Advice on keeping travel on public transport with your baby stress free whether on the tube, a train or a bus.
While in the past public transport hasn't had a reputation of being baby friendly (to say the least), in an attempt to encourage people out of their cars and back onto trains and buses transport providers have started to make improvements. Many have begun to make alterations to their fleet of vehicles and services to make them more accessible to people with young children.
Although travelling on public transport with young children does have a reputation for being incredibly stressful, there is no denying that there are certain advantages. The major one being that you have the opportunity to give your children your undivided attention for the duration of the journey, something that would not be possible if you were driving. Aside from this, public transport can provide a relatively inexpensive and convenient way to travel. This is especially true if you consider that most offer free or discounted seats for infants and take you to the heart of almost any town or city in less time than it would take to drive.
Here are some tips to keep your journeys on public transport as free from stress as possible;
- Children under the age of 5 travel free on the majority of train services
- Always reserve your tickets in advance; ask to be seated in a family carriage if one is available or near disabled toilets as these often contain baby changing facilities
- Stay in the waiting room until your train arrives as this will help keep your baby warm
- When on the train put any bags on the luggage rack above you or at the bottom of your baby's seat, if your bags are too large then store them in the main luggage rack usually situated next to the doors between carriages but always remember to take valuables out first
- Some family carriages have space for you to leave an unfolded buggy - ask if this facility will be available when you book your tickets
- Many babies find the motion of a train soothing, however it is always best to take a favourite toy, a blanket and a story book to help keep your baby entertained
- Many bus companies are introducing 'easy access' buses with low entrance platforms that meet the floor, wider doors and specially designed buggyzones so that buggys can be rolled directly onto buses with minimal effort.
- Easy access buses are not available on all routes so it is best to contact your local bus company for details
- If you regularly need to travel on buses at peak times, investing in a collapsable buggy, sling or baby carrier may provide a less stressful alternative to trying to fit a big buggy on a busy bus