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Baby HATES carseat or the ride
lunabelle wrote in parenting101

I'm at my wits end and could really use some advice or tips!

My 4.5 month old and I are house bound most days because I don't have the courage to let her cry from the moment we leave the driveway until we reach our destination (not usually much longer than 20 minutes).

Oddly she is ok in the carseat before we get in the vehicle and as soon as I take it out she is usually ok. It's usually a few moments after I put the seat in the base when she starts to cry. We have a graco snugride 30. The level indicator is showing green (installed correctly).

I'm SO frustrated. The crying is heartbreaking and down right annoying and stressful!

Is there any reason she could hate it so much? She has reflux but like I said she ok in the carseat until we get in the vehicle!!

Please help!

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I would try adjusting the angle. There is a pretty wide range. Try to flatten out the seat.

Oh I didn't realize that was possible. Thanks ill try that.

Does she have anything to look at?
Have you tried playing music?

Oh I should have mentioned! She has toys hanging from the handle and a large mirror (for me) in front of her. I talk and sing to her and play songs on the radio. This cry is her "end of the world" cry that no toys, singing or talking can stop :(

My son was like this at about 2 months. It lasted until around 3 months and then he came to like the car again. Maybe it's just a phase?

Have you tried sunglasses or a car shade? My younger daughter was (and still is) incredibly light sensitive-not uncommon in people with lighter eye colors. She was a car-screamer until we put two and two together, and now, she's almost 3 and will ask for sunglasses as soon as she gets in the car-I actually keep several extra pairs around for her.

We do have a shade on the side window but not the back... She has dark eyes but this is a possibility and worth a try. Thanks for the idea.

honestly, i've yet to meet a baby that likes the carseat as an infant, and most seem to hate it in general, especially rear facing. my son SCREAMED from birth until, oh, 8 months, anytime he was in his carseat. you just grit your teeth and pray to dark gods you get through without killing you both, i guess.

This is what I was afraid of! Thanks for sharing your experience :)

Is she always like this, or if you sit in the back when someone else is driving she okay? Maybe she's upset if she thinks she's alone?

Mine went through a phase where I would only drive 10 minutes or so in distance because she was so grumpy in the car. Once I moved her from the infant seat to her convertible, it seemed to help. This did position her upright more, so she could see out the window more.

She is not as bad when someone is in the back but she does still cry...

My son was like this. It was so, so heartbreaking. Something that helped was turning on the AM radio and finding a fuzzy white noise station. If you can stand it, it really helped my son.

LOUD white noise was the only thing that helped us out, too. DD also had horrid reflux and hated her bucket seat. She was MUCH better once she was in a RFing convertible (~9 months; straps got too short on her bucket), as she was more upright, her reflux had subsided, and she could see out the window. :)

Our son HATED being in a bucket seat. He cried for an hour and a half on a car trip because he absolutely hated that thing. We put him in a convertible carseat and haven't had any problems since.

Great thanks! I'm going to look at convertible seats this weekend.

Commiseration! My now 9-month-old improved greatly when I switched her to a convertible around 5 months. I wish I switched sooner! She still wasn't great in the car, but by 6.5 or 7 months he got mostly ok with it. I definitely remember being "trapped" at home by her car hating though. :( she would scream and scream and get all hot and sweaty. Aaaaaaahhhhhhh! Good luck!

Going out is so stressful! I would have turned around today except I had someone waiting for us at the mall. She screamed there and back. I've even cried with her a few times. This can't continue or I'll be staying home all winter!!

My son was just like this. Window shades helped somewhat but mostly unfortunately he just had to outgrow it :(

Both my kids hated the car. When my first was 3 months, we took a five hour car trip in the middle of the night so he'd sleep. The worst was for my youngest (now 4 months) when we took a 3 hour car trip at the beginning of this month. He screamed pretty much the whole time except for about half an hour. It was brutal!

My husband and I laugh when we hear about people taking their baby for car rides to settle them !!

I'm right there with you! My 4 month old screams constantly in the car! Unfortunately, his big brother did the same thing until we turned him around. We've tried everything and nothing works. Hopefully both will grow out of it!

My daughter was like this from around 3 months until we couldn't take it anymore and forward faced her at one year. I know I get crap for that, but we literally could not take the screaming any more and turning her around put a stop to it. I'd try the sunglasses and adjusting the angle of the base and see if it helps. I hope it works out for you! The screaming gets old really fast.

Maybe she likes being near you....

Babies change a lot though so really, she could cry now and be fine in the carseat next week or next month...

Hopefully this changes soon but isn't something new :S she still cries when I sit in the back with her :(

My son screamed bloody murder in his carseat the entire time he faced backward to the point he'd puke himself. We finally caved at some point (I think maybe around 9 months old) and bought a DVD because we're pretty far out from anything and our car rides were 45 minutes on average. We would play signing time for him. That helped. We switched him to forward facing when he was two-ish or maybe slightly after that. The crying stopped when he turned forward. He still won't sit backward if we're on a train or anything like that. He's 3.5 now. He gets very dizzy. SO, not many tips, but lots of hugs. Good luck.

I can understand why you went with a DVD. Not ideal but what else could you do?!
Poor little babes who knows why they don't like it. Interesting your little guy still gets dizzy! At least you now know what was wrong when he was smaller :)

My son was exactly the same way. He wanted someone in the back with him, so whenever I could, I would get someone to sit there with him. Things got TONS better when I could turn his seat around so he could see me. Was so glad when that happened.

God, I hear ya. My son screamed through nearly every car ride for months. I just had to learn to suck it up and not let the crying destroy my soul, which is so hard.

Two things would help: figuring out what music he liked (then I'd have to sing to him, by around 8-9 months he decided he loves dance/pop music), and reaching back and sort of bouncing the carseat a bit. Not enough to loosen it or anything, but just bumping it a bit settled him down. Of course, in our minivan this isn't physically possible for the driver, but in our smaller car I got very good at reaching back and doing it with one hand while driving.

My 3-month-old son sometimes gets really grumpy in the car too, but I have a toy that plays a simple kids' tune which makes him quiet every time. He loves watching and listening to it. Toys and music don't work separately, it has to be the toy that plays music, haha :) It's pretty loud so he can hear it really well in the car too.

When I'm alone in the car and he gets grumpy, I sing to him a certain song that I sing to him a lot when I hold him at home, when he's calm and it's time to sleep etc. Other songs don't work as well, I think he associates the song with those peaceful moments when I've sung to him.

I hope you find something that helps!

Infant seats are tough for reflux babies a lot of time because the seat is shaped like a C, and that puts a lot of their body weight in the abdominal area where they're already uncomfortable. If she's screaming because she's having discomfort related to reflux, a convertible seat with more of an L shape can help a lot. The First Years True Fit and Diono Radian are great shape-wise.

But, like the previous posters said, some kids just hate the car and if it's not (or only partly) reflux related, she'll likely just outgrow it. But a lot of times moving to a convertible helps, and you'll need one in the next 6-12ish months anyway so it's worth a try!

Thanks for the recommendations on specific types to look at!!

Commiseration; tons of it because my 14 month old is STILL like this.
He's RF in a convertible, that's my last 'could be this' because we have tried everything.
We have tinted back seat windows and rear window, so he never gets any sun (and he has dark eyes). He has a billion plush toys and a I always play music of all kinds. The only thing that keeps him calmer is if one of us is in the back seat with him, but even then, he will cry bloody murder and he doesn't even have reflux to rule out. We have a car ride of literally 7 minutes to go grocery shopping and he HATES it- forget a 15+ minute ride.
He has done the cry til vomit on many occasions so I hear you, I have cried with him on many times too and have had to pull over gosh knows how many times to calm him down.
I am REALLY hoping that when we FF him in the next year or so he will be MUCH better. It doesn't help that I am paranoid to drive with him alone :-/

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