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Travel with 4 week old and I'm first time mum

(24 Posts)
Piercy Tue 29-Jan-13 09:30:37


I'm a first time mum, I don't even know how to change a nappy so I know that this is going to be a huge learning curve for me and when I can't sleep I do a lot of reading (I call this my Mum study time) smile.

I am 30 weeks and I am starting to get really scared of the whole labour thing, what the hell am I doing I've never changed a nappy in my life, and I'm finding the whole thing at the moment very over whelming. I've also just given up my career in management which i've worked very hard over the years to get up the management ladder - so a whole load of change (which I'm normally very good at) I sobbed my heart out the other night (which is not like me at all).

For DP its his second child so he is more confident, and has been trying to reassure me.

We've been invited to a family Christening in Aberdeen (we live in the Brighton area), and DP really wants to go (it his side of the family) I have a number of fears

1. baby due 4th april christening 25th May baby at worst case scenario could only be 4 weeks old (could be 6 weeks old depending on when he/she decides to pop in to the world)
2. I could still be really sore down there! Plus will we be getting a lot of sleep at this stage
3. flying with young buba
4. the amount of stuff we've got to take, bottles, travel cot, sterliser, (milk and nappies could get there), buggy (but don't really want expensive bit of kit going in the hold), this is what I can think of off the top of my head
5. logistics of feeding from home, to airport, at airport, on aircraft off aircraft at hotel how can I sterlise stuff in a hotel room?
6. Waking other hotel guests in the night coz baby crying
7. baby being handed around like a batton at the christening as it will be the first time the family (large family as well) will have met him or her

I thought I would have some time to get in to a routine (and get some confidence) before getting on a flight or a really long car journey both of which don't really appeal

Any advise to a very nervous first time mum - to go, not to go, if I go any good hints and tips to make feeding, changing, taking liquid through security (and how do you heat it up at airport or on aircraft) - I feel overwhelmed and a lot of pressure on me, as also the family have changed the date so we can come.

Finally apologies if I've posted this in the wrong place

givemeaclue Tue 29-Jan-13 09:34:07

Don't go, its just a christening and everyone will understand. When yet get more confident you'll be able to travel without the stresses. I would not have wanted to do ugh, with a four week old

ThreeWheelsGood Tue 29-Jan-13 09:40:22

I wouldn't have gone, sorry. Obviously your DP can go but it's up to him. At 4/6 weeks you don't need the extra stress, you'll both be so tired (baby will be feeding every 2-4 hours, all day/night). We've just been on our first week away to the in-laws, 3 hour drive, took a lot of planning and lots of stuff like you say. Baby was 13 weeks. It was much easier than it would have been at 4 weeks.

I didn't know how to change a nappy before my baby was born either, you soon get the hang of it... Lots of practice!!

steppemum Tue 29-Jan-13 09:52:58

I did a lot of travelling with small children and babies as we worked overseas etc.

I would not have flown at 4 weeks (not great for baby either) We drove to Holland at 5 weeks, that was hard, but I could lie down in car and stop when we needed to. New baby as a visitor in dh family was pretty hard too.
We flew 'home' to central asia at 8 weeks, that was hard but fine, big difference between 4 weeks and 8.

Of course you may be fine, but at 4 weeks after dc1, I would not have been able to do the journey, too sore, couldn't sit for that length of time.

I bf, so no probs with feeding etc, can't imagine how hard it would be to try and sort bottles etc. And to take the sterilizer etc with you is a nightmare.

Let dh go on his own, get your mum/friend to come and stay while he is awa

ThermalKaty Tue 29-Jan-13 09:55:51

Unless there's someone there that you really want to see then you should allow yourself the option to say no, but you probably could get a flight at short notice if you decide to go after you've had the baby. My sis flew with her 4 week old to my spur of the moment wedding & I was with her. The baby was fab, a moses basket is all you need, no travel cot or buggy, hire a car/car seat when you get there if necessary. She just gurgled the whole way & wowed all the other passengers. There's always someone to hold them for you too.

I would highly recommend that you aim to breastfeed to avoid all the other palaver with bottles. Its a brilliant thing for your baby & is really lovely for you too, you can then feed anywhere, anytime. Keeping equipment to a minimum is a bit of a fine art.

You might well want to show him/her off to the family once you've recovered from the birth....

Fairylea Tue 29-Jan-13 09:59:49

I wouldn't go. You'll be sleeping in 2 hour stretches at this point most probably, shattered, sore and trying to get to grips with feeding (bottles or boob). Just too much hassle.

I have two children and my second was as much a shock as the first (big age gap) so I bet your dh has forgotten a lot of what it's like too!

Also... just to put it out there, you could end up having a c section (as I did with dc 2) and then you'd be daft to go travelling about 4 weeks post op.

MJP1 Tue 29-Jan-13 10:04:33

Honey as I am soon to become a 1st time mum too who has vague ideas what to do, but not 100% sure (At NCT antenatal classes I dropped the plastic baby doll 3 times!!!) We will be fine, everyone says your natural maternal instincts kick in and theres tons of support on here Mumsnet and many other areas.

Regarding the post to be honest by the tone of it it sounds like you dont really want to go and have already decided, which is totally your decision and you could always change your mind closer to the date im sure?? BUT on the flip side I am due to go to our very close friends wedding from Hebeden Bridge (Near Halifax) to Norwich when our bub will be 6 weeks old (If she comes on her due date in 2 weeks) or maybe even younger, we 'll be driving down and REALLY REALLY want to go and with help and support organisation and tons of helpful tips from Mumsnetters (there is a recent thread on it from over this weekend) We are planning our very best to go, Obviously things might change and we'll take it from there but My new mantra for special thing that is about to arrive is now "Glass Half Full"" NOT the negative view of life I used to have,

We have to give things a go.

Good Luck with everyting xxx

steppemum Tue 29-Jan-13 10:10:04

Katy is right, if you have her early, have an easy birth, she is a laid back baby and you feel that you have found a rhythm, then you might be really up for it and ready to go.
Then you can get a cheap flight and go.

YY to lack of equipement. Sling not buggy. Ask family there if you can borrow a car seat/moses basket/sterilizer etc

steppemum Tue 29-Jan-13 10:11:38

MJP - driving is easier, and 6 weeks is easier too. You should be fine. Hope you enjoy it

Missingthemincepies Tue 29-Jan-13 10:18:53

I agree, don't go. Why not suggest your DP goes and maybe your dm could come to you for a visit that weekend to give you some help/support (if that's possible). There was a recent thread about going to a wedding a couple of hours away when baby was 8 weeks ish that got lots of positive responses. But it is just a christening and it is a flight away. I honestly think the vast majority of first time mums would hate the idea at 4-6 weeks post partum.

Now I had a difficult baby, so that colours my view. I was very prepared in terms of previous exposure to babies, reading loads of books, talking to friends with kids, nursery all sorted.... I couldn't even begin to imagine the whirlwind if change that happens when the baby comes.

So to give you an idea, at 6 weeks (but bear in mind, babies are all so v different), DS wouldn't be put down AT ALL. Slept in sling for 20 mins tops. Screamed when put in moses basket. He was on the breast more than off, would take about 45 mins- an hour to feed and that was every 2 hours start to start of feeds, with cluster feeding from 4pm to 10ish, which basically means clung to boob like limpet for entire time. Overnight he'd sleep for 45 mins at best even co-sleeping and I considered 4 hours broken sleep per 24 hours to be a good night. By 6 weeks I was a zombie. Was v v happy and adored my son but a zombie none the less.

If you're bottle feeding and have a supportive DP it will be better, but you still don't know what sort of baby you'll get. Could you maybe say yes for DP and leave it til closer to the time to choose if you want to go. You may feel great and want to show off your baby, you never know!

Off topic I know but if you're stressing about labour do think about natal hypnotherapy. I was v sceptical but it helped so much (I'm a bit of a control freak, or was before dc!) and it's only £12 down the drain if it doesn't work for you.

Good luck.

Piercy Tue 29-Jan-13 10:22:51

Thanks for the support so far - just to let you know due to medical reasons I can't breast feed

I have said to DP you book your flight and if all goes well then we can book ours later (drive is about 9 hours)

Good idea about asking family for equipment

Now need to google slings smile

wanderingalbatross Tue 29-Jan-13 10:30:05

This thread has some good tips on

Although like someone else has said, there's a big difference between a 4 week and an 8 week old. Plus you may still be recovering at 4 weeks, but will probably feel a lot better and more confident at 8 weeks. I don't think it's impossible, but I also don't think it's certain you'll be able to make it. A lot depends on the baby and on how you are feeling.

WafflesandWhippedCream Tue 29-Jan-13 10:37:49

I think you need to wait and see how you feel at the time.

Can you book the flights now, but on the understanding that you might cancel, or perhaps even just postpone them and all go up to Aberdeen a couple of months later when you have found your feet more. (Don't forget that you need to phone up and add the baby on to the flight reservation once it is born)

If you do go...
with regards to stuff you need to take, can you borrow some stuff from family? You say it is a christening, so presumably there is another young child in the family, so they might have a spare moses basket/travel cot/ steriliser or similar? I always try and travel as light as possible when I fly to visit family - they now have a load of second hand baby stuff kept in their loft so I don't have to bring anything grin.

I flew when DD was 5 weeks, I was breastfeeding so don't know about taking liquids through security. I had her in a sling, and fed her before we got on the plane, and also on the plane, then the plane pretty much lulled her to sleep. You can take a pushchair right up to the gate, but I didn't, I put it wrapped up in a buggy bag to protect it and checked it in straight away, I think slings can be easier with new babies anyway.

Everyone finds different things more daunting than others, I wouldn't have dreamed of driving that distance at that age, (or any age really, but neither of my DC are very good in cars).

Don't feel you have to allow your baby to be passed round to the whole family. If you're breastfeeding, that's a good reason to retire to a quiet room at regular intervals to give you and the baby a break. I never wanted to hand DD1 over to anyone at that age, I tried to encourage people to sit next to me but kept hold of the baby myself!

It's daunting, especially when it's your first baby, but it doesn't have to be as bad as you think. If you can plan out how you could manage it, get all the logistics of equipment and travel arrangements sorted, then you can make the actual decision when it comes to it, and at quite short notice, safe in the knowledge that everything is planned. You just have to make it really clear to your DH and his family that you will come if you can, but if you aren't up to it for whatever reason then you won't be able to come. I'm sure they will understand, even if it is disappointing for them.

MrsMeeple Tue 29-Jan-13 10:40:43

I could not have done it. BF was really hard, I was still sobbing through every feed / expressing and refridgerating milk. Still sore and exhausted at that stage.

But you could be really lucky, the baby might early, you might have an easy labour and get into a routine quickly.

Can you decide at the last minute, or do you have to book things in advance? If it was me, I'd say no if you have to book, maybe if you can decide much closer to the date.

massagegirl Tue 29-Jan-13 11:12:17

I'm in a similar position. I am meant to be going on a hen do with an 8 week old. Taking my partner and we will stay around the corner so that I can be on call for feeding. From reactions from Mums is RL and now reading this I am wondering if I am mental. Trouble is I am one of the bridesmaids. Oh dear. I am in London and hen in brighton so not far but will be braving the train.

Missingthemincepies Tue 29-Jan-13 11:19:18

Sounds v sensible OP.
In terms of flight/travel, I'd get a single bottle steriliser and some Milton, or single use presterilised bottles. Buy formula in cartons once through checkin (nearly all airports have a boots). Air stewards will provide hot water for warming bottles. A travel change mat is also really helpful. Take nappies for the journey only and buy a pack when you get there. You don't need a travel cot, either borrow hotel one and take your own sheets or borrow from family. On the other hand we bought a travel tent which DS used til he was 2. Expensive but only weighed 2.5kg and more than payed for itself.

Sling really good, I used a moby early on, which was lovely, but can be helpful to take buggy. I bought kiddicare car seat bag and a Mclaren buggy bag for protecting in the hold, both very good. Also bought a cheap kiddicare car seat 0-4 years, for travel, which is much better than the dubious ones you get in hire cars, or nothing in taxis.

Most airlines won't count buggy/travel cot/car seat in luggage allowance, but do check.

We went to Australia when DS was 5months.

None of this will go to waste if you don't go. Just keep an open mind and don't be embarrassed to say, sorry it's too much for us right now.

stargirl1701 Tue 29-Jan-13 11:26:01

I wouldn't have made it. I gave birth in Sep last year and was back in hospital at 3 weeks with blood poisoning from infective mastitis.

I would recommend reading 'What Mothers Do' to help with your emotional response.

steppemum Tue 29-Jan-13 12:23:42

don't worry about liquids on the plane. You are allowed as much for baby as you need. If not sure double check by phoning airport. There is an exception for baby bottles.

joby21 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:49:55

I had my DS 4 weeks ago. I had a relatively straight forward labour and he was born by forceps and I went home the same day. I have been out and about lots and have travelled to meet my mum for the day, however the thought of being away overnight kinda fills me with dread. DS is bf and tends to cluster feed in the evening. Although he is sleeping, it is still broken sleep and i definitely have a limit on how sociable i can be and for how long before i have to be by myself!

Having said all that, if it was something i desperately wanted to go to i think i would be able to go, but it would have to be a dead important wedding or family get together!

FergusSingsTheBlues Tue 29-Jan-13 13:53:38

I did my first flight when son was six weeks old. It was fine BUT i was shattered and spent the weekend in a daze. If you do fly, mt advice is to buy baby sunglasses and a baseball cap, the cabin lights are really bright for them.

mummytopoppy1 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:02:53

I realise that this thread is a couple of months old, but just wanted to say that I travelled with my first baby at exactly 6 weeks old. I also live in Brighton, and we travelled from here to Northern Ireland for my brother's wedding, so the same sort of length flight.

I was really worried about it but it was fine; I took sterile bottles, and bought cartons at Boots in the airport. Had one pre-made to feed her at the airport. If you BF then feeding will be even easier. We also carried her in a baby bjorn sling round the airport, where she slept when she got tired. What helped us a lot is that we pre-arranged for someone we knew in Ireland who had a toddler, to lend us their baby pram and asked someone to buy us some nappies and milk (we paid them first) so we didn't have to take lots out. It really was fine, babies are so tiny that age, that they will sleep through most of it. The sling was our saviour, and got us through the ceremony also!

Reiltin Thu 28-Mar-13 15:26:55

We've been invited to a wedding 6 weeks after my due date. We're going because we want to be people who say yes. There's going to be another couple there with a similar aged baby. It's about a four-hour drive but we'll give ourselves a lot longer than that. It may be a disaster but at least we tried :-)

Sunnysummer Thu 28-Mar-13 15:57:49

4 weeks old is really young - especially as if you end up being overdue, that is actually 2-3 weeks old! At that stage most of us FTMs are not expected to be doing much more than staying at home trying to work out how to keep our babies alive/ nursing our stitches and ladyparts / hanging out at 3pm in pyjamas with baby sick in our hair.

I think people would be understanding if you did not make it, even if it meant having DP make the trip without you. I'm due to be an FTM soon, and even with lots of support and baby experience, our first flight is (to a family wedding) is at 12 weeks and I'm still terrified!

KatAndKit Thu 28-Mar-13 16:39:30

I could not have done it. 4 week olds don't really have a routine anyway - they have not learnt about day and night yet.

For a close family wedding or funeral I would have made the utmost effort but not for a christening.

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