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If Your Baby Must Travel in Wartime by Bureau

United States. Department of Labor

Children's Bureau

Publications no. 303-308

Washington, D. C. 1944

If your baby must travel in wartime



Have you been on a train lately? The railroads have a hard job to do these days, one they are doing well. But before you decide on a trip with a baby, you should realize what a wartime train is like. So let's look into one.

This train is crowded. At every stop more people get on--more and still more. Soldiers and sailors on furloughs, men on business trips, women--young and not so young--and babies, lots of them, mostly small.

The seats are full. People stand and jostle one another in the aisle. Mothers sit crowded into single seats with toddlers or with babies in their laps. Three sailors occupy space meant for two. A soldier sits on his tipped-up suitcase. A marine leans against the back of the seat. Some people stand in line for 2 hours waiting to get into the diner, some munch sandwiches obtained from the porter or taken out of a paper bag, some go hungry. And those who get to the diner have had to push their way through five or six moving cars.

You will want to think twice before taking your baby into such a crowded, uncomfortable place as a train. And having thought twice, you'd better decide to stay home unless your trip is absolutely necessary.

But suppose you and your baby _must_ travel. Well then, you will have to plan for the dozens of small but essential things incidental to traveling with a baby and equip yourself to handle them.

Going by Train?

Unless you appreciate the fact that babies and toddlers are very special people with very special requirements, you are in for a lot of trouble if you attempt a train trip with them. Planning should be done well in advance.

[Illustration: Take only what you must]

You will need to make your train reservations early. Select the first or middle of the week for traveling. Stay off trains on week ends or holidays. Travel then is like a bargain-counter rush.

Travel arrangements of any kind are hard to make nowadays. Railroads are geared to military needs and civilians take what is left over.

If you are going on a very long trip, try by all means to arrange for a stop-over or two with relatives or friends. It will give you a chance to rest and get things in order again.

When you travel by coach.

If you are traveling by coach, let us hope you are in one of the up-to-date coaches with comfortable reclining seats rather than in one of the not-so-modern coaches found on other trains.

If it is a de luxe coach and if your child is 2 or 3 years of age, you may be able to get a seat reservation for him. Otherwise you will have to hold him on your lap.

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