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20 month old cries in the car seat - how can we go anywhere?

(11 Posts)
Allegrogirl Mon 15-Jun-09 16:57:47

My 20 month old daughter was a poor sleeper when she was born. She cried herself to sleep all the time which was very distressing for us.

I established a night time routine at about 3 months and she has slept through, except through colds and teething etc, from 6 months for which I am truly thankful. She hasn't slept in her pushchair for about 6 months and will only nap in a cot. She's at nursery 2 days a week and they struggle to get her to sleep. Her nap times and durations are erratic.

She will only sleep in the car if it's bed time and she's in a grobag and the last time we drove at night it took an hour for her to sleep. We can't go anywhere longer than 30 minutes without screaming hysterics. Even if she's desperate to sleep she just won't. I really want to start visiting people and I just don't know how we would ever manage a holiday. We'd like to have some more family days out but it's so stressful when we do.

Any one been there and grown out of it? Any advice please?

fruitshootsandheaves Mon 15-Jun-09 17:02:50

My dd hated the car she would scream from the moment she was put in. she would smile and laugh as soon as we took her out. We used to warn people if we took them with us anywhere! She grew out of it when she was able to understand us a bit more (when she was aged about 11y I think!)

fruitshootsandheaves Mon 15-Jun-09 17:03:08

only joking on that last bit grin

Does she like watching tv? you could get an in car dvd player and some cbeebies dvds for her, or try a baby music cd, or singing songs - or just a loads of toys and books to look at, maybe even special car toys she doesn't get any other time.

The sleeping issue and the car thing are seperate issues, she doesn't have to sleep in the car if she's entertained and not crying. Could you sit in the back with her and distract her if your oh was driving?

This is a phase, it's more just finding coping strategies until she's grown out of it. It's hard though!

Allegrogirl Mon 15-Jun-09 17:32:41

James I know what what you're saying about the sleeping and car being different issues but when she's desperate for a nap she gets worked up and can't seem to sleep. Yesterday on the way home from the beach she slept for 20 minutes and screamed for the other 40. If she could sleep in the car the journey would pass quicker for her and she'd get her nap.

She's not hugely fussed about TV and when she does watch she bounces about the room. Will sometimes sit quietly on lap for 15 minutes if very tired then starts bouncing again. I've tried books, toys, stickers. Yesterday I sat next to her to calm her down as DH was so wound up he was in danger of crashing the car. She is very stubborn and just angry about having to sit still.

I think me and DH have to toughen up and let her cry to a certain extent if we ever want a day out. If we go further afield we'll have to travel at night and I guess planes are well and truly out for a couple of years.

Thanks for your replies.

God that must be really draining, poor you. Sorry if my answers sounded a bit simplistic. Well, I'd be tempted to try distraction, toys, snacks etc and then if she's still raging (and you feel it's temper rather than that she is genuinely upset) stick some earplugs in to take the edge off and let her get on with it, because she may be feeding off the attention the screaming brings.

Bumping for some more ideas for you, anyway. Hope you get this sorted.

moocowme Mon 15-Jun-09 20:37:07

she might be uncomfortable in her car seat. my DS found his hot and uncomfortable until i put a piece of sheepskin in for him. he is much cooler now and loads more comfortable.

i also have to do loads of distractions like drinks and snacks and toys but it seems to be working. also when i stop at lights or heavy traffic i do a peekaboo game.

Blaah Mon 15-Jun-09 20:51:42

Might I suggest cranial osteopathy?

It was amazing the effect it had on DS1. Eating related really, but lead to much better sleeping too.

We also took our other 3 when they were born, and some of the predictions made by the practitioner about them based upon their energy flow were spookily accurate.

I'm sure some other MNers will chip in here.

meandjoe Tue 16-Jun-09 08:53:38

bumping for you. my ds was the same, still can be on occassions. we tried cranial osteopathy and although it didn't work for us i wouldn't rule it out if you are concerned. with my ds we learned fairly quickly he just didn't/ doesn't want to be restrained and has a very low tolerance for frustration of any kind. He's nearly 23 months and is gradually improving all the time although as I type he's screamingat me to get up and do something so I'd better go!

ohdearwhatamess Tue 16-Jun-09 09:13:50

You have my sympathies. My 16mo ds2 is a bad car traveller and will not sleep in the car (although is an OKish sleeper at home). He has a 1 hour travelling limit before all hell breaks loose (30 mins if tired), and then he will scream and scream and scream until he goes blue and purple, thrashing around all the while. I recently had to do a 3.5 hour journey to MIL's and it was perhaps the most stressful few hours of my life (I made dh take him back home again in his car grin). Similarly he screamed for 5 hours non-stop on the way back from Cornwall a few months ago (but dh was driving so I could try and pacify, sing merry songs, waggle toys etc).

In ds2's case his 'issue' is being confined to the car seat. He does the same in the pushchair and high chair.

We're also very unconvinced about the merit of holidays. We keep putting them off and hoping he'll grow out of it soon.hmm

Allegrogirl Tue 16-Jun-09 19:08:23

Thanks for all the replies blaah I took her for cranial osteopathy when 3 months for colic and reflux which was helpful for that but didn't impact on her sleep. Might be worth considering again.

I think like some previous posters she hates being confined so we will just have to limit journeys to what we can tolerate for now. DH is gutted as he loves driving holidays and we haven't been away for 2 years. I'm desperate for a holiday but I think caravan holidays close to home are the practical solution for the short term.

As to the nap time issue she'll grow out of needing them in the day time soon so that will be one less thing to worry about.

Nice to know I'm not alone and that there's no obvious solutions I have missed.

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