Owen has never loved riding in the car. When he was tiny, I ached to be one of those people who could just pop their baby in the car to put them to sleep. Owen much preferred being worn or strolled, and since we lived a relatively pedestrian life, that’s was fine by me. In fact, it’s still my preferred mode of transportation. I hate driving; it makes me all stressed. Which is why we chose to move to an area that is technically the ‘burbs, but in reality has an adorable town center with everything we really need within walking distance from our house. We’ve attempted a few long car rides with Owen (we’ve done the 8 hour drive to Delaware a few times to see my family, and captured this long ride for a friend’s wedding on film), but all in all we try to keep it short. Like, really short.
I used to think that it was due to his reflux. Infant carseats are angled so that the baby is leaning way back, which is not so comfy for a kid whose stomach acid is coming back up his throat. I kept thinking that maybe when we switched to a convertible seat he would magically love riding in the car, since he’d be much more upright.
Now that he’s 1 and weighs over 20 pounds, there are so many options out there for the “next” seat for him. See?
We happily drove home and began to install the seat. The directions say “If your child is 20 pounds or over, install this seat forward facing”. Uhhh, what? For some reason I had it in my head that kids are supposed to stay rear facing for a LONG time. But this seat was telling me to install it forward facing, and not only that, but when you install it rear-facing, it has to be in the #3 recline position, which is at about the same angle as his infant seat. DAMN. This new seat doesn’t appear to solve anything. But maybe I’m wrong about when to switch to forward-facing?
Off to Google.
The AAP recommends that all infants should ride rear-facing starting with their first ride home from the hospital. All infants and toddlers should ride in a Rear-Facing Car Safety Seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer.
So… rear-facing it is, at least for now. Right? But what about if front facing is the only way he doesn’t fuss when he’s riding in the car, thus making ME less likely to GET INTO an accident in the first place? Unfortunately I can’t seem to rationalize that one with myself, though I would much prefer to be able to drive a distance of longer than 5 minutes without whining.
Do you have your 1-2 year old front- or rear-facing? When did you switch to front-facing? Did it help your child become happier in the car? Any other tips (other than constant snacks) to entertain your child while driving?