A year ago I wrote a proposal for innovation funding to explore how you could make public transport an easy choice for new parents and those with young children. I am now writing this blog post at 7 1/2 months pregnant and pondering whether I’m really going to be able to achieve my own desire to be a multi-modal mom!
I’ve been a very regular user of buses here in Edinburgh for years. In general, if taking longer trips my preference is train over car or plane. Now I have a rose-tinted vision that when baby arrives we’ll be jumping on and off buses to get around rather than reverting to relying on our car. Will I really achieve this? I think it might take more determination than I have!
We recently bought our first pushchair / pram ‘travel system’ and wow, did that take some researching. Ability to use the pushchair easily on the bus was certainly a criteria on our list. This meant buying a pushchair that wasn’t too big or heavy and that could be folded relatively easily (so we could fold it up if there were already other pushchairs on the bus). These characteristics were generally high-up on our preferences anyway, because we were conscious of storage, fitting the pushchair in our car boot, manoeuvrability around shops etc. I think we have picked fairly wisely BUT:
- Is the pushchair really small enough to get on the bus? (I haven’t seen any recommended dimensions)
- If I was travelling alone with the baby, would I really be able to take baby out and fold up the pushchair to get on a busy bus? (I’m not convinced I would)
- What other problems could I run into?
My other dream is to leave the pushchair at home and use a sling or baby carrier for many trips; I was excited to test out the baby sling that arrived in our Scottish Baby Box yesterday. I’ve also taken on board a friend’s recommendation to buy a baby changing bag which is a rucksack design rather than a shoulder bag to make it easier when I’m out and about with baby in a carrier. So, again, I’m hopeful and relatively prepared BUT:
- Will baby be happy in a sling / carrier? (I’ve heard that some babies take to it much more happily than others)
- Will I physically be strong enough to carry the baby plus rucksack, or will it be too much for my dodgy back?
- What other challenges haven’t I anticipated to baby wearing?
I am very aware that my priorities might change rapidly once baby arrives and our new reality sets in. I will endeavour to report back on our travel choices in the coming months!