Public transport: bus, train or ferry with a baby
Travelling by public transport is a new experience for baby but it's not always easy to get on and off the various modes of public transport when you are carrying a baby, a pram, a nappy bag, clutching a ticket or change and trying to negotiate steps and other passengers. Baby-carriers, slings and child hip-seats can make your life easier. Other passengers are always willing to help, so don't be afraid to ask - and enjoy getting out and about!
Here are our top tips for travelling on public transport with your baby.
Travelling by bus with a pram is probably the biggest public transport challenge. Most buses have two or three quite steep steps to climb and a door-way that is usually too narrow for a pram. You will probably need to collapse your pram to carry it on board and unless you've got a spare pair of hands, that can be quite tricky whilst you're holding your baby and everything else. Even if you are lucky enough to travel on a low floor bus without steps and with a wider door, you will probably be asked to take your child out of the pram once on board - this is at the discretion of the driver. If you do leave your child in the pram, remember to put the brakes on.
Get the driver, or another passenger, to help you both on and off the bus. Once onboard, baby gets a great view of the world and usually a fair amount of attention from the other passengers!
Travelling by train with a pram can be relatively straightforward - ramps are usually available to access the platforms and train doors are usually wide enough to get a pram through without collapsing it. Be aware, however, that platform heights vary and there is often a substantial step up to the train from the platform. Not all stations have ramps to all platforms, with the only access to some platforms being by stairs.
Check your local railnetwork website for details of wheel chair access (and hence 'pram access') at your required stations.
If you decide to leave your child in the pram during the journey, remember to put the brakes on and keep one hand on the pram at all times.
Most ferries have just a ramp on and off and gates that are wide enough to wheel a pram onboard. If you do encounter any steps, ferry staff or fellow passengers will be able to assist. If you decide to leave your child in the pram during the journey, remember to put the brakes on and keep one hand on the pram at all times.
Travelling by tram can be a challenge if you have a pram. Like buses, trams tend to have two or three quite steep steps to climb and a door-way that is usually too narrow for a pram. Get other passengers to help you carry your collapsed pram on board, whilst you carry baby, nappy bag and your ticket.
Where to go?
Check out our Activities Directory for a whole host of fun ideas and places to go.
Useful local transport links
Most of these sites include journey planners and online timetable info.
ACT: Action Buses
NSW: Transport Info
NT: Northern Territory Transport Group
SA : Adelaide Metro
WA: Transperth and TransWA