Last week John and I headed off to London for a couple of days with Erin in tow. The last time we took her was last summer so traveling was much easier because she slept more! I’ll be honest, I was quite worried about how we would keep Erin occupied for 2 hours. Toddler travel has been a nightmare of mine for a while now.
One of the best things about being a blogger is being able to turn to others for help, advice and inspiration. So many bloggers were there to help me out with ideas for a long train journey:
I did 6 hours+ with a 16 month old and 6 week old a couple of years ago and it was surprisingly easy, though it helped that I had grandparents to assist (my husband couldn’t join until the next day). I would say make sure you have plenty of snacks and magazines/books, and try to plan it around nap time so that you get at least a little break. I found my toddler (at the time) spent almost the entire journey staring out of the window as she was so fascinated by the countryside (having only ever experienced the very urban train journey from home to central London before) so we played a lot of eye spy etc! Samantha – Chocolate & Wine & I’ll Be Fine
For her first Christmas, we took my daughter to London to spend a weekend with family and do some last minute Christmas shopping on Oxford Street. Our train from home to London was almost two hours each way; she was 11 months. We found taking books, a couple of toys and a few healthy snacks was enough to keep her entertained, with the occasional walk up and down the aisle to stretch her legs. We made sure to book tickets in advance, too, so that we had a table and window seats, so she didn’t feel stuck in a small space. Sophia – Tattooed Tea Lady
STICKERS! Also, crayola magic books. When those fail reach for your phone/ipad and fire up the Cbeebies app. Hannah – Hi Baby!
Always try to get a table seat so I can put them by the window and they are wedged in! Oh and take bribes, crisps, chocolate, whatever it takes! Laura – Five Little Doves
Sadly after my last experience I would say don’t forget some bags without holes in just in case they are sick!! Kelly – The Best Version of Kelly
If you have a little time before then create some train bingo cards. pictures of things they have find inside the train and outside the window during the journey. You can select the things based in how old they are. e.g. trees, clouds, black shoes on other passengers etc. Vicki – Tippy Tupps
A mini blackboard and chalk and a little picnic with paper plates and cups with their favourite characters on Lianne – Ankle Biters Adventures
The portable Aquadraw is a big favourite of ours, totally mess free yet the children feel as if they are getting to paint. Even better once it dries you can start doing it all over again! Victoria – Mummy Times Two
Draw a checklist of things you will probably see out the window- car, cow, train, shop etc. and get them to tick it off when they see it! Faye – Glossytots
For the first hour it was mostly spent eating. Erin was pretty happy with a couple of boxes of raisins for a while and a sandwich. We also went armed with toys such as her favourite books, one of those magnetic drawing pads (what are they called?!), toy phones and her favourite soft toys.
The problems came when Erin started to get too tired. Our train was at 11am which is normally Erin’s nap time. She gets so excited though and doesn’t want to miss out on anything so she refused to sleep for ages. We had to pop her back in the stroller and John pushed her around for a little while. Thankfully, she did end up sleeping for nearly the last hour of the trip.
Luckily the journey home was a bit better. Erin was already super tired so we didn’t get her out of the stroller. Instead, John stayed near the doors with her and got her to sleep. She lasted until about 35 minutes until the end of the journey. Once she’d woken up she was hungry and needed changing so that took up the rest of the time.
We have a 4 hour journey coming up for BlogOn in May and I am dreading it! 2 hours was bad enough but 4?! What the hell are we supposed to do with a 17 month old for 4 hours? Toddler travel is not easy.