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London with 17 week old

(18 Posts)
Bankholidaybaby Thu 19-Dec-13 21:11:50

I'm not sure if this is the best place to post but I need to go to central London from the suburbs at the weekend with my baby, (who'll be 17 weeks old then) and I was wondering what tips people had, please? I'm planning to take him in a baby carrier and carry my changing bag over my shoulder, as I figure a pram would be impractical on the train/tube. We'll be alone for the traveling but will have a friend at the destination. I have an appointment in the afternoon, so I'll avoid morning rush hour, but may hit the busy period going home. I bottle feed him and I guess this will make my bag very heavy as we'll be out for such a long time, so a pram would be easier from that point of view! Thanks.

blossombath Thu 19-Dec-13 21:15:56

What kind of pram do you have, and which stations will you be using. Both these factors make a difference but generally it is possible to use tubes and trains with a pram.

Bankholidaybaby Thu 19-Dec-13 21:21:20

It's an uppababy vista with the carrycot, and I can go to either Paddington or Waterloo. Final destination is Covent Garden. I've never taken my baby on a train or bus - we go everywhere on foot and stay fairly local, so this is quite daunting!

blossombath Thu 19-Dec-13 21:53:36

Ooo nice buggy that's the one I always envy when I see it. Is it fairly light and easy to manoeuvre? If so I think it would be fine on bus tube etc.

Can someone help you onto train at your home station? If not I usually find that people will help lift buggies if needed, but most of them can just be tipped up on back wheels and onto trains.

I don't often use Covent Garden tube so while I remember there is a lift, I can't exactly remember if there are small flights of stairs to the lift. If you're happy bumping buggy up and down a few steps it would be possible.

However, Neither Paddington nor Waterloo have fully step free access to tubes I think. I find it easy to go up and down on escalators (and can try to explain how I do it if you want )but if you're not confident with them then I'd suggest a bus.

Buses are pretty easy in Central London if you're not in a massive rush (so you can wait if a bus goes by and the wheelchair space is full). Have seen plenty of women with your buggy on buses, so is doable.

from Paddington the 159 will take you almost all the way to Covent Garden but will take an age.

From Waterloo lots of buses will go towards Covent Garden, again you will have to walk a wee bit.

TFL website lets you specifying hat you want buses only or step free access in the journey planner, if you do go for buggy.

If you go for carrier can you keep weight down by only packing some milk and picking up cartons of pre made stuff when out? There's a boots in Covent garden which would probably have some.

pancakesfortea Thu 19-Dec-13 22:00:53

It's a really short walk from Waterloo to Covent garden. So if you can get your buggy on at your end, you'll be able to get it off level at Waterloo, take the step free access out, then walk straight over Waterloo bridge. (It might take you a minute to get your bearings coming out of Waterloo but it's easy, just head for the Imax, you can't miss it).

Depending on exactly where you're going in Covent garden its between 0 and 5 minutes walk from the north end of Waterloo bridge.

So I would take the buggy. A little walk is no bother if you have the buggy and you don't need to worry about tubes and buses.

LittleBearPad Thu 19-Dec-13 22:05:28

I'd take the buggy and walk from Waterloo. It won't take long. If the weather is grim thrn there'll be a bus. Don't take the tube. It's a faff with a buggy and from waterloo you'll have to get off at Leicester square and walk or change to the Piccadilly line to get to Covent garden by tube. Have fun.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Thu 19-Dec-13 22:08:16

Yup, assuming you can get onto the train at your end, I'd take the buggy and walk from Waterloo to Covent Garden. Bus as back up if the weather is disastrous. Don't take the tube, it's a bugger of a journey.

blossombath Thu 19-Dec-13 22:10:06

Or yes walk, don't know why I didn't think of just walking all the way...

Bankholidaybaby Thu 19-Dec-13 22:15:17

That's fantastic - thanks! I'll take the buggy (which I love) and walk from
Waterloo. I always forget how close it is to Westminster and therefore Covent Garden as until recently I've always come in from north/north west and I know little of London south of the river. I have loads of cartons and will just take several with me, as I dread not being able to find them in town.

blossombath Thu 19-Dec-13 22:20:14

Hope you have a nice day and can enjoy the beautiful views over Waterloo bridge...have fun.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Fri 20-Dec-13 08:46:23

Hope you have a fab day. Am envy, really miss London since we moved away and don't get back much.

nancerama Fri 20-Dec-13 08:51:31

I took a buggy into London when my DS was a similar age. He wouldn't sleep in the sling, so the buggy was essential for a day out.

I stupidly went on the Paddington line. The intercity trains are really high, and getting the buggy on and off was a struggle as the staff on the platforms told me it wasn't their job to help me. I had to rely on strangers, who were mostly willing. The Waterloo trains, by comparison are much more level with the platform.

In London I used a combination of walking and buses and all was fine.

Enjoy your trip.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Fri 20-Dec-13 08:52:55

Contrary to reputation, Londoners are actually very helpful with buggies most of the time. Just not so much at rush hour grin

nancerama Fri 20-Dec-13 13:00:02

People were mostly helpful, Penguins, but I made the mistake of taking the first train that those carrying senior citizens railcards were permitted to travel on. I felt terrible having an octogenarian helping me hump a buggy onto the train while the FGW staff stood watching.

Bankholidaybaby Sat 21-Dec-13 23:52:46

We had a lovely day. I had to hoick the pram onto the train both times, but got help getting off on the way there, and loads of help getting down small flights of steps in shops whilst we were in London. It rained almost all day but the rain-cover did its job well and my baby was perfectly dry. He was the most awake and aware he's ever been - he loved the lights he could see from the pram, especially in shops, and when I took him out for feeds in cafés, he had a very happy time examining all of the people sitting around. He's just started laughing this week, and me trying on bras for my first post-pregnancy fitting was, apparently, hilarious.

The only slight trouble we had was that the appointment which we'd gone into London for was up a very narrow, steep set of stairs straight off the street, so I had no choice but to take the pram up, which was fine until we got to the top, where the stairs violently turned to the right and we had to perform quite complicated manoeuvres to get the pram onto the landing. I am so grateful that I live in a ground floor flat!

Bankholidaybaby Sat 21-Dec-13 23:54:57

I forgot to mention that I took a black cab from the west end to Waterloo as it was dark and wet by the time we wanted to go home. I googled it and apparently it's fine as long as the brake is on on the pram.

freelancegirl Sat 21-Dec-13 23:59:06

I'm glad it went well. I live in London and take the pram around the centre of town all the time. I love a good walk across London anyway and have had many a moving nap time this way. It's quite well equipped really of you know what you're doing. Londoners have babies too smile

freelancegirl Sat 21-Dec-13 23:59:43

And yes black cabs are handy.

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