Child + car seat = screaming

(6 Posts)
babybouncer Wed 27-Aug-14 09:57:20

DD is 2 1/2 years old and the second she gets in the car she screams until the car stops, often starting with 'too tight!' well before we do the belt up. She often pulls her arms out of the straps (even when they are really tight!). She is much worse on short journeys, on longer journeys she often falls asleep or is excited about where she is going or will be distracted with a toy.

Things we have tried (and may have briefly worked, but not any more):
Holding her hand
Singing
Toys or favourite teddy (usually these are flung back at us)
Stopping the car and waiting for her to calm down
Ignoring her
Stopping every time she takes arms out to put them back in and tighten belt up
Try to avoid using the car when we can walk
Talking to her about the importance of the seatbelt
Warning her about when we have to go in the car and how long the journey will be
Using descriptive praise when she does stop crying and calms down (she also says 'I stop crying!' when she manages it)
Timing journeys around nap times
Asking her to apologise to everyone in the car when we get out

I'm all out of ideas - please help! I struggle most at the end of the day when I'm knackered and I know I have to pick her up in the car from her nursery (I try to walk when possible, but that means picking her up later and getting home later and I really don't want to be doing that when the nights get darker), and she screams at me all the way home, meaning I can't hear anything DS (5) is trying to tell me about his day and I just want to cry.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 27-Aug-14 11:40:19

No advice sorry, just thought I'd bump for you.

BotBotticelli Thu 28-Aug-14 16:49:30

Have you tried a nursery rhyme cd and singing along in the car? That sometimes works with my DS. Sympathies it's hard when you have a car hater.

DS has been like this since 4mo and he is now 21mo!

To be honest sometimes when I know he is fine (not ill or in pain) and just in a massive grump I turn Radio 1 up really loud, open the back windows, sing along loudly and ignore him...!

concernedaboutheboy Sat 30-Aug-14 20:07:47

If she is falling to sleep in the car seat and not feeling/ being sick when driving I think you can be sure it's not physical discomfort causing the issue... in which case there's not much for it but perserverance and making a renewed effort to completely ignore the fuss. I think she senses your willingness to appease her at the end of a long day ;)

Both of my kids have gone thru this stage. And my friends' kids.... tough phase but chant "this too will pass" to yourself maniacally smile

concernedaboutheboy Sat 30-Aug-14 20:09:50

The other thing we used with success was stoppping car, taking child out of car, and telling him/ her s/he wouldn't be coming with us if the hideous whinging continued. Harsh but it worked.

Thebluedog Sat 30-Aug-14 20:11:37

Look on amazon for a Houdini Strap. My dd would always pull her arms out, this stopped her doing that

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