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StaceyinLA

Longest road trip you've taken with a tiny baby??

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Good point...maybe moving to be with you and have baby in your city would be better than moving cross country a few weeks post partum. 

 

I mean, several people ahve talked about moving with 2-3 months old but in my experience that's a different ball game than those first 2-3 weeks when baby i learning how to nurse, mom (first time mom!) is healing and learning how to nurse, etc. I mean, that can take a while! Those first few weeks many moms are not comfortable nursing in public, and she'd be in public, trying to nurse a newborn on a bench or in a car, etc. 

 

Plus again there is colic.....my babies needed to nurse almost constantly those early weeks too. 

 

Agreed!!!!

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My brother and his wife drove to Alaska from Louisiana. DROVE! The baby was less than a month old. They’re crazy though.

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Hey just a heads up in case you didn’t know, but this is basically as dangerous as taking the baby out of the car seat. Your weight and positioning would compromise the car seat in the event of a crash

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

This is something I did on a trip with DD when she was 3 mo. I didn't say it was a great idea. But the kid wouldn't stop crying, wouldn't take a paci, and wouldn't take a finger as a substitute...I got desperate. Not something I'd repeat again even if I could.

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This is a big point that I don't know if anyone brought up.  But I tore so bad after my 2nd that I couldn't sit for 2 plus weeks afterward.  The pain was insane even though I was on painkillers. 

 

Yes. I had only one baby that I tore that badly with, my DD, but it was awful. And car seats were the worst out of anything. More than 20 minutes was awful. 8 hours would have been unbearable. 

 

Edited to add: It took about a month for that to heal up and I've known other women to take longer than that. 

Edited by ktgrok

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Honestly, this sounds like a recipe for post partum depression. Seriously, if I was going to try to create a situation most likely to create post partum depression it might be "move across country with a newborn, sitting on a hard seat with a sore bottom, while said baby screams for hours on end, and your full breasts are compressed by a seat belt giving you clogged ducts, then try to figure out how to nurse the baby in a cramped car or public place while everyone stares. Oh, and every diaper change will be done on a car seat or in a public restroom."

 

Hell no. Just...please please please figure out an alternate way. Don't let this be her introduction to motherhood. She will only be a first time mom once. Never again will she have a chance to just relax and bond with a newborn. Don't do this. Hell, the WTM Aunties will chip in on car shipping or something! Seriously. 

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Honestly, this sounds like a recipe for post partum depression. Seriously, if I was going to try to create a situation most likely to create post partum depression it might be "move across country with a newborn, sitting on a hard seat with a sore bottom, while said baby screams for hours on end, and your full breasts are compressed by a seat belt giving you clogged ducts, then try to figure out how to nurse the baby in a cramped car or public place while everyone stares. Oh, and every diaper change will be done on a car seat or in a public restroom."

 

Hell no. Just...please please please figure out an alternate way. Don't let this be her introduction to motherhood. She will only be a first time mom once. Never again will she have a chance to just relax and bond with a newborn. Don't do this. Hell, the WTM Aunties will chip in on car shipping or something! Seriously.

Interestingly, I did actually end up with postpartum depression when we traveled and moved, though it stated coming on before we got in the car. Nursing troubles but no clogged ducts. Cars are easy for the baby, but the disruption is terrible.

 

I completely agree this should happen while she is still pregnant or a good ways thereafter, but during ge newborn phase for an actual relocation is insanity. I’ve done it, it completely sucked.

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I didn't read all the replies but be aware of flying the dogs.  During the summer, most airlines have a heat embargo on flying pets.  Unless the dogs are under 15 pounds and can fit under the seat as carry-on...you won't be able to fly them.

 

As far as driving...the most I've done is a three day trip with a big dog, a cat, and four pre-teen and teen boys.  We had a u-haul, towed a car and drove the other.  It took a lot of planning but we survived it.

 

it's doable.  It won't be fun but it's not impossible.

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Bring a pillow with a hole in it.  I traveled for a 2-hour round trip in the first few weeks after giving birth.  I'd had to have stitches (not c-section.)  Sitting on the couch was fine, but there was something about the car chair that was horribly uncomfortable.  We were taking baby to meet my mother an hour away.  The drive there was painful and finally by the time we had to drive back, I had to lie down in the back of the van because I couldn't bear to sit up with my weight on my bottom.  

 

My trip might have been sooner than 4 weeks.  I can't recall.  I just know how surprised I was at how painful it got.  I had been fine at home and for the first part of the trip, but it quickly got unbearable.  A pillow with a hole in it so that my weight wasn't on the stitches might have helped. 

 

ETA:  Just realized other people have brought this up.  I didn't read all the posts before I replied.

Edited by Garga

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Honestly, this sounds like a recipe for post partum depression. Seriously, if I was going to try to create a situation most likely to create post partum depression it might be "move across country with a newborn, sitting on a hard seat with a sore bottom, while said baby screams for hours on end, and your full breasts are compressed by a seat belt giving you clogged ducts, then try to figure out how to nurse the baby in a cramped car or public place while everyone stares. Oh, and every diaper change will be done on a car seat or in a public restroom."

 

Hell no. Just...please please please figure out an alternate way. Don't let this be her introduction to motherhood. She will only be a first time mom once. Never again will she have a chance to just relax and bond with a newborn. Don't do this. Hell, the WTM Aunties will chip in on car shipping or something! Seriously. 

 

 

I'd have been horribly sad at not being able to hold my baby for hours on end.  I can't imagine sitting next to my baby, strapped in to a seat and crying and not being able to hold him.  It would certainly mess with bonding.

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Bring a pillow with a hole in it.  I traveled for a 2-hour round trip in the first few weeks after giving birth.  I'd had to have stitches (not c-section.)  Sitting on the couch was fine, but there was something about the car chair that was horribly uncomfortable.  We were taking baby to meet my mother an hour away.  The drive there was painful and finally by the time we had to drive back, I had to lie down in the back of the van because I couldn't bear to sit up with my weight on my bottom.  

 

My trip might have been sooner than 4 weeks.  I can't recall.  I just know how surprised I was at how painful it got.  I had been fine at home and for the first part of the trip, but it quickly got unbearable.  A pillow with a hole in it so that my weight wasn't on the stitches might have helped. 

I don't think there is a pillow made that would make it bearable for 8 hours a day for multiple days. 

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I don't think there is a pillow made that would make it bearable for 8 hours a day for multiple days. 

 

 

Honestly, that's what I was thinking, too.  I was surprised at the extreme discomfort.  I knew it was super dangerous to lie down in the back of the car without a seatbelt, but it was so unbearable.  And that was an hour up...visiting...and an hour back.  I would not have been able to tolerate 8 hours.  I didn't have a pillow, so maybe that would have been all the difference?  

 

If not, OP, the trip could be derailed an hour into it.  And I only had 4 stitches.  Maybe you could have a practice run where you guys drive for 2 solid hours before you have to, to see if your DD can tolerate it?  It took about 20-30 minutes into the drive for me to realize that the pain was starting and it just snowballed and snowballed.

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Nursing: For my first, nursing was horribly painful. For my second, I learned to use a nipple cream both before and after nursing and that made a huge difference. For my first, I also got mastitis. The whole process was bulky and awkward. For my first, for a solid 6 weeks, I would get tears in my eyes from the pain of nursing. I just can't imagine trying to do all the physical first-time-parenting stuff in a car after just 4 weeks. After 2 or 3 months, with an 8-12 week old, sure. But that first month? For a first-time mom? For eight hours a day, for 5 days? It sounds like a nightmare.

 

Tell your DD to use a nipple cream before and after nursing, wherever she is. And everything was different once my oldest was about 8 weeks and when I had my second. But those first two months for a first baby have a steep learning curve and is physically grueling.

 

 

OP, if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. If your daughter isn't in pain from stitches and can sit, that will help. People have survived worse! But if she can't sit in the car for more than 20/30 minutes at a time, that's going to be a serious problem.

 

Are you guys going to be willing to drive 'round the clock for baby's schedule? What if baby shrieks bloody murder if baby is awake in the car seat? You might only want to drive while baby sleeps and then hang out somewhere whenever baby is awake. I don't know. I had a shrieker. He would shriek every time we got in the car, no matter how short/long the trip. I found it to be dangerous to be driving with a shrieking baby. To me, it was rather like texting while driving. My attention was sooo divided. Very hard to focus when the love of your life is shrieking in misery behind you and you can do nothing to help, other than stop the car. Not good on a 5-day car trip.

Edited by Garga
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Wow I feel terribly I haven’t been back on to respond! Yall have definitely given me some food for thought. I think we will have to really think this through.

 

#1 - selling the car isn’t an option, and, honestly, neither is paying someone to drive it down while still having to pay the expenses associated with flying.

 

#2 - not sure if her moving to be here for the birth is an option since it would pretty much eliminate her boyfriend being here for the birth

 

#3 - I HAVE thought about birth complications/c-section, etc., and that certainly is a concern. Honestly, as big as she is now with 12 weeks left to go, I’m thinking she might wind up being on the early side (which would be great as long as it isn’t TOO early).

 

#4 - I hadn’t thought about the dogs not being able to fly because we were looking at them being on the plane. They aren’t small enough, but apparently, even slightly larger dogs can be somewhere on the plane because we read they only allow 2 per flight for whatever the particular thing is.

 

I’m not super worried about the holding/nursing, etc. of the baby because we would not go more than 2 hours without stopping. We will NOT let the baby cry. That’s not gonna happen. I figure absolute worst case scenario would be we do a day and if it’s horrible, we just get her on a flight and I do the rest alone (although that would suck terribly, but I am a big girl and I’m sure I could do it).

 

Her boyfriend will get his dates soon for his relocation, so maybe, depending on what they are, we could alter things up a bit. Money is a factor though, so IDK if my flying home then going back to get her a month later is reasonable. I just have no clue what we are gonna wind up doing, but I do appreciate all the different considerations.

Edited by StaceyinLA
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One month old coast to coast, nine days. Babies are a million times easier than kids, adults, or dogs ime.

 

ETA: I ship my dog whenever possible to my in-laws if I can avoid taking him in the car.

 

Also eta-- if I had another adult set of hands with me I would not even hesitate to take the babe in the car to PCS. And I'd probably get through it just fine after a momentary hesitation even if it were just me and the kids. ETA again.... Well no not right after a c section I wouldn't go alone. But still with someone else.

Edited by OKBud
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One month old coast to coast, nine days. Babies are a million times easier than kids, adults, or dogs ime.

 

ETA: I ship my dog whenever possible to my in-laws if I can avoid taking him in the car.

 

Also eta-- if I had another adult set of hands with me I would not even hesitate to take the babe in the car to PCS. And I'd probably get through it just fine after a momentary hesitation even if it were just me and the kids. ETA again.... Well no not right after a c section I wouldn't go alone. But still with someone else.

 

I'm guessing your babies weren't colicky and you didn't have significant pain after childbirth. Which hopefully will be the case, but can't be assumed. 

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I'm guessing your babies weren't colicky and you didn't have significant pain after childbirth. Which hopefully will be the case, but can't be assumed.

Unfortunately, guesses wrong. Semper paratus.

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Unfortunately, guesses wrong. Semper paratus.

 

Then I think your definition of "just fine" and mine are different lol. Yours must be closer to my husband's...his means 'everyone survived". 

 

5 days or more of lots of pain while a colicky newborn screams would not fall into my "fine" category :)

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I think my son was 6 weeks old when my fil had a stroke and we drove from Tucson to panama city beach. I was tired, it was exhausting but my husband was incredible taking care of all of us. ( we had an 8 and 6 year old also)

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Honestly, this sounds like a recipe for post partum depression. Seriously, if I was going to try to create a situation most likely to create post partum depression it might be "move across country with a newborn, sitting on a hard seat with a sore bottom, while said baby screams for hours on end, and your full breasts are compressed by a seat belt giving you clogged ducts, then try to figure out how to nurse the baby in a cramped car or public place while everyone stares. Oh, and every diaper change will be done on a car seat or in a public restroom."

 

Hell no. Just...please please please figure out an alternate way. Don't let this be her introduction to motherhood. She will only be a first time mom once. Never again will she have a chance to just relax and bond with a newborn. Don't do this. Hell, the WTM Aunties will chip in on car shipping or something! Seriously. 

 

I was thinking this, too. I think PPD may be a problem after they arrive at the new place as well. Furniture to unload, house/apartment to set up, no or limited support, brand new mother, no/few friends, etc. BF will be there, but the other spouses may not contact her because she's not a wife. (That may have changed. When we were active duty, there was a distinction between girlfriends and wives. GF were not always invited when the other wives got together.)

 

OP, I wish you and your daughter much luck. This must be a difficult decision to make. If your house is between the new location and the old location, could your daughter move to your house for a little while after the baby is born before she moves to where BF will be? Maybe she wouldn't have as far to travel and if there are complications, she could heal at your place. That would give you some flexibility in timing.

Edited by wilrunner

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I AM between the two locations. The trip we will be making is actually from WA to my house in Louisiana where she’ll be for a month or so while her boyfriend wraps things up there in WA and makes the move.

 

I think she will be a lot less likely to experience PPD from that because she is moving from WA, which is 40 hours away from everyone she knows and all her family, to GA, which is about a 9 hour drive from home (and a really short, inexpensive flight). In addition, they are buying a house in GA, and she is super excited about that.

 

She will definitely have to work to make some friends. She has a few in WA, but hasn’t really been there long enough to make a ton of them. I’m thinking LLL meetings will be a good starting point for her, and I’ll help her make some connections with that while I’m there helping her get settled.

 

We are tossing up some other options, but this is just what she thinks will be the best and most cost-effective way to get all of us and the dogs back south. I’m gonna keep trying to come up with some alternatives and/or at least backup plans. One of the worst parts, to me, about the drive is how many hours of actual nothing there is between there and here. I just want us to be able to stop at decent places when we need to.

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Then I think your definition of "just fine" and mine are different lol. Yours must be closer to my husband's...his means 'everyone survived".

 

5 days or more of lots of pain while a colicky newborn screams would not fall into my "fine" category :)

Sounds like OPs daughter has some options but we didn't. They say go, you go. The end. There's no alternative to being fine there. You can't tell the kid to stop crying, you can't stay behind (no member, no house), there's no family or good friends in the in-between. Ergo, it's fine.

 

I definitely don't think a move can CAUSE post partum depression though. Exaserbate the effects of its root causes, probably. But even the most miserable few days possible can not cause a chemical imbalance that is caused, by definition, by fluctuating hormones after birth.

 

And like I said, I'm babies are relatively easy in the car ime. Even the screamy ones.

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Why don’t you (and a friend/family member) fly to WA and drive the car and the dogs back south? Let your daughter and baby fly to GA or LA or wherever?

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Yes, I would look into buying a flight from LA to WA and driving the car back yourself while DD takes the baby on a plane (a day or two later, I guess - maybe staying in a hotel for the remaining two days).  Depending on how resilient your DD is, especially since this is her first baby, I would sell things if necessary to finance this flight and the potential hotel stay.  You can't be talking more than $500-$700 extra.  I know that's a ton for some budgets but I would prioritize it for the next couple of months.  I'd seriously sell the fancy coffee machine and some clothes, eat rice and beans for a month, etc.  Not contribute to retirement for one month, take $ out of savings, whatever is necessary.  That's a very long drive for a new mother.

 

 

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Sounds like OPs daughter has some options but we didn't. They say go, you go. The end. There's no alternative to being fine there. You can't tell the kid to stop crying, you can't stay behind (no member, no house), there's no family or good friends in the in-between. Ergo, it's fine.

 

I definitely don't think a move can CAUSE post partum depression though. Exaserbate the effects of its root causes, probably. But even the most miserable few days possible can not cause a chemical imbalance that is caused, by definition, by fluctuating hormones after birth.

 

And like I said, I'm babies are relatively easy in the car ime. Even the screamy ones.

 

I have a friend who had to PCS to *Guam* with 4 kids, one of them a newborn, none of them over 10, and she was by herself with her kids on the flights. I don't know how she did it...physically, I mean, I don't know how she managed.

 

But she shrugs and laughs about it now.

 

My husband deployed 10 days after our second was born, which was also 6 weeks before we moved across the country. We have loved every road trip since, but it's because my expectations for the first one were so low, SO LOW, and it turned out to be kind of fun. I have good memories of us checking out the Badlands, staying in a Best Western with waterslides, being tourists in DC...it was just awesome because I thought it was going to be a complete disaster trying to nurse all the time, having a crying baby, and a 1yo.  But it was good for what it was.

 

So I would say to just keep expectations low.  Really, really low. Then whatever happens, you can deal with it, but if it's good you'll be pleasantly surprised. The real hard part for me was estimating hotel stops, which I had to do to get pet-friendly hotels/rooms.

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Sounds like OPs daughter has some options but we didn't. They say go, you go. The end. There's no alternative to being fine there. You can't tell the kid to stop crying, you can't stay behind (no member, no house), there's no family or good friends in the in-between. Ergo, it's fine.

 

I definitely don't think a move can CAUSE post partum depression though. Exaserbate the effects of its root causes, probably. But even the most miserable few days possible can not cause a chemical imbalance that is caused, by definition, by fluctuating hormones after birth.

 

And like I said, I'm babies are relatively easy in the car ime. Even the screamy ones.

 

LOL, yup, you are like my husband. "It's necessary, so it's fine." "We survived, so it's fine."

 

I'd be like, "we survived, but it was hell on earth and I'd never do it again."

 

But I don't find screaming babies in a car easy. I'd rather have another 40 hour labor than listen to a baby cry for hours on end in a car. I cannot handle that. They turn all red and can barely breathe and start panting and...ugh, my heart rate is literally skyrocketing as I type this, just thinking about it. No way I could do that for hours a day every day for a week or whatever. 

 

I'd walk first, lol. 

 

Train travel is great with a baby though, other than again the issue of healing perineum. But at least you can get up and pace and hold the baby and nurse them. Planes too, no issue there. It's the screaming in the car seat thing I can't handle. 

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I also don't like to listen to babies crying.  I haven't had a baby with colic or anything else that can't be soothed in less than 2 minutes (and 99% of the time I get to them before it becomes crying, so there is very little crying).  I would have a hard time ignoring a crying baby for hours.

 

Train travel is great.  I used to love trains.

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I also don't like to listen to babies crying.  I haven't had a baby with colic or anything else that can't be soothed in less than 2 minutes (and 99% of the time I get to them before it becomes crying, so there is very little crying).  I would have a hard time ignoring a crying baby for hours.

 

Train travel is great.  I used to love trains.

 

But the OP said they weren't just going to be letting the baby cry. I mean, with a car you can pull off the road, usually within 10 minutes, if not sooner if it's a real emergency.

 

In a train you're stuck with crying kid and no way to get off for a loong time.

 

In a plane you might not even be able to get up with them, although that is shorter, it's still hours.

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I haven't had a baby who can't be soothed with anything you can do on a train or a plane (that is to say, nursing, rocking, walking).  I have had babies who require constant holding for hours in order not to cry, which you can do on a plane or train but not in a car.

 

If the baby is happy in a car seat and sleeps most of the time, that works well for a car trip.  If it's the must be held kind of baby, or the kind that prefers upright/tilted forward to tilted back positioning, car trips would be either constant crying or constant carrying around at rest stops.

 

I dunno, I wouldn't take the chance.  Sounds unnecessarily unpleasant, if you have any other option.

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But the OP said they weren't just going to be letting the baby cry. I mean, with a car you can pull off the road, usually within 10 minutes, if not sooner if it's a real emergency.

 

In a train you're stuck with crying kid and no way to get off for a loong time.

 

In a plane you might not even be able to get up with them, although that is shorter, it's still hours.

 

Yes, but in my experience with 4 car hating babies (actually, with number 4 IF I time it right she'll now sleep...but if she's not sleepy she still screams herself hoarse), you pull over. You feed them. you change them. You get back on the road and they just start screaming again. I mean, at some point, you have to drive or you'll never get there. They are aiming for 8 hours a day. 

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I haven't had a baby who can't be soothed with anything you can do on a train or a plane (that is to say, nursing, rocking, walking).  I have had babies who require constant holding for hours in order not to cry, which you can do on a plane or train but not in a car.

 

If the baby is happy in a car seat and sleeps most of the time, that works well for a car trip.  If it's the must be held kind of baby, or the kind that prefers upright/tilted forward to tilted back positioning, car trips would be either constant crying or constant carrying around at rest stops.

 

I dunno, I wouldn't take the chance.  Sounds unnecessarily unpleasant, if you have any other option.

 

Exactly. Most of the time pacing or the colic hold (on their belly on your arm) or bouncing/swaying/etc will calm them. Or nursing almost always will. I spend MANY hours straight nursing. How do you do that in a car or a rest stop? And of course you can't while on the road. 

 

It might be just fine. But it might be hell on earth. Or totally impossible. And there is no way to predict that. 

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Exactly. Most of the time pacing or the colic hold (on their belly on your arm) or bouncing/swaying/etc will calm them. Or nursing almost always will. I spend MANY hours straight nursing. How do you do that in a car or a rest stop? And of course you can't while on the road. 

 

It might be just fine. But it might be hell on earth. Or totally impossible. And there is no way to predict that. 

 

Well, right, but it sounded like the OP had a plan to deal with it if baby or mom was miserable.

 

IME, my toddlers were much worse travelers than my infants, but even then I can only remember one truly horrific day out of probably 30 total days worth of road tripping in my kids' lives going to coast-to-coast and back again multiple times.

 

(if you can't tell, our cross-country road trips have been some of the highlights of military life for me and for my kiddos, even when we had babies, so I'm biased, but we also didn't have a choice.  Spending a grand to ship a car and buy plane tickets was just never an option)

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One of my kids would have been fine doing this at that age. However, my other child HATED the car from birth.  Drives to the grocery store were not fun.  Going more than 5 minutes in the car was a blood curdling screaming event.  We had to make trip 18 hours away and then we flew for 2 years.  

 

Besides the facts the others here have stated, the hotel situation with the dogs could be harder than you think.  We travel with our dogs sometimes and some hotels have some special unadvertised rules.  Some of the rules are combined weight of dogs not being more than 25-30 lbs, one five rooms are pet friendly and those are taken, etc.  You might really need to plan it out more than you think.

Edited by itsheresomewhere

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When DS3 was a week old, we drove from Jacksonville, Florida to Albany, NY.  It actually went quite well.

 

When DD was a few weeks old, I drove from Brooklyn, NY to Detroit, MI.  It went well too.  

 

Both times, I would stop every two hours or so to nurse...so it did add to the length of the trip.  But then again, I had other kids who needed to stretch legs or use the bathroom or what not.

 

When DS1 was about a year, we did a three week road trip from Michigan to Maine with my Mom....rambling, stopping at various places, etc.  It was a lot of fun.  

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I did a 10 hour trip with my first when he was tiny. It was super easy. I did a 10 hour trip when my third was tiny and it was the worst trip ever. She hated the car. Like a pp, I had a kid who could barely handle 5 minutes to the grocery store. She was inconsolable in the car seat. Never in her life was I able to do anything that made it better for her. She cried until she was out of the seat. There was no calming her down and putting her back, because she would just cry again. She outgrew it eventually.

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Why don’t you (and a friend/family member) fly to WA and drive the car and the dogs back south? Let your daughter and baby fly to GA or LA or wherever?

 

This is something I'm considering, although dd really doesn't really want to do the flight alone. I think she's just feeling like there will be strength in numbers, and we will make it through. I know she feels more comfortable with the idea that I'll be with her, so somehow it'll work out. If I could get TWO people to fly up and drive back so I could fly with her, that might work.

 

I'm trying to work on some backup plans, and have already decided that if day 1 is horrible, I'll put her on a plane from wherever we stop that first night. I am not really that inclined to drive back alone, so I hate to plan on that, even though I know I probably COULD.

 

I honestly think that, even though the flight would be done and over with WAY more quickly, consoling a baby on a plane COULD be more difficult. You don't really have room, sometimes you're confined to a seat no matter what, you are definitely cramped if you're between other passengers, etc. Being a new nursing mom will also be awkward with strangers on either side, since you can't always be discreet in the beginning. In addition, the stress of a crying baby that is disturbing everyone isn't pleasant either. I remember the looks we got when traveling from Hawaii with my oldest dgs. He never made a peep the whole trip, but when we walked into first class (airline bumped us to first class so we could sit together), the people looked at us with disdain.

Edited by StaceyinLA
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