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two hours to get into the carseat(!)

(163 Posts)
SocialConstruct Wed 03-Jul-13 09:58:30

I got home from work at 8pm last night because it took me more than 2 hours to coax, argue, force my child into the car-seat. He is 2 and a half.
We went through persuasion, force, explanation and then finally breastfeeding him to sleep and attempting to gently put him in 3 times before he would stay.

I am no push-over but I am amazed that it took me so long to get him in as up to now he's been fine. Is this normal toddler behaviour and do I just need to resort to chocolate buttons now?

ellesabe Wed 03-Jul-13 10:02:49

You poor thing! Sounds very difficult and I hope someone more useful will come along shortly x

RobotBananas Wed 03-Jul-13 10:05:07

They can just be like this. No coaxing in future. Either full on bribary or just fold in half and shove in seat. I remember this stage well!

afussyphase Wed 03-Jul-13 12:29:42

I really, really hate forcing toddlers into carseats. DD2 has worked out how to get her arms through the straps, so even if I do manage to stuff her in there, she can easily make herself unsafe in short order! Last time, DH held her hands to prevent her from doing this, but that doesn't work unless there's an adult back there, and besides, it's a terrible solution and it produced a tantrum heard by all and sundry for miles around. If chocolate buttons worked for me, I'd do it, but I don't drive every day so it wouldn't be a lot of chocolate. In DD's case I doubt it would work; she's really not bothered about food/treats. Maybe a sticker for getting in and staying in nicely the whole ride? 5 stickers in a week and he gets a bigger, fancier sticker? Anyway I feel for you! We have helmet/bike seat conflict too, made worse by sometimes having a deadline to collect DD1...

RobotBananas Wed 03-Jul-13 12:44:03

Well..I had to really.. DS had to be at nursery by 7am so I could get to work. If I'd spent hours persuading him I wouldn't have had a job to go to - needs must and all that smile

Didn't ever have to do it much though.

PoppyWearer Wed 03-Jul-13 12:47:11

Oh wow, my DC1 used to be like this and I kept packets of smarties in the car for this reason. I well remember still being stood in the nursery car park trying to get her strapped in half an hour after leaving. Sometimes the staff took pity on me and came to help.

Just bribe or use force.

I am approaching this age/stage with DC2 who has already started on the tantrums...I'd better stock up on smarties!

SocialConstruct Wed 03-Jul-13 12:51:38

thank you - I feel a bit rubbish because my mum told me I 'just have to be in charge' but I don't think she remembers what it's like to have a toddler stiff as a board and lashing out while screaming and crying 'nooooooooo' in your face.

I will try chocolate buttons tonight I think, there's no way I could force him and even though I did get him in once he wriggled his arms out and screamed so much that I had to un-clip him and start again.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 03-Jul-13 12:56:07

Seriously - you are the adult here.

If he can wriggle out then your straps are too loose and if you crash your car then he'll be injured. Honestly, all this faffing and worrying about "hurting his feelings" and the straps are too loose? Jesus wept.

Longdistance Wed 03-Jul-13 12:58:57

I'm with bribery. Always bribe with chocolate. I don't care, it always works with my two. I rule the roost, not my dd's.

Also, I can suggest the Houdini strap, can be bought on eBay. Both mine have them.

SocialConstruct Wed 03-Jul-13 13:01:17

Jesus Wept to you too. Do you feel better now, having helped me with my situation?

have I used the phrase 'hurting his feelings'?

The straps had to be loosened to get him in, as I was trying to toghten them he wriggled out.

Obviously to you I am just some kind of push-over mum who should be able to force my child kicking and screaming into a car-seat but you were not there. There was a serious chance of doing injury to him and myself which I was not prepared to do. Bully for you that perhaps you have a child who doesn't mind getting into a seat or who is easy to man-handle but that is not my experience which is why I came here to ask for some support and advice.

SocialConstruct Wed 03-Jul-13 13:02:55

Thank you Longdistance, I will look into the strap. My son has often managed to get him self free of the straps even on occasions where they are pulled really tight. IMO some kids are like this, they will squeeze out regardless.

Sirzy Wed 03-Jul-13 13:04:26

Tickling works well - stops them being so stiff and means you can quickly get them in.

Car seats are one of those things they soon realise they won't win the battle with!

Tee2072 Wed 03-Jul-13 13:05:59

Well, as the car seat is non-negotiable and you can't take 2 hours to get him into every night, use the brute force or stop driving.

I agree with Dolomites. Who is the adult here?

And yes, I've had a child like that. And I've put my knee into his chest and strapped him in. And tightened the straps as tight as I could to get him to stay put.

HystericalParoxysm Wed 03-Jul-13 13:07:40

Bribery is definitely appropriate in this situation! I tend to say 'I've got something for you which you can have when you're in your car seat' (usually food) or 'I'll tell you what we are doing next as soon as you're strapped in' etc. takes the emphasis off the car seat situation and more on what the next step is. Good luck! I remember that stage well wink

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 03-Jul-13 13:07:44

You are the adult here. You are considerably bigger than a two year old - take charge. I fail to see how there was a serious chance of 'doing injury' to him - last resort after asking, telling & bribing... smack his bottom and while he's stunned by that event, put him in his car seat and buckle him up - the world wont end.

Manchesterhistorygirl Wed 03-Jul-13 13:09:12

I've had two like this and I'm afraid it came down to brute force. Yes they may cry once they're strapped in, but I quite frankly do not care because at least they're in and safe. Now I'm working to a deadline, I.e. school run there's even less time for arguing.

You have to be the adult here and force the issue.

SocialConstruct Wed 03-Jul-13 13:09:22

wow - well I really don't want to put my knee to his chest, despite being the adult or maybe it's because I am the adult?
Is this really what people do to their children? shock

DS hasn't always been great at getting in the seat, it can be ok one day and not so OK the next but this is the first time I have ever met such sustained resistance to going in. This wasn't really just a bit of a fight it was a full blown crazy temper, wetting himself in the well of the car, kicking, hitting, screaming, crying and so on - not usual behaviour for him and I thought perhaps a developmental thing.

Maybe it will be different tonight.

Time2Nap Wed 03-Jul-13 13:09:49

I feel you pain, its hard work on the emotions when toddlers dig their heels in. My son had this stage, and forcing him in just made things worse and took longer plus we would both feel awful.

To go for dog walk, get on bike or in car smoothly I allow him to choose a toy (well now he is car obsessed he can pick 2 cars to take with us if he'd like). It wors reall well, I let him know ahead of time my plans and say you can bring to cars if you like and before I know t he is waiting for me.

Occasionally he tries to push his luck and bring more but knows now it won't work. And he still has occasions where he tries to put up a fight, usually tired or not well but he is told there are no options this is what we're doing (I've learnt not to say would you like to go out but tell him this is the plan) and if he kicks off the time out warning comes- rarely needed now but I've just been consistent.

Give it a go, find a favourite thing (children songs, books, toys) or a special thing just for these car journeys / situations and stick to it. It might be a bumpy ride at first but will be well worth it for both of you

SocialConstruct Wed 03-Jul-13 13:10:09

and no - I don't do smacking of bottoms so that's not a solution, neither is any form of violence. Though i do get that some parents use this method.

sunnyshine Wed 03-Jul-13 13:10:16

No one is suggesting your hurt him getting him in there but you do need to be firm. It's a struggle bit I never would have let it continue for 2 hours waiting until he was asleep before putting him in. He has to learn that seat belts are mandatory and a quick job gets you home quicker to do favourite thing or dinner or treat, tv etc. I would reward when you are home not immediately in the car.

BrianTheMole Wed 03-Jul-13 13:10:25

Fold in half, quick shove so bottom goes to back of seat, one hand between legs and across chest so they can't wriggle down and straps on quickly. And then done up very very tight so its impossible to get arms out. I have a child like that, very strong and very stubborn.

Sirzy Wed 03-Jul-13 13:10:52

In my opinion it is much worse for the child to be battling with a parent for 2 hours than it is for some gentle force to be used to resolve the situation quickly.

Seb101 Wed 03-Jul-13 13:13:05

'Donky' could have probably worded it better, but I agree in principle with what she's saying. I would not bribe, persuade etc. I certainly wouldn't spend longer than 5 mins discussing the issue. I'd give warning: count to 3, then use physical force. No 2.5 year old is stronger than an adult. If child went berserk and kicked me in face, then so be it. They'd be going in there: end of story. I've found if you don't make the child comply with these issues, they just get worse. Won't get in car, won't sit a table etc. It's like giving them control. If its time to get in car seat, it's time to get in car seat! Next time I'd take a massive deep breath and get him in that seat- no messing. I know it's hard because you don't want to hurt them, but I do believe that sometimes they need to know who's boss! Good luck xx

SocialConstruct Wed 03-Jul-13 13:13:53

thanks for all the advice. As I said I tried to do the whole explaining that we needed to get home, I tried to bribe him with snacks (Had no chocolate), and I tried to force him in and really none of it worked. I am still breastfeeding and he kept asking to be fed and I did tell him he could be fed once we were home but, really, none of this worked at all.

I can see posts where people have suggested I hurt my child, smacking him on the bum for example. This is not something we do and I am not about to start bum smacking to get my way.

thanks again.

ReallyTired Wed 03-Jul-13 13:15:21

I think that tickling combined with brute force is often necessary. I find it hard to believe that a full blown adult cannot over power a 2 year old. I don't agree with smacking either, but in someways smacking a child is less cruel than giving a child no boundaries.

A simpler and more sadistic punishment than smacking is to make your children listen to my taste in music. My son tells me that he would rather be smacked than listen to ABBA! In all seriousness if your child has a favourite CD or an audiobook you can use that to reward them for being good.

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