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5 Tips for Travelling On A Train With A Toddler

Planning on travelling by train with your toddler? Here are my top 5 Tips for Travelling On A Train With A Toddler to keep you sane!

I don't like public transport, ever since I passed my driving test some 4 years ago I try and avoid public transport at all costs! The crowded buses and trains, having to queue, and sweaty men, just doesn't cut it for me...especially not with a baby! I actually can't remember the last time I got on the train or bus as I am too lazy and drive everywhere and find it  much easier especially with the pram.

Having recently travelled to London on a four hour train ride with Amelia, I thought it would be interesting to share some tips with you all. Hopefully this will come in handy if you are planning on taking a long train journey or travelling for the first time with a baby or toddler on the train.

Don't stress

The worst thing you can do is stress! Stay calm and don't worry about what other passengers think. A mardy passenger can move onto another carriage if your baby is crying. Check for wheelchair access if you are wanting to wheel the pram/pushchair onto the train without having to collapse it. Many rail lines have a ramp for easy access.

Arrive early

Ensure you arrive with plenty of time before the train departs. You will want to get on quickly especially if you have a lot of luggage and extra bodies. The train won't wait for you so it's best to  be ready for when it arrives. 

Bring plenty of food and toys

With toddler's bring a 'picnic' and make them a little seat with some blankets and have a picnic with them. This will keep them interested for longer and more likely to sit still instead of just giving them a few snacks. With younger babies ensure you bring enough bottles for the journey if you are formula feeding and if you are breastfeeding you will be at ease. You can either feed at your seat discreetly or pop to the restroom if you don't mind being thrown about. 

Your toddler will only enjoy looking out of the window for so long before they get restless. Bring new toys and some favourite old toys. New toys will keep them entertained for longer and favourite toys will make them feel less unsure as familiar surroundings help. A good idea I've been told is to wrap some new toys up like the game 'pass the parcel' so there are many layers this will keep kill about an hour of your journey! Have an iPad or tablet? Bring it along, you can place it on the table in front of you and if your toddler/baby will sit still for half an hour or so then you will enjoy the quiet time. 

Get active

Walk up and down the carriage as much as possible! Don't mind other passengers, they would rather your baby isn't screaming and many with start talking to you. When at your seats let them look out the window and talk to them about the can see. Ask questions and keep them entertained. 

Nap time

Try and work the train journey around babies nap time if you can. If you have a young baby and are taking them in the car seat try and get them a seat if it's not too expensive otherwise take it in turns to sit down. If you have a toddler or older baby who needs to nap, leave the pushchair up and stand in the carriage so you are able to push the pushchair back and fourth if you need to. If you have a seat for them that's great, you can just get them to sleep and place them down or on your lap and if you have a baby who will sleep anywhere and fall asleep on their own well you're going to be perfectly fine! 

We put Amelia in the pushchair and I pushed the pushchair back and fourth in the bit in between the carriages as she was screaming so other's couldn't hear her. Once she was asleep I just stood the whole train journey while she slept. This worked better for us as we had seats at a table with other passengers and I didn't fancy feeding her in front of middle aged man who I didn't know so it was easier to just feed her in the toilet and then get her to sleep in the pushchair. On the journey back it was around nap time again so we took it in turns this time to stand with the pushchair as Amelia slept. 

Overall we had a reasonably easy train ride except from having to change trains three times on the way back which was a pain other than that we weren't stressed and Amelia slept thats the main thing! I didn't even mind standing for 4 hours. 

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Do you travel on trains often and have some advice? Let me know below. 

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50 comments

  1. We often travel by train and bus, so I have also stopped caring what other people think! My son loves trains and wants to walk up and down the carriage all the time. Rather than being annoyed by this, our fellow passengers are generally charmed by him and want to chat, give him treats etc! I love that tip about wrapping up toys for them - I will be trying this next time we have a long journey! Hannah x

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  2. I took S to London at the weekend; luckily ours was only a 90-minute journey. We had the buggy so we sat at the end of the carriage in the space there. She spent a lot of time looking out the window, but also used the opportunity to practise walking from one side of the carriage to the other. Apparently this is very entertaining! We also read books and had a picnic! Great minds eh!

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  3. Changing trains would be my major problem.....the station where we connect isn't disabled or buggy friendly making train journeys a nightmare

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  4. Great advice.


    I entertain mine by sitting on my lap (hates being in her buggy for a long time) and distracting her with little games like eye-spy and sometimes reading books.

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  5. I love travelling by train with the Baby In Red. The way I find easiest is to take her in a carrier instead of her pram (which we rarely use) and distract her on the way by asking her to say words.

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  6. some fab tips i dont take mine on the train im a bit scared that everyone will be turning around and looking at them as there a handful!

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  7. I used to love the train when I was a kid.

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  8. I love travelling by train, I find it so easy, especially now there are 'straight through' trains. My children also love travelling my train and watching the scenery fly past!

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  9. Trains are great for longer journeys as kids can move around and they love looking out of the windows at the world go by

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  10. i think its a relly good idea to not stop doing thing just becuse you have a baby / toddler and i agree its important to try and work it around them as much as poss xx

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  11. i have nightmares of our last trip, full train, screaming baby standing up for 2 hours :((((

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  12. My little girl loves travelling on the train. She can spend ages just staring out of the window.

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  13. trains are great for long journeys, my 2 little ones love it and so much to see!

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  14. We love train trips - but I do find an iPad invaluable! Also, the last big trip to see MorMor and Poppy, I found the underground staff amazingly unhelpful - they wouldn't carry the buggy - nor would they stand and make sure the fussy toddler wasn't abducted! Luckily other passengers were much more helpful.

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  15. You are right when it comes to not stressing. I always find that Amy picks up on it, if we are rushing around and are stressed, so we try to get things ready the night before so that we are ready to go in the morning.

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  16. I'e not been on a train for years!

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  17. The most important thing when travelling by any kind of public transport is always to take far more of everything than you think you will need to allow for unexpected delays!

    Hazel Rea - @beachrambler

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  18. Great article thankyou! I've found travelling on a train pretty easy with toddlers, its going long distance via plane where the hard work lies :D

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  19. The secret is to keep them occupied

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  20. Never did any long trips by train with her, but I did used to take her shopping by train. I used to think nothing of carrying her in pushchair together with shopping up and down the stairs to get to the platform. Funny remembering that.

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  21. Fab post. I don't think I could cope with my little one on a train!

    Hele

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  22. very usefull, as i was too scared to think about trips with a baby

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  23. Although my ds is crazy about trains he really doesnt like riding on them - he says they are too wobbly!! We have a local metro system which is fab I must take him on there more often to get him used to it!!

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  24. I remember the long journeys to london i used to take, oh boy! my LO got really fed up, the only way she was quite is youtube watching minnie mouse lol

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  25. The best way to keep kids occupied is to play I spy. I used to play this with mine when they were small and they loved it. Or I used to draw a squiggle or shape on a piece of paper and let them add a drawing to it it was great seeing what they could make out of the squiggle lol :)

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  26. I have not been on a train for years, when we did there was lots of reading and i-spy games.

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  27. My 4 year old daughter wants to go on a train, and we have promised to take her on one soon

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  28. My granddaughter loves trains , she loves to look out of the window

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  29. Not a fan of public transport but good tips.

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  30. Again, some more great tips. My two love the train. We don't go on it very often since we have a car but when we do go, it's great fun for them.

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  31. great tips children should experience public transport

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  32. She looks adorable on that picture and you have given us all some great tips! I would love to read a post on flying too (Although I guess it's pretty similar!) We plan on taking our son who is due in November abroad when he is around 6/9 months old!

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  33. I also love driving everywhere, but take the train into London. Just don't want to have a car around there!

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  34. reserving a table seat makes containing children easier!

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  35. Greatest post. Public transport and a baby worries me

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  36. It takes some planning but is so much easier to travel by train than driving a car with toddlers - you can give them your full attention and enjoy the journey yourself instead of stressing about routes etc

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  37. make sure you book seats in advance

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  38. I loved taking my young daughter into work in the city of London. She kept everyone amused with her honesty and pulled no punches.

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  39. Such great tips! Ill have to bookmark this for when mine eventually arrives! xx

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  40. My little one loves to watch the world whizz by - with intervals of playing I Spy

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  41. Loving the tips, I find train journeys stressful with my two children.

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  42. I don't drive so am very accustomed to long train journeys with my daughter. One helpful tip when travelling on busy services is to find out from the guard which carriage number has the disabled bay and then make straight for it. Occasionally a wheelchair user will need the space but more often than not it is empty, then you can keep your buggy up for your child to nap in while you sit at a nearby table.

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  43. Great tips,I always bring a book for my toddler just for good practice!Even if its a soft one :)

    @LaaMoii

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  44. Great tips ive not braved this yet even with my 5 yr old , nightmares of him breaking free and falling onto tracks

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  45. Going to take our 4 year old to London on the train, she can't wait

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  46. This picture is so iconic just the way the light plays off the glass and her features and hair, she's like a like a little angel.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry