I might run out into traffic

To soothe a baby, go on a car ride, right? Not if the baby is Sam! He hates riding in the car, and he doesn’t let us forget it. He screams the entire time he is buckled in. He could have just been fed and changed and be the happiest baby around, yet the second we get rolling, he starts screaming.

The kid has stamina, too. One might think he’d eventually wear himself out, but not so much. Tuesday night we drove to Cincinnati (a trip that should take an hour but took two thanks to traffic) and he did not stop. The whole time. Between him and the horrible traffic, when we finally got to the Reds game my nerves were shot. I was about to take to the drink.

He’s always fine (albeit a pool of sweat) as soon as we get to our destination and get him out. He just wants to be held, which I understand, but occasionally we do have to be in the car.

I feel so bad for him when he is upset like that, but I really don’t know what to do. We’ve tried sitting back there with him, singing, playing music (and radio static), holding his hand, talking to him… everything we can think of, but nothing helps. Even if we stop and get him out and settled down, he starts up again as soon as he’s back in the car seat.

I am scared to death of our upcoming trip to St. Louis (for a Cardinals game… do you see a pattern here?). It’s six hours of solid driving.

I am open to suggestions!! Actually I am begging for them. And help me decide this – on a long road trip, how long is too long to just keep chugging along even though he’s crying??

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15 Replies to “I might run out into traffic”

  1. How flexible are you Emily? My best option with B was to sit beside her car seat and manage to nurse her while she was strapped in and we were moving along. It can be done, and I realize I’m more endowed than you up top, but I know others of more average size who have also accomplished this feat. Basically you are leaning your upper body over the baby and using the front passenger seat to help support you. I found looping my right arm around the passenger head rest and using my left hand to support my left breast was easiest for me, while sitting on the right side of her car seat. Sunshades or a shawl help shield your half-dressed state from those driving beside you. While nursing in the car, B would usually drift of to sleep and I could sit back like a normal person after she released her latch.

  2. Any possibility he may have motion sickness? I have a friend whose daughter did this when she was a baby and as she reached toddlerhood and could tell them what was wrong, they figured out that she was queasy and had an upset stomach every time they were driving somewhere. Beyond that, I don’t have any advice to give, except maybe to invest in earplugs. =)

  3. I found a couple of songs that Sean liked and I played them loud. That was the only way he would stop crying. They were “Let It Be”, “Blackbird” and “When I’m 64” by the Beatles. Never know, it may work for Sam!

  4. Have you tried putting a movie on for him? Maybe he’s still too young for this. But distracting my son was always the way to go when he was little. He’d scream when he was bored and had to sit still–in the car, getting his hair cut–and occupying his mind was the ticket.

  5. Have you totally and thoroughly searched the car seat? Could there be a sharp piece of plastic that is poking him somewhere? Maybe not big enough to even see, but enough that he can feel it and it hurts. 🙁
    Worth looking anyway. 🙂

  6. My daughter went through this when she was about 10 weeks old. And oh I understand the stamina all too well. The first time it happened was much like your situation. An two hour drive that should have taken 1. Screaming and flailing THE ENTIRE TWO HOURS.
    I had to work the next day. When I got home I asked my husband how the baby was. He said “umm, she hasn’t been up since you left at 6am.” It was 3:30pm! She was so worn out from screaming she slept for 9.5 hours! Anyway, she got much better shortly after that. So just endure it. Maybe you can get a sitter for those times you have to have all of your marbles? Just a thought.

  7. Good luck with that. We just played classical music softly for the kiddos and it seemed to lull them.

    I LOVE Busch Stadium. Pick me up some COKE POINTS while you are there. Last year John and I went and we got a TON… I MEAN A TON of coke points. Helped us get our free WII!

  8. Travel at night. Last year when we went on vacation we left early evening and the trip was miserable until about 9:00 and then he fell asleep and it was pretty quite, he would wake up occasionally but would go back to sleep after only a few minutes of screaming.

  9. You and I are leading parallel lives lately. I just posted on this topic last week:

    And we leave tomorrow for a 12 hour drive round trip – I am dreading it! My older daughter was like this, too, and I tried everything, nothing worked, and eventually she just grew out of it. So I’m praying that this time we will both figure out the magic touch. And I don’t understand how some people’s babies always do well in the car seat and others don’t?

  10. THe problem is you are taking to Reds games….he is just practticing for the eventual outcome….and severe disappoitment..or maybe he is saying BRUUUUCCEE! in baby talk?!

  11. There’s nothing worse than driving with a screaming baby…..does it help to hold his hand? I know it sounds crazy, but I drove to work many mornings with my hand stretched to the backseat so that my younger son could hold my hand. I don’t know if he felt abandoned when he was facing backwards and couldn’t see me, but being able to hold my hand helped to soothe him.

    LOVE Busch Stadium…..they have a fun kid’s area that Emily will enjoy. 🙂

    Best of luck….we’re taking in 2 Cardinals games on the road in Detroit. We’re stadium/baseball junkies too!

  12. My best suggestion is earplugs. When my youngest was just an infant, he and his brother (11 months older than him) took turns screaming from Atlanta to Panama City, Florida. A 6 1/2 hour drive. I want to know why they haven’t started putting the plexiglass walls in regular cars yet. They put them in limos, right?

  13. Oh Em, I totally feel for you. Been there a few times.

    One commenter said to travel at night. When we were in IL and drove back and forth to OH (the goldurned HEART of it ALL!), we’d leave at 7/8pm. The dark does help reduce over-stimulation.

    And, just a thought, any chance of ear infection? Princess Pinky was a TERRIBLE car rider in her early months. Turns out she had a huge double ear infection that was caught when she was around 2 months old. And she had other infections (that wicked cycle) after that one.

    The angle of her head in the car seat just exacerbated the pain for her.

    Just a thought.

    Of course, you’ve been around Sir Screamsalot/Chatsalot during some of his finer moments. Some kids are just wired to be vocal and unfortunately for us mommies, that means lots and lots of screaming when they’re tiny.

    Praying for you guys. Give Kate extra stars putting up with her cranky brother!

  14. My mom used to sit in the back seat and nurse my sister the entire trip whenever we went somewhere. It was the only way she’d shut up…er stop crying. Truckers sometimes got an eyeful but thats the price she paid for some quiet!

  15. My son did the same thing and nothing worked i was in the navy and would travel home just me and him 11 hour trips once or twice a month. he screamed for the entire 11 hours, once my mom rode with us.. she swore she could get him to stop but he reduced her to tears because i wouldnt let her take him out of the carseat. we ended up having to stop for the night abd resumeing the crying errr i mean driving the night morning. she was a wreck lol!!
    time is the only thing that fixes it. when they are old enough to be entertained. sorry

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