Baby Blog – Our first trip away…alone!

Last week I went to stay at my mums for a few days while Sam stayed at home for work. This was  the first time we’d been apart since Molly was born and the first time I’d looked after her by myself since being in the hospital. Originally I was supposed to be away from Thursday to Sunday, but, because of rail engineering works, I had to travel home on the Monday. I was away for 4 whole nights, just me and Molly. By the end of it I was more than ready to come home.

Because Molly can be a bit of a pain in the car, I travelled there on the train. I was dropped off near Cambridge station with my handbag, Molly's changing bag and a lightweight travel pushchair and off we went. I had Molly strapped to my front, backpack on my bag, pushchair in one hand and handbag in the other. It wasn't easy but it was manageable. The journey there was pretty much uneventful. We got two seats to ourselves and I gave Molly her lunch to pass half the time. Molly then slept on me for well over an hour and I had to wake her so we could depart the train at our stop. We met my mum at the station and after a quick drive home we had made it in one piece. It was such a sense of relief. I was incredibly nervous about travelling by myself with Molly but I needn’t have worried. She’s such a chilled baby and takes most things in her stride. We just had to get through the next 4 days of solo parenting now.

When we got to my mums house Molly was like a different child. For some reason she’s going through a very clingy phase and will barely let me out of her sight. She stepped this up a notch while at my mums house and decided that she didn't want to let anybody else near her and was going to cry unless I was right next to her. It was exhausting. She wouldn’t let anybody hold her but me so I had to do everything. She accompanied me everywhere and I learnt to do a lot of things one handed whilst balancing a baby on my hip.

It was a tough few days but I managed it. I had no other option. There was a tiny human being that needed looking after and I was the only one to do it. She was really good for me most of the time, having good naps during the day and sleeping really well at night, thank goodness. I think without a decent nights sleep each night I would have really struggled. I definitely take my hat off to all the single mums out there. I couldn't imagine having to do it all by myself every single day.

On the day we were travelling home Molly woke up with a cold which was the last thing I needed with a 2 and a half hour train ride ahead. We got a lift to the train station and my mum helped me onto the train and then we were by ourselves again. This time the train journey was a nightmare. Molly woke up from a 20 minute kip screaming and I tried everything to calm her down. I knew she didn’t feel well, but the train passengers didn’t so I felt pressure to stop her crying. I did eventually get her to stop with the help of YouTube and 20 minutes later we were off the train at our stop and I felt that sense of relief once again. Home sweet home...almost. Just a short walk and car ride away but the worst was over. 

I feel incredibly proud of myself for doing those journeys and looking after Molly alone. I was so scared to do it beforehand but actually it was fine. I'll admit it was stressful, but there wasn’t a moment when I couldn’t manage. I realise now that of course I was going to manage. She’s my child, I look after her everyday so what’s the difference between doing it at home and doing it somewhere else. Yeah, I missed my husbands help, but I don’t NEED it. I do like it though and I have returned home with a newfound gratefulness and I’ll never take him for granted again.

My top tips for travelling on a train with a little one:

  1. Pack light - the less stuff you have the easier it will be to manoeuvre

  2. Take lots of food/milk - Giving Molly her lunch on the train took a good half an hour so it was a great way to keep her occupied for a chunk of the journey

  3. Take toys - Quiet toys are best so as not to annoy your fellow passengers 

  4. Take baby/sanitising wipes - Molly was obsessed with the little pull down tray on the back of the seat on the train so I gave it a good clean with a wipe so she could play to her hearts content without me worrying about germs

  5. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It's not easy getting a pushchair onto a train from the platform and there is usually someone around who's happy to help. I'ts better than struggling.  

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