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I am looking for some help in relation to car travelling.
I live west of Toowoomba and my closest shopping centre is half an hour away. Recently due to unforseen circumstances I have had to spend the last three months with my husband in hospital having two bypass operations. This has resulted in my little girl being in and out of the car practically every day travelling to the hospital and back to where we were staying. She seems to have developed an adverse hatred of the car seat. She is about 5 months old, she sleeps very well at home and is generally a very good baby until I put her in the car.
She cried for the three hour drive to brisbane and cried every time I put her in the car. After about a month I decided to turn the car seat around and face it forward and that seemed to work but she still gets very upset by being in the car.
I tried making sure she was due for her morning/afternoon nap before putting her in the car but she would wake up about half through the drive and start screaming (seemingly in pain). She gets herself so worked up that she makes herself sick. I have tried toys, rattles and other distractions including the dog (which she would normally laugh at) and all to no avail.
Just wondering if anyone has any ideas or suggestions or if anyone else has the same problem?
Thanks Sarah-Jane. :confused:
Oh no, that sounds terrible! That must be so stressful.
Have you thought about maybe your little one is getting car sick? My mum told me that my sister used to scream in the car because she is car sick. You said your little one screams so much she is making herself sick too.
Perhaps having her checked out by a child health nurse or something?
I'm sorry I don't have any solutions or good advice, but just thought that I would let you know i'm thinking of you and really feel for you.
I agree that must be incredibly difficult for you both! All I can add is that when our son starts to cry we try to distract him. A thought - she may now have developed a negative association with car traveling. Im not sure how to change it but perhaps take the car seat inside and try happy fun short spells to build up her tolerance again. I guess this could be a good way to see if she starts crying and if its car sickness too. Does she have anything to play with in the car like a car only special toy something to keep amused for long periods? What about streamers taped to the open passenger window blowing about or something like that. Could she be too hot. I know our sons seems to heat up in his seat. What about opening a window and let some fresh air in. JJ likes this because we have those window sox and they kind of flap and give him something to look and listen to. Does she like music perhaps something soothing. I use the dreaming one and it mostly helps. If it is a negative association and you are building tolerance again you could try short trips with company for her in the back like family or friends that she knows to help amuse her and change the association. Hope something Ive said helps...good luck, Amanda
I would like to thank you both for your ideas and suggestions. I am sure I will get to the bottom of it soon. I have made a point of this week not putting her in the car. I will try again in a few days time and make short trips to the post office about 10kms away. I certainly have car only toys. But the suggestion of bringing in the car seat is a good idea as she may be getting car sick. Oh well one day at a time.
i am sorry I have no suggestions on this one, but more just wanted to say that I sympathise with you 100%.
I too am at my wits end and with talking to everyone I felt I was the only one who had a baby who seems to hate the car.
I too have a 9 week old who has hated the car from day one. She will only last about 10mins before we get hysterical pain like screaming from the backseat.
I thought initially it was because she couldn't put herself to sleep but have since thrown that out the window as she has dropped off from time to time in the car on her own.
I try and keep the sun out of her face, I have tried toys as well as no toys, music and singing to no avail.
i live in brisbane and I tested her by driving to the gold coast the other day (1hr or so travel in one go). She slept on the way down til we almost got there and it was a disaster on the way home as she screamed within 10mins of getting into the car and then continued to scream and cry for 25mins straight. she then exhausted herself and went to sleep but this only lasted for 20mins and she instantly started screaming again for another 25mins or so which is when we got home. She was still screaming in the garage after I had stopped the car and seems to only stop when I get her out of the carseat.
I am at my wits end with it as I really want to go and see my family who live about 5hrs drive away and with bub the way she is its kinda stopping me from doing it.
i am thinking of just biting the bullet and doing it and that way if it takes all day to get there then it does. I guess in hindsite I do realise that they seem to stop screaming and dont kill themselves so I could probably live with that for a few hours.
Thinking back over our journey when Jesse was around the same age as your bubbas he also didnít like the car. Sorry I should have mentioned this with my earlier post but I always feel so rushed for time. I considered that his Dad gets car sick but he was always better if he had someone in the back seat but it could be a consideration for you. A GP could shed some light if you wanted to exhaust that theory. But when I was by myself it was difficult to go anywhere and it got to the point where I had to turn the seat around (he was just off the weight they recommend to do this by). Luckily we didnít have long trips and mostly managed without to bad a melt down. Iím not sure I would have had the strength to travel if I had been enduring endless crying. Sometimes I would even stop and feed again which seemed to help. We always carried a dummy for emergencies but it didnít really help allot. We had our moments but as heís matured he doesnít do this so much although he does get bored and also likes to have a long break in between trips. Understandable now heís at the mobile stage and wants to be moving so the car seat in his least favourite place. Even now I manage to have my folks tag alone especially if its one of those in and out of the cars frequently kind of trips. So really the only thing that worked for me was timing the trips, full tummy and when heís tired to hopefully sleep for the trip and company in the back seat to help amuse him until he was able to turn around and even now we do that too. I guess also you have to try to stay relaxed - I found (not always but seemed to be a pattern) that if I didnít say anything and perhaps opened a window or turned some music on he was better - distraction. If I started to talk to him it somehow just escalated his wanting to be near me or company or out of the chair. Itís very distressing to have to drive and concentrate with youíre beloved in so much distress too but you have to do what you have to do. I would suggest trying to minimise it I.e. full tummy, build tolerance for the car seat, check out motion sickness, time travel and what ever else is working for you at times but know it will pass.
I just want to say thanks for the thoughts and tips. We went for a short drive in the car today, just to town and back (1/2 hour drive one way) and she was a perfect angel. Though I did time for when she was due for a nap. But when I fed her I didn't over fill her just enough to take the edge off the hunger pains until we got home. I also made sure she had plenty of water to drink. So heres to hoping that now that we are home we won't have too many more problems. Though I do have to go back to the Gold Coast for the week end. Oh well shall see what happens. I will just allow myself a day to travel each way. ;)
Thats good news MegansMum... I think as it with with us it just takes a little planning and usually you can travel without too much distress to both of you.
Great job and good luck with future travels.:)
My daughter Kelsie (4 1/2 months) went through a period where EVERY time I put her in the car, she would scream. I also thought it was car sickness as her father gets motion sickness on our trips if he isn't driving.
We recently went away for a weekend and had to drive for 4 hours each way. We stopped mid-way to give her a top-up feed. I was terrified of taking her for such a long period in the car, but for some reason, this car trip was actually where our problems stopped. She whinged for a short period, then fell asleep.
When we got to our destination, I decided to buy her a toy that is specifically designed for car seats and prams, it just clips on to the side of the seat. It is like an activity gym for the car. Kelsie loves it!
I also found that she HATED the baby capsule. My father work's for QLD Ambulance as the baby restraints trainer and installer, and against his wishes, I removed the capsule and put in a different car seat (absolute top of the range one with more padding and comfort - this is the only reason he agreed to install the new seat). She seemed much happier and more comfortable in that. Perhaps your daughter is not comfortable in the seat???
Just thought I would let you know some changes we made that seemed to help with Kelsie. Hope it all improves for you!!
I think that half of my problem was the fact that for a period of about 3 months Megan was in the car at least 5 days out of 7. I have now been home for about 3 weeks. Included in this time frame was at least 4 three hour drives. Hopefully that is all over for a little while. But will wait and see what happens this week end.
I also was given a baby capsule off of the ambulance service but decided against using it as it just plain looked uncomfortable. So we bought a good quality seat, but that seemed to make no difference.
I thought that babies were suppose to sleep in the car as so many people say that to put an unsettled baby to sleep put them in the car and go for a drive. But anyway heres to hoping that that won't happen again for a little while.
Thanks for your thoughts and ideas. :)
Which direction does your new car seat face? Back or Front? I'm thinking of doing the same for my little one. She's 4 mths and I just think that she might be better in a seat (she's in a capsule at the moment) facing the front. I realise though that it is a safety issue. Any thoughts? Ladies, would you compromise your childs comfort for safety in this case?
Hi Aprils Mum,
The new car seat is still rear facing (which according to my father who installs baby restraints for a living, is the way they should be facing until they reach 9kg or 70cm and have good head and neck control). I would never compromise my daughter's safety for her comfort in this respect. We are planning front facing the seat shortly as she is almost 70cm. My parents are now using the capsule in their car when they have Kelsie on weekends.
The new car seat is by safe and sound (the same company that makes the baby capsule) and is top of the range in comfort and safety. It is really plush and comfy looking. The only thing I don't like about it is that it is really quite warm and we live in far north queensland.
I did turn my car seat around at about the 4 1/2 month stage as my little girl met the required weight for the seat as per the manufacturer's book. I would rather listen to a crying baby than put her in jeopardy. Though once I did turn the car seat it seemed to help. (occasionally)
The car seat we bought is dual facing seat (rear and front facing), though when we turned it forward it has a recline function, similar to the pram, so that she is not seating directly up and down. It can go from this recline position to a sitting position with the pull of a lever which is very simply accessed. We also bought a safe & sound.
Though yes I do agree that it can get warm for them. So I use the air conditioning when necessary but mainly open the windows for distraction at the moment.
I turned the car seat because I thought it would help - boy was I wrong! It was a disaster!! I found it helped when I put the newborn headrest thingy we'd been using in the capsule in the big seat - I don't know if you're meant to do this, but I figured I was more likely to have an accident with the stress of a screaming baby in the backseat. I found this really helped - she was able to go to sleep or relax in the seat whereas before she had nowhere to lean her head (she is fine now that she's grown a bit).
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