I was planning on writing about nap time today (or the lack thereof with my 5-month-old), but true to form, my little game changer is at it again.

You know how the car seat is supposed to be so soothing?  That some babies prefer to sleep in their car seat over their bed, or even your arms?  You know how the car seat is supposed to lull them to sleep?  That if they are upset and crying, a little jaunt around the block in the car is the secret weapon?

Yeah…not so much.

Finn absolutely, positively, no-questions-asked HATES his car seat.  And I am at a loss.

Obviously staying home all of the time is not an option.  For one thing, we have his big brother to pick up from school every day – which, let me tell you…actually, let me paint you a picture:

Finn and I are happily enjoying our afternoon together.  I glance at the clock and realize that it’s about 1:30.  Time to start our “prep” for leaving the house.  (Hudson is dismissed at 2:45.)  On one hand, I’m excited to go pick up Hudson from school.  On the other, I know what I am about to have to endure.  Because I want to make sure that Finn has all of his needs met BEFORE I put him in the torture chamber car seat, I nurse him, then change him, make sure his clothes are suitable, and gather an entire diaper bag full of toys.  I load the car with our things.

Then I load the baby up.  As I gently lower his body into the seat, he begins to fuss.  Then scream.  Then arch his back like it’s horribly painful.  I finally get him locked in and he simmers down a bit as we walk to the car.  Once he’s secured, we leave for the pick up line.  I can usually get anywhere from 5-10 minutes of “quiet” time with Finn in the car.  However, once we get into the pick up line and begin the wait, it’s all over.  The screaming bloody murder ensues.  During the course of our 15-20 minute spell in the p/u line, I try everything in my bag of tricks, including, by not limited to: singing multiple songs, offering various toys (which do appease him for .925 minutes each), and listening to “Someone Like You” by Adele or “Let It Be” by The Beatles (his two favorite songs) over and over and over again.

And it happens every. single. day.

I am at a loss on what to do.  The problem is not just the pick up line at school, what’s worse is that we live about 20 minutes outside of Austin, so just to go to the grocery store, it’s a 20+ minute drive.  I hate hearing him cry (I don’t believe in crying it out) and it really stresses me out!  And, if he does cry it out in the car (if I can’t stop, etc.) he gets himself so worked up that it takes a REALLY long time to calm him down once we stop.  I am pretty sure that he holds a grudge for at least 2.5 hours.  And I have always been a mom who just took her kid everywhere with her…but now, the thought of what we *might* go through is enough to make me rethink how important any outing might be!

One of the few times he actually slept for an extended period on the car seat.
(90 Minute Seat Test in the NICU – 4 days old.)

So – other moms out there:  HELP!  Do you have any suggestions?  Did your kids love or hate their car seat?  Help this momma get on the road again!




  1. my child hated her car seat (9 months old now) until I invested in a DVD player and baby Einstein. the ONLY thing that makes her happy on the car now!

  2. My daughter HATED! her car seat too until we turned it around. She would go blue in the face from hollering (which is nothing like her…she was always a very well behaved happy baby) so our pedi. recommended we just go ahead and turn it around early. Controversial, I know, lol. However, that solved that problem.

    My cousins baby also had a really hard time but it turned out she had an over stimulation issue or something. So they had to work on making sure she was wrapped up nice and tight. Couldn’t see the windows and played white noise while in the car.

    • I don’t know if it’s the overstimulation, as he gets even more worked up when it’s dark (I turn on the light in the back). I imagine once we can turn him around it might help. And yes, my kiddo is generally a very chill, happy baby, so the car seat issue is worsened because of that! (As you know!)

  3. My niece and nephew both hated their car seats and really didn’t get better about it until they turned around to front facing (which my sister did at 1 year with both just to end the madness). She honestly just sucked it up and endured. It helped when they both started eating solids because she could hand them snacks and it helped when they were better at holding toys, interacting with toys. so maybe just another month or two and you’ll see some relief??

    • I am PRAYING it will get better soon! We do hand him toys – a lot – and it does help some. And we will definitely be turning him around at age 1. I think we even turned Hudson around a bit earlier? I need to look up the guidelines on that…

  4. Glad to know my son is not the only one who screams bloody murder in his car seat. It is SO stressful and definitely impacts my decision of whether that outing is worth it or not. I tried classical music, soothing lullabies CD, but a children’s song CD SOMEtimes calms him down for a bit. We’d joke that he had a speed limit – as long as we were driving over 35 mph, he was fine but as soon as we approached a red light, I’d get ready for the screaming. You don’t know how many times I cursed those red lights. Pacifiers, bottles, toys didn’t work for him but he just turned 4 months and seems to be a little more ok with the car seat. Don’t know if he had to grow out of it or what (I know that’s not helpful)… Hope your kiddo grows out of it soon too!


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