What to Do About Parents Visiting

Rachel: Oh we did, but my mom got us the greatest gift of all.
Ross: (excited) A Play-Dough Barber Shop?
Rachel: No. She’s going to live with us for eight weeks.
Ross: Uh, what?
Rachel: Yes! She’s gonna help us take care of the baby! Woo-hoo. (Sees that Ross isn’t happy.)
Ross: What—You’re not serious. I mean she’s a very nice woman, but there is no way we can take eight weeks of her. She’ll drive us totally crazy. -Friends

With the much anticipated arrival of our little one, the subject of my parents visiting has come up. Now, as some of you may recall, our last visit was a bit rough, especially towards the end. My parents are not the best travels, and don’t do well on long trips. A week was just too long for them, and combined with all the work they did, it was no wonder we were all tired and cranky by the end of the visit.

I’d really like to avoid a repeat of that experience, and so I’m not sure what to do. Of course I want my parents to meet their grandson, and I know they are so excited about it. But they’re also struggling a bit financially, and they’re not sure if they can take off work to make the trip. So I’ve been toying with the idea of us coming to them, with a newborn.

Is it crazy? Maybe. Or it might be pretty great as well. I’ve been researching hotel offers that are along the drive, so we could split it up into two days. That’s only about 4 hours in the car each day. The other option is to meet them in Medford, which is only a 2 hour drive, and a 6 hour drive for us. We have family there they could stay with, and Match, Piglet, Monkey and I can check into a hotel. I like the idea of being on neutral ground, where my mom wouldn’t be hovering too much. If she comes here, she will try to help, but in doing so she sometimes makes things worse. Like when they were here, and she tried to vacuum, and nearly broke our expensive Dyson, and insisted it was the vacuum’s fault! Also, with the other family members there, they might act as a buffer and help reign her in when she gets too controlling over the baby.

I know it’s going to be challenging no matter what we decide. The relationship between mother and daughter is a complicated one, and even more so when it comes to babies. My mom thinks that she knows everything, and doesn’t believe some of the new advice from doctors, like how babies should only sleep on their backs (she says stomach, EEK!) and argued with me that babies should be fed water when they’re newborns. Lord give me strength! So I’m hoping we can work something out with Match’s schedule, and maybe make the trip to Oregon. It might be a great break for us to get away from the heat down here, and from what I hear, newborns are pretty easy to travel with, easier than toddlers anyhow.

What are your thoughts my lovely been there done that moms? Have you traveled with a newborn before?



    It sort of depends on the baby. Some are fabulous in the car, others not so much. Turbo traveled very well. Bruiser less so. Don’t make firm plans yet, just sort of go with the flow until you find out how Piglet will do in the car.
    As for overbearing moms, well neutral ground and a place to retreat when the baby gets cranky might be the best solution.


    so. i’m obviously not a parent… but i’m a firm believer in taking the child out immediately. i have friends that sheltered and the kids get sick all the time. the kids are bad in the car. and then i have friends that immediately took the kids out. they are hardly sick and are not horrible in the car. i mean yeah, it does depend on the kid, but i think if you start with it then they won’t know any better. but again… i’m not a parent so i don’t know how sound my advice is… i can only go by what friends have done and what i intend to do one day 🙂


    The earlier you get him used to car rides, the better. I agree, that neutral grounds are better. That’s about the only way we see my husband’s parents. Long story…

    Stand up for yourself and your parenting sooner rather than later.

    Meghan Furst

    I remember my parents bugging me that the baby needed to be given water too. Lol. Luckily they were far away & never interfered. As for “putting a baby on their back” – that doesn’t make sense to me, if they spit up – won’t they choke on their spit up?

    I took my babies everywhere – from the time they were one day’s old. They never got sick & we were constantly on the go. They were fine & totally loved riding in the car. I say to go meet your parents at their house, because they don’t like to travel.

    Plus, when the kiddo gets older; you can tell them stories about how they went to ….. when they were just a newborn.


    I’m with Phoebe. I think it’s a good idea to get the child acclimated to road trips early (and to get out as soon as is possible). Like she says, I have friends too who sheltered their kids and wouldn’t allow them to go out for months, and they literally are in and out of doctor’s offices (maybe because they have helicopter moms?!) In any event, it sounds like meeting on neutral ground will be the safest, sanest way for you to go about this 🙂


    We took Brian to Florida when he was 10 days old. The most challenging thing was stopping to breastfeed every couple of hours. At that time he was still eating pretty often, but (as you and I already talked about!) I was having major breastfeeding problems so you probably won’t have a problem there! Also WV to FL is like 13 hours, so you can imagine it was rough. But your trip sounds totally doable. I bet he sleeps most of the time. If I hadn’t been so scared of formula at the time it would have totally saved me. Mine sleeps so much longer on formula. I can’t wait to see pics of your little one.
    Oh, and BTW, make sure you call the hotel ahead and tell them to put a crib in your room!
    1 more thing (really this time!) the hotel cribs mattresses are, like, almost on the ground, which means you have to almost fall head first into the crib to pick up your little one. In hindsight, I should have just taken our pack and play to the hotel.

    ok. I *think* I’m finished writing this crazy long comment now.,

Your comments make my day!