Top Tips for Commuting with Your Child in London

Returning to work following parental leave can be a huge mix of emotions from excitement to worry. Choosing the right childcare for your little one is a big decision and Bright Horizons are here to support you with this. Did you know that you have access to an on-site nursery? In addition to having your child/children onsite with you there are huge savings to be made as well. One very important thing to remember is that what you are thinking and feeling in terms of childcare before your baby is born, can be very different to how you are feeling after your baby is born.

We appreciate that travelling on public transport with a baby can feel daunting, however rest assured that millions of people do it on a daily basis. To support you on your journey from commuting by yourself to commuting with a small child, we have created some top tips to try and ensure a smooth transition.

Many of our families are highly experienced in this area and so please feel free to reach out to our Parent Reps, (contact information can be found on the staff noticeboard in the nursery) or pop into the office and we will put you in touch with a Parent Rep who will be able to support.

We have collaborated with our parents who commute with their child/children to bring you our top tips for commuting with little ones:

  • Cost

    It is free to travel on public transport with children aged 11 and under. (Children aged 5-11 will need to have a zip Oyster photocard.)

  • Trial Runs

    Practice your commute before you return to work and your child(ren) begin at nursery. This helps you to master a number of things; your morning routine, the train journey and your walk/bus trip.

  • Time of Travel

    If you are able to avoid rush hour peaks, it may be easier to get on trains, tubes and buses with a buggy. (Please note that some of our parents have requested flexible working and changed their working hours to be 8am-4pm.)If you are not able to avoid peaks during rush hour, remember you and your child(ren) have just as much right to be on that train/tube/bus as other people.

  • Arriving Early

    If you end up at the nursery before it opens, please do make use of the Parent and Baby room or go to the Restaurant to have a bit of downtime in a quiet space.

  • Bags

    Please do remember that you can leave your child’s bag on their peg at the nursery. All we ask is that it is replenished with spare clothes if these are used.

  • Buggies

    During your practice runs, it may be worth trying the journey with and without your buggy. Slings and backpacks are perfect for carrying little ones however buggies do provide lots of extra storage space if you need to also carry your work bag. If you are hoping your child naps on the commute, and they usually have a darkened room, consider a snooze shade or something similar to ensure your child doesn’t become over stimulated by the lights and noise. Please remember that when travelling with buggies on public transport the buggy goes on first with you getting on second and you exit first (backwards) with the buggy second (back wheels first) to ensure maximum safety. If there are lifts, please do use lifts rather than escalators. If you are using escalators, please be sure to have the back wheels on the escalator at all times. And if people aren’t able to get past, don’t worry, it is two minutes out of their day.

  • Snacks

    Snacks matter! Easy to eat and easy to open snacks are essential. For example bananas, oranges, squeezy fruit pouches, crackers and bars.

  • Books and Toys

    This is a wonderful opportunity for you to spend time with your child that you might not otherwise get and our families like to take advantage of that! Book bags for smaller children (take 3 or four books in your book bag and remember to swap them every couple of days.) For older children activity books and sticker books are a great idea.

  • Screen Time

    If you are happy for your child to have some screen time than there are some apps that you can use. The CBeebies Storytime app is a great interactive library of books and the CBeebies Playtime Island is especially good for older children – talking to them about what they are watching or playing helps keep it interactive and makes sure you are involved.

  • Spare Clothes

    Make sure you have a spare change of clothing in your bag or at work. It means if you get hot and bothered or if sticky hands make a mess of your clothes you’re able to get changed.

  • Wet Wipes

    Most important of all the tips – remember wet wipes!

Onward Journey to the Nursery

Station Walking Time Bus
Waterloo 15 minutes 211
Victoria 15-20 minutes 24
Ernst Handel Roland Mendel Austria
Kings Cross N/A 59
Euston N/A 68 to Waterloo and 211 to Abbey

Please note that it may be best to try and avoid Embankment or St James’ Park if you have a buggy as they are not step free.

For further guidance and support on how to plan the easiest route with a buggy.

Top tips and guides for the types of buggies to use on public transport.