Is it okay to take the baby on a long car journey outside her routine? - Chloe


Eliza riding in the car
Eliza Riding in The Car - Bradley Gordon, Flickr

This question had my spidey senses all tingly because I suspect this is not the question you're really asking. I think the real question is something along the lines of:

'How can I tell  someone I don't want to take the baby on a long journey?'
'Why are people judging me for taking my baby on a long journey?' 
'Can you give me a legitimate reason to turn down an invitation that involves taking my baby on a long journey?

Here's your legitmate reason - you are her mother. A mother's life is filled with powerful and sometimes direct judgements about the way she parents, it can be hard not to collapse under the weight of other people's opinions. Maybe someone's asking you to visit and you're anxious about the journey. They give you sermon and song about how absolutely perfect their baby was in the car. They make you feel lazy or fussy or horror of horrors boring for not relenting. You may be all those things but guess what, that's you're perogative because you are her mother. 

This advice might seem a little woolly but it's really important you get your head round it and embrace it. Practice for a week or so. She will eat this banana because I'm her mother. She will wear these socks because I am her mother and then when someone asks you to do something and you really don't want it to happen you say, 'that's nice but no thank you,' (no excuse, no justification) and in your head remind yourself, because I am her mother.

Perhaps I'm wrong and you are genuinely worried that stepping out of her routine will lead your little one to a life of crime and misery. One day she will heave with heavy sobs as she recounts the journey to grandmas to her therapist. I can assure you this will not happen. Go, drive away, have fun! Children are hardy little things and they can survive a shake up to their rountine; the question is can you? If you have a slick routine, a major shift can result in up to a week of readjustment. Babies don't like getting used to new things and they have limited ways to express this. All of those ways involve causing mental anguish to their mothers. When I find myself in an emotional battle between something I think I should do and a disruption to my family routine I ask myself, is this worth a week of pain? Of course it's not always a week but it's best to be on the safe side. More often the not the answer is no and people, even *gasp* child free people, totally get that. I have turned things down by saying, 'I'm sorry, doing that will just result in a week of pain,' and with the exception of my mother, everyone totally understands. 

For ten brilliant tips on taking babies on long car journeys check out this fab post from Baby Routes.


Super Busy Mum

12 comments

  1. Good advice. Sometimes it's really hard to say no.Saying that I wouldn't agree to taking my tot on a long ca journey for anything. His limit is an hour and a half tops then he's done and he makes sure we know that!

    #MMWBH

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    1. I love a man with strong boundaries :)

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  2. I haven't read your blog for a while - I'd forgotten how much I love it!! I didn't get the subtext at all, I am clearly not very insightful. My kids were dragged backwards and forwards across the country and across Sweden from the age of two weeks. I totally didn't mind long car journeys - except if they were to places I didn't want to go to in which case I couldn't possibly have the girls in the car for that long! #MMWBH

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes there is definitely a direct correlation between my willingness to go and my sons ability to do the journey ;)

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  3. The Mother says - What a great post. When Lucas was a baby, I had all sorts of advice offered when I said I was going to do something with Lucas. It took me a while but I was soon saying, "Well, we're going to do it and if it's a disaster, then we'll have learnt." Sure enough, one of the first challenge was taking Lucas on a three hour car journey when he was about 4 weeks old. I got told I'd regret it, etc...... We knew we'd have to stop regularly, etc... but the little darlin' slept through the entire journey!!! He's not done that since!!! #MMWBH

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    1. I know right! I know people are helping but the amount of times I had, 'you can't possibly do that!' to the most innocuous of plans. Thanks for sharing

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  4. Yeah, if I'm honest the to reason I don't want to travel with my kids is because I do not want to travel with screaming kids. It hurts my ears and my nerves. There is a bell curve distribution - the first couple of months they sleep all the way through, when they get about 18 month (iPad ready I call it) then they cam amuse themselves. Anything in between and you're stuffed.

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    1. I agree my son is 18 months and when he was little he was so mobile. We took loads of long train journeys with milk on tap and long naps. Now we have about twenty minutes on public transport before things start to fall apart.

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  5. I found that as a newborn Zach would sleep whenever he was in the car so long distances were a doddle. At 3 and a half months though it is getting harder as he stays awake now and isnt alway thst enthused about being in the car for a long time! xx

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    1. As I don't drive I didn't get to try the car trick but I once left Roscoe with my sister in law whilst I went to a wedding and her wonderful husband drove him three villages away to get him down so his mum could get her barcardi on. Thanks for stopping by xx

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  6. Good advice. I think we all feel that conflict sometimes between feeling you should do something because someone else wants you to do it (& it's good to do different things), & knowing you are the one who will have to do all the work & organising & it making your heart sink!

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  7. Yes! The amount of different conflicts can be head spinning :)

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