Parenting is easy enough until you have to plan for a trip without your car. Whether it's because you simply don't drive, or because your car is being fixed, you will need to familiarise yourself with the do's and don'ts of public transport with your baby.
1. Plan your trip outside of peak hours.
This may not always be possible, but if it is, stick to the times between 10 and 4 to do your trip. The extra noise, business and lack of seats, and personal space on trains and buses can make the journey so much more stressful.
2. Know the current timetables.
Seems like a no brainer, but I'll never forget the time we were stranded on the side of the road in 40 degree heat with no seats and no shade because we had not double checked the times that the buses were arriving. I had ignorantly assumed that they would come every 5 minutes (like they did at my previous neighbourhood) but alas, it was going to be another 40 minutes. Lesson learned.
3. Know which buses and/or train stations are wheelchair friendly.
If you are using a pram, make sure you use the station which has lifts to the platforms, and that the buses have wheelchair accessible doors.
4. Be careful of boarding trains with narrow entries.
There has certainly been one or more occasions where there was a pole in the middle of the train door, making the pram not fit! Luckily I was able to find an enrty with a wheelchair accessible doors for wider loads like my 'single' pram.
5. Invest in a good travel stroller or baby carrier
If you can, this is the time to whip out that baby sling or carrier, because a lot of these hindrances to enjoying your day out can be solved by being able to walk up stairs, and other freedoms that come when you don't use a pram. If you are likely to do a long day out; bring an easy fold down travel stroller so that you can transfer your baby in and out when you feel like you need a break from the carrier.
6. What you need to know about catching Taxis with a baby
Currently the laws in NSW state that Children under the age of 12 months are not permitted to travel in a taxi unless they are secured in an approved child car seat, as follows: Children aged less than 6 months: approved rearward facing restraint. Therefore, if you are without a car, you need to remember to bring your car seat with you, or ensure that when you book a taxi, that it has a baby seat with them. There are a lot of taxis that keep baby seats and/or capsules in the back, so if you are in a busy area like an airport; you shouldn't need to book ahead - there will be plenty that will hopefully have a car seat ready to go.
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