Recently, my 18 month-old daughter, Pineapple, has been kicking up a fuss when it's time to get in the car seat. This had gotten to be near torture for her father and I who had to basically pin her down to strap her in and then endure her screams during the ride. Here's our strategy for managing her inevitable reaction to a car ride.
1. When she started to freak, we started to whisper. We found that whispering to her about what was coming up helped her calm down, as well. So, as we make our way to the car, we explain to her exactly what is about to happen and get her agreement.
2. We praise her for a job well done when she's gotten in the car seat without putting up a fuss. I realize that the folks at our neighborhood Safeway most likely think I'm insane but I've been known to burst into dance, clapping my hands, squealing and jumping around simply because Pineapple got in the car seat…without screaming.
3. We have "car seat toys." These are special toys she has selected for play while in the car seat only. She knows they are there and now asks for them and is excited to play in the car. And bonus, she's entertained during the ride!
This hack has saved our sanity and our eardrums. I hope it can help others!
Any more tips for helping toddlers get over their resistance to the car seat?