Toddler HATES cat seat -Trying to stick with AP style- Help wanted

Breanne - posted on 04/12/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My son is 17 m old and has never liked going in the car since day one. He was traumatized at the NICU when they made him do his car seat test and wouldn't allow me to take him out even though he was frantic. It's been a constant struggle and he's had good days until recently we took him on a 4 hour trip and he was 30 mins in and was "all done". I know a lot of you are probably against it and don't say I am a bad person for doing it but I will take him out and nurse him to calm him down (while driving). Usually we'll stop at a rest stop and let him run around but if we can't stop I won't let him sit there and cry and scream and turn blue. I just wanted to know if anyone has suggestions for long car rides or if anyone elses toddler doesn't like car seats.
Thanks in Advance

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April - posted on 04/12/2010

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is he tall? how much does he weigh if he is tall enough / meets weight requirements maybe he would enjoy a booster seat better?

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Shonda - posted on 04/16/2010

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Love the sulfuric acid Lisa! Hahaha! I could not stop laughing! Well, my son is only 8.5 months old right now, but we had car seat issues. I strip him down before putting him in because he was getting too hot. I have a mirror on the rear seat. He is fine for rides at long as 20-30 minutes as long as big sis is back there. Other than that I believe he gets incredibly bored back there. He has toys, but that last a couple of minutes. We have taken several trips 2-3 hours one way. So we travel when it is nap time and he sleeps most of the way. Trips longer than 3 hours... well, we have nixed those for now. There is no need for one. We have even flown with him. He slept. So I am not sure the suggestion but maybe limit long trips if you can... maybe they are not worth the trouble just yet. Sorry I don't have more to offer.

Geralyn - posted on 04/16/2010

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We always treated the car seat situation as an AP issue and not have our son crying. Luckily it was phases over the last 2 years. Requires a LOT of patience. And an understanding that with certain exceptions (doctor's appts, other necessary appts), our schedule and our desire to go some where on a particular schedule was secondary to our son's emotional needs - especially as a baby (under 1). I am not pretending that it was not frustrating at times - sitting in a parking lot 'til he was ready to get back into the car seat, but I would try to move past it....



When my son was under 1, he went through phases where he would cry in his car seat. I would say about 95% of the time, if either my hubby or I pulled over and picked him up and soothed him, he would go back into his carseat without tears. Several times, we repeated the process and held him one more time and then he was okay to get back into the car seat. There were times that we would cancel our plans and keep him home (if tears getting into the seat) or return home - trying to keep him calm 'til we could get back home. It did work most of the time. It really was about initial tears about being in the carseat, but after a few minutes of tears, it became a deeper cry with tears about being upset. Those are the tears that had always concerned me, because I did not want his cortisol levels increasing and getting so upset.



After 12 months, we have had phases where he has not wanted to get in his carseat with either tears or protesting. We do not force him into the carseat. We will sit with him, will allow him to play or explore in the car, and then try again. If it doesn't work after several times, we hold him - not letting him play so that he gets bored. It usually doesn't take that long, but there have been times where my hubby and I have sat in the car with him for at least an hour. Luckily no too often!



I have heard people criticize letting the child determine his readiness for things, stating that he will learn to manipulate the situation. That has not happened with my son. I think that it is more of an issue of, in the latter situation with a toddler, just helping him and talking to him about getting ready for the trip - knowing the expectations, ginving him prep time, etc....



For long trips the furthest we have driven with him is about a 3 1/2 to 4 hour trip. We take breaks with him... Let him get out of the seat and do something with him, then start our trip again. We really try to set up situations where we can stop - so if its a 4-hour trip, we would build in time to stop for a break - have lunch, stop at a park, etc.... Plan a 5-hour or longer trip to account for breaks.



This is what works for us....

Geralyn - posted on 04/16/2010

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Please do not nurse while driving. It could be a fatal mistake. One that you would regret for the rest of your life. Also, he is NOT ready for a booster seat for safety reasons. Again, potentially another fatal mistake - and it is not about what they are more confortable with at the cost of safety. My other concern is if you do take him out and drive with him, you are setting yourself up for creating a habit - he will cry and learn that he will be taken out.... a bad habit to start. With the safety concerns off my chest, I hear your pain.... shoot, my little one woke up. More later!!

Katherine - posted on 04/15/2010

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Adelaide has always believed that her carseat is made of sulfuric acid.
LOL Lisa!!

Minnie - posted on 04/15/2010

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Adelaide has always believed that her carseat is made of sulfuric acid.

For the first 12 months I usually never drove anywhere longer than 10 minutes alone with her. My husband chauffered us everywhere and I sat in the back and nursed her by leaning over her seat while we drove. Which worked perfectly for a 28 hour drive down to FL. When I was alone with her and she cried I stopped and nursed her. Took three times as long to get anywhere, but...

But she's slowly getting used to it, and at 18 months is ok most of the time in the back seat. Maybe it's because she has her sister next to her to talk to now- they interact a lot more as she grows up.

I also bring crackers along for her to munch on while we drive, and a bag of little toys to play with. We sing songs, listen to the radio, and I kid you not, I spent 30 minutes on my way to a LLL meeting meowing and barking at her to keep her from crying.

I guess I don't have any super great solutions- it takes time and patience, eventually he will get there!

Traci - posted on 04/15/2010

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Reagan (9 mos) is good for about 30 miles and then throws epic fits. If someone is in the car with me (usually my husband) I will climb into the back seat and attempt to get her settled, and if all else fails, I take her out. She spent 2/3 of the trip from Minneapolis back to Detroit in my lap, or else the 700 miles would've taken us 3 days. That being said, I have a HUGE trip coming up (From Great Falls, MT back to Detroit, roughly 1900 miles) and I'm really worried about how this is going to work out for us.

Just as a word of experience, I tried getting her used to it by taking longer trips, maybe 30-60 mins, but that hasn't made much of a difference so far. We are hoping that with the new car I'm getting, we can put a mirror in the back headrest so she can see me, but who knows if that will calm her enough.

Katherine - posted on 04/14/2010

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Are you kidding me???? I stop the car and take my daughter out ALL the time. We were talking about this a while back. AP is being empathic, so what you did was necessary to get through the car ride. Nothing wrong with that. I really don't care what anyone thinks, I do things my way ;)

Lucienne - posted on 04/14/2010

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my son hated the car seat SO much... oh no wait... he still does.

At 18 months old i am only just able to get him IN the car seat let alone stop him from escaping from it.

Its ok Breanne!!!! your not a bad person for taking him out, its not a good idea at all, but i have done it many many times.

I have actually found that letting Phoenix play in the car and getting him super amped for little excursions to the beach or the shops or whatever has really helped, i have also started to supply him with ample treats like sultanas and fruit and cool toys that are only for the car

your doing the right thing asking for advice so dont worry, there is always going to be someone who understands!!!

Anne - posted on 04/13/2010

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My baby hated her rear-facing seat and it was only when we switched to forward facing that she now enjoys car rides. Be warned though -they are not as safe in a crash but it's better than having to take you baby out or be distracted whilst driving.

Breanne - posted on 04/12/2010

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Not yet. He's only 31 and 3/4 " and 30 lbs. However I think he would enjoy a booster, a bit more freedom to twist and turn.

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