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Travelling by coach or train without car seat?

(12 Posts)
NormaStits Wed 22-Jul-15 10:57:45

I'm planning a day out in the near future, just me and my 8 month old. It's just a day trip to another city to visit a friend, we'd be getting off the coach or train and just having a day in the city, going to shops, meal etc. It wouldn't be practical to take a car seat as I'd have nowhere to put it and it's too cumbersome to carry around all day.

I can't think of a practical solution at all. I don't like the idea of coach travel with her on my knee, not sure about train travel.

Has anyone done this kind of trip and what did you do with the baby?

Skeppers Wed 22-Jul-15 10:59:52

Do you have a sling? I don't think you're supposed to keep babies in car seats for more than 90 mins anyway.

Watching thread with interest for suggestions as I'll probably be in this situation in a few months, especially with bus journeys/visiting relatives (which involves a boat trip!)...

KatnissEvermean Wed 22-Jul-15 11:19:21

I use train a lot with my six month old, short and long distances.

I prefer to take him in a sling, it's easier to hop on and off, no messing around finding lifts and quite often he'll fall asleep when we walk to the station and snooze through a lot of the journey.

If I take the pushchair, I leave him in it if there's space and we're on a short journey. For longer journeys I usually fold it and keep him on my lap and it feels perfectly safe (even though during his very first journey our train hit a person sad).

I used to get the coach a lot, but I hate them and don't think I could face it with a baby.

NormaStits Wed 22-Jul-15 12:11:14

I do have a sling but I couldn't carry her all day in it, she's toddler sized, plus she'd still not be in a car seat while travelling.

Are there pushchair spaces on national trains, Katniss? I use our local trains, they're like the underground in style, but the only time I've gone on intercity trains they have no space like that. I do feel a train would probably feel safer for having her on my knee than a coach, but I don't know if it actually is.

mrsmortis Wed 22-Jul-15 15:29:27

I've never seen anyone using a car seat on a train. There would be no way to strap it in so I'm not sure what good it would do.

If you are travelling on an intercity there are a small number of clear spaces for wheelchairs. If you are lucky then you can put the pushchair in one of those. It's not guaranteed though.

StonedGalah Wed 22-Jul-15 15:37:51

You don't need a car seat on a train or bus. If you were going to use a car seat surely you'd have to pay for the seat then?

NormaStits Wed 22-Jul-15 15:51:14

Thanks mrsmortis, I wasn't sure what to expect with an intercity, I've rarely travelled by train.

StonedGalah, I know you don't need one, but sitting on a coach for a couple of hours without one doesn't feel right to me. I suppose the use of car seats is just so well ingrained. And yes, I'd buy a seat, they're only a fiver anyway.

Spydra Wed 22-Jul-15 15:53:11

There are pushchair spaces on trains - most people seem to use these with babies/toddlers.

poocatcherchampion Wed 22-Jul-15 15:56:33

We've avoided buses because it is unthinkable in a crash. Trains are much safer and we use then with a pushchair. There is always space for a wheelchair user, even if you need or put the buggy down.

BertieBotts Wed 22-Jul-15 16:12:42

Both will be fine. Trains are less likely to crash because they run on tracks. Of course train crashes do happen but it's rare. You can also

Intercity trains always have wheelchair spaces alongside a carriage with space for larger luggage which you can usually use - if you know who is running the service, you can usually look up which carriage it will be in, or you can sit in the corridor, or you can take a small one and wedge it between seats.

Trains don't have seatbelts for passengers, and if it was considered safer, they would. So I think the issue is that in a train crash if you're in the affected area your chances are not great anyway and if you're not, you're usually fine. So it would make no difference.

Coaches you can usually take a car seat onto, but it's a pain. At 8 months, perhaps she still fits into a carry type seat? You could take one which goes on a pushchair and use that, folding the pushchair to put under the coach. But sometimes there is only a lap belt, and most infant seats don't fit with a lap belt.

I would still say that coaches are less likely to crash than cars. Firstly because they are bigger, so other vehicles are more likely to avoid them. Secondly as they are bigger they decelerate more slowly even in the event of a collision. It is the sudden deceleration which is dangerous in a car accident because the occupants tend to keep moving until stopped by a seat belt or the road. In a coach crash you don't have the same issue. If you look at news coverage of fatal coach crashes they don't tend to be road accidents, they tend to be rural areas and the coach rolls into a ditch or something like that. In the very rare event of a collision, the passengers are usually fine because other vehicles are lower than the coach passengers, and because coaches are so long that if they smash at the front people from about row 3 are shaken but fine, even children.

For general restraint you could use a sling but if you use a sling and a coach with a seatbelt, do not put the seatbelt over both of you, only yourself.

I can't give you any exact figures of probability, but I'd say that you're about even in danger from coaches and trains, both extremely low, and I'd choose whichever option is more convenient or cost effective.

BertieBotts Wed 22-Jul-15 16:14:44

Oops! You can also......sit rear facing on most trains which is of course safer.

I find a train more comfortable and interesting for babies. But it can be really stressful getting on/off the train especially if you have bags and if nobody helps and there is a large gap.

BertieBotts Wed 22-Jul-15 16:22:12

Oh the other occurence of coach crashes if not rural is British drivers driving coaches abroad on unfamiliar foreign motorways.

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