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Baby HATES the car. Any advice?

(23 Posts)
belindarose Fri 02-Nov-12 15:08:05

DS is 4 months old and I've been waiting since birth for him to get used to the car. He hasn't. He cries awfully for the whole journey. Scratches at his face and makes it bleed (we are keeping nails short and filed). We've tried toys, music, sitting next to him.

He starts crying as soon as he sees the car. But seems quite happy in the car seat when I bring him inside in it.

He's a mostly content and lovely little thing. Driving is very stressful for us. I hate him crying when I can't help him.

Goldmandra Fri 02-Nov-12 17:59:39

I have every sympathy!

My DD1 hated the car from day one and screamed constantly on every journey we made.

I'm afraid we didn't find a solution and, in the end, around her first birthday the GP gave us a sedative to use on a five hour car journey for a week away.

We didn't need it. That was the day she decided to get over it and we've never had a problem since!

I still don't understand it. Does he still cry if you travel when he needs to sleep?

Welovecouscous Fri 02-Nov-12 18:15:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

parsnipcake Fri 02-Nov-12 18:19:39

Is it day and night or just one? Sometimes a blind or small light up toy can help regulate the sensory experience. I always have a morrck in the carseat to make it comfy and snugly. Sympathies.

Unlurked Fri 02-Nov-12 18:24:39

My youngest was like this. She would scream until she was sick then would scream some more. As she got older she would sleep if we travelled at nap times and she's pretty much ok now aged 2!

mmgirish Fri 02-Nov-12 23:07:58

I feel for you. My son is exactly the same and always has been. He is nearly 8 months and doesn't show any signs of liking it a wee bit more.

ISeeThreadPeople Fri 02-Nov-12 23:16:42

13mo ds still hates it. He cries until he is sweating and shuddering. I sit in the back with him while dh drives and he claws at me trying to get out. Even if he's exhausted, he is desperately unhappy and will scream himself hoarse. Have tried everything. I avoid car journeys as much as possible.

Goldmandra Fri 02-Nov-12 23:25:27

When DD1 was just over a year old she started to vomit a lot in the car, especially if she was looking at books so was realised she had travel sickness. I've wondered if she felt sick earlier on but obviously couldn't tell us.

frankie4 Fri 02-Nov-12 23:29:34

We had this too. It was so stressful, especially as most of out family live a long car journey away. It only changed when we put ds into the forward facing car seat, obviously only when he was old enough for it. I think he felt car sick, and maybe being in the forward facing seat was better as it is a bit higher and he could see out of the window. I know rear facing seats are safer but for us we put him in the forward seat as soon as we could. It was probably safer for all of us as it was so distracting driving with such loud crying, screaming and choking noises!

Wingdingdong Fri 02-Nov-12 23:37:19

It could also be the angle of the car seat. Many infant carrier car seats cause the baby's tummy to be scrunched up. That was certainly the case for our DD, who also had severe reflux. The paediatric consultant pointed it out... Some are quite deep.

creepywombat Sat 03-Nov-12 04:44:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

belindarose Sat 03-Nov-12 14:12:21

Thanks for the experiences. I haven't tried his sheepskin in it so will try that. It's as bad day or night, whether he's ready for a nap or awake and happy. Horrible and upsetting for all of us. I think we're going to try a different car seat.

Fairylea Sat 03-Nov-12 14:15:18

My ds was the same .. the only thing that worked was very loud (ish) dance / rap music !!! Seems so weird but it's the only thing that calms him down... worth a try!?

Dh and I hate it and it gives us a headache but we read somewhere that rap music is the closest type of music to womb sounds so we tried it in desperation and it works !!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 03-Nov-12 14:16:46

Is it usually just you in the car? If not, does 2nd person sit in back with baby?

belindarose Sat 03-Nov-12 14:25:19

It is usually just me, but we have tried with me sitting in the back - it was worse as he was looking at me and howling!

Dance music? I'll try, but will then have dd wailing that she wants 'her' songs on!

belindarose Sun 11-Nov-12 16:57:14

Today has been terrible. We had to abandon our planned trip to the beach as it would have been about an hour. We're considering cancelling all our Christmas plans as they involve several 4-5 hour car journeys.

This week I've tried starting the journey at different times of day. When he's just woken up, really tired, just fed, really happy etc. There is no pattern. He just screams so desperately. I sat with him a bit today and it was heartbreaking.

I've tried different kinds of music, including dance music as suggested up thread. He can't hear it as he's crying so much.

scottishmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 17:04:38

put the radio on and drive.he'll get over it.if you need car to go from A to B so be it
it's something you just unfortunately have to go through,and it sounds ghastly
got to keep going til he gets over it

scottishmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 17:07:53

you'd cancel Christmas plans on account of this?really?
as ghastly as it is, I also see you probably need your car to visit,commute etc
have you tried familiar toys,blanket?try all diversional strategies and continue car use

Goldmandra Sun 11-Nov-12 17:39:06

We very nearly cancelled a holiday because of our DD1's screaming. We had done three hours of it twice in one weekend and didn't feel that it was safe for us to try to drive through five hours of it.

A child screaming in earnest without respite for hours on end is horrendous and I would not contemplate several 4 to 5 hour car journeys over Christmas if DD still did it. It would be miserable and foolhardy.

RubyrooUK Sun 11-Nov-12 17:40:49

Oh we had this. Everyone else said "oh our baby loves the car!" Our DS screamed till he was sick. It was awful, violent distress and very stressful. After one four hour journey to the in-laws where DH and I both cried a lot with the stress of how nuts he was going, we stopped using the car for a while.

It improved as he got older. I tried breastfeeding leaning over the baby seat, which worked for short journeys of under 30 mins when DS was tired and might nap.

At 9 months, we changed to a forward-facing seat. I had fully expected to keep DS rear-facing for as long as possible, as it is much safer than front facing. But DH and I decided to try a forward-facing seat because frankly we couldn't really use the car anyway so enhanced safety was a moot point.

DS immediately improved. We made a big fuss of the new seat and he has been ok in the car ever since. We recently used a friend's rear facing one and he went mental shouting "no like seat, I scared" (he's two).

So I assume that for him, he just hated being backwards. Which isn't much consolation for you and it might not be anything similar for your baby. But it did improve and now DS actively loves a car ride.

So all my sympathy - I've no good advice but it won't last forever.

RubyrooUK Sun 11-Nov-12 17:43:34

Oh and I wouldn't have cancelled my Christmas plans but I would have found another way to get there. We once did 8 hours on a train rather than take the car. It was fine, no drama at all.

I would no way drive 4-5 hours by choice with DS as he used to be. DH and I used to feel unsafe on the road as it is so stressful to hear your child cry themselves sick.

belindarose Sun 11-Nov-12 18:21:54

Yes, we feel unsafe driving really. And it's awful for poor DD in the back with him. Can't afford to do the journeys by train really, although would like to. I think it's a good reason for done family members to come to visit us though.

He generally stops the instant I pick him up out of the seat. The last time I had to do one of the journeys (which ended up 7 hours with traffic and stops) he refused to feed at all and I ended up with mastitis. Horrid all round.

bonbonpixie Sun 11-Nov-12 20:18:25

DD went through a stage of this a few months ago. She initially slept really well in the car seat but around 4 months just hated it and would scream until sick. We removed the wedge from under her bum (maxi-cosi one) and moved the straps up to their longest setting. She was fine after that until a few weeks ago she began getting distressed again until we removed the head support pillow and again she is better. My guess is she was just uncomfortable.
However she really doesn't being along in the back in the dark. So now we have a light up/glow ball strapped to the drivers headrest and that seems to calm her.

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