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Old 10-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
aries416
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The car seat battle

My son is almost 2, over 30 lbs and probably 35ish inches. It seems like every time I have to put him in his car seat (RF), he freaks out! It's like alligator wrestling. He locks his legs against the seat and pushes himself up. If I somehow avoid this, he's trying to turn himself around. By the time I get him buckled, he's screaming hysterically and I am exhausted. Toys sometimes work, but not always. He's currently in a TFP. I am going to try the MyRide 65 that I have to see if it helps.

Anyone else been here? I didn't turn my daughter FF until almost 4 and would like to keep him RF much longer, but not if this keeps up.

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Old 10-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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Re: The car seat battle

Have you tried letting him climb in by himself? Sometimes that is all it takes.

Also, I'd try reminding him of the upcoming car trip starting about half an hour before you get in the car. "We're going to get in the car soon to go to the store. I want you to sit in your car seat nicely like a big boy! You can climb right into your seat, then I'll buckle you in and give you your Grover toy. And then we'll zoom to the store and do our shopping!" Repeat every 5-10 minutes, using a positive tone of voice, and emphasizing his good behavior. And then on the way out to the car, "here we go! Let's see how well you can do getting into your seat! No, silly, you can't do that, here we go..." No matter how frustrated you get, keep talking positively and don't let him get to you. If you are able to stay upbeat and unflustered (even while manhandling him into his seat, if necessary), then eventually he will probably give up the fight. At that age it is probably a power struggle, where he wants to see you get mad because then he knows he has power.

Good luck!! Hope you find something that works.

Incidentally, I doubt it would be any different if you turned him forward facing.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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Re: The car seat battle

Agreed - it'll likely make no difference at all if you FF face him. Although, it will make it easier for him to get away, straightening out and sliding right out of the seat.

I've dealt with this at some point or another with all my kids so far. We just tell them they are getting in their seat - no arguing allowed. They have to be buckled safely before we can go anywhere.
If they really are fighting and doing the stiff-and-straight thing, we push low on their stomach/hips - not enough to hurt them, but enough to make them bend - then buckle them up. They can scream and be mad, but they're still getting in the seat.
After a few times trying this they generally just go back to getting in nicely - they realize it's really not worth the fight.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: The car seat battle

Make it a game! You're going to climb up into the seat all by yourself because you're a big boy. Reeeeadyyyyy? Set? GOOOOO!!!!!!! And then you race him to the car seat and cheer him on while climbing in. Play the hokey pokey while coaxing his arms through and then place his hands on the chest clip so he can puzzle it together while you snap the crotch buckle.
Wins every time.
For the moments when you're in a hurry, I find to pick up child for a hug and then swing into sitting position mid air so he's already got his knees to his nose when I set him down prevents the stiff-as-a-board response. Again, let him do the chest clip whenever possible ;-)
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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Re: The car seat battle

Forward facing doesn't fix that battle. DH was so sure it would, and he even tried it. FF, they just slither out down to the floor, and then you are dragging kiddo off the floor.

It sucks. But it is a stage. It will get better. We bribed with M and Ms with DS. If he got in nice, he got an M and M. My mom kept a little dish of them in her car (obviously, this wasn't in the summer...)
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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Yep we've gone through that stage 2. We used a combo of things, or all of these things at separate times too. I'd ask them if they could try buckling themselves like a big kid (with me watching and helping. They would start with the chest clip). And would tell them we can't go anywhere if they don't get in their seat (they loved to go byebye) and that if they don't want to sit we can stay home and they can go to bed instead, as well as forcing the issue, you HAVE to go in your seat cause we ARE going here, and pushin them into it and buckle them in screaming. Also used a skittle as reward for getting buckled in nicely. Now, they are 4 and do great (still RF), and one completely buckles himself in, even making sure to pull his chest clip up (and we check his straps, and all...he even gets them straight!)
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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Re: The car seat battle

My daughter is the same way 90% of the time. I use bribery. Sometimes it works.

I am confident that if I put her FF it would solve the problem. For like a week. Then we'd be back to square one.

Sometimes I have occasion to put her in a different car seat than usual and she loves the novelty of it. She'll climb in on her own accord a few times, and then pretty soon it's back to the same-old same-old.

2 year olds are just like that, I'm afraid. If you had one that wasn't, you got lucky.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:19 PM   #8
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My daughter is 14 months and go through this almost every time we get in the car. I did get so frustrated that I turned her seat and it still happened so back to RF we went. So unfortunately, I think you'll just have to do what pp said and try to be positive through the whole affair.
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:57 AM   #9
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Re: The car seat battle

Yeah, I try singing, playing games, whatnot and he does.not.care. He won't climb into the seat alone, but man I wish he would! He's not talking yet and I think that's a huge part of the problem. Instead of saying "no", he's tantruming, yk?

He was a dream in the car as a baby, now this. My DD was a car screamer and has been a dream since she turned 18 months. Guess I can't win! lol

As much as I don't want to, I think I will resort to candy.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:24 PM   #10
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Re: The car seat battle

Fruit leathers, organic raisins, etc work too if you want to avoid the artificial ingredients
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