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Newborn on the way and I don't drive?(50 Posts)
So, I am 13 weeks (due December 21st) with my first. I am 26 years old and I learnt how to drive but never took my test - just due to circumstances. Everyone I speak to is pushing me to try to rush passing my test - which is already difficult due to the delay on driving tests because of covid - but also the money it will cost is putting me off too. I know it would be really useful and helpful and give me more freedom and all of that... but is it really necessary? I live in an area that has excellent public transport, uber, taxis always available and I am also a keen walker (usually walking around 10 to 15000 steps a day, even whilst pregnant). I don't see the issue with continuing with walking and public transport and then learning to drive when the baby is a little older?
I'd really love other Mums advice, especially those who don't drive and manage or those who think it is a complete no go
It would have been fine if it wasn't for the lockdown
I passed my test years ago but never got my own car due to not really needing one and good transport links, but bought my first car when pregnant with DD.
I am not the most experienced driver so don't go here there and everywhere, but it is good for commuting e.g. going to visit grandparents and so on & it's nice to be able to get up and go whenever I feel like it without having to rely on others/public transport.
I like the fact that I know the car is outside so should anything like an emergency happen I could just get in and go.
I wouldn't say it's essential but is deffo useful to just be able to throw everything in the car and go instead of lugging everything around. That said, I do a fair bit of walking too so just depends on you!
I don't drive and have two DC's. Occasionally it would be handy as they're are some nice places near me that are a pain to get to on public transport but otherwise it's fine. My 6 year old knows her way around our town due to walking a lot and could use a bus/train by herself (although obviously not necessary right now 😁)
Just be prepared for people thinking you have 7 heads when you tell them you don't drive
For me it wasn't essential. When DS was born I had a driving licence but no car and didn't miss it. I had twins a few years later and everyone insisted I would need a car so I bought one. Big mistake - ten years later I still have it and have barely used it. If you are used to walking / cycling / using public transport (and crucially, have good public transport where you live) don't worry too much. Just see how it goes.
I can't drive and managed perfectly well with both of my newborns. If you live in an area with good public transport you'll be absolutely fine. The majority of people in my London borough don't have access to a car but there are still lots of babies around!
Get a buggy/pram that will fit well on buses, trains etc. There are lots of threads on here giving advice on this.
Also I think walking made me think how much stuff I actually needed. I never bothered with a changing bag for the twins either and didn't miss that either!
I'm the same,do not drive and happily survived with 2 newborns in a city.
As you said,we also have great public transport,cabs and taxis if needs be.
It's bonkers to think that you really need a car when having children.
In places like that it's unnecessary,can be costly and not environmentally friendly.With 4 DC aged 4 to 20 years old I never really need a car,even in an emergency.
Do what suits you best and don't be pressured into doing something quite stressful,especially now when you are pregnant.
I think the decision might have been taken out of your hands as there's a huge backlog so driving tests are hard to get. Not sure a December date would be feasible.
I don’t drive and managed fine. Invest in a good park that’ll take you all the way through instead.
Also the walking saved my sanity at times, especially when DS was little enough that I could put headphones in and walk whilst he napped
I learned to drive while pregnant and took my test at 39 weeks! I’ve also always lived in cities with good public transportation. You’re early on in your pregnancy so I’d strongly suggest taking the test before you have the baby. It will be a lot more challenging when you have a child. Right now you just have to worry about you - I don’t mean you don’t worry about your baby, just that the logistics are as simple as they’ll ever be. I have no regrets taking the test while pregnant. I don’t drive much but it’s so useful to know that I have the ability in case of emergency.
I know families with kids and no car (I live in a city) but they do use a hire car for holidays. Not having a car definitely restricts your choice on holidays.
An electric cargo bike, trike or normal bike with a tow-along wagon for kids behind might be useful if you have storage space. Only recommended for toddler age though I think (I have 9 months in mind).
I agree the logistics are so much sinpler if you can possibly manage to do it now. Cheaper too imagine having to pay for childcare while you were in a driving lesson!
My kids were at primary school before I drove. If I could have my time again I would learn to drive before they were born. As babies it was ok, but once they started activities I struggled to get to places
It sounds like you'll be OK without a car and one baby. I learned to drive between my two and I'm glad I could drive with the second. I live in London so fine with buses etc, but it would have been a schlep with two LOs.
I did feel I missed out a bit on one thing due to not driving, but that was kind of specific to my circumstances - I did an intensive one-weekend NCT course due to other commitments, rather than a regular one over a few months .so I the other parents were spread out over quite a big area, we didn't get to know them as well and because I was the only non-driver I think I may have missed out on some social stuff, or being called on for help, as people would assume it was too much trouble for me to travel around. But like I said, that was a very specific scenario.
I live in an area that has excellent public transport, uber, taxis always available and I am also a keen walker (usually walking around 10 to 15000 steps a day, even whilst pregnant).
You’ll be fine. If you lived rurally with no access to transport it would be w different story but you’re set up to get around just with an extra person. Baby carrying might be good if your public transport is busy rather than lugging a pram around but even so it’s still not that much of an issue. And as others have said the backlog of tests won’t make it easy for you to get a slot even.
It doesn't sound as if you need to be able to drive now. The only thing I would say is that I wish I'd passed my test before having a child, because scheduling chunks of time does become more challenging with a baby or pre-schooler. I have no idea what the lead-in time is with Covid protocals and backlogs, or how many lessons you would need, but if you can do it, I think you should seriously think about it. Purely on the grounds that it's helpful to get that kind of thing out of the way before the baby arrives.
The lack of independence/spontaneity and the logistics of not being able to carry more than what a decent pushchair basket can take would be a big consideration for me. For day to day things like popping to the shops etc, public transport is fine. But for appointments, trips further afield etc, occasions when you may need to carry supplies/luggage etc, not so much. It depends on your lifestyle I guess. Wouldn't suit me at all, as we have family all over the UK, the nearest being over 2 hours drive away.
Hey I have a little one who is nearly 2 years old and I don't drive. I walk, use public transport and get out and about fine. I meet other mums, go shopping, and to playgroups ect.
I took my test a few years ago, didn't pass and because of having a little one and covid I haven't started my lessons again (I will start again at some point😊)
I honestly wouldn't worry about it for the moment things are hard enough with this virus, you don't want extra pressure on urself. Once the baby is older then look at booking ur lessons x
Exactly! That as well as the fact learning to drive is so expensive! Even if I get myself insured on my parents car I will still end up paying £100 per month plus lessons with an actual instructor it all adds up when I'm trying to save for the baby!
Everything gets harder when you have a baby. Getting time to take lessons, paying for it all. I suspect the people in your life are thinking if you don't do it now you'll never do it.
Hi OP. In my experience you will be fine as you are already active and use public transport.
My eldest child is now 10 years old. I never learned to drive, my husband can drive but we don't have a car as I hate them and it seems a pointless expense.
We live in London, I grew up here too. I have always used public transport, as a child myself, while pregnant and with my children. Never had any problems.
A huge bonus is that my kids are fantastic walkers (I am often shocked by what short distances their friends can cope with if they are used to being driven everywhere) which makes going on active holidays and days out very easy from a young age.
They are also competent, confident users of the tube and bus.
On rare occasions we have used a taxi but it still works out so much cheaper than having a car.
It also means that I maintain a basic level of fitness even on days I can't exercise, as I will (like you) get in 10k+ steps just getting around to school, shops, etc.
I’ll add that I live in London so it’s definitely no problem not to drive, however I see the difference in what my parent friends who drive can do vs. those that don’t. Of course, plenty of people manage without driving, but it will limit you. We’re able to do and go to so many more activities and places with our child because we drive.
Plus it sounds like you already do know how to drive? So the hardest part is already done.
U will be fine !! I didn’t drive when my 2 dcs were born and I just walked everywhere!! As they got older I did pass my test and it’s the best thing I did cus kids always need taking places just wait until baby is a little older xxx
I don’t think it’s that big of a deal when you have a baby but when the children get older and you want to take them out places / activities it’s very useful . So the choice is really spend the money now or spend it once baby is here so I’d do it now as it’s only going to become less affordable .