Travel with baby: train or car??(13 Posts)
I'm planning a trip with DD who will be 2 months... To visit family about 5/6 hrs drive (or train trip) away. I'm wondering what would be easiest, to drive with her in car (it would be just us two on the way home, DH with us on the way)... Or travel by train, which is a direct service. Any advice appreciated!
I think wait and see. At 8 weeks I was still exhausted and sore after the birth; wouldn't have been able to manage any luggage and baby on and off a train on my own. Also if you are ff it might be a pain trying to make up bottles with a baby in your arms. Have a think about where you would put it if you need the loo etc. Maybe if you took a car seat onto the train it would give you somewhere to put the baby while you sort your stuff out/ have a wee (if it fits on floor in the loo!). Are there changing facilities on a train? If you can cope with the aforementioned then a train sounds great, probably more relaxing than driving. On the other hand if you have lots of luggage, a baby who's happy in a car seat etc, then drive! I reckon the decision will become clearer when the baby's about six or seven weeks old. Good luck! Xx
I think I would take the car. No worry about luggage etc, you can take as much as you need without having to carry it. You can also take the journey at your own pace.
I'd pick train. That way you can feed DD easily, jiggle/distract her if she is upset, etc. If you're in the car on your own and she gets hungry (which is at unpredictable times at that age) you'll have to listen to her cry until you can find a safe place to stop. And if you are BF you'd have to stop the car to feed her even when DH is with you.
If she needs a nap you can walk up and down the carriage with her in a sling (taking any valuables with you) or feed to sleep if she will do that.
A sling will also give you somewhere to put her while you go to the loo, eat etc. If you are driving you won't be able to go to the loo or eat unless you stop anyway.
The main benefit I can see to the car is the luggage. Will someone be able to take you to the train station/meet you at the other end?
I'd say car. I've done both (although it was only a 3 hr drive) and found the car 100 times easier.
We had a few transfers on the train, so had to get off, wait around with the pram and a suitcase, get back on the train, fold up the pram, find somewhere for the suitcase to go, find a seat, etc. I found it very stressful.
I found it much easier in the car, even though DD screamed almost all the way once. I could pull over at every services and didn't have to worry about a schedule or being able to carry all the luggage.
I would say car. We did a four hour train journey with DS at two months old, we carried him in a sling and used the pushchair to wheel the bags. He slept most of the time, but did an explosive poo which was hard to change but manageable. And then our train hit a person. It was horrible and we were trapped on there for hours. It was really stressful.
Much prefer car journeys as they sleep most of the time, you can have regular breaks, carry more stuff in case of emergency, and it's easier to change them in a service station toilet than a moving train.
If you go by car, avoid motorways so you can pull over any time you want. If train, have a seat near the end of a carriage so you can have a pram by you or in the vestibule. And ensure you book a seat!
I wouldn't attempt by train as way too much stuff to take. We've done loads of long journeys with our DS, starting when he was 6 weeks old, and always did them in the car. They'll tend to sleep whilst on the motorway, and you can always pull off the next junction of you need. I've fed and changed nappies in a few random lay-bys of random A roads off motorway junctions! But still less stressful than the train I reckon. I've done quite a few on my own, and it was ok, he tended to sleep and the just stop and do nappy change and feed at services once or twice.
Dd was 8 weeks when I drove her and dh five hours to a holiday house in Scotland. She was so Diddy that she basically slept the whole way as the engine noise just lulled her to sleep.
We stopped after 2.5 hrs and fed her and bump changed and then did the next 2.5 hours.
We only had an old Micra at that point and the seat belts in the back too short for an infant seat so she was in the front passenger seat. Seat all the way back and airbag off. Dh could then lean forward and give her stuff if needed (not needed as like I say she slept).
We're doing the same in a few weeks; London to Scotland with DD who will be 9 weeks. We're taking the train with her in her car seat. The website for the train company allows you to book seats in advance and when you do this you can see which carriage has the baby change loo at the end of it.
To minimise luggage we are getting a supermarket delivery at the other end (nappies, formula etc). Not sure if this is an option for you? We're not taking her pram as we won't really need it once we're there, and buying a pop up travel Moses basket which packs down really small.
Hope your trip goes well x
I took my nearly 4 week dd on the train to my parents. Admittedly I had help from dh getting to Euston and then my parents met me off the train at the other end. I also had 7yr old ds who was pretty helpful. I felt too tired to attempt the drive alone.
I booked seats in advance, our line is Virgin and I booked into the carriage with disabled seating because there is space near the door to fit a pram. Assisted travel were really helpful advising me on seats numbers that were near the exit but obviously not the disabled seats. I also brought a sling so I could carry her to the buffet car to get me a cup of tea. I have a rucksack too which I always use for the train and I got my mum to buy nappies and formula so I didn't need to bring that. Our pram carrycot comes off to make a great bed so no need to take any additional Moses basket.
It was really easy and actually quite nice. My biggest concern was if she screamed but she didn't she was great. I'd do it again and will be.
We did quite a few train journeys in the first six months and much, much preferred it to travelling by car. Although, we had a car-hating baby so car journeys were loud screamy hell.
We took her in a sling. Didn't take a pram/pushchair with us. Cases in luggage rack, one bag to have at the seat containing nappies/change stuff (take more than you think you'll need) and a couple of changes of clothes, burp cloths, spare top for me in case puked on. We got first-class tickets when we could (you could often upgrade for £10 at weekends) because there's more space.
Virgin West Coast online is really bad for booking you into the quiet coach and not telling you until the tickets are confirmed, so watch out for that!
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