Toddler + Newborn Train Travels

So this past week we did a little traveling to Charlottesville, Virginia – by Train with both of the little ones.

Traveling 5+ hours on the train with two under two {one of which being only 2 weeks old!} Am I crazy? Possibly. But I think our travel plans were also pretty genius.

This past weekend we celebrated my sister-in-law’s wedding in Charlottesville. When we first found out we were pregnant, we didn’t really know if we would be able to make it – if we hadn’t had the baby or had just had the baby, we knew we wouldn’t be able to get down there. Not to even mention all the craziness with the Pope. But when we finalized our plans with the doctor to have a scheduled induction, we knew that the baby would be 2 weeks old and we would be able to get down there.

I decided that going down by train would be the best plan for everyone. Brooks wouldn’t want to sit in the car for 5 hours. Graham would possibly be nursing every few hours so we would have to stop for that too. With both boys a easy 4-5 hour drive could quickly become a nightmare.

Again, not to even mention the possible traffic craziness with the Pope.

And did I mention Brooks loves trains? It was pretty much a no brainer. But obviously, I couldn’t take both boys on the train solo. And obviously we couldn’t go on the train with all the stuff that comes along with traveling with two babies + a wedding weekend. We still needed a car too.

So we decided Charles would drive the car down with alllllll the baby gear {which took up our entire car} and I would have reinforcement on the train in the form of grandmas! Win!

Here’s how we survived the train with the boys:

train excitement

With Brooks we talked about riding the train all week. He’s pretty into Thomas and has a little wooden train set he loves so we talked it up and he was excited. We got to the train station early and let him run around a bit and explore – he was pretty much in awe when our big train pulled into the station.

train approaching

The trip down seemed much easier than the trip home, even though it was longer {because of the train we were on} – Not sure if it was the overall excitement for the weekend or the fact that we were on a Cardinal train headed down to Virginia but it was a 45 minute longer trip but seemed a little easier. I think a big part of that was Brooks was so excited at first he spent so much time on the way down looking out the window. This killed a lot of time!


We also brought all.the.snacks. I packed a massive bag full of things for Brooks to munch on. All of his favorite things – and this proved to be pretty effective, since there wasn’t much to eat on the train. The snacks came in handy for me to munch on too!


Did I mention having reinforcements was absolutely necessary?! Brooks wanted to see everything and explore. He wanted to walk around and generally won’t really sit still. With a 2 week old and a 19 month old – I needed a second set of hands. My mom came with us on the way down and my mother-in-law came with us on the way back and it was so amazing. I was pretty much with Graham most of the time because of feeding + changing and having the grandmas with Brooks was such a big help! He loved it!


Also if you have a child around Brooks’ age, you totally need to pick up the Kid O Free Play Magnatab – it was a massive hit with Brooks and is so easy to throw in any diaper bag. He played with it quietly on the train for a looooong time – it was a nice break for him and for everyone! Love it! 
new toyspace

The train ride down pretty much consisted of the Magnatab game {see above}, looking out the window + lots of snacks. Sadly, we didn’t get a nap in there – I think he was too excited – but he was such a trooper on the train!


Graham spent pretty much the entire time sleeping. We brought him on the train in the Uppababy bassinet that came with our stroller and it’s what he slept in the entire time on the trip { we didn’t bring a pack n play for him} It was awesome because he wasn’t constrained, could stretch out and relax – he loved it and so did I!

The Cardinal was an awesome train the travel on with the littles because it had so much room {it’s a train for longer trips, as opposed to the Northeast Regional commuter line we took home} Check out all this legroom we had on the way down – it was awesome! 


And I loved the fact that it had shades too – perfect for Graham + his naps!


The way home was a different experience mainly because we didn’t have the same room we had coming down. Check it out, not nearly as much legroom at all. Bummer.

bassinet seat

And Brooks was a little more rambunctious – I think it was all the excitement from the long weekend away, he wasn’t as content just sitting and looking out the window, he wanted to play and unfortunately there wasn’t the room to do that on the train!

i see you

He spent some time watching the world go by with Mimi


But we also used some technology to get Brooks to relax a bit this time around.

Thank goodness for iPads + the PBS Kids app.


The major plus on the way home was that Brooks napped! He passed out on my lap the last hour of the trip – he hasn’t slept on me in MONTHS so this was a little snuggly treat I was able to enjoy!


There is nothing sweeter than a sleepy baby.


Graham slept a lot but when he was awake he like to look out the window and watch the light change as we moved along. I think he really liked the hum of the train, totally knocked him out!


It was also really comfortable and easy to nurse on the train – so much better than stopping every few hours in the car!


All in all it was a great way to travel with the boys – they loved it, I loved it and it was pretty easy. I can’t wait for our next train ride together! 

Do you have any good travel tips or stories for traveling with babies?

Please share!


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  • Reply lindsey September 29, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    So fuN! A train is definitely easier than a plane bc the kids can move around a bit more. As for travel tips… bring 10 times more food and diapers than you think you’ll need!

  • Reply Patty O October 2, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Taking the train was certainly a genius idea, all were happy and that definitely makes a trip fun! Grandma’s loved not driving too!

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