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Not an AP, but need your advice


Forum: Attachment Parenting

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  #1  
August 11th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Quantum_Leap's Avatar frequent flier
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I'll preface this by saying that I am not really an AP per se (even though I have read the Sears book), but I do have a lot in common with you ladies and figured that this might be a good place to look for advice. My husband and I don't believe in CIO at all -- my son has been rocked or nursed to sleep every night of his life to date. And we always try to comfort him quickly when he cries, even when he's just playing -- it's very hard for me to watch him when he's upset (it's heartbreaking, actually).

The trouble is that my son hates his car seat. Hates, hates, hates, hates it. As in, balls uncontrollably, any time he's in it, even if it's just for a short amount of time. He is a very active baby who loves to crawl, stand, and play, and being cooped up in a car seat is just not for him. We have had to take several long road trips with him recently, and it was nearly hell for all of us. When he starts to cry in the car, there is absolutely nothing I can do to comfort him -- I've tried singing, bottles, pacifiers, toys, everything I can think of, but he is having none of it. He will cry so hard that he is just racked with sobs, and little tears pool up underneath his eyes and leave little salt stains. Eventually he passes out from exhaustion, but as soon as he wakes up he is crying again. When he gets like this, if I take him out of his car seat and sit him on my lap (which, I am ashamed to admit, I have done a few times), he will stop crying immediately. It's very clear that that's what he wants.

He has been like this since he was just a few months old. He has also acted this way in two different car seats (his normal rear-facing one and then one forward-facing, which we used once when we were visiting my mom's house and didn't have his normal car seat with us), so I know that it's not the car seat itself that's the problem. We have also tried both loosening and tightening the straps, with no change in behavior.

Any suggestions? What would you do if you were me? He is only 7 months old, so he's far too young for me to be able to explain why it's so important for him to stay in his car seat, but he does need to get used to riding in one eventually. It breaks my heart to see him cry like this, but I don't know how else to get him from Point A to Point B.
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  #2  
August 11th, 2009, 12:24 PM
keekopeeko's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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i probably wouldnt go anywhere becuz id be miserable.. the only thing i can suggest is trying to go somewhere only around his nap time.. and also bringing his carseat inside and let him play on it.. see that it can be fun..

I have a baby who hates the car seat too.. and the only times id leave the house for along time were if it was her nap time anyways.. But i will say we moved her next to her big sister a couple months ago, and it might be that, but shes gotten a lot better about the car seat.. thought she still arches her back and screams bloody murder while im holding her down to strap her in..

shes also a very active baby.. crawling since 6 1/2 months.. etc..


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  #3  
August 11th, 2009, 08:17 PM
Ellemphriem's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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So sorry you are going through this but Stephanie is exactly the same. Won't have the sit and whenever she is placed in she starts climbing out of it. One solution we found is one of us rides back with her. Me in particular. DH drives i am at the back. As soon as she is in she wants out but i just hug her and then i start playing with her and talking to her and most of the times she is ok with it and after 20 minutes have passed she usually gets highly sleepy also and sleeps in it (car rocks her to sleep). But if i was driving alone with her that would have been another issue. I think all hell would have broken loose. So i haven't driven alone with her since birth and won't do it unless i am sure she is gonna be ok with it. I can't handle driving alone and having my daughter whaling at the back all the time. If i can avoid it i will. So whenever i am alone i go to places with her either by foot, public transportation or taxi. Have you tried riding at the back with him?
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  #4  
August 11th, 2009, 11:32 PM
ItalySarah's Avatar Proud Attached Mommy
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With Bella I just give her toys and try to keep her calm. I have spent many hours leaned over her seat nursing her while in the carseat. The best toy I bought was the mirror that sings. She loves it.
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  #5  
August 13th, 2009, 05:05 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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You arent alone. So many of us have had this problem it makes one wonder where they get all those stories about all babies loving to ride in cars, go to sleep straight away etc... Not Mine!
With Ian its not as bad, but most of our car trips are less then 15 minutes and almost all less then 30. They often end somewhere fun, like the zoo or park. he still starts getting upset if its bit longer, but he'll last awhile with constant stories and snacks - in fact i could probabley keep him content in the car for hours if he could eat chocolate that long.
With Billy though, nothing worked, he cried and cried, we tried songs, food, games, everything. I hardly wanted to leave the house unless i could walk, and if I had the finacial means to do so, would gladly have packed up and moved to Amish country in the USA just to avoid cars it was so bad.
The only things that finally helped were a car dvd player after he was 1 and pingu dvd's, and of course just getting older and realising the car took him fun places.
I really wish I could offer more help, but I do know how you feel so you have my sympathy anyway. And this too shall pass.
All the best
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  #6  
August 13th, 2009, 09:32 AM
Quantum_Leap's Avatar frequent flier
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Thanks, ladies. I do always ride in the back with Charlie, which is why I get the brunt of it! (I actually told my husband the other day that on the next road trip I get to drive and he gets to ride in the back to entertain him!) The idea of letting DS play on the carseat while it is in the house so that he can get used to it is a good one. Otherwise, I guess we will just to minimize the long road trips until Charlie is a bit older. (Tough to do, sicne we are moving across country this week!)
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  #7  
August 13th, 2009, 11:51 AM
Moldovandish's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm just lurking, but just wanted to say that we've dealt with the same problem from day 1. Since 3 months old my daughter has had to be in the car with just me on the way to and from daycare for about 45-60 minutes total. The first year was bad. She would have better days, but overall it was nerve wrecking. It's finally overall better now after 18-19 months when she can recognize cars, trucks, bikes and she can get distracted that way.

I still always plan all my trips and minimize them as much as possible, because if I make too many stops, she does not want to get back into the car anymore.

Occasionaly when we venture out on 3-4 hour trips, a DVD player has helped, even though not for too long. She still gets antsy after watching something for more than 20-30 minutes, so we always plan our long rides around her naptime because if she's tired, she will eventually fall asleep. Otherwise she won't. I also bring a variety of snacks that she likes.

Hope things get better for you!
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  #8  
August 14th, 2009, 12:14 PM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brui77 View Post
I'll preface this by saying that I am not really an AP per se (even though I have read the Sears book), but I do have a lot in common with you ladies and figured that this might be a good place to look for advice. My husband and I don't believe in CIO at all -- my son has been rocked or nursed to sleep every night of his life to date. And we always try to comfort him quickly when he cries, even when he's just playing -- it's very hard for me to watch him when he's upset (it's heartbreaking, actually).

The trouble is that my son hates his car seat. Hates, hates, hates, hates it. As in, balls uncontrollably, any time he's in it, even if it's just for a short amount of time. He is a very active baby who loves to crawl, stand, and play, and being cooped up in a car seat is just not for him. We have had to take several long road trips with him recently, and it was nearly hell for all of us. When he starts to cry in the car, there is absolutely nothing I can do to comfort him -- I've tried singing, bottles, pacifiers, toys, everything I can think of, but he is having none of it. He will cry so hard that he is just racked with sobs, and little tears pool up underneath his eyes and leave little salt stains. Eventually he passes out from exhaustion, but as soon as he wakes up he is crying again. When he gets like this, if I take him out of his car seat and sit him on my lap (which, I am ashamed to admit, I have done a few times), he will stop crying immediately. It's very clear that that's what he wants.

He has been like this since he was just a few months old. He has also acted this way in two different car seats (his normal rear-facing one and then one forward-facing, which we used once when we were visiting my mom's house and didn't have his normal car seat with us), so I know that it's not the car seat itself that's the problem. We have also tried both loosening and tightening the straps, with no change in behavior.

Any suggestions? What would you do if you were me? He is only 7 months old, so he's far too young for me to be able to explain why it's so important for him to stay in his car seat, but he does need to get used to riding in one eventually. It breaks my heart to see him cry like this, but I don't know how else to get him from Point A to Point B.
Well first of all welcome to AP! I think you do sound AP (even if you don't think so) because the basic concept is responsiveness to your child their needs...which it sounds like you do. Very few here do everything that is "thought" to be AP....but we all try to parent according to our child's needs....whatever that ends up being. I hope you stick around & share your insights...

As for the car...that is so hard. For us it did get much better when we could turn him, and I think that was most of the issue. Not to say he has ever loved the car (although today he does like to go on short car rides)....but it decreased dramatically when we were able to turn him. Before that though the ONLY thing that worked pretty consistently was a boobie. It make life really tough I know & I agree with Broxi...where are these car loving babies I keep hearing about????? It certainly isn't my kid.

I wish you the best of luck. I can't offer any additional ideas unfortunately, but I can certainly offer you understanding & validation for your frustration & pain! Hang in there momma....I don't think there is a kid over two having those issues, so eventually this WILL improve!
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  #9  
August 14th, 2009, 01:18 PM
(.Y.)mom2dd(.Y.)
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NAK ~ I have a lo that doesn't like her car seat. She grew so quick that I turned her around. She is much better.. I also started using a DVD in the car. All helped. GL!
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  #10  
August 14th, 2009, 09:36 PM
BoobyDutyAgainJen's Avatar Proud Mom & Birth Mom
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Here offering some support and validation as well. I DO have one of those car loving kiddos and always have. Leila my 20 month old goes on car rides just to calm her down lol. However my new little guy screams bloody murder when he is put in his car seat unless he is sound asleep. It is extremely tiring and heart wrenching. I am just praying upon praying that this isn't always going to be.

I hope you find an answer. This too shall pass!
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  #11  
August 15th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Quantum_Leap's Avatar frequent flier
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Thanks again, ladies! What we ended up doing was timing our road trip for the middle of the night (as in, we left at 7:30 PM and arrived at 2:30 AM) so that Charlie would be asleep anyway and wouldn't mind so much. But it was pretty hard on my husband (the driver), and we sure can't do that long-term. I'm hoping that this crying issue will ease up a bit when DS gets older!
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  #12  
August 16th, 2009, 04:49 PM
(.Y.)mom2dd(.Y.)
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Driving at night is a great solution ~ thanks for the update!

The funny thing? It wasn't even law for us to be seat buckled in when I was a child. My parents have no idea what we're going through!
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  #13  
August 16th, 2009, 06:32 PM
HS&Fsmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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The nighttime trip is a great idea!

We just came home from a 4-hour trip and Hugo hates to sit that long. But he is also potty training (and I'm pregnant) so that makes for plenty of potty breaks. Still, I would add to the suggestions to maybe take some breaks. It's heartbreaking to have to make him get back in the car but it may help him see that the car ride is not forever.

With Hugo, I drive him every AM to my parents' to stay while I'm at work and he sits happily with a cup of milk and listens to his music CDs. It's only a 15-20 minute drive but he knows those are happy drives. So the other thing that works with him is to offer a lidded drink and his music when he's at the point when he absolutely can't take it and is starting a screaming fit. It has been the last stop we pull out and it works for him. If not, then that means he truly needs potty/changing or otherwise is uncomfortable enough to need to stop.

I agree with the sitting in back with him- makes it easier to entertain, talk, and soothe. We won't have that option in 2 more months though (another baby going in the back) so we're trying to emphasize the verbal soothing, music and stop when we need to stop routine.

Traveling with a kid that little is just not fun any way you look at it... hang in there and know that before long he will be in the phase of "Are we there yet?"
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