Car Seat Blues
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You know those car commercials, where the parents are exhausted from driving their newborn around the block all night because that’s the only way they will sleep? Yeah… not reality for everyone! Josiah HATED the car seat, he did not drift into an instant slumber every time we strapped him in. Instead, he worked out his lungs for the entire car ride…no matter how long it may have been.
If your child hates being in those fancy baby contraptions, that isn’t a Boba Wrap, then chances are your cute little baby isn’t going to adore his car seat either. I suppose, as with anything, early exposure is best; however, this may not prevent any dislikes for the car seat.
Here is the list of our best tries:
Take out the extra padding in the car seat. This may help for a little while…we had the Chicco KeyFit 30 and started with taking the extra butt padding out, then the head padding came out shortly after. This helped a little bit. The padding may have been making him too hot, or possibly putting too much pressure on him.
Diffuse lavender in the car. Why yes, it’s possible. I had no idea, but we were desperate. I bought a car oil diffuser and would start diffusing the lavender on my way to pick him up so it was already in the car when I strapped him in.
Sing to him, but without the radio on. I legitimately would just sing “Josiah, Josiah, Josiah, J-O-S-I-A-H, his name is Josiah.” Over and over…and over again. He loved it though. I clearly have to brush up on my nursery rhyme game.
Bring toys along! Josiah eventually had a toy plush duck that kept him distracted…mostly. It came with a teether, mirror, it crinkled, had ribbons, the whole shebang. We also tried the Infantino Go GaGa Spiral Car Seat Activity Toy: it’s just a fancy mobile that wraps around the car seat handle and they can play with it. He didn’t like this that much until he could actually grab at it.
Snack it up! I would be cautious of what kind of snacks you are giving your little one, but we have given Josiah the fruit pouches while in the car (minus the cap). This is a savior when we don’t have time to breastfeed, but he’s hungry. On long road trips we usually give him a snack bowl with animal crackers, bunny grahams, or cheddar bunnies in it. He either eats them or throws them all over the backseat.
Sit in the backseat with your kiddo. This one is hit or miss. If I sit in the backseat with Josiah it usually doesn’t end well. There have even been times when I have had to breastfeed him in his car seat. A task that proves to be difficult when his car seat is built like a spaceship. We’ve had pretty good luck when my husband sits in the backseat with him, or other people like grandma.
All of these things helped, at least a little bit at sometime throughout Josiah’s infanthood. In toddlerhood he has become a little more car seat compliant; however, we still experience some fits during car rides but overall we can take trips without wanting to pull our hair out now. For example, on our latest trip to Wisconsin Josiah was a peach on the way to see the cows (as pictured above, he fell asleep). On the way back to my dad’s house he screamed the entire way and poked himself in the eye with a straw.