Crossing Europe by train with a 4month old. Is this mad?(12 Posts)
4 month-ish, as he's not born just yet...
We're going to a wedding on the other side of Europe when the baby will be about 4 months or so, and I really prefer trains to planes, if at all possible. It will involve the Eurostar, a connecting short high speed train, and an overnight sleeper train. All the changes are in the same station, so no schlepping about across town to make connecting trains.
I wouldn't think twice about it normally, but I've not had a baby before, so I'm having a little worry about it being a bit mad. Trains seem more baby friendly than planes, to me, but it is a long way... Is it mad??
When I've had 4 month olds, all I've wanted to do is sit around with the baby, feeding as needed, not moving. So long train journeys were great.
If you've got someone else with you to hold the baby while you go to the loo, get food out, etc, it sounds great. And probably less hassle than plane if you're alone. But train tickets can be horribly expensive especially for proper berths.
agree with not citrus. travelling with a lo is not like travelling on your own but with an extra person. a 4 month old will be awake during the night, will cry for prolonged periods unless you are really lucky and get a really good baby. this is your first baby? you have no idea how much it will change your life for the better so would wait until he/she arrives (safely) then make the decision. Look how much extra tat you need to take for a small baby. mine would get through 3 or 4 clothes changes a day on a good day. planes are easier with small kids because they are quicker. dont book it now please just wait. good luck with your delivery.
Have a look at www.seat61.com as this is all about train travel both in the UK and in Europe.
Thank you notcitrus , mummy and attila! Seat 61 is my guru, but not terribly informative on the baby front... notcitrus, I am very reassured by what you say, as it chimes with my guess of how it might be. I shall follow mummy's advice and see how I go, we're not even in the three month window of opportunity for booking yet, so I am getting a bit ahead of myself...
I've found that people who are up for travel pre-kids manage it OK with kids, and those who would have been too nervous to do rail travel beforehand are even more put off with them. Ditto driving and planes - it all comes down to what you're comfortable with. People are amazed that I will do a train trip across London and up north for a day with a 3yo and baby, but it's for me a lot easier than staying home! Walking up and down a train lobby to soothe a baby is much nicer than being trapped in plane seats and hanging around departure lounges.
Best advice I got on travel with small children was when going on holiday with friends and their small children. I went to wipe the sticky hands of the 3yo who also had felt tip all over his face. Mum told me not to bother - the kids would get cleaned up once just before arrival, as it was a waste of effort before that and would just upset them. Wise words. Babies can wear babygros all the time and still look adorable - don't try packing lots of outfits.
I agree with not citrus.
We travelled a lot with DD when she was a baby. Mainly flights, as there was not a single train in the country we were living.
Trains are much easier than planes for the simple fact of being able to get up and move around at will.
I would do it. First flew transatlantic with DS1 aged five months, really until they crawl they are extremely portable, esp if you're breastfeeding. I havent done the prolongued travel you describe with DC but saw families travelling that way all over India.
If you go for it I would recommend getting a carrier your baby likes to sleep in (ergo for both my boys) as four months is an ungainly age, too big to lie comfortably in your arms for a nap, too young to ride on your hip or sit up. A decent carrier gives you hands free hours.
Also, read up about the four month sleep regression. It may happen to yoir baby, it may not, no point staying home in case your baby becomes a bad sleeper for a fortnight/month- indeed, dont worry about upsetting their routines etc, they do that themselves at that age!
Another train lover here and fan of seat61 . I have twins so getting anywhere is a nightmare but I think my general concerns would be 'stuff' you need to carry and how you are getting to and from the stations either end. Also you'll know that sleeping compartments vary depending on the journey and even if you book the same 'class' you could end up with very different amounts of space. Definitely read all the details for your planned routes on Seat61.
This is great, and very reassuring! Thank you all so much! I do like a sleeper train, but I was worried I'd get a chorus of nooooooo from the wise people who have tried it with littlies.
Thank you for your excellent advice!
4mo much more amenable to long journeys than a toddler who wants to run about all the time! Though more stuff. Pram with carrycot a good option provided you don't have the metro or similar to negotiate, plus sling to carry baby in (then lots of the luggage can go in the pram. Abs minimum stuff for you. And far more nappies and babygros than you think you'll need.
I'm going to be doing this in a few months. I have a 3 month old and at the end of the summer, I'm off on holiday with my husband and the baby. We're going from Denmark to Sicily by train. In theory well take a train to Hamburg then a sleeper to either Rome and change to a different train, or if we can we'll stay on the sleeper. I would have no problem doing the trip now but we think it will be nicer at the end of the summer. When we go we're going to take the pram, baby gym and maybe a travel cot.
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