Although babies can travel soon after birth, parents should take some health and safety precautions to ensure a comfortable trip.
Having a baby does not mean a halt to your train travelling plans. So, if you are going on a vacation or visiting your old relatives, you can carry babies along with you. However, there are some important factors to consider before dressing up your baby and going on a train trip.
When is the baby fit for a long train travelling?
Train travelling is different for Indian Railways when compared to airlines. You can’t carry a newborn baby on a flight without approval from a doctor, but that is not the case with train travelling. Indian Railways does not have a policy regarding infants and toddlers. The decision is left upon parents. If they think it is okay to carry babies, they can.
However, doctors suggest that a baby should not leave the house for at least 40 days since he/she will get accustomed to the new environment and also gain some strength during these days. Apart from that, it is also necessary for the health of the mother who needs to recover from the exhaustion and pain of childbirth.
So, only if there is an emergency to travel, think of going on a train ride with newborn babies. Else, wait for at least 40 days to ensure a safe and happy journey. If there is not an emergency, then don’t let your newborn baby come out of the house for at least 3 months. Babies become fit for long train journeys after at least 3 months.
Planning for train travelling with newborn babies
Travelling with newborn babies on Indian trains is a challenge. You need to properly plan your journey and pack baby items well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle. Some of the tips that you should follow while going on a train ride with infants are:
1. Pack all the essential items for your baby
Don’t think that your baby will be fine just because you are on a 1-day train trip. It does not matter if you are going on a train trip for 1 day, 2 days, or even more than that, your baby will need all the items that you use while you are at home. So important things in your backpack for train travelling with babies must include all the essential items and things you will need after reaching the destination.
The checklist for the essential items to carry while travelling with newborn babies are:
- Rugs, bed-sheets, soft blankets, etc.
- Favourite toys
- Bibs to avoid spills
- Flask for baby’s water
- Extra diapers
- Extra pair of clothes and warm clothes (if travelling in AC class)
- Plastic bags
2. Always carry a first-aid box for your baby
Newborn babies are very delicate. They can catch cough, fever, colic, stuffy nose, burp, nausea, etc. on train journeys. So, always carry a first-aid box which must include medicines for fever, cold, congestion, wipes, thermometer, antiseptics, bandages and cotton. Make sure you have the doctor’s contact number saved in your mobile; call the doctor if your baby doesn’t feel alright.
3. Book tickets in AC class
If you are going on a train journey with newborn infants, one of the most important tips for a safe journey is to book train tickets in AC class.
It can get a bit loud in Sleeper classes and sometimes waitlist ticket holders also get on Sleeper coaches, which makes train travelling with babies difficult. Check PNR status online before reaching the station to learn beforehand whether the ticket is under confirm, RAC or in waiting status.
Babies need sound sleep otherwise they will start crying and make your journey a nightmare. Therefore, always try to travel in AC coaches (most preferably 2AC class) for a comfortable ride.
4. Take special care for feeding baby
It can be quite challenging to feed your newborn baby properly. If the baby is still on milk diet only, make sure you carry all the feeding equipment including bottles, steriliser, pumps, feeding pillows, bibs, and covers. Carry sufficient quantities of milk in a thermos bottle. If you are out of milk, you can always order warm milk for babies on the train from RailRestro railway food app.
If your baby is more than 6 months old and has started taking solid foods, don’t forget to carry foods like:
- Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Cereals like home-made semolina or rice based cereals or Cerelac®
- Homemade snacks and sweets like ladoo, gujiya, namakpare, etc
- Packaged fruit juices
5. Keep your baby comfortable and entertained
Babies get easily bored and long train journeys are their worst enemy. They like to be entertained, so keep a good stock of their favourite toys and household objects. To make the train journey comfortable and free from boredom for babies, you can do the following:
- Show him pictures from picture books or albums
- Watch some cartoon videos
- Play rhymes or lullabies on your phone
- Show him the scenery outside train windows
- Book lower berth seat, if possible so that you can play with them
These are some of the tips for train travel with newborn babies. You should not be worrying too much about people’s reactions. Take all the steps to ensure that your baby is happy and does not cry too often. Sometimes, other fellow passengers are not very comfortable with your baby. But remember that babies are just babies, you can’t stop them from crying or making noises. Follow the tips given above to ensure that your baby is having a comfortable train trip.