We had the absolute pleasure of attending my Brother in Law’s wedding at the end of December up in Scotland, 295 miles away from our home in Surrey. We had previously visited my brother in law and his fiance before Amelia was born and it took us around 9 hours to drive with one stop for lunch. Obviously travelling with Amelia who was 4 months would need to be a little different with more stops to get her out of the car seat, change her nappy and feed her. Steve and I had estimated around 12 hours including our stops and we were both were quite worried on how she would deal with being in the car for so long.
We decided to set off early morning a couple of days before the wedding to give ourselves enough time to travel with as many stops as we wanted as well as the option to be able to stop overnight somewhere if we needed to. I armed myself with every single toy possible to keep Amelia entertained.
I have to admit all that worrying was for nothing as Amelia did so much better than we could have hoped for. We aimed to stop every 2 hours to be able to get her out of the car seat, change and feed her as well playing with her for a bit.
This was Amelia about halfway through our journey.. looking pretty chipper here!
Now there a couple of things that I have noticed about service stations now I have become a mother:
- There are very little (or none at some service stops) parent and child bays. Now normally this wouldn’t necessarily be an issue but I have also noticed that the parking spaces are a bit smaller than your average space which meant getting Amelia in and out of the car was a little tricky.
- Changing facilities are shared with disabled facilities and there is usually only one in each service station which resulted in them being quite busy.
Our last stop before we reached Dumfries was at Tebay Services on the M6, one of the nicest service stations on the motorway I have ever been to. Now I know what you are probably thinking whilst reading this, ‘Motorway service stations’ and ‘nice’ are two words that do not going together. However in this case they really do! Think of your local garden centre with some lovely homemade food available, a farm shop selling local produce and beautiful views. Now imagine that on the side of the M6 travelling north. The services also include showering facilities and 2 family rooms which include toilets and changing facilities which were very clean.
The family room made changing Amelia stress free. The room was clean and had the toilet in the same room as the changing facilities so us mum’s can actually go for a wee without having to worry about where to put our little ones. There is a chair to be able to strap your child in while you go to the toilet as well as a smaller/lower toilet and sink for children who are potty trained.
We arrived to our cottage after a total of 11 hours travelling with around 4 stops. Amelia was fantastic and slept for a lot of the journey and only got grouchy for the last hour. It was tiring day for mummy and daddy but all in all so much better than I had thought it would be.
The wedding was a gorgeous winter wonderland surrounded by snow. It was such a perfect day and it was so lovely to formally welcome another sister to the family 🙂
The days that followed the wedding were just as perfect spending lots of time as a family. Steve’s family are based all over the UK in Wales, Scotland, London and Surrey so it is very rare now that we are altogether in one room let alone having his grandparents there too.
Whilst we were away it was also New Years Eve but unfortunately as we were getting ready to go out to a little New Years Eve party that Abby’s family were hosting Amelia became extremely unsettled and in pain. Dress off, hair back, make up off and lots of snuggles for my little girl. The New Year rang in surrounded by my favourites.
As the week drew to a close the worry about the drive home set in again – would Amelia be okay in the car again? what would we do if the journey took longer due to traffic/accidents?
We decided to leave mid morning this time and we were extremely lucky again with a good journey and a patient Amelia.
Amelia has been diagnosed with a Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy and as I am breastfeeding this means I also have to be dairy and soya free for as long as I am feeding her. Service Stations are not that friendly for those that suffer with allergies and I have experienced this before being Gluten Free after I was diagnosed with an intolerance. Trying to find something to accommodate my gluten intolerance and Amelia’s Cow’s Milk and Soya allergy was difficult but I was extremely excited/impressed to find Leon in Norton Canes Service Station that clearly stated its allergens AND also had something that I could eat!
9 hours, 295 miles and 2 stops we were home.