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3.5 hour journey with a baby(44 Posts)
I'm taking my 7 month old on a Little day trip tomorrow and we will be travelling 3.5 hours in the car each way.
LO will probably sleep for an hour or so then we'll stop off to have a little break so he can get out of the car seat and have some milk/food etc.
Has anyone got any tips how to prepare and keep a baby amused for this kind of journey?
He's going to meet his new baby cousins!
For us it always took way longer than expected due to lots of necessary drops and wrangling a screaming baby back into straps. Even with a nap DS would wake up earlier than usual in the car and be grumpy. He is one of those kids who doesn't sleep well in the car.
Good luck OP x
7 hours travelling in one day sounds horrendous with a 7 month old ... could you come home at his bedtime so he’ll sleep all the way home at least?
There and back in one day sounds arduous. I used to do a 200mile trip with Ds as a baby on my own. He was probably a bit older. We used to have to stop twice. I can't imagine getting back in the car to do it again at the other end.
Can't you break journey and stay over somewhere?
Well I'm likely to get flamed, but I figured out a way of breastfeeding DD when she was still in her car seat. Not recommended though! It only worked because of the weird seat layout we had in the back of our old Land Rover
and because I have massive norks
In all seriousness, take snacks, stop often and be prepared for the journey to take even longer. Definitely allow extra time
We did 3.5 hours recently with out 7 month old en route to a ski resort. We did it all in one so as not to prolong the agony and didn’t stop. I’d suggest one of you sits in back with the baby, bring plenty of toys that are easy to play with in the car seat (rattles, baby books etc). We even opted to feed DD in the car seat but obvs this won’t work if you’re breast feeding. She was pretty good and only got tetchy about 3 hours in but then promptly fell asleep again and was still snoring when we arrived!
I wouldn’t have attempted to do it twice in a day but if you absolutely can’t stay over, perhaps you could leave after dark. Get the LO ready for bed (bath, pyjamas, feed- whatever your routine is) then strap into the car seat and set off. Fingers crossed they will sleep the entire way and you can sneakily transfer into their cot when you get home. Have done this before with DD and it worked, however, not having already done 3.5 hours driving that day!
I'm honestly dreading it. MIL wants us to take him to meet his new cousins.
He loves sleeping in the car so I am DREADING tomorrow night when he gets back to his cot and he's had that much sleep on the journey.
Pray for me 😩😩
Wow to MummySparkle clearly I was wrong and it is possible to feed on the move if BF, just requires massive tits and an old Land Rover (I have neither of these things)
@lemonsquisher @MummySparkle and a lot of skill 😂😂
Good luck! Definitely one of you sit in the back with the baby if there's more than one adult. My son at a similar age was kept entertained by my mum and an empty plastic bottle for about half an hour of a 5ish hour drive. We also stopped twice, he slept for a bit and I won't lie, he did get whingey towards the end but you just have to get on with it.
Prepare for the worst (traffic, delays, sick/nappy explosions) which hopefully won't happen but best to be ready just in case.
Yeah, he normally sleeps well in the car but I'm not sure he'll sleep that long before he starts to get twisty. Plus, I'd rather stop and go be him a break from his car seat.
I'm actually starting to think this is a really bad idea! If he sleeps too much during the journey, bedtime will be horrendous 😩😩
Jeez we sometimes do 2hrs and back in one day but 3.5hrs and back would be horrendous!
One way I would do at a push but bugger doing there and back in one day
In my experience a 3.5hr journey takes 4.5hrs with a baby in tow, at least. No way I'd attempt to do both legs in a day. At 7 months you can't placate them with food or iPad like you can a toddler. Just have to factor in lots of stops, accept there will be some yelling, and always know how far it is to the next motorway services.
My relatives are 3.5 hours away too, I have never done it in a day. Is there anyway you can set off at 7pm (or insert normal bedtime hour here) when the roads are quiet and it would actually be a 3.5 hr journey, stay at a nearby premier inn or whatever and then leave your relatives at 7pm again? Travelling in the day means it won’t be 3.5 hrs, and if it’s raining you can whack on another 20 - 30 mins even if traffic isn’t bad. Eurgh. Whatever way you do it, my thoughts are with you! Best of luck.
We used to travel 7 hrs ...yes 7 hrs in one day with our 3 dcs to visit family in Scotland ( youngest Ds was probably 4 months and bf and dd were 3 and 5)
Would stop half way( on M6 Tebay service station ) for 30 mins to eat/ toilet etc, sometimes would have to stop every 2 hrs but we always made the journey in 1 day
I had a selection of finger foods kept in a cool bag at my feet, to pass to dcs if they felt hungry ( Pom bear crisps, pitta bread, carrot sticks, and yes if necessary sweets
Best journey ever was when they all fell asleep 1 hr into journey home and didn't wake up again till we were 30 mins from home!
When they were older they had Nintendo Ds consoles which would keep them entertained for ages, they also made up a variety of games based on types of cars/ number plates when they were older had their phones with music to keep them quiet!
At what point does the advice about leaving a baby in car seat max 30 mins at a time and max 2 hrs a day not apply any more? Is it after just a few months? My baby is 4 months nearly and so far this has been my excuse for not doing the 5hr (at least) drive to in-laws. Once in summer holidays it took over 8 hours. They have been visiting us instead.
We were thinking that when we do visit, my husband will drive down with all the luggage and baby stuff, and I will do the 3.5hr train journey to nearest town, then be picked up by husband if he isn't delayed for last 40 min drive to their house or picked up by in laws otherwise. I am wondering if we will look back on this as a bit OTT in years to come though!
Maybe you could use the train? If just a day trip you might have much luggage etc?
I think if you're only doing a long journey infrequently then you would be ok to use car seat for that length of journey....I certainly did this for all 3 of my dcs and it doesn't seem to have affected them , otherwise we'd never have been able to see relatives--and I certainly wouldn't have taken all 3 of them in train with me breastfeeding as well--
I used to time setting off on journey when he'd had his morning feed and would settle quite easily in car seat....we knew where all the service stations were if we needed to stop sooner, but certainly managed at least 2 hrs at a stretch quite easily
Having his sisters in car to amuse him did help if he became fractious, but thankfully all 3 dcs are good travellers....so much so that they are now globetrotting round the world!
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Oh goodness, I don’t envy you at all, we once took a 4hour journey with a baby, two speeding tickets and a nearly broken marriage later we decided not to do it again. Can you book a hotel for the night? I’d say set off early stop lots on the way and then stay over for the night if possible. Sorry not better tips than not to go.
All of my four have regularly travelled the (supposed to be) 2.5 hours up to see my family. The journey normally takes at least —six— four hours and I have often had to stop at every single motorway junction and services to feed a screaming baby. There’s no way I’d do it more than once in a day. No way.
It’s just awful when they start screaming and there’s literally nothing you can do for them. Can’t you stay over?
@mummysparkle you made me chuckle.
Sorry I can not contribute anything helpful though. Best of luck OP, I don’t envy you.
I usually drive for long stretches across France and the kids just got use to it. I usually have a lot of children songs and other fun music ready to play if they start getting fussy. Good luck!
Will it just be you and the baby travelling? I agree with pp asking if you can possibly stay overnight rather than do both journeys in one day.
It's horrible driving on a motorway with a baby screaming behind you and knowing it will be 20-30 minutes to the next exit or service station.
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