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To not want to drive 600 miles with a screaming baby

(204 Posts)
groundhoglet Wed 05-Aug-20 00:05:18

I could really use some perspective on this one. I am a FTM to a 6-month-old baby who is on the whole extremely happy, except when in a car seat. Then she screams and screams until she is sick, and eventually passes out with exhaustion. As you can imagine I do my best to keep her happy and entertained next to her in the back but it's impossible, she just hates it and after about 20 minutes starts with the screaming.

My husband is from the US and we've moved here for 4 months while I'm on maternity leave to take care of his dying mother. I want to support him in this very upsetting time, although I'm also feeling isolated as I don't know anyone and we're back in lockdown because the virus is totally out of control here.

He has a father and stepmother who live in a remote place, a 6 hour drive to the north. We had thought they would be ok to come down to see their granddaughter especially when we explained how a 12 hour round trip would be torture for the baby and for us.

The problem is they suffer from anxiety and are terrified of the virus. They are very upset that we don't want to come to them, saying we might be uncomfortable in the car but they might die. I don't think they understand how awful even quite a short journey in the car is with the baby. They have never met her yet because of the pandemic. They could drive down with maybe one bathroom stop, I'm sure that could be done safely, and we would self-isolate (we are anyway for my partner's mother) before seeing them.

AIBU to feel really resentful about potentially having to do this drive? Do I have to say yes? Otherwise my daughter won't get to see her dad's parents and who knows when the virus will go away and she'll be able to meet them. I feel torn, I'm trying my best to be supportive but I'm reaching my limit. Doesn't help that baby is teething and not sleeping a whole lot at the moment.

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

OP’s posts: |
Wheresthebiffer2 Wed 05-Aug-20 00:08:41

Why not break the journey? Do you have to do it in one go, or could you stop off somewhere like a hotel? I think you should make the effort, since you live overseas and this is a chance to show off your baby.

QuestionableMouse Wed 05-Aug-20 00:09:24

Yanbu to not want to drive but do you have other transport options? Train or bus? Fly? Maybe also try a different car seat?

groundhoglet Wed 05-Aug-20 00:10:45

The problem is that stop-offs in hotels, flying etc. all increase the risk of contracting the virus which then we'd be bringing directly to them...

OP’s posts: |
TheMobileSiteMadeMeSignup Wed 05-Aug-20 00:11:08

Heck no, a 6 hour car journey with a 6 month old will also have to include stops every couple of hours to feed and change them. It's not good for little ones to be in car seats for extended periods of time. So more like potentially a 10 hour drive. How long would you be staying with them if you did? Cos I wouldn't do it for less than a 2 night stay to give you all time to recover and prepare for the return.

Say that you're really sorry but if they can't do the journey down then you'll have to arrange to visit once everything has settled down.

AskingforaBaskin Wed 05-Aug-20 00:11:21

All the absolute no.
They want to see the baby they come.
Babies comfort trumps theirs.

Smallsteps88 Wed 05-Aug-20 00:15:56

I wouldn’t do this. Not least because I wouldn’t put my child through that. If she cries after 20 minutes then a 6 hour trip- even with breaks would be extremely traumatic for her. Don’t under estimate the effect that would have on long term.

But also- it’s the middle of a pandemic, you have a baby, a dying MIL and these two other elderly people. None of you should be exposing yourselves to higher risk than is absolutely necessary. Certainly not travelling 600 miles across country! They’re being selfish to ask you to do this.

Knoxinbox Wed 05-Aug-20 00:17:06

Absolutely categorically NO.

Both my babies were car seat screamers. It’s intolerable. And with the necessary stops for feeds/nappy changes/toilet breaks for you/car seat breaks it would take a good 10-12 hours I would have thought.

Just utterly impractical and torturous for the poor baby.

They are adults. If they want to see the baby they come to you. Or they wait until she’s older and more able to travel. Until then, there is FaceTime.

Also, who would look after your MIL while you were on a 4+ day trip to visit them?

(That Sounds Like a really tough situation for you, dying relative and young baby. Who is looking after you and your needs? Don’t neglect yourself here flowers)

Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches Wed 05-Aug-20 00:18:16

It’s not just your discomfort in listening to the baby is it? It’s the baby’s own discomfort and evident distress at being in the car. Definitely don’t go.

Knoxinbox Wed 05-Aug-20 00:19:47

Do you have to say yes?

You are an Adult. You don’t have to say yes to anything.

OzziePopPop Wed 05-Aug-20 00:33:21

If you can drive 600 miles in 6 hours you’re definitely going too fast!

QuestionableMouse Wed 05-Aug-20 00:40:05


The problem is that stop-offs in hotels, flying etc. all increase the risk of contracting the virus which then we'd be bringing directly to them...

Sleeper train and stay in your room? Or the GPs do the same?

groundhoglet Wed 05-Aug-20 00:41:53

Haha 600 miles is the round trip! 300 each way

OP’s posts: |
Singalonggong Wed 05-Aug-20 00:43:04

That's a hard no. It's up to them to come see you.

BornOnThe4thJuly Wed 05-Aug-20 00:45:03

No way would I be doing this. Surely it’s not good for such a young baby to be in a car seat all day apart from the fact that she’d hate it and get extremely distressed. Let them be pissed off, that’s their problem. Your problem is making sure your child is ok, and they won’t be in a car seat all day long, then again for the return journey.

KatherineOfGaunt Wed 05-Aug-20 00:47:12

I feel it's too long for a child that age to be in a car seat. It's unfair on her, especially if she finds being in it distressing or upsetting.
If the in-laws are fit and well to drive, just anxious, then I think they're being a bit selfish. It would be pretty easy for them to socially distance at a petrol pump, use gloves for the actual putting petrol in the car and lots of hand gel and wipes, and if they really didn't want to use public toilets there are alternatives.

But they want your daughter to potentially scream for around 6 hours?!

They are adults, they can sort themselves out and do what it takes to make the journey more comfortable. Your daughter can't.

Yubaba Wed 05-Aug-20 00:47:19

My youngest dc was like this, as he got older it was evident that he was car sick (just like me)
We had to adapt when planning long car rides, with frequent stops and where he sat in the car. It was awful when he was a baby because he couldn’t tell us how he felt.

imissthesouth Wed 05-Aug-20 00:47:56

No way would I do this, pandemic or not, It's distressing for both you and the baby to be in the car that long.

cbt944 Wed 05-Aug-20 00:48:10

The problem is they suffer from anxiety and are terrified of the virus. They are very upset that we don't want to come to them, saying we might be uncomfortable in the car but they might die.

Good lord, no. They want you to drive for 6 hours with a screaming baby, placing yourselves and your tiny baby at risk of contracting the virus at any stops you need to make, and also bringing it potentially to their doorstep? Then turn around and drive for another 6 hours! No, it's both selfish and irrational of them. Many, many grandparents across the world accept they are not meeting new babies during this pandemic. They can Skype or Zoom or Facetime or something.

Mypathtriedtokillme Wed 05-Aug-20 00:52:43

Both of mine were car seat screamers who wouldn’t sleep in the car.
It’s just fucking awful.
So I’m a No way in hell would I do a 6 hour drive when going to the nearby shops was traumatic enough.

If they are that worried about covid why would they want visitors at all?
Why would they also be willing to put their grandchild at risk (babies are also at risk from any respiratory virus) just do they get hugs?

Disabrie22 Wed 05-Aug-20 00:53:08

No - you can’t go. The only other option is to try and meet half way. The won’t contract the virus from driving in the car to you I wouldn’t have thought. A new baby really needs to be protected.
Just on a separate note - we bought a flat sleeping car seat for our baby at that age for long journeys. It’s like a little lie down cocoon thing you strap in.

Disabrie22 Wed 05-Aug-20 00:53:33

Also - you must be exhausted xxxx

worstwitch18 Wed 05-Aug-20 01:15:18

You came all the way to America, surely they can drive 300 miles to see you.

Also who would be with your MIL while you were away?

groundhoglet Wed 05-Aug-20 01:21:10

My DH's sister has been organizing most of my MIL's care, we are here in part to try to give her a break but she'd be ok being the main person here if we were away for a few days.

OP’s posts: |
orangenasturtium Wed 05-Aug-20 01:28:58

The journey is far more inconvenient and difficult for you, so they should do the travelling.

The risk of coronavirus is a different matter. The risk of catching it on the journey is the same for everyone. The risk of serious complications and death might be lower for your family but it is still a risk, and if you do catch it, they are at risk of being infected by you. You all have an equal small risk of being infected on the journey while buying fuel. There are no other essential stops that involve contact (you can carry a potty in the car for loo stops). The risk of catching the virus from each other is much higher if you are in close and prolonged contact, particularly if you are indoors. Their risk of complications from the virus might be higher, but the risk of contracting the virus is similar, whoever makes the journey.

They could find a route with fuel stops where you pay at the pump, bring food and take a potty wee in the bushes somewhere remote.

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