Lifestyle, Parenting

Having a bad traveller has knocked my driving confidence for six

Oscar is just over six months old now and has only recently started to not scream in the car. From the moment he was a newborn up until he was about five and a half months, he despised being put into his car seat and despised it even more when said car seat was then fixed into the car. Everything was about perfect timing with him. He had to be fed and he had to be sleepy. We had to guarantee that he would fall asleep in the car in order to go anywhere because if he didn't, there would be hell to pay. 

The biggest problem we had, was that he had that period of time where he had a really awful cough and any sort of crying meant he would just end up choking because of it. I couldn't leave him to cry at home (not that I wanted too but I am certain it's the reason he is a super clingy baby), I couldn't leave him to cry for food – I basically had to attend to his needs immediately to avert any coughing episode. This however was not possible in the car. If he was crying with unhappiness, he would then start coughing, cry more because of the coughing and it was a whole cycle over and over again. As the driver of the car, every journey was agonising. He wouldn't always scream, but I never knew when he was going to and so I found myself constantly on edge and wanting to get to wherever I was going as quickly as possible.

He always seemed to know when the car had stopped moving. We would have tears at traffic lights and I couldn't just wait outside a shop while the other half popped in, I had to drive round and round the car park and once even that didn't work and he just screamed until we got home. We once went to a shopping centre for the day and even though we thought we had timed everything perfectly for the journey home (he was fed and he was sleepy), we were wrong and instead he screamed for half an hour down the M25, only stopping when we took him out of the car and indoors. 

On another occasion, we were on the way back from the nursery run and stuck in traffic as there were roadworks leading down to our road. He woke up (of course) and was instantly unhappy. The only way to settle him when he gets into a state is with the boob and so I turned around, drove back up to the mini roundabout, turned into the road that the library is on, and went in there to feed him! 

What all of this has done, is make me a really nervous driver. I have never had a problem with driving, I have always quite enjoyed it, but now? Now it's just this constant worry. Being permenantly on edge as to whether he is going to have a meltdown, if he is going to wake up unhappy. Or that I am going to get stuck in traffic and then what?! 

I now avoid main roads. You will find me driving the slower route, going round the houses in order to keep that car moving and my child happy. The route to nursery can be taken via a large dual carriageway. It is faster and more direct but you know what? I cannot easily get off of that road if there happens to be a traffic jam and so I just stear clear of it, driving up the high street instead. Because the high street has roads coming off of it. It has places that I can pull over and stop if he is having a meltdown.

I now avoid motorways entirely if I can. I recently went to visit a friend who lives about 40 minutes away. I could have gone on the M25 but instead I drove through the country roads because I knew that if I got stuck in traffic I could simply turn the car around – something you just can't do on a motorway. And boy was I glad that I did as the other friends going who did take the M25 got stuck in traffic. 

The lovely Hannah from Budding Smiles recently put up a photo of her being stuck in traffic with her two littlies in the back. She'd been stuck for about an hour and was nowhere near home. The thought of it made my blood run cold! As did the picture my friend put up of her stuck on the M25 in gridlock! It is my absolute worst nightmare to drive into anythiing resembling this!


I thought I was alone in this, I even had the odd comment from my mum and the other half about how I was suddenly so nervous about it all. And they both soon realised why I was like it when they experienced a journey full of screaming! I discovered on Monday though, that I am not alone, as I was talking to a fellow new second time mum at gymnastics and she was saying that her daughter suddenly hates the car and it too has made her a really nervous driver. It was so refreshing to hear that someone else was dealing with the exact same thing and that's why I had to write this post because there are bound to be others out there who have this problem and by writing about it, they now know they are not the only ones! 

As I said at the beginning, Oscar is getting better in the car. We have a lot less meltdowns, it tends to be that I don't need to time everything quite as much as I did before and he'll happily stay awake for a period of time before he nods off. He even happily sits in his car seat at home while we are putting our shoes and coats on. Not every time, but more often than not. We have discovered one of the key ingredients is his Lamaze Pirate Pete toy. The one time we recently forgot it, he had a meltdown and we realised we can never ever leave the house without it! 

In July, we are going on holiday to Bournemouth. It's a two hour drive without traffic and is all on motorways. To say that right now I am dreading that journey is an understatement. But we have four months for things to improve even more and so I am hoping that it won't be anywhere near as bad as I am thinking it might be. And hey, if he still doesn't like the car journeys by then, we'll take him swimming beforehand – he napped for two hours after we went a couple of weeks ago! And I'll just be praying that there's no traffic hold ups! 

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  • Reply Hannah Budding Smiles

    Toby was absolutely horrific in the car as a baby so I can feel your pain. I hope your journey to Bournemouth is okay, we were amazed when we went to Wales (7 hours with stops) with Toby st 6.5 months and he was amazing!xx

    March 23, 2017 at 9:36 pm
  • Reply RachelSwirl

    Oh god you poor thing, for us we had a nightmare with travel sickness. Our little lady was sick constantly and we could barely get out of town before she'd covered the car in puke. I feel your pain but heres a little bit of hope for you – it has got better over the years x

    March 26, 2017 at 12:19 am
  • Reply Helen Reynolds

    I had a couple of babies who only would not cry if we would sing to them at the top of our lungs!  Just silly songs that we made up on the fly worked best, ha ha!  Now that they are adults, we get our revenge by singing them to them again randomly.  Good luck!

    March 28, 2017 at 6:08 am
  • Reply Frances Thompson

    Oh gosh, I really feel for you. My first was a total nightmare in the car. I would actively avoid journeys that were longer than half an hour and  like you, would plan them around certain times of day. 

    Now she's a dream in the car so I hope this will happen with your little one before you know it. 

    Sending major traffic-avoidance thoughts to you #twinklytuesday

    March 28, 2017 at 7:29 am
  • Reply Karen - The Allergy Mum

    There are few things more stressful. If it's any consolation, my little boy is so much better in the car now than he was a year ago. I think they do get used to it. Sending you positive vibes! 



    March 28, 2017 at 8:03 am
  • Reply Briony

    Oh you poor thing. My friend's little boy is a horror in the car, she recently took him 5 hours to visit family and had sworn to never leave the county again. I'm lucky L is generally great in the car #TwinklyTuesday

    March 28, 2017 at 8:15 am
  • Reply Lisa

    We havent really triveled with any of my two yet!! I think H will just sleep all the way. Not sure about C though lol

    Great post




    March 28, 2017 at 9:09 am
  • Reply Kiri

    Oh no that sounds awful. If you are all going on holiday could one of you maybe sit in the back with him? Luckily my two have always been quite good at travelling but thet have had their moments – it is hard when your baby is screaming in the back and you just can't do anything about it. Good luck – hopefully he will grow out of it soon! #TwinklyTuesday 

    March 28, 2017 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Kiri

    Oh no that sounds awful. If you are all going on holiday could one of you maybe sit in the back with him? Luckily my two have always been quite good at travelling but thet have had their moments – it is hard when your baby is screaming in the back and you just can't do anything about it. Good luck – hopefully he will grow out of it soon! #TwinklyTuesday 

    March 28, 2017 at 9:44 am
  • Reply MomOfTwoLittleGirls

    That sounds awful. I am very lucky, my girls have always been so good in the car. Hopefully your Bournemouth trip won't be too bad. 


    March 28, 2017 at 9:52 am
  • Reply Tubbs

    That sounds horrible – really stresstful.  (As if driving on the M25 wasn't fun enough, driving on the M25 with someone screaming at the top of their lungs … Yeuk).  Hope you find a solution soon.  

    March 28, 2017 at 10:09 am
  • Reply Petite Words

    Oh gosh I can imagine the stress! It won't be forever, I'm sure he will adjust, maybe he just needs tome to get used to the motion of it. Bournemouth sounds exciting, don't let this stress you out (:  #twinklytuesday

    March 28, 2017 at 10:13 am
  • Reply All about a Mummy

    We have a cougher so i know exactly how you feel when they start coughing in the car. The number of times my youngest is sick because of coughing is countless! On the plus side they do grow out of it – I promise! #twinklytuesday

    All about a Mummy recently posted…Can Owning a Pet Enhance Family Life?My Profile

    March 28, 2017 at 11:38 am
  • Reply Annie Willmot

    My little one was never quite as bad but he used to scream and not settle again easily if we slowed at traffic lights. I would change a journey so as to have the least red lights and traffic possible! We were living in London at the time so it was a bit of a nightmare. 

    It does get better and he now tolerates the car and sits and 'reads' in the back and shouts "go go!" at green lights! 


    March 28, 2017 at 11:44 am
  • Reply five little doves

    I completely relate to this! Mine are all terrible travellers, even now and my eldest is 13!! Last year it took us 21 hours to get to our holiday destination after a breakdown and a detour, and I swore we would never do long distances again! We've just booked to go away again this year, and it's a predicted 6 hour drive! Im hoping someone has some amazing tips for travelling with children – I have none! #twinklytuesday

    March 28, 2017 at 11:50 am
  • Reply kristin mccarthy

    This is one thing my kids were all really great at.  Thank goodness.  I can imagine that trying to drive on busy roads or not knowing exactly where you are going with screaming babies would be a nightmare.



    March 28, 2017 at 12:39 pm
  • Reply Nichole Goodland

    Oh no, touch wood mine have not been that bad. Bless you. I do however avoid motorways such as the M25 because it is just an awful road to be stuck on, plus I quite like the scenery of the countryside route. 🙂 x


    March 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm
  • Reply Chloe

    Oh no poor you. I hope that the journey to Bournemouth goes well. Oh and it's always best to avoid the delightful M25 as it's rare not to get stuck in a queue #TwinklyTuesday

    March 28, 2017 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply Helen

    It's so good that travelling is eventually not such a nightmare – I can't imagine what it must have been like! My daughter wasn't too bad at travelling (she didn't sleep for over a year, so you win some you lose some) but on the odd occassion she did cry it was stress me out so much. I'm a nervous driver at the best of times! #TwinklyTuesday


    Helen x

    March 28, 2017 at 1:54 pm
  • Reply Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    I feel for you hon, Monkey was a nightmare as a baby and I was terrified of long journeys with him. He improved with age thankfully then LM came along. Though she wasn't as bad as Monkey it was still all about the timing and naps when we were in the car. We once drove 2 hours home from friends where she screamed the entire way, it was pouring with rain and the traffic was miserable and it was such a horrible journey. It is good to share this stuff as I felt like I was the only one who worried about it! Xcx

    March 28, 2017 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply Paula from Her Life Is Love

    One of my worst fears.  I remember around that age, they tend to hate the car rides for some reason.  I had pulled over one time just to check if my daughter was hungry (breastfed baby) and what-not…but it was probably just having to be strapped in the car seat that she hated.  But, no other way to move the car so…thankfully that stage has passed and she knows now.  #TwinklyTuesday

    March 28, 2017 at 5:46 pm
  • Reply Barrie Bismark

    Nothing worse than screaming kids from the backseat! My daughter is still bad and she is three! 


    March 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm
  • Reply Collette | Family life and me

    Oh gosh, I really feel for you. That must make your journeys so stressful. Hopefully he might grow out it! I hope the trip to bournemouth goes OK xxx #twinklytuesday

    March 28, 2017 at 7:17 pm
  • Reply Sarah Howe

    Oh this must be awful hun and so glad it is getting better! My problem wouldn't get getting nervous – it would be losing my shit. I hate the crying so much and have lost it in the past with the grem (she was older). I have always regretted it so luckily my baby girl likes the car!! I bet you will get your confidence back in time xx Thanks for hosting x

    March 28, 2017 at 9:05 pm
  • Reply ohmummymia

    Our son wasn;t best in a car but now he is a little bit better I hpe he will improve because we're planning to go to cornwall on september:)


    March 28, 2017 at 9:55 pm
  • Reply Sinead (

    Oh no. That's very hard. I have a friend who's little one is the same and it's so difficult. Let's hope it will pass quickly. #TwinklyTuesday 

    March 28, 2017 at 10:02 pm
  • Reply Laura

    That sounds awful! My friend's son was the EXACT same but grew out of it by about 6 months thank goodness – fingers crossed it will be the same for Oscar.

    Best of luck for the trip to Bournemouth!


    March 28, 2017 at 11:03 pm
  • Reply Jaki

    Oh how awful. I am so lucky that Little Man has always loved the car. Even when I was in labour – my contractions stopped on the way to the hospital. Because I used to drive so much when I was pregnant, I'm sure the car journey relaxed him! He's always slept well in the car too. I hope you regain your confidence soon. #TwinklyTuesday

    Jaki recently posted…When The House Awakes After The WinterMy Profile

    March 28, 2017 at 11:21 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Oh dear! Poor you! My little girl used to suffer with travel sickness really bad too xx

    March 29, 2017 at 1:26 am
  • Reply Louise Rodgers

    Ahhhj! I really feel for you. My son was terrible. It took ages to get anywhere because I would have to keep stopping & breastfeeding just to settle him when travelling. He would scream and scream and scream. I've been lucky with my daughter (now 5 months) as she techs to just sleep, but by god did I struggle with Oliver! 

    March 30, 2017 at 11:26 am
  • Reply jeremy@thirstydaddy

    sounds terrible. When mine was little, she was fine as long as the car was moving. Any stoplight we hit she would start screaming. Hope he feels better soon #twinklytuesday

    March 30, 2017 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply Rice Cakes and Raisins

    oh love that sounds so stressful. Hold on to the knowledge that this stage will pass in time xx 



    March 30, 2017 at 5:31 pm
  • Reply Tracey Abrahams

    Gosh I can see why youre an anxious driver and worried about Bournemouth. But 4 months is a long time in baby terms, and it sounds like you are making progress so hopefully it will be fine xx #twinklytuesday 

    Tracey Abrahams recently posted…Review – Swindon Steam Museum’s SteamPUNK SpectacularMy Profile

    March 31, 2017 at 7:42 am
  • Reply Mrs Mummy Harris

    Ben is brilliant in the car until traffic hits. Even stopping at a roundabout sets him off! Unless we play Little Mix on repeat!

    Its so good that Oscar is getting better! Things we do for our kids eh?! #TwinklyTuesday

    April 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm
  • Reply Susie at This Is Me Now

    Oh that must be so stressful! My daughter was always ok in the car unless when she was little she needed feeding. I remmeber being stuck in traffic and having to pull over into a Toys R Us car park and sit and feed her in the car! We had to do 3+ hour journeys to my parents since she was a newborn so I think she's just got used to fairly long journeys. That sad I'm driving there solo next week and I am still nervous in case she kicks off and i'm on my own. I've done it once before and she was ok, so fingers crossed! xx #TwinklyTuesday

    April 2, 2017 at 2:48 pm
  • Reply Mrs H

    Oh honey this sounds awful. Poor Oscar. And poor you. I can drive but I don't drive because it plays havoc with my anxiety. A good drive can bring on a panic attack and a bad drive can leave me sobbing for hours.  And that is without having to deal with a baby screaming at me or demanding food. I have so much respect for you for still getting in that car and going on journeys. I don't think I would have been so brave. Hugs Lucy xxxx

    Mrs H recently posted…A letter to my childrenMy Profile

    April 2, 2017 at 7:49 pm
  • Reply Mummy and the Mexicans

    This sounds so stressful, I don't think I would be able to handle it. I don't drive at the moment (need to re-learn) and the idea of driving makes me very nervous. I wouldnt be able to do it with a screaming baby too!  Sorry for late commenting this week for #TwinklyTuesday

    April 5, 2017 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Crummy Mummy

    I haven't heard of babies having reactions like this before! Mine have always had reactions like this in supermarkets – I blame the lights and the angle of the trolley seats! #twinklytuesday

    April 9, 2017 at 5:59 pm
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