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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>DD2 is 6.5 mo and pretty much hates the car.  She is also going through a really cranky/whiny period and is quite hard to keep happy.  We do Christmas with my family who lives about 4 hours away.  It's actually pretty important to me to be there and we all truly enjoy it.</p>
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<p>However, the sleeping arrangements where we stay are terrible and the actual holiday events are always during the afternoon into the night, and DD goes to bed at 6-7 pm, otherwise she's a mess.</p>
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<p>I feel like this whole trip is going to be a stressful disaster, but I can't imagine not seeing my family for Christmas. </p>
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<p>So do you proceed with your plans, bring baby along, and hope for the best, or do you alter your plans to do what seems to be best for baby??</p>
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<p>Thanks!!</p>
 

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If it was me, I would try to alter the plans. Is there any way that family can come visit rather than you going there? The way I see it is, it is only for the one Christmas. Chances are by next year she will be fine with the car or at least be able to tolerate it. My daughter (almost 8 months) also hates car rides longer than 20 minutes or so, so I would be very, very reluctant to take a 4 hour trip unless it was an emergency.
 

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<p>That is a really tough one. I am incredibly close with my family and have actually never spent a Christmas away from them and if I had to I would be really sad about it.</p>
<p>I think I would try to find  a way to go......if they can't come to you. Unless you really think it's going to be too stressful to enjoy. Is it possible to break the trip in half? Drive for 2 hours and the take a nice long break and then finish off the trip? Is there any time of day where she might tolerate the ride better?</p>
 

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<p>Your situation sounds almost exactly like mine and we just had to miss visiting family for thanksgiving due to my DD being sick. And I'll admit, while I was sad to not be with family for DD's 1st thanksgiving, it was so nice to just be home and not have to worry about all the crap that goes along with traveling. That said we'll be making the trip at Christmas.</p>
 

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<p>Family holidays are important to me. So much so that I would never consider not going. It is a 10 hour drive and DD gets fed up by the end, but she certainly doesn't cry the entire time. If she did, I might feel differently.</p>
 

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<p>I am travelling for Christmas to see the family (all in 6 hour plane ride, 1/2 hour shuttle, 2 hour train ride, and a 1 hour car trip each way) but DD generally does okay.  Though we have acclimated her to it over many long car trips since her birth (we like to travel). Benjamin will play peek-a-boo with her and tell her stories to entertain her which helps. If that doesn't work, I sit in the back with her and try to talk to her or give her my finger to suck and if that fails I lean over and give her boob to suckle which usually calms her enough that she'll fall asleep for an hour or two.  We never go longer than three hours without pulling over to rest, crawl around, use the restroom and eat something.</p>
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<p>I also bring lots of music I know the kids like which often soothes them as well. </p>
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<p>I have never not travelled because of my kids.  But then when all else fails and she really is inconsolable I take her out (pull over first obviously) nurse the baby to sleep and then gently buckle them back in to the seat and drive on.</p>
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<p>I would be more concerned about the sleeping arrangements.  It sort of sounds like you'd rather skip it this year.  Be kind to yourself and do what works for you and your family.  There is always Skype if you want to see each other open presents or share the christmas dinner together.  My mom (in the states) has been doing this with us every Christmas for the last 5 years.</p>
 

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<p>Maybe consider leaving at bedtime and driving through the night to have her sleep in the car? DS1 also hated the car, and we did take a couple of trips. However, we did take a couple of trips anyway. I would sit in the back and do my best to entertain with lots and lots of different toys when it was during the day. We did the night travel a couple of times, and it was a mixed bag. On the one hand, it kindof worked, he fell asleep in the car, but on the other hand, he tended to wake up and it was even more disconcerting to see all the bright lights. If your DD does not tend to wake up much once asleep, it might work for you!</p>
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<p>The evening activities thing, though, is huge too. We had DS1 with family at around 1 year, when he was a mess after 6.30 pm. For the Christmas event, we put him down at the house where the evening activities were located. It worked okay, in that he did fall asleep, but he again woke up a lot. We also had to drive him back home (15 mins or so) and that was also disruptive. All in all, it was worth it, even if I did miss a few moments of the evening, since at least we were there for most of them. If it is only a night or two, things can work. More than that, and I'd say hopefully you can stay over where all the activities will be located!</p>
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<p>In short, even if your DD hates the car, it's still doable since you can be back there to entertain. Just plan a lot of stops and breaks into your time. There are ways to make it work for all of you if it's important to you to be there!</p>
 

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That totally wouldn't work for my baby, who hates nighttime driving even more than she hates regular (longer than 20 minutes) trips. It's really very hard having a baby who hates car rides so much. I have so much sympathy for you, OP! Sitting in the back entertaining only works for so long when the child is that adamant about hating the car.
 

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<p>We usually travel a few hours to Chicago, but last year was a nightmare, and our dd handles short car rides OK now but is no better at long ones, so we're staying home this year.  I don't want to subject her to it, but my goodness I don't want to go through it either.  It was awful, and she should be lots better next year.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<p>OP here-thanks for all the replies!  We've tried the nighttime thing and it's definitely worse.  I suppose it's everything about the trip combined that has me doubting if we should go.  It's clearly going to be a huge stress for all of us, but I just don't feel right missing a Christmas with my family (to clarify, my parents actually live near us and we all go up together to visit extended family-I have no siblings or neices/nephews).  My grandpa, who we were very close to just passed away this summer, so this is going to be a difficult year and I think having my girls around will definitely help everyone out.  I have one other grandparent alive, and I just feel like I hate to miss a holiday and the opportumity to spend that time with family, but I really don't want to go through all the stress of actually getting and being there.  Ugh, what to do??!!</p>
 

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I asked this before, but you might have missed it-- any chance on having your family come to you or your parents? It would probably be just for this one Christmas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Cecilia's Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282064/do-you-still-travel-for-the-holidays-if-you-have-a-babe-who-hates-the-car#post_16078409"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
I asked this before, but you might have missed it-- any chance on having your family come to you or your parents? It would probably be just for this one Christmas.</div>
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I wish!!  It's really not realistic for them.  Most are older and don't venture out much past their own little town.  Somehow everyone managed to come for my wedding, but that was a HUGE deal.</p>
 

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<p>We just had this dilemma over thanksgiving.  Every year we travel about 3hours to visit family for a wonderful thanksgiving.  Seeing how this year we have a 5month old who can't stand car rides for longer than 30minutes, we really had to debate weather to make the trip.  We decided to skip it this year (family was very understanding) because I didn't want to subject her to unnecessary stress with screaming and crying.  However, we still hosted our own thanksgiving with my family and close friends so it wasn't like we were missing out too much.  But if the 3hour drive was the only thanksgiving celebration we were going to attend, we would have probably found a way to make it work (stopping every 30minutes or so, or when she got upset).</p>
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<p>Good luck OP...hope you find something that works for you! :)</p>
 

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<p>If you cannot avoid travel be sure to factor in time for stops. It is so stressful, I don't look forward to car travel (and my son is 13 months).</p>
 

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<p>I think that if it's really important to you to be there, you can find a way to make it work, even if it means making the drive in half-hour increments.  I just got back from a three-hour plane ride plus four-hour drive both ways trip.  We planned it out to be the least stressfull trip we could - we did the flying one day, stayed in a hotel, then drove the next.  We hung out in the hotel in the morning, tiring DD out enough that she was asleep by the time we pulled out of the parking lot.  She slept for an hour and a half, then we stopped for lunch, wandered around the only store we could find, drove for another half hour or so until she wouldn't take it anymore, stopped again until she was tired, and finished the drive while she napped.  We did the same thing on the drive back (interestingly enough, the plane rides were no trouble at all).  If you allow yourselves the whole day to travel, time the driving with naps as much as possible, you'll be able to get there.  Good luck! </p>
 

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<p>We just drove 8 hours with a four month old who hates being in the car. FWIW, I'm not going to be doing it again. By the time we arrived, both DD and I were exhausted and crying. I sat in the back with her the whole time, singing, playing, reading stories. I spent a good portion of the trip hanging over her car seat nursing her, which was unsafe and uncomfortable for me, but at least she was safely strapped in and not screaming.</p>
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<p>It was a mess. I feel like the decision was a bit selfish on my part, because I really wanted to see family, and the in-laws really wanted to see her. We're definitely staying home for Christmas!</p>
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<p>Sorry if I'm not being too encouraging . . . . but the long car trip with her crying and frustrated felt decidedly un-APish, and I think I'll feel guilt about it for some time.</p>
 

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<p>i would stay home. i can only imagine how unfun that would be.<span><img alt="shake.gif" height="15" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/shake.gif" width="15"> sorry,</span> mama</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>aphel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282064/do-you-still-travel-for-the-holidays-if-you-have-a-babe-who-hates-the-car#post_16081107"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We just drove 8 hours with a four month old who hates being in the car. FWIW, I'm not going to be doing it again. By the time we arrived, both DD and I were exhausted and crying. I sat in the back with her the whole time, singing, playing, reading stories. I spent a good portion of the trip hanging over her car seat nursing her, which was unsafe and uncomfortable for me, but at least she was safely strapped in and not screaming.</p>
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<p> We did the same exact thing over thanksgiving! Though our car ride was only an hour and half long both ways (and we did it on a wednesday and friday), DD screamed her head off both ways. Even hanging over her seat nursing her didnt work. Though everytime DH pulled over and put the car in park - the crying would immediately stop (until a minute or two went by and she realized we werent taking her out of her seat right away). Poor girl broke my heart at how hard she was trying to 'sit up' out of her car seat, she actually would stop crying so she could fully concentrate on attempting to sit up to get out! (she's 3.5 months old) </p>
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<p>It was miserable, I don't think I wouldve done that car ride if I had known she wasn't going to take it well at all. </p>
 
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