questionsshould i travel with a 3 week old in july?


Are you very brave? Able to live without sleep and leap tall building and fly faster than a speeding bullet? Are your capacity for patience and empathy infinite?

Will everyone be healthy and as rested as circumstances permit? Is the probabilty of glitches such as unreliable autos, roads, weather, and relatives minimal? Best of luck...


AS one that has done a similar trip, SC to MO with a 3-4 week old, I have to advise you of the impending [edit]happy fun time of wonderful memories[/edit].

No really.

It took about eight hours longer on travel time, also factor in travel time increase for your recovering wife. Take it slow, advise the mom to ride next to the child in the back with EVERYTHING possible at your fingertips.


If you and your wife are both licensed drivers, it shouldn't be too bad. My wife and I ended up making an unscheduled 1,000 mile drive with our son when he was ~4 months old (I know you said 3 weeks but it is the closest we came). It really went fine as long as we kept our expectations realistic.

I'd say plan on making frequent stops as your child will likely get stir crazy from lack of activity. If you can figure out your child's schedule and try to do most of your driving during their nap times, that might help.

And I would very much not recommend attempting to change a diaper in a car. Even a gas station rest room is better - especially for the more liquified products of a very young child.


@lparsons42: On that one I have to disagree. I can't recall ever seeing a gas station restroom I'd take an infant into. uGH! On the other hand, I had no problem at all changing my son's diapers, whether merely wet or seriously poopy, on the front seat of the car. I lay down a piece of old shower curtain (this was before the days of puppy/baby pads and prepackaged baby wipes!), put a lightweight blanket on top of that, then my son on top of the blanket. Boy baby, so I learned very quickly -- after my first wet face -- to lay a clean diaper or cloth napkin over him while i removed the soiled diaper, cleaned him up, and slipped on the new diaper. After the first couple of times, we had the routine down to 4-5 minutes tops. I usually did this standing alongside the car, which let the open door protect us from passersby and breezes, but I'm sure it could easily be done while sitting in the back seat.


I'm not going to read the lengthy posts above.


I say that because you have no idea what personality your kid will have, even at a month old. My daughter (8 months) hates traveling. We drive late at night or really early so she sleeps the whole time. Even then, we don't do it unless we really, really want to go wherever it is we're going.


FWIW, I've heard that traveling is easier with newborns than slightly older infants.

My parents did something similar to what you're talking about and I really treasure the pictures of me with my extended family when I was about a month old. I think the car trip was hard on them, but they loved introducing to me to everyone. Now that so many of those people are gone, I'm so appreciative that my parents went to that reunion.


As long as everyone is healthy, I say go for it, just allow for more time. We traveled from Florida to West Virginia to see my ex's family soon after our daughter was born. Newborns sleep a lot, and I was breastfeeding, so it was it was no trouble at all.


Too many factors to consider here with a three to four week old. I'll leave with a line from one of my favorit movies to sum up my initial reaction to this question.

The horror...the horror...


I have to agree with @kylemittskus you never know what kind of kiddo you are going to get. With my first kid, I traveled cross country with him at 6 weeks. It was, um...stressful. The USO however gets money from me every year because of that trip. With my second kid, I would have driven cross country with her at a week old. She was a great car baby. My advice is to give a cautious yes and let the family know that you may have to bail at the last minute.


I'm going to go in the "are you really sure you have to do this?" Look, that is during the height of summer. In the West. It is going to be hot as hell, and it is a long drive to there and back. Your wife is only going to be a few weeks post partum, and probably not feeling her best. You are both going to be sleep deprived.

This, of course, assumes that everything has gone as well as it could have.

At best, this is going to be very stressful on you and your wife. At worse, well, lots of bad things can easily happen (I'm thinking all the fun you will have with a newborn in one of the EDs in San Diego. Fun for the whole family!!").


Possibly useful info you decide to take this trip: Quiktrips seem to have fairly decent restrooms, and baby facilities in the women's room. Don't know if that's nationwide.

Surely there are some fast-food chains that usually maintain some cleanliness standards - I just don't know which chains. Ask your friends who are parents of youngsters which are more likely to have decent restrooms.


I can't imagine your wife would feel like a long road trip while she's recovering and taking care of a newborn. The logistics of bringing all the stuff you need would be hard enough. I was stupid enough to take my month-old daughter to the State Fair of Texas. She was in her nice stroller, and I figured we'd just check out some exhibits and stay indoors. She was so miserable, therefore I was miserable. We ended up going home as quickly as possible. The crowds and noise were too much, even though I was doing my best to protect her. My advice? Send pictures to the reunion.


I wouldn't be so afraid of the trip as much as I would not want my brand new three week old baby exposed to the germs that he/she will come in contact with at a family reunion. Every Tom, Uncle Dick, Cousin Harry, Mildred, Great Aunt Flo, little Bobby, baby Susie, etc will all be in the face of your newborn.

No way. Guaranteed "newborn with a cold" when you get back from your trip.
Newborn with a cold is worse than any 8 hour car ride with a baby.


I am sure you are all dying to know what I decided to do about the trip...

Well, my daughter came a week and a half before what we expected so by the time we went on the trip she was 4 1/2 weeks old. We decided to go ahead with the trip. Our baby girl was a champ!!! The drive actually ended up taking about 12 hours and she only fussed for about 15 minutes of the whole trip. She did amazingly well the whole week and on the drive back my wife's brother got in an accident and the our carpool was delayed about 4 extra hours making it take 16 hours to get home. She fussed for about 30 minutes total on the ride home, but slept the rest of it. My wife was able to pump in the car and so when we stopped we were able to bottle feed her and burp her and get back on the road quickly.

Thanks for all of your input and suggestions. It turned out to be a pretty good trip for us as a new family!