Carseat-schmarschmeat

Miles hates the carseat. Hates. It.

When it’s just him and me in the car, pretty much I can get about 15 minutes out of him in one go before he starts to fuss, which quickly escalates to scream.  And that is WITH endless verses of Old MacDonald (did you know that Old MacDonald also has a car, a tractor, a bee, a baby and weedwhacker on his farm? It’s true!  And sometimes he has a ‘thing’, when mama’s brain run out of ideas.)  Yesterday I met my mom in Richmond and managed to do the whole thing without any screaming or crying because a) i timed the car ride for a point when he was super-tired and sure to fall asleep. b) he slept for the usual 30 minutes that he sleeps in the car and c) then Old MacDonald + a few other songs kept us scream-free for almost the rest of the way, at least until we got to a place we could stop and get out for awhile, which was pretty close to home on the way back.

“Most babies love the carseat!” is what so many people say to me. They don’t believe me when I say that he hates it. Or they think that, because i’m a first-time mom, I’m ‘overly-sensitive’ and that I should just let him cry and not worry about it.  They have never seen him cry…which is quickly followed by the screams…nor do they have the hormonal response that I do.  I think they don’t believe that he gets all that upset, really, and often they will say that ‘he’ll learn’, in that tone of voice which implies that he had better ‘get with the program’ and stop ‘throwing temper tantrums’.  Sometimes when we tell some people that we have to meet them halfway instead of bringing him to their house, it seems like they think we’re being either a) manipulative or b) too coddling of Miles.

They have never seen how truly miserable he is. Because I want to spare him (and me) that extreme misery, we just don’t go very far afield or we time our outings around his naps, etc.  Maybe with time he will improve.  Maybe when he can face front, he will feel better. Maybe he’ll hate it until he can not be in a carseat. Who knows?

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bejewell
    May 02, 2008 @ 14:33:53

    I totally believe you. Our son Sam wasn’t a fan of the rear-facing seat either. We moved him to a front-facing seat as fast as we could, and it has made all the difference. Like a completely different kid. The child safety experts all recommend keeping them rear-facing as long as possible, but I say screw that!

    Reply

  2. ~m
    May 03, 2008 @ 08:20:44

    I have to say that I’ve heard that a lot from other moms of babies with Carseat Traumatic Stress Disorder! 🙂 So I think we will probably give that a try as soon as we possibly can.
    I saw from your blog that Sam just turned one (congrats!)…when did you move him front-facing?

    Reply

  3. bejewell
    May 03, 2008 @ 08:44:22

    We moved him to a new car seat a few weeks before his first birthday, and it’s been heaven. I guess what he really hated about the car sear before was not being able to see where he was going, which makes sense (I sure wouldn’t want to be facing backwards all the time!). Now he’s just as happy as a little clam. We got a convertible seat that actually holds up to 100 pounds, so it should grow with him. If you want amy more details about what we got, let me know!

    Reply

  4. ~m
    May 03, 2008 @ 15:21:02

    Yeah, I think Miles gets pretty lonely. I have one of those travel mirrors rigged up so I can see him…and when I start singing, he perks right up and listens. I don’t think that is the entire issue but that is part of it.
    What kind of a carseat did you get? We just got him a new one a few months ago because he had outgrown the infant carrier. It’s a Graco…seems alright but I will probably still keep him rear facing for while.
    Thanks for the info!!

    Reply

  5. Lisa
    May 04, 2008 @ 07:23:14

    Emma’s always been 95th percentile, and our ped. said to turn her around earlier than the weight recommendations because her legs were getting pretty wedged against the seat, but I don’t remember when that was.

    Emma was never a screamer, so I don’t have the experience you have with that (but, having taken care of babies who scream, I can appreciate the extreme frustration. Especially in a car–everything echoes around…). Anyway, I did a lot of singing when she would get unhappy, and also had a mirror that hung from the headrest on her seat, which was more designed for her to see herself, but also worked a little with that extra rear view mirror thing so I could see her.

    Reply

  6. ~m
    May 04, 2008 @ 13:26:12

    Thanks, Lis! I was thinking about getting another mirror so he can see himself and see if that would help him last any longer. I’ll keep an eye on his growth, too, to see if we can move him around sooner. He’s in the 95th percentile for height but only 75th for weight so…does that make any difference? I guess I should ask his ped.
    And you’re right! Everything DOES echo 😦

    Reply

  7. bejewell
    May 04, 2008 @ 17:10:43

    We got two different seats – the Eddie Bauer is in my car and the Cosi-something is in my husband’s Jeep. He got the Cosi because it fit better. I love the Eddie Bauer one so far, it has lots of room to grow with the kiddo and it’s not ugly, which a lot of them are, in my very humble opinion. Sam is a big kiddo, too, and we moved him as soon as we could justify it, when his feet started poking over the edge of his infant seat. Seriously, it’s like a whole new baby. I like having a better eye on him, too – we had the mirror but I could only see so much.

    Talk to your doc and see what he says – but really it was a no-brainer for us!! Good good luck!

    Reply

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