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.
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.
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.
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.
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.