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5 mth old has car phobia!

(11 Posts)
sausagepot Wed 30-Sep-09 19:36:47

Hi everyone,
My DS seems to have developed a phobia of travelling in the car. I'm just wondering whether anyone else has experienced this and if so, did they find a solution apart from just staying in!!
It goes like this:

pop DS into car seat, strap in and tighten straps, give toy & muslim to smiling child and leave house.

approach car, everyone's happy, strap DS into back seat, reassure in positive tone, shut door.

Start car, chat to DS and drive off. By the end of the drive, DS is complaining loudly, pull out onto the main road and he's started to scream.

I'm sure he's comfortable and can't find a reason for this which started about 2 weeks ago. He ends up sobbing and if I am with my husband I have to sit in the back seat with him, even then he doesn't calm down sometimes.

Maybe he wants us to reduce our carbon footprint!! But its really stressful.

I put a coloured throw over the seat today to give him something new to look at but that didnt work either.

Thank you if you can help!

Mummy369 Wed 30-Sep-09 20:34:18

Could he be feeling travel sick?

LynetteScavo Wed 30-Sep-09 20:41:13

I think babies dont' know if theyare going on a short trip, or a really long trip.

Have you been on long journeys which may have put him off going in the car?

FernieB Thu 01-Oct-09 11:41:50

Never experienced this, sorry. Could you practice with him? Maybe, get him ready, go through all the normal routine and then just sit in the car with him and play for 10 minutes. Then get out and go back in the house. Could also try story/song CD's. Get a toy steering wheel and he can help drive.

I sympathise, but this is probably just a phase and will pass. Mine are now 9 and we've been through so many different phases/worries which at the time were stressful and seemed to take over, but looking back weren't that bad really.

spanna75 Thu 01-Oct-09 19:51:48

maybe he's feeling a little seperation anxiety? he cant see you for quite a while, whilst you are driving.
Have you tried singing to him?

kwaker5 Thu 01-Oct-09 21:36:25

Does he eventually fall asleep after screaming (assuming you are in the car long enough)?

I think they just go through phases of this. I remember one particularly horrific trip back from in laws when DS (can't remember exact age but under 9 months) fell asleep initially for about an hour then screamed on and off for 2 hours only to fall asleep again as we were turning into our road.

meandjoe Thu 01-Oct-09 21:49:07

My ds was always like this in the car. Think he just got bored as they are kind of restricted and can't really see much when they are tiny. Toys would sometimes help but I had to sit in the back and constantly alternate the toy when he got bored or pick it up if he dropped it etc. Was a bit of a pain. It did pass.... eventually! (sad to say not until he was bigger and could see out and was about 16 months so could chat and tell us what he could see and be distracted from the bordom- sorry!)

Danthe4th Fri 02-Oct-09 10:57:38

Could you try positioning a mirror so he could see you, I think you can get stick on ones that are for the car.

sausagepot Sun 04-Oct-09 20:29:20

Thank you so much for all your replies. Mummy369 I did wonder whether he gets travel sick.
Kwacker5, he doesnt pause for breath and once the crying gets worse and reaches a certain pitch, you just know he wont fall asleep. I have to pull over and if I'm with Hubbie will climb into the back and stick a bottle into his mouth, which does work, bless, then he'll go to sleep!
He does have a mirror, and I've also tried covering that up in case he was over stimulated!
I hadn't been on a long journey to set off this phobia and it came on over a month to reach the crescendo!
What I have done, and thanks for the suggestion Spanna75 and Fernie B ,I've got a nursery rhyme CD and played it over and over in the house. I've put it on in the car and changed his car toys and added new stuff to his car seat.
We went out today and manically sang our way along, like a miracle DS was a lot calmer...went to sleep on way. Minor meltdown on way home but slow because of traffic.
I really appreciate your suggestions, thanks for helping out! x

troutpout Mon 05-Oct-09 09:10:37

dd was always like this and she got steadily worse untill each car journey was a complete nightmare
Then when she was about 12 months she started vomitting in the car and we realised it was travel sickness.

FSB Mon 05-Oct-09 14:37:25

my DD (11 wks) is terrible in the car, grumbles as long as we're moving and then kicks off if we hit traffic/too many red lights and is hysterical for the rest of the trip! i think it's unfamiliarity for her though. we don't have a car so she's only been on half a dozen car journeys when we've hired a car to get somewhere - it's a real pain though and we're going on holiday in 5 weeks where there will be a lot of driving... i'm dreading it!!

is there anything you can do at this age if it is travel sickness?

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