So, Your Baby Hates Car Seats? This Post Will Explain Why!
The first time I introduced my baby to her car seat, it was a riot! I nearly went tumbling down the side of the car when she jumps off and screams of not wanting to sit down. My hair was pulled, and our neighbors popped out of their windows from the shouts!
After a successful attempt at securing her on the seat, the endless monotony of cries went with us all the way to our destination.
Who would have thought that my baby hates car seat? Given the peaceful and happy photos of children on their car seats, I thought mine would be the same.
Benefits of Using a Car Seat
No matter how careful we drive on the road, accidents may happen surprisingly. There are crazy and careless drivers who may bring your car to damage. What you can do is to implement safety precautions inside your vehicle, among which is having a car seat installed.
Car seats can properly hold your child in place, so in cases of accidents, the seat can support your child and safely distribute crash impact loads over the body. It also acts as a barrier between your baby and the interior vehicle components, so their bodies are not easily injured and keep them from being ejected out of the car
Seats are in varieties to suit your child’s height, weight, and even age. They are easy to use and soft to sit on.
According to a study done at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, children between the ages of 4 to 8 are safer when using booster seats. The seats will raise the child so that the lap-shoulder belt can be positioned across the chest and hips, distributing crash forces on the strongest parts of the body.
Why do Babies Hate Car Seats
Babies love being held into and swaddled, which is surprisingly almost the same mechanism for car seats. However, the feeling of being strapped into something artificial may not provide the same security and warmth than that of a mother’s hug or a soft swaddling cloth.
Separation anxiety is also another reason for babies not wanting to be on the car seat. When babies realized that they would be placed on the seat and not have their mommies come back for them in a long time, they start to cry and fight on being taken out.
There are times when babies feel car sick or go through a motion sickness due to being rocked back and forth. Uncomfortable positions can also make them feel in pain and cry all throughout the time they are sitting.
How to Get Over the Hate Scene
If only your baby can tell you exactly what is wrong, then it would be all right. You can find a way to solve the problem. But, for younger children, crying is the best way to get your attention and tell you how they feel.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with your baby when he does not want to sit on the car seat:
- Practice car seat sitting. Take out the car seat and bring it inside your house for your baby to sit on. He can also play with it until he becomes comfortable. As soon as he gets in the car with it, the familiarity will ease things up.
- Hang toys in front of the car seat. Create a good distraction, so your child will focus on the toys and not on the struggling feeling of being on strapped on a seat. Make sure he can reach the toys with his hands.
- Turn on the music. Children love to listen to music especially those that they are in tune with or are catchy enough to make them smile. Put on some music even before he gets in the vehicle to calm him down.
- Check the car seat for comfort. Is the seat soft enough? Are the straps too loose or tight? Is there enough support for the body? Also, check the environment of the car and see to it that it is at the right temperature – not too hot and not too cold.
- Make the trip short. Prolonged sitting may already be too painful for your child hence best to do trip chaining or shortening your time in the car. Just make sure not to over speed when driving just to get to your destination fast.
- Have someone at his side. It can be a sibling, another child or even one of you parents who can be with your baby during the first few trips on the car seat. It will give your child comfort knowing that is not alone.
- Install a sunshade on his side of the car. The sun rays may be hitting on his eyes thus the uncomfortable feeling. You can be creative with your sunshade by choosing a design he would love. It will also distract him.
What To Look For In A Car Seat
- Choose the perfect fit. Check the guidelines and see which sizes of car seat fit your baby’s height and weight. A good fit will secure your child and fit him comfortably.
- Make sure the strap is functional and soft. The harness must be adjustable and not painful on the baby’s skin. Buckles must be easy to latch and unlatch.
- Check the materials. Is the base made of durable materials? Does the padding feel soft on the skin?
- Look for safety features. For instance, an energy-absorbing foam can protect your child from a crash impact. A padded head support will hold up his head and keep it safe.
- Consider an easy and secure installation. You may want a car seat that you can easily install. But, make sure it fits securely in place and not move around. To verify if you have correctly installed your car seat, get it checked by an expert in your community.
Take a Deep Breathe!
Car seat scenarios are common to a lot of families so therefore do not feel bad about your situation. Be calm when your baby starts to scream and cry when placed on the car seat. Remember, there may be some reasons for the resistance so best to understand your child first.
It was a topsy-turvy moment for me, and I would sometimes feel embarrassed when we are out in a public parking lot or when a lot of neighbors are passing by. But, as time passed and my baby had gotten used to the car seat, each trip had become a peaceful drive for everyone.
Do you have a car seat story to tell? I would love to hear about it!