K.R. asks from Valley Center, CA on November 29, 2008
My Baby HATES Car Rides!
I'm not sure if this has been answered before, so I apologize, but I hoped that I might get some good ideas from the ladies here! My four month old daughter absolutely HATES car rides. She screams non-stop from the beginning of the ride to the end, and progressively get more and more panicked. We have tried putting mirrors in front of her seat (the kind I can use to check on her), a toy for her to bat at hanging from her car seat handle, playing music, singing, talking, nursing....everything! My two year old has learned to sleep through it, but it really frazzles my husband (and therefore makes me frazzled as well--anyway, more than it already does!) I can't stay home all the time, especially with an active toddler. Any advice would be wonderful!!
So What Happened?™
Thank you all so much for your wonderful answers! I really appreciate knowing that there are others out there dealing with this ;o)
I am going to try and switch her to a rear facing convertible seat and see if that helps. I am also going to try the static noise idea--actually, everything that everyone advised will be used! Thank you again!
L.L. answers from Los Angeles on December 01, 2008
Both of two youngest boys hated car rides too (now 2 y/o and 8 months). For us it was because they were belly sleepers and hated being in their baby carriers on their backs. We ended up buying them convertible car seats that allowed them to sit upright and see outside. My 8 month old took awhile to stay in the seat without wailing, but he finally took it. Also, I should mention they were both breastfeeding and were looking for that closeness, once on the bottle, I started feeding them in the carseat so they would have that comfort while they were seated there. Good luck!
A.Z. answers from Los Angeles on December 01, 2008
A.J. answers from Los Angeles on December 01, 2008
I think it is just a stage, my son did the same thing at that age and soon enough grew out of it. I just avoided/limited time in the car unless it was nap time and he could cry himself to sleep. He also hated the stroller at that age so walks were out too. Now he is a toddler and I'm fighting battles of getting him INTO his seat, but once he's there he is fine (plus I can reason/bribe him now!) :)
M.C. answers from Los Angeles on December 01, 2008
Check behind the cloth of the child seat seat (behind and under where the child sits). There may be a strap or LATCH end (or toy) that is poking into the child's back or bottom and is making the child uncomfortable in the seat.
However, my primary concern is safety. I want to address a few issues from the list:
1. The harness should be tight enough so you cannot pinch either harness strap (like you would try to shorten it -- NOT like you would try to make it more narrow). You should almost be able to pinch it, but not quite. The "one or two fingers under the strap" method is outdated. If the harness is too loose, the child may be ejected from the seat. Child seats are primarily SAFETY seats, not "comfort" seats. By the way, the harness clip is always at armpit level.
2. Don't use mirrors that attach to the auto headrest in front of an infant seat. Two reasons. Parenting and driving should be done separately. If you're driving and need to parent, pull off the road and do it safely. Was it this list where I read something about a mom that reached back to a child and rolled the vehicle?
Second, mirrors are not tested to resist crash forces. If the mirror weighs one pound, at 30 mph the mirror weighs 30 pounds. And guess where it will fly if it fails in a crash? Right into your child's face.
3. Someone mentioned using a noodle. For a rear-facing seat, a noodle (or tightly rolled towel) may be used to increase the angle of recline. An infant should be reclined at about 30 to 45 degrees, but no more. If the infant sits too tall, the head may flop forward and potentially block the airway. Too far back and the child's head (being the heaviest part of an infant's body) may be pulled in a crash and cause damage to the spine.
4. Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible! "One-year and 20 pounds" is an absolute minimum and is not best practice. With some infant seats now rated up to 30 pounds and "convertible" seats (may be installed rear or forward-facing) now up to 35 pounds rear-facing, why would anyone want to degrade their child's safety by turning them forward facing too soon.
Yes, I know: "My baby's legs are scrunched up against the seat back." My answer: "Legs and feet heal, brains and spines do not."
Because I care,
-- M. Cohen
Passionate Child Passenger Safety Instructor I-575114
Loving Step-Father of Melissa Monique 1980-2002
Loving Grandfather of Alec Jaye 2000-2002
"Again this year, Alec and his mommy won't be going to Grandma's house for the holidays."
1 mom found this helpful
D.E. answers from San Diego on December 01, 2008
This happened to a friend of mine--miserable for her too! She also had a toddler and a newborn, so staying home a lot wasn't an option. She said that the baby eventually stopped doing it just before she had to check herself into the funny farm.
T.M. answers from Los Angeles on December 01, 2008
Try putting in somebody elses car for a ride see if she reacts the same way, it might be the car is to loud for her, it might be where she sits she feels the tires, and this one is what bothered my son, every time we went up a hill then down it was like riding in a elevator, his equalibrium spell check, was not devoloped fully and it made him dizzy. so I just found a small quiet roadway that had a hill on it, and drove up one way then down turned around did it again, and again and again and again and again, about 25 times, try placing some baby ear muffs over her ears, the sell them at most stores winter dept. Might help with the sound.. put up on the windows the pull down tint shades the sun might bug her eyes. process of elimitations is all.
H.M. answers from San Diego on December 01, 2008
The Wiggles music helped my little guy who also hated car rides. I first tried soft soothing music and it did nothing. He loved the song Hot Potato! Good luck
T.D. answers from Los Angeles on December 01, 2008
Check your daughter's carseat to make sure it is comfortable. I had an issue with my daughter when she was a baby where the padding in her carseat slipped out of place so she was sitting on hard plastic edges. Once I replaced the padding, she was good to go again.
S.P. answers from Los Angeles on December 01, 2008
I went through the same thing with my second son. Nothing helped; my husband bought ear plugs for him and my older son but I just had to endure. There were times i had to pull into parking lots and get out of the car and cry myself. But it will end, eventually! Hang in there and know you are not the only one!
O.K. answers from Santa Barbara on December 01, 2008
Hello :) before buying a new seat try taking the infant head support out and going for a ride. My daughter HATED rides until I took that out and then she was fine - it's magic and it's free!!!!
E.M. answers from Los Angeles on November 30, 2008
My kids hated the car too until they were about 6 months old, and then it all changed. Hang in there - I think this is actually kind of normal. I have a theory that riding backwards makes them sick to their stomach - I swear the second I could turn them forward (at 1 and 20 plus pounds) the upsets stopped.