8 Tips for Navigating Public Transportation with a Small Child
Lifestyle Traveling via public transportation with your child takes a little planning and a bit of effort, but it can be done.
Traveling via public transportation with your child takes a little planning and a bit of effort, but it can be done.
It’s a topic that is constantly coming up in conversations with moms all over the world. How do I navigate the big city if I don’t have a car? We went to the streets and crowdsourced the best tips from some of our favorite urban mamas out there. Here’s what they came up with:
1. Bring a lightweight stroller or an umbrella stroller if possible. You may have to take your child out and collapse it depending on the rules in the city or amount of people on the bus or train. If you have the option, babywearing is a great solution.
2. Don’t travel during rush hour. Just don’t.
3. Do your research. Every city is different; Chicago’s CTA is different from NYC’s MTA and so on. Check to see if the train stations that you’ll be visiting have elevators. Sometimes it worth adjusting your route by going to the next stop if it’s more stroller accessible.
"Explore the city through their eyes. You’ll start thinking of public transportation as part of the journey and not just a commute from here to there."
4. Be prepared to board. Have your card or pass out when you arrive to the station, you don’t want to be the one causing the pile up. When the train or bus arrives at the station, be ready to hop on. They most likely will not wait for you if you’re dawdling.
5. Plan for the potty. There are no restrooms on public transportation. Even if there were, you probably wouldn’t want to use them. Plan ahead, especially if you’ve just started then potty training process.
6. Leave your diaper bag at home. Swap it out for a backpack. Having two hands available is probably best for a multitude of reasons. Have a water bottle and a toy stashed in an easy to access pouch.
7. Don’t be distracted. Safety should always be your biggest priority. We don’t want any little fingers pinched in doors or iPhones stolen because you weren’t paying attention.
8. Enjoy it. Enjoy the freedom of not having to park a car or deal with traffic while having fun with your kiddo. Once they turn 2 years old, buses and trains are kind of the coolest. Explore the city through their eyes. You’ll start thinking of public transportation as part of the journey and not just a commute from here to there.
We find that here in Chicago, trains are a little easier to navigate with a stroller than a bus. Ask other moms in your area if they have any hyper local tips on getting around. After all, it takes a village. Until then, get out, be urban and enjoy the city like you never have before, with your kids!