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7 hour train journey with four month old?

(12 Posts)
schmohawk Sat 16-Jul-11 20:50:54

I'm thinking about taking my 4 month old DD on a 7 hour train journey from Scotland to England- I'll be on my own so will be trying to travel as lightly as possible. Has anyone done something similar, and am I going to end up totally frazzled by the experience?? My concerns are:
- breastfeeding in a cramped seat next to who knows who; not phased by feeding in public normally but there's so little space on most trains and don't fancy being gawped at close quarters
-will have a sling but no pushchair, so nowhere to put her down during the journey
-changing nappies- don't remember seeing changing tables on trains so would I have to use the floor of the disabled loo?
-trying to keep her reasonably calm, she's not a great napper so very much doubt that she'd sleep for most of the journey!

Any experiences/ survival tips very welcome!

thisisyesterday Sat 16-Jul-11 20:55:21

you could arrange it so it's in 2 legs? so stop approx halfway, stay in vicinity of station and have some lunch and a walk about, nappy change somewhere decent, feed baby etc etc
then get another train on to your destination?

most trains do have space for a pushchair if you wanted to take one? in the disabled area there is tons of room., obviously you aren't guaranteed a space though, and if someone disabled needed it you'd have to move but it might work?

amicissima Sat 16-Jul-11 22:46:41

Would it be worth looking at buying a second ticket for your DD and booking two seats?

You don't say where you are travelling from and to or when, but if you book in advance for some random dates in August you can add a child's ticket from Edinburgh or Glasgow to London for about £23. Although the child needs to be over 5 for a family railcard, I couldn't see a minimum age for a non-railcard child ticket.

Unless you are travelling at a very busy time, I would've thought you'd have a good chance of having an empty seat next to you anyway, but booking it would ensure that.

Apart from that I would think that the train would be quite a relaxing way to do the journey with a 4 month old. Better than the alternatives at least.

amicissima Sat 16-Jul-11 22:49:30

I think long distance trains generally have baby changing facilities. East Coast claim to.

Sidge Sat 16-Jul-11 22:50:33

Crikey I'd fly if possible.

I mean it's entirely do-able but it would be so much easier to fly!

schmohawk Sun 17-Jul-11 21:08:36

Thanks for your replies everyone, I think if I do decide to make the trip I'll stop off on the way and try and book two seats as has been suggested. Having a bit of a wobble about the whole thing though, might put it off for a while smile

Oakmaiden Sun 17-Jul-11 21:14:15

I think it would be easier with a 4 month old than a baby who is wanting to get down and crawl around!

thehairybabysmum Sun 17-Jul-11 21:24:22

I have done 4 hr journeys regularly when ds was small so here are top tips.

Buy a family railcard and then a ticket for you both, this will save you lots on your ticket but also will get you two seats. My ds used to sleep on the chair next to me, I think the movement of train helped. Also I used to book a seat next to the door and if I took a buggy would leave him asleep in it and then just stand up at stations to move buggy out of the way and stand next to it to keep an eye.

Re bf never had a problem though I did used to take an expressed bottle ad a back up or formula if this doesn't bother you.

Yes they have change tables that fold down.

Where are you planning to travel to/from?

I also used a sling sometimes, but is often easier to use a buggy IMO as you often need it the other end.

thehairybabysmum Sun 17-Jul-11 21:28:09

Defo loads easier with small baby than older kids, I rarely do the same trip now with a 5 & 3 yr old!! I used to be able to read a magazine and have a coffee whilst he slept.

I also used to take an emergency dummy so I felt I had something if he did cry. Also there are often v lovely old ladies who will offer to keep an eye whilst you nip to the loo!!

thisisyesterday Sun 17-Jul-11 21:32:48

i agree that it would be easier with a little baby than with a toddler.

roisin Sun 17-Jul-11 21:34:59

When the boys were tiny I did lots of train journeys - not that long too. We bought a family railcard, that way your ticket is cheaper and you get an extra seat too, so you have a bit of space to manoeuvre/stick your bags on etc.

I think I started doing this when ds1 was about 6 months old, cos I have vivid memories of sitting in a seat with a guy next to me and bf ds1, who was kicking this guy next to me. It was very embarrassing, but there was no option as ds1 was a big baby and needed feeding!

Grumpla Sun 17-Jul-11 21:39:29

I used to put DS to sleep on the table quite successfully! The four seat booth ones not the airline seats obviously smile

Pram is good if possible, especially I you can fold frame and wedge carrycot into seat / on floor.

Might get a bit hot and bothered for 7 hours with just a sling / lap?

Take a large changing mat with you and be prepared to do it on the floor in between carriages if you have to! Not all trains have changing tables and those that do are quite often out of order.

Take more nappies and wipes than you think you will need!

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