Travelling with a baby in the car

I'm just wondering if anyone has done any long car journeys with newborns and if so, how did you find it? We've been asked to go to France next year on a family holiday in July, baby will be about 4 months old, we'd like to drive down but I'm wondering how often we'd need to stop as I'm a bit worried about leaving the baby in a car seat for so long - any advice? The only stuff I seem to be able to see is that you shouldn't leave them in them for more than 2 hours. 


  • If you're going to be doing a long journey, it is probably best to make stops every couple of hours.  Bear in mind that baby at 4 months will probably be needing fed quite frequently anyway, so you can always tie it in with that!

  • You should stop every 2-3 hours for a break from the car seat. If we went to Glasgow 3 hours away we'd stop twice as they'd usually need feeding anyway.

  • Yeah, I'd assumed the baby would still be feeding pretty frequently at that point. How long would you stop for - half an hour or so?

  • H's mum lives 500 miles away and with both girls we've driven down to visit quite early on - I think R was about 4-5 wks and O slightly older, maybe 10 weeks.

    We left after they fed in the middle of the night - usually about 4 or 5 am, so they slept for a chunk and then stopped 2-3 hrs later for the next feed and breakfast etc, we probably stopped for 30-45 mins each time.  Both of mine were FF though so their feeds were more predictable, it could be different if you're BFing.

    It's far easier doing journeys like that when they're so tiny though, we went down in the summer with a 4 &2 year old and I found it so stressful! Told H we were never visiting his family again!

  • Haha yes, SIL has a 4 year old and I wouldn't want to do the journey with him! Am hoping we get a good sleeper and they can sleep most of the time. Setting off in the middle of the night is a good idea too, will pass that on to H.

  • I'm sure I read somewhere that they should he out of the car seat for half an hour after two hours of travelling.  We did what others have suggested (on a 5 hour journey from Fife to Leeds) and left after the 5am feed, then stopped for breakfast about 7 (probably stopped for about 40 minutes), then stoped again about ten for another feed and walk round.

  • We did Leeds, 6 hours with breaks, (10 weeks old) and it did work out about 30 mins out and about for every couple of hours. One break she just slept on me while I ate in the services but she had a nice stretch. I hate car seats. Just struggle to see how they can be any good for my bubba! Apart from safety reasons obviously :)

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