Need some tips for travelling around on public transport with babies and toddlers? We have ten right here
It’s Out and About month on TalkMum, and we’ve looked at our favourite outdoor activities for small children. But what about getting around with them when you're out?
If you're worried about using the train with a pram or a bus with a toddler, here are some tips for using public transport with small children to make your journey a breeze.
Plan an accessible route: Try and avoid changes or any stations with steps and no lift. If you’re in London, you can plan an underground route which has lifts and step-free access. Check the TFL accessibility guide or use apps like City Mapper.
Pack lightly: Wherever you’re going, public transport is easier to navigate if you don’t have a million bags weighing you down. Keep one small change bag with the essentials in.
Take snacks and water: Keep your children happy on the journey! It might be hot, and there’s nothing worse than dealing with hangry children in what’s already a stressful environment. Make sure you have water for you as well as them.
Use a backpack: Consider investing in a backpack change bag, which is easier for keeping both hands free.
Take a sling: Although public transport is manageable with a pram, it can be a lot easier if your baby is in a sling, which means you don’t have to carry a pram up and down steps.
Or use a small, lightweight pram. Buses and trains will usually have a bay or designated space for prams and usually will only fit about two prams (and wheelchair users take priority). The smaller the pram, the less the squash. Umbrella-fold upright prams will also take up less space than travel systems, which tend to be larger.
Be prepared to fold your pram: If you want to get on the bus but the pram space is taken, you may have to fold the pram up – or even do so during the journey. So make sure this is something you can do.
Get a window seat: It gives older children something to look at (and you can always play I-Spy to pass the time.
Always get off backwards: If you have a pram on the bus or train then it’s easier if you get off backwards, with the back wheels at the handle end first. It means it’s less likely to tip over as the weight distribution is better.
Avoid rush hour: It goes without saying that you’re more likely to get a seat and have an easier journey if you avoid peak times!