Surviving rush hour on a tube with a baby

Travelling around London at rush hour can be a daunting endeavour so doing it with a Baby or small child can be like climbing Mount Everest. I can’t say if the earlier or later rush hour is better or worse. One thing that is definite; travelling in the rush hour is not for the feint of heart.

8 Top tips for surviving rush hour on a tube with a baby

  1. Make sure you have your tickets or passes sorted before you start your journey.  This can get you through the barriers at tube stations quickly. At rush hour you want to get in and out of the tube station quickly, especially if the station is over crowded. People can be incredibly impatient, selfish and insensitive when they are rushing to or from work.
  2. If you are travelling with a buggy make sure your child is well and truly safe and secure. There will be plenty of people lost in the world of their hand held in rush hour. No one wants to be commuting (unless it is their first day at a new job that they are really excited about). Everyone wants to get to work on time, get to that meeting or needs their coffee.
  3. Be prepared to be pushed, shoved and snarled at by other commuters.  Some think that if you are a travelling parent you shouldn’t be on the tube with a child let alone a grizzly child.
  4. Make sure you have something for your baby to play with. From a child’s perspective the tube at rush hour is like being in the land of the grumpy disgruntled giants.
  5. Don’t let people push you around when it comes to space. Wheel chairs and pushchairs have allocated priority space. It can be a struggle to get on to the tube. In rush hour the carriages are packed like sardines.  You may have to wait for space to get on but there is space by the double doors for buggies. Do ask your fellow commuters to politely move so you can park your buggy on a crowded tube train.
  6. If possible try and travel with a companion.  A lot of tube stations have been adapted to be fully accessible.  Not all have been. Some tube stations have stairs leading down to the platform. In rush hour this could make it difficult to get your push chair to the platform. You make be lucky and have a empathic and understanding commuter who will help you lift you buggy up or down from the platform but don’t count on this. Alternatively you can ask one of the station staff to help you.
  7. Be careful on the platform.  On a crowded tube platform always make sure you are well behind the yellow line as this may put you and your child at risk from pushing and shoving. Keep baby close.  If you have a buggy make sure you keep hold of it, or have the safety strap on your arm.
  8. If possible baby wearing is the way to go when travelling. You keep baby close, safe, protected and calm. Having your child is strapped to you is safer during rush hour. You are also keeping your hands free which makes it easier to use escalators and keep people from bashing in to you. But most of all stay calm. Stand your ground as you have the right to travel on the tube with your child during rush hour.

In summary:

  • Use a sling
  • A lightweight and easy to fold
  • Use a Back pack
  • Keep kids close
  • Don’t get stressed
  • Talk to the guard/conductor/platform supervisor/train crew if you need help
  • Keep calm
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