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Long car journey with a 4 month old

(17 Posts)
Viagrafalls Mon 03-Oct-11 20:17:35

I am thinking of going to visit my Mum in the South of France in the New Year but the local airport has decided to close for January through til March angry
My partner has suggested driving but its a good two day journey with lots of stops and a stay overnight en route or a days journey with a few stops and no stay overnight en route. Has anyone done anything similar - what do you think - is it better to do a day of driving and just get it done? I'm thinking that staying overnight might just be stretching it out unnecessarily.
Any tips/advice?

ElderberrySyrup Mon 03-Oct-11 20:22:40

breastfed or bottlefed?
It makes a difference. If you breastfeed you may need more stops. I do know people who have breastfed babies in a moving car, but it is neither comfortable nor particularly safe....
You might be able to express in advance (or indeed, in the car) so you can feed expressed milk which will cut it down a bit.
In general small babies are fine in cars, they just sleep a lot.

seeksnewnamewithgsoh Mon 03-Oct-11 20:29:17

We drove from the midlands to roughly the Loire Valley when DD was 9 weeks old.

We had a lie-flat car seat so that we didn't need to do breather breaks. We drove the most part overnight, when she would have been asleep anyway. It took DH a 12 hour sleep to get over the overnight drive, but he was fine. We did a bf/nappy break every 3 hours once the sun came up. Which was actually two breaks, so not that bad. One of them was also our lunch, so we had a picnic on the grass at a rest stop and let DD lie on the blanket for a change.

The way home was less successful - we didn't do half overnight, which was a mistake. We got half way round the M25 at around 4pm and by then DD had just had enough and roared for an hour, even with a stop built in.

Viagrafalls Mon 03-Oct-11 20:50:07

I am breastfeeding but have been giving her the odd bottle of formula recently since I was ill, she is 6 weeks old at the moment. I would not feel safe BF her in a moving car so would probable alternate and bottle feed her while we were moving but BF her at every stop. She takes the formula at room temp so heating it wouldn t be a problem... hmm - what to do...

HandMini Tue 04-Oct-11 09:04:51

Er, did someone mention breastfeeding in a moving car?? Are you crazy??!! Please don't try this. Good luck with your trip.

ElderberrySyrup Tue 04-Oct-11 11:22:57

Yes, I am not crazy, I said it was unsafe.
People on Mumsnet have spoken proudly of having done it (baby stays in carseat and they lean over it), hence my mention to pre-empt that.

Paschaelina Tue 04-Oct-11 11:30:09

Best advice I have is start the journey when she's more awake and willing to put up with more. Take advantage of her longest sleep period and get the miles under your belt. Otherwise, stop every 2-3 hours, just for 10 minutes, and get her out of the seat. Spend some time in the back with her. Be prepared for it to take longer than you anticipate.

It will be fine. Babies can cope with much more than we think parents not so much

HandMini Tue 04-Oct-11 15:06:21

Elderberry - really?? Wow, well glad you're not one of them!!

Viagrafalls Tue 04-Oct-11 17:31:48

Heh - no there was no way I would have BF in a moving car, and I didnt get the impression it was being recommended by elderberry !!
I think I am going to mull it over- I worry about her being in the car seat all scrunched up for so long. The lie down car seat sounds good but I don't think we can afford to buy one for one use - will see if there are any on ebay maybe.
Thanks everyone for all your advice...

BertieBotts Tue 04-Oct-11 17:40:44

What about going on the train, would that be an option? Via ferry or channel tunnel. We did a long train journey with an 11 month old and it was fine - most trains have space for unfolded buggies if you find the right carriage, you can pile most of the luggage onto it, and you should get to sit down (especially if you book seats) which makes feeding etc easier.

I've breastfed with baby in the carseat blush looking back it was obviously not safe but it seemed to make sense at the time. I also once took DS out of his carseat when we were in non moving traffic on the motorway to feed him, which was fine as we weren't moving, but then he fell asleep and it was really difficult to get him back into his seat. So neither are particularly recommended!

Lizcat Tue 04-Oct-11 18:31:27

We took DD from Berkshire to Shetland to see family when she was 10 weeks old she was FF, but still having a bottle every 2 hours at this stage. It is roughly as far as you are going to travel, but with the ferry right at the very end. We would pull into the services as DD needed a bottle and one of us would get the coffee whilst the other fed her. We stayed in a B&B recommended by the Sawdays website that did an evening meal (there are loads in France) so we could put her to bed and then take our monitor down stairs. We did two days travelling up then overnight ferry had 4 days there then overnight ferry followed by 2 days.

Viagrafalls Sat 08-Oct-11 12:10:09

Well, I have done the train journey when pregnant bertie but its getting across Paris with a pram on the metro and luggage that doesn't appeal, followed by 4/5 hours and another change that doesn't appeal - The car is also a long journey but at least we don't have to lug stuff up and down stairs and escalators past swearing French commuters!
I think we are going to try and get hold of a lie-flat seat and make plenty of stops! Brilliant advice ladies thnks...

StetsonsAreCool Sat 08-Oct-11 19:41:19

Whereabouts are you? If you're nearby you could come and look at/borrow ours.

Viagrafalls Mon 10-Oct-11 19:40:08

Hey thanks!
I actually have bought one off Ebay, I know it's not ideal but the lady reassures me that its never been in an accident and you'd have to be pretty bloody cruel to lie about something like that right? So it look like we are going to France for the NY! Woo! wine grin

StetsonsAreCool Mon 10-Oct-11 21:02:24

Eep! wine indeed. Have a fab time! grin

Viagrafalls Sun 16-Oct-11 16:37:39


LizziePizzie Mon 17-Oct-11 13:23:12

MY husband and i took our 4 month old on a 300 mile trip round Europe in October last year. We had a 2 hour journey to the ferry, 2 hour crossing, then drove till she woke up and then stopped at the nearest cheap hotel (Formula 1 or B&B). Then we woke up and drove to Heidelburg, stayed there (Best Western hotel) for 4 days, then drove to Luzern, stayed there for 4 days (with father-in-law), then drove to just outside Paris, stayed there for 4 days (Self catering with my parents), and then back to Calais for anther cheap night before a ferry in the morning again.

She is generally a good traveller and slept most of the way. the only times she cried were about 30 mins outside the first night and arriving in Luzern. We stopped between every 2 and 3 hours depending on when our next scheduled stop was. She was brilliant and if your LO is a good traveller I would say go for it! As long as she was fed, changed and played with in between the stops she was fine!

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