3 Month Old HATES Her Car Seat, and Riding in the Car...

Updated on December 12, 2007
S.Y. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
5 answers

I would love some advice/suggestions: My 3 month old wails and screams whenever we put her in her Graco SnugRide carseat. I have tried putting up dark film on the side windows, as I was thinking the light bothered her. I also put a pretty big mirror so she could look at herself and I could see her. I've resorted to having my son go with me for Doctor's visits (the ONLY time I leave the house) to ride in the back and try to entertain her, which helps a little, but not much.
The thing is, this especially bothersome because a) my daughter is so laid back and hardly EVER cries, so it is especially distressing when she is wailing like this, and b) she is breastfed, and will not take a bottle of pumped milk, so she and I have to be together 24/7, therefore I am basically stuck at home and can't even run the simpilist of errands without enduring a "torturous" ride. Does anyone have any suggestions? Even a more comfortable carseat recommendation? We are willing to spend money on whatever works! Any toys that have worked for you, or any product that works well shading the rear window to keep out harsh light?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My 3rd hated her carseat as well when she was tiny. It was the same one I had used for my first two. My oldest is only about 3.5 years older than my baby so we still have all the same baby gear. ANyways, my first 2 loved their Evenflo carseat and I never had a problem. Claire has always been super happy and easy going, except when it came to the carseat. With 2 little ones, she had no choice but to learn to accept the car. She did improve. I think once she was aware enough to be entertained more by the bigger kids, she quickly learned to like the car. It's tough to listen to the screaming, but for me it just resolved itself by about 4 months I think. She's 7 months now and there are no more problems with the carseat.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My 3 1/2 year old is also very pleasant and happy. He hardly ever cries UNLESS he is in his carseat. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending how you look at things, we don't have the option of staying in. Everyday, we must go and pick his 8 year old sister up from school.

While I can't tell you what could make her stop every time, don't let it keep you in. My son has gotten a little better for the most over the past several weeks because we have gone out more. I talk to him and sing to him in the car. There are days where he cries the whole car ride (like coming back from the store today) but overall it is getting better. I agree with the one other mom who said it will probably get a little better once the baby is old enough to look around and be entertained by others.

BTW, we live in Greenfield so if you would like to have coffee or lunch sometime, let me know. We also belong to a wonderful organization called MOMS Club of Pittsburgh, East. We have playgroups, book clubs, outings and other events. If you are interested let me know.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi S.,

My son was similar to your daughter when he was little. It does get better. I actually bought those "links" that they have for babies to play with and I hung them all over the back of my car that my son would have something to look at while he was riding back there all by himself. I also carried a boppy pillow in my car and would often pull over to the side of the road to nurse him. I found that he used to get hot in his car seat and would often be all sweaty when I took him out. You might want to avoid putting a heavy coat on her in the car and just put a blanket over her carrier when she is out of the car instead of having her wear a coat in the car. She might just be hot and uncomfortable. The links really helped with my son. And I would hang little interesting toys off of them so that he could see things jiggling around back there.

The other thing I did was to play music really loud - it helped my sanity because I wasn't overwhelmed by his crying and it also helped him to feel like he wasn't alone - the key is to play it loud - remember infants are used to all of the noises in your womb - so they like it loud - and if you can take it - white noise would be the best - but music goes over well.

Don't let this keep you from going places - you will go crazy. Get one of those carriage protectors and put your daughter right in the carriage at the grocery store - or right in her stroller instead of in the carseat - you can proper her up with soft toys.

Good luck!

A Mother's Boutique

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My four mos old usually needs his binkie or a bottle to calm him while in there. My 5 yr old sometimes helps feeding him while I drive, sometimes I have to prop it with blankets. Gotta do what ya gotta do.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi S.! Is your daughter especially large (tall or chubby)? My son loved his carseat until he started to get too big for it. Then he would fuss and fight constantly! We moved to the Britex Marathon (in the reverse position) around 4.5 months. He was SO much happier than the Snugride. The biggest problem for me was losing the convenience of the carrier. I solved this problem by using a variety of slings and carrier (Baby Bjorn, Peanut shell, Moby Wrap...if you're interested in any of these let me know, there were miricle workers for my son!)

Since you are nursing and seem to feel a little bit "stuck" to your child, I wanted to tell you about the MOMS Club. I'm not sure exactly where you live, but there are several MOMS Club in Pittsburgh. The website is www.momsclub.org to find one near you. They have many activities each month (all kid, baby and breastfeeding friendly!)

Good luck with your carseat search! I liked going to USA Baby (near Ross Park Mall) or Babyland (on Penn Ave) to "try out" some seats before purchasing. Both these places have coupons that might help with costs. Or you can try the seats in the store and then buy them at Babies R Us, Babycenter.com, Target, etc. The boutique stores just seem more helpful in helping you chose and knowing what is appropriate for babies of all sizes.

1 mom found this helpful
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