First trip to the UK, please help me

Old Aug 15th, 2017, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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First trip to the UK, please help me

Hello everyone.

I've decided to go to the UK on October for 11 days approx.
It's my first trip to London and it's my first time travelling with my baby girl (5 months) so to all moms reading, you know how it's stressful for a new mom to plan for her first trip with an infant.
Anyways, I have got some questions so please bear with me

First let me give you some info about us. We have never been to UK.
Looking for discovering new places (shops, markets, coffees, games ... etc), good food (too bad we don't eat sea food so we are gonna miss out on the famous fish and chips) and cheap deals. Historic places and museum are not on the top of my list as I have not traveled for a while so I don't wanna focus on them much. The thing is we have an infant with us now so I am not sure about how much couple activities we can still enjoy knowing that our baby is in good hands. I don't

1) If we wanted to visit other cities what you think is our best option here? knowing that I was suggesting to stay in London the whole 11 days (arrival and departure days are included) and visiting some villages near there or going to near cities for a whole day then going back so we don't have to pack and unpack. Is this smart or dumb?

2) I have read about cinemas that allow children (very family friendly) so we might go there one day. How about theme parks? do you know any that has a child care center so we can ride some games together instead of one then the other. I was thinking about hiring a baby sitter through our hotel but I am not sure about how good is this idea. So I guess my baby is better be safe with us.

3) Moms, I noticed that almost every one says London is not stroller friendly much. Is that right?
How about how you dress your little ones in the first days of October. I was thinking long sleeves bodysuit. Long sleeves blouse ( an extra jacket or sweater when it's cold) how about socks or gloves.
We live in a very hot country so I am not sure how my baby would adjust to the weather. Seriously, I know nothing about the appropriate dressing code for babies

4) Transportation. Since we are going to have the baby buggy/ stroller with us. How hard it is to use the underground. I am sure we are gonna use Uber for some of our visits but I think the public ones are cheaper in one hand and it's interesting to live the whole experiment as a visitor (we did that while we were in Spain and enjoyed it much)

5) Lets say that we would walk in the city with the stroller even If we are carrying the baby. What area should we mainly find a hotel in so we can be near the city center (walking wise)

6) Any other tips and advises are very welcomed

jada2018 is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2017, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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1) Trains are usually the best - yes I'd base in London and do day trips to other nearby cities- like Oxford, Salisbury & Stonehenge, Bath, etc. See for train schedules - can always get on trains but for longer rides say to Bath you may beable to save a bundle by buying tickets in advance. For closer places just buy at station. For lots on British trains check; and

In London buses may be better than the Tube access-wise with stroller. Uber or taxis will cost a lot - buses go everywhere and have places for 'heavy shopping' and things like strollers.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2017, 12:01 PM
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I think you should stay at home at this point in time. Not only will it be much colder than you are used to, but then there is the RAIN. Are you willing to buy a new baby wardrobe as well as ones for yourselves ? Maybe you should go instead to Orlando, Florida, for your theme park fix. Weather will be much better !
Bedar is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2017, 12:26 PM
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thanks. You helped me a lot

LOL, I had to change my plans as we were going to travel in Sept but Visa had another plan.
As for the wardrobe I will have to have something for the winter out here in my country anyway so having a bigger size ones will be helpful. As for me, I am not worried
US is my next trip when my baby is a little bit older and can ride the car with us going from one city to another. Also, I would leave before the weather gets too cold or rainy (I hope)
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Old Aug 15th, 2017, 01:21 PM
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Hi Jada, I lived in London when my children were small. It is an easy city to visit with children. Easy to get around with a stroller (don't know why people would say otherwise?), plenty of parks and play areas. I'd avoid the underground (too many escalators and stairs) and use buses and taxis. A stroller fits easily into a London taxi (not Uber).
Many museums are free. When it's raining it's a great place to spend some time.
Look into renting a flat. your baby can sleep, and you will still have a living room where you can sit, rather than being stuck in a hotel room. You'll also have a kitchen and washing machine.

The Electric Cinema on Portobello Road has times when parents can go with babies. They are called 'Scream' screenings. It's a great cinema, with comfy chairs and a bar.

I would forget about the theme park.

Area? Anywhere central (roughly within the area of the circle line), though it may be nice to be near a park. South Kensington is good.
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Old Aug 15th, 2017, 01:26 PM
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We used to get babysitters from an agency called 'Universal Aunts'. They have been around for ages, and is a very reputable agency.
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Old Aug 15th, 2017, 02:54 PM
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If doing more than a few trips by rail to places out of London investigate the London Plus Railpass which gives X number of days of unlimited train travel throughout SE England (including to Bath) that lets you hop on any train anytime - great for day trips -cheapest tickets often have blackout times or restrictions -and you never know when you will want to return from day trips -especially with child that young (I'd consider first class to as with stroller it has much more room than an oft crowded 2nd class.)
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Old Aug 15th, 2017, 06:34 PM
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You might consider one of those packs that strap to the front of you that you put your baby inside (either facing you or facing out). The brand I know is Baby Björn, and they are pretty good for that age if you don't want to take a stroller with you. Lightweight and very packable.

For flying, different airlines look after kids to differing degrees. Look at your airline's flight tips for kids. If your airline doesn't mention this have a look at Lufthansa's pages on flying with children as they have some really good ideas for all ages. For instance, small children often lack the ability to make their ears pop and consequently get an earache, so one tip is to feed the baby on takeoff and landing so they are sucking and this helps their ears to clear naturally. Make sure you have ample food / formula and even some medicine like paracetamol / ibuprofen (everything seems to go wrong on the plane and you don't want to be without it.). It can get cold in the cabin so bring some socks for bub and maybe dress in a tracksuit (warm, soft). To help keep a routine we used to change outfits for night flights so that our daughter got the idea that it was time to sleep because she was dressed in her pyjamas, but your baby might not have such strong associations with clothing at that age (only you know that).

Dressing: October will already be quite cool so yes, layers. You might want a warm jacket for bub, a warm hat and extra socks. Mittens are probably not necessary. Dress bub in a warm body suit (terry towelling, velour, thick cotton) with long arms and legs with feet enclosed and have a warm pram blanket and your rain cover for the pram. Don't forget an umbrella for yourself!

Look at accommodation that offers baby equipment (crib, bath?, highchair). If you don't see it in the list of amenities, ask, because many owners will have these anyway. An apartment with at least a microwave is much better than a hotel room, and particularly one where the bedroom can be shut off from the lounge room, so that little people can sleep away from noise, light and movement.

I wish you lots of luck: travelling with infants can be gruelling but once you are there you will find your routine and be fine.

lavandula is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2017, 07:00 AM
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Oh and that London Plus railpass I mention above -it also includes a return trip by train from airports on airport express trains that can be used anytime before and after the actual validity time of the pass.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 03:11 PM
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Mondays tend to be the favourite day for cinemas to have their "mother and baby" showings - in the middle of the day usually and clearly not in the centre of the city where cinema ticket prices are high, but a little further out.

I agree about buses and taxis - much easier than the underground system. And if you are visiting somewhere out of town - Windsor, Oxford, Bath, Canterbury etc. - try to avoid getting back to the main railway stations in London in the "rush hour" in the evenings - between 17.00-18.30. People are in a hurry to get home, the stations get crowded and the users are impatient.

As for theme parks, well Legoland, Chessington World of Adventure and Thorpe Park are the only ones I'm aware of close to London. And they're more pleasure parks than theme parks, and aimed squarely at entertaining children/teenagers rather than adults, with all the usual height restrictions for rides.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 07:18 PM
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Hi Jada, you are courageous to travel with such a young child. One thing that I particularly enjoyed in London, was going early in the AM to the Tower of London. Early to miss the crowds that will come later, go just before they open. Anyway, we headed directly to the building that held the Royal jeweled crowns, a small room of them, brightly lit, with a darkened room, and a moving floor so you could see the crowns from different angles. They are truly gorgeous, and form various parts of the world, and the one from India was my favorite with all the precious jewels/ emeralds/rubies/diamonds/ etc. maybe 25 or more crowns. Sue
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 10:03 PM
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With a baby you will be happier I think renting an apartment than staying in a hotel. More space and a kitchen or kitchenette so you can make breakfasts and have snacks etc.

Whether you stay in a hotel or an apartment you want one that provides a crib . . . That would be called a 'cot' in the UK. So look for terms like "cot provided", or "cot available" in the hotel/apartment listing.

There are no adult interest theme parks near London and your baby is too young to enjoy one anyway. There is Disneyland Paris which adults could enjoy -- but they will not watch your baby for you. In fact they promote 'baby switch' which is when one parent rides while the other watches the baby then they are allowed to switch places without going to the back of the queue . . . Plus, it is in France
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Old Aug 20th, 2017, 07:24 AM
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You might also want to look around and see what sort of accommodation is available nearby.
PatrickLondon is offline  
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