference. Not changing to the convertible seat, or turning FF or moving to different places in the car. She says she doesnt feel sick, and only says she cries because she wants me. But even me sitting next to her and holding her hand doesnt change things. Once she's upset she wont say at all what the problem is.

  11. #11
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    Caden has screamed bloody murder every time he goes in his seat since day 1. It's awful. His pediatrician told me to just turn up the music, keep driving, and hope he grows out of it. This is why he will be a lap baby on the plane and not in his own seat when we go away next week.

  12. #12
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    DD2 HATED the car and would scream from the moment she was clicked in until I took her out from birth until about 18 months. NOTHING helped. I turned her FF at a year thinking it would help but it didn't. I think what finally may have done it was we got a DVD player and she was able to watch that while in the car. Or it was just time for her to grow out of it. She is the most prone to car sickness. She did eventually grow out of it and we got rid of the DVD player and don't need it anymore.

    My only suggestion is to try a mesh feeder with grapes in it. It was the ONLY thing that kept her quiet for 5-10 mins often enough to pick up DD1 from school at least. I seriously wanted to drive off a cliff some days....good thing there are none around! It's very upsetting and stressful.

    Does it only happen after 30 mins? Is it common for you to be in the car that long? Our in-laws live 1 hour away and we did not go to their house for about a year unless we HAD to because of this. It was just too stressful.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  13. #13
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    Ugh. I am so sorry that so many of you have had a child that screams in the car. It is awful. We had not been in the car for longer than 30 minutes since Christmas time - so when he was six months old. All of our family now lives minimally 12 hours away, no stopping, in the car (so it was 17 hours for us at Christmas with the kids) or a two hour plane ride. So, I have no idea why this is suddenly miserable but it is an awful time to start. My great uncle has actually only been given 4 to 7 months to live right now so we will be going back as often as we can to see him. We will likely need to drive this next time and I just can't fathom having a screaming child for that long. We had a five hour trip over vacation and that was miserable enough.

    We do have portable DVD player with two screens and might be able to work it so that he has one and the big kids share one for long rides. He has not shown extreme interest in TV yet but watches sometimes when the big kids watch a show.

    Bubbles might work for a bit.

    Food was not helpful at all. He still mostly just nurses but we hope that will change soon.

    My DH hates M2's seat so much that we might just end up buying another convertible anyway (we are going ahead to buy M2 a new seat because of this already). I am encouraging my DH to let N try M2's seat before buying another convertible. We were hoping that N would be in his current seat for two more years and then would move to my oldest's FF to booster seat. Who knows what will happen by then, though, especially if we do have another child.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

  14. #14

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    Have you tried white noise? Sometimes it was the only thing that would soothe Maiya on those awful rides! Good luck.



  15. #15
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    I must've blocked out the trauma because I'm just remembering this, but DD needed music in the car, to not be a beast. And it had to be 'kid music'. I can send you some CDs she has outgrown if you'd like.

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    Music/no music does not seem to help at all. If we did white noise the two big kids would likely complain. It sounds like I lucked out with two kids who are fine in the car.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

  17. #17

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    White noise or music didn't help Micah. I even tried using "happiest baby on the block" car CD and it didn't help. It was about that time that I realized that he was just an overly sensitive baby. I mean even if the sun was in his direction in the car he would freak out! (he still does get irritated about the sun in his eye, and we have tinted windows and everything). Even the overhead air conditioning blowing on him would annoy him. So I had to turn that off too. Extra external stimuli he has trouble processing as an infant. And the car was just way too much for him. When he wasn't nursing or I wasn't wearing him, he was able to find comfort in a specific blanket. So I would put that in his carseat and it helped. Then one day it just stopped. I mean he still fussed but the all out screaming crying stopped. He was older though. And it took time. So for a while I would just put on soothing music or fun kids music and at least sing along with my older son. I figure if I can't stop Micah and I tried EVERYTHING..then at least I can try to make it easier for my older son to endure the screaming crying.

    Brenda

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