In Malaysia, carseats for children is not a requirement by law. However, Malaysians need to realize that accidents happen. Sure, you’ll never think that you’ll ever get into accidents, we all think that way.
And I bet, those people who did get into a car accidents didn’t think they would, too.
There are many cases in Malaysia where kids and babies are involved in car accidents flew out of the window due to not being buckled into car seats.
Among the excuses are, my child hates it.
Well, so does mine. And we still put her in carseat, despite the screamings.
For small babies, it may be easier. Well, what about toddlers? After many months of struggle, I’ve finally found my answer. So, this is how we figured her out.
1. Consistency is key
The rule is simple. Car = car seat. Every time. No matter how short the trip is.
I admit. We are not perfect parents. Sometimes we slack off and abandon the car seat. At that time, it may seem easier that way, but guess what? Every time we do that, we found it harder to put her in her car seat in the next trip.
Now we know that every time we get in the car, this little one goes into her car seat.
On weekdays, I transfer her car seat into my mum’s car (as she’s taking care of her) so that my mum could take her out safely. You know how our older generations don’t even use car seats right? So make it easy for them.
2. Ignore her fight and buckle up
My daughter would fight hard every time I put her in the car seat. She straightens her body and scream which makes buckling up difficult. I have to work my way through it even if it takes more than a min just to buckle her up.
Then, she will cry and scream as if she’s being abused for a good 2mins.
We just let her cry and I will explain her why she has to be in her car seat. Every time.
However, I’ve noticed the post-buckle crying time gets much less. And less. It eventually became seconds.
Now, She still fight during buckling up but I guess she’s just trying her luck in case I would let her out of the car seat. Then she fusses a lil’ and move on. Sometimes she still makes fuss mid-trip but that’s where distraction comes in.
The reason behind this is, toddlers are curious little beings. They will always experiment and explore, and that includes parents’ limits. If you keep giving in to their cries, they will know how to make you meet their demands. Yes, their brains may be little but they are SMART. So, what you can do is show them what’s right and reward their good behaviour.
3. Distraction strategy
Toddlers have short attention span. So, to really get them distracted is to simply figure out what they enjoy.
In my daughter’s case, she loves reading (flipping) books. So we’ll always keep one in the car and make up stories. She enjoys them.
I also give her some random things to play with such as empty plastic bottle, or cups. Sometimes when I ran out of props, I have to play peekaboo with her and it keeps her entertained.
Snacking food is a must. I will give her something to nibble on to buy more time before she’s distracted again. Or to buy more time before I could nurse her.
So there you go. Some tips for those who are struggling.
The funny thing is, sometimes my daughter will still try to trick me into taking her out. She would tell me that she had pooped when there’s no poop (lol). Or she will ask to nurse. I know she’s just tricking me cause when I actually offer her, she would jump and start exploring the car. So of course I’ll have to put her back into her car seat and resume driving.
Well, best of luck! As parents, we all want the best for pur kids right?