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inspiration100

Sleeper car with an infant?

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The Amtrak site says an infant can travel for free with ticketed passengers. However, how would that work in a sleeper? Theoretically could an infant stay in a roomette with two parents? I understand this is very limited space and probably not recommended, but I'm still curious. Anyone ever done it?

Edited by inspiration100

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Roomette would be a pretty tough do with two parents. If it's truly an infant it's probably easier, one parent gets the upper bunk, the other sleeps in on chair while the infant carrier sits on the floor or the other chair.

 

There has been a lot of discussion in the past (with no definitive followup that I can recall) about a small sized pack and play in the limited floor space of a bedroom.

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I've travelled Amtrak in Superliner Roomette with 18 month infant.

I slept in the top rack, mom and babe in the lower. Two nights on the Empire Builder.

Great trip. Minimal luggage in the roomette, left most bags downstairs in the shared rack.

Yes, it was a bit crowded, but with a happy mom and dad and baby, worked just fine.

With a younger infant would probably work even better.

Edited by NW cannonball

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The other passengers will be very pleased to have the infant in sleeper (with an enclosed room, walls, etc.) and not in coach. Go for it. I've seen several people do this and it seems to be fine -- just make sure there's enough space based on the size of your kid. (With a <6 mo. baby it seems straightforward; a 2-year-old would be another matter.)

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Indeed, "It all depends" on the age and stage of the infant, and the skills and attitude of the parents.

Less than a year old -- eat, sleep, cry, get changed, no worries.

Closer to the "terrible twos" (like my grandkid is now) wants to meet everyone, climb on everything and everybody, complain loudly, take anything apart --.. -- please keep this infant enclosed :)

In any case, if the parents allow the child to sleep on them, or the floor, or in a basket -- roomette worked well for us and the babe at 18 months, and for a few friends with infants 1mo to kids 5yr. A kid in this age range is smaller than a suitcase,

 

And yes, I like to encourage parents to take their kids on train trips. Not only some of the best times when I was young long ago, but

still really good for my friends and family even now.

Edited by NW cannonball

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Probably a little easier in a Superliner, I recall seeing changing tables in at least some bathrooms, not sure if it is all. The VL would be a bit trickier......

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We've done this multiple times and it worked for an overnight, I'm not sure how it would have worked out for multiple nights. But, it really depends on the individual, size, sleeping habits, etc.

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Out of all the discounts Amtrak is either reducing or removing I hope the free toddler ticket ends up on the list at some point. In my view there should be no added incentive to drag an infant along on a long distance train trip. In my experience the walls are much thinner and noises much louder than grand/parents assume and a toddler is still too young to remember the trip anyway. But they're not too young to make the trip miserable for those who are unlucky enough to be stuck next to them. Just to be clear, I'm not advocating that toddlers should be banned from Amtrak. There are situations where people need to travel with young kids whether they want to or not. But it shouldn't be actively promoted via discounts or freebies, IMO.

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So you are saying that parents should make a choice of paying another $200 for their 4 month old daughter to go see her grandparents on Amtrak or getting in a car and driving the 1,000 miles there?

Edited by the_traveler

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So you are saying that parents should make a choice of paying another $200 for their 4 month old daughter to go see her grandparents on Amtrak or getting in a car and driving the 1,000 miles there?

 

The rest of us have to make that choice so why not parents?

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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They do, once the kid is 2 years old.

 

Before that, they don’t take enough space to warrant an actual ticket.

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You can make a reasonable claim to keeping a young child on your lap for a two hour flight. You cannot reasonably make that claim for a thousand mile train trip. In the case of a sleeper the child may not be taking up a lot of extra physical space but they are likely to impact their neighbors in other ways such as extra noise and staff assistance. The implication that carrying a toddler one thousand miles involves zero impact to Amtrak or anyone else is objectively erroneous.

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Given that I've done it without impact to Amtrak, I'm going to go ahead and say that I disagree.

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On my trips toddlers are usually accompanied by a lot of extra luggage, often found squirming across, around, and under coach seats. Or making a racket in the bedrooms, needing various items warmed or cooled, leaving spills to be cleaned up and trashed to be tossed. When people talk about having to wipe everything down it's often based on having seen babies and toddlers cleaned on seats and across trays. The impact is real, even if you've never noticed it. Which brings us to the crux of the issue, would you have refused to travel if your amazingly silent/weightless/poopless baby required a ticket to travel?

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OK, you totally got me. A couple of diapers added to the trash can is absolutely worth a few hundred dollar ticket. :rolleyes:

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On my trips toddlers are usually accompanied by a lot of extra luggage, often found squirming across, around, and under coach seats. Or making a racket in the bedrooms, needing various items warmed or cooled, leaving spills to be cleaned up and trashed to be tossed.

Congratulations, you have just also described many of the (adult) passengers on Amtrak!:)

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On my trips toddlers are usually accompanied by a lot of extra luggage, often found squirming across, around, and under coach seats. Or making a racket in the bedrooms, needing various items warmed or cooled, leaving spills to be cleaned up and trashed to be tossed.

Congratulations, you have just also described many of the (adult) passengers on Amtrak! :)

 

No doubt. The main difference being that everyone but the toddler has a ticket to help defray the cost of carrying them along. ^_^

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Just came across this post, and wanted to share some of my own experiences.

 

Last October, my family (wife, 16 month old (at the time) daughter) and I took the train from San Antonio, TX to Ashland, VA, changing in Chicago and DC. We splurged for a bedroom both ways, as we felt that having the extra space (both room and berths) and the attached restroom would make for a conducive travel experience for our little one.

 

Overall, things went rather well. Our daughter loved being able to move around on the train, and we found that in the bedroom if we folded up the swivel chair, she had plenty of space to make a little play pen for herself, and to alternate playing at the mirror with climbing on the couch to look out the window. We didn't have any issues with her sleeping (she fortunately sleeps through the night herself), as we found that there were plenty of room between the berths for all of us. (We can take any specifics as to what we packed and such offline if you'd like to continue the discussion) For meals, we were asked to have her on our lap, which was fine, and because she was under 2 and not ticketed, she was not eligible under the sleeper meals in the diner, so that's something to be aware of. That was fine by us, as she was able to eat some things from our meals that she liked, plus we'd packed plenty of food and snacks for her in the room.

 

We cloth diaper and had started toilet training using the Elimination Communication method, so with the attached restroom, we were able to get her to us the toilet (with a seat adaptor we brought) much of the time, and then were able to use the shower to wash cloth diapers (that were changed on a changing pad on the floor, DA, so not leaving any sort of an impact to other passengers) and have very little waste. We did tip generously to both the dining car staff and SCA, because they were all very accommodating and loved interacting with our little one.

 

I think the age we took our daughter is about the youngest I'd go overnight on a train, as I'm very self-conscious of disruptions to neighbors/other travellers (which is why I would be hesitant to fly with her), as she was reasonably able to control her emotions, and we were able to accommodate her schedule and needs to avoid any tantrums and outbursts. I agree that it would be unique with each child to ascertain their comfort at new situations, but in general, I think if you're willing to be attentive to their needs, it's certainly doable.

 

~ ATE

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Just came across this post, and wanted to share some of my own experiences.

 

Last October, my family (wife, 16 month old (at the time) daughter) and I took the train from San Antonio, TX to Ashland, VA, changing in Chicago and DC. We splurged for a bedroom both ways, as we felt that having the extra space (both room and berths) and the attached restroom would make for a conducive travel experience for our little one.

 

Overall, things went rather well. Our daughter loved being able to move around on the train, and we found that in the bedroom if we folded up the swivel chair, she had plenty of space to make a little play pen for herself, and to alternate playing at the mirror with climbing on the couch to look out the window. We didn't have any issues with her sleeping (she fortunately sleeps through the night herself), as we found that there were plenty of room between the berths for all of us. (We can take any specifics as to what we packed and such offline if you'd like to continue the discussion) For meals, we were asked to have her on our lap, which was fine, and because she was under 2 and not ticketed, she was not eligible under the sleeper meals in the diner, so that's something to be aware of. That was fine by us, as she was able to eat some things from our meals that she liked, plus we'd packed plenty of food and snacks for her in the room.

 

We cloth diaper and had started toilet training using the Elimination Communication method, so with the attached restroom, we were able to get her to us the toilet (with a seat adaptor we brought) much of the time, and then were able to use the shower to wash cloth diapers (that were changed on a changing pad on the floor, DA, so not leaving any sort of an impact to other passengers) and have very little waste. We did tip generously to both the dining car staff and SCA, because they were all very accommodating and loved interacting with our little one.

 

I think the age we took our daughter is about the youngest I'd go overnight on a train, as I'm very self-conscious of disruptions to neighbors/other travellers (which is why I would be hesitant to fly with her), as she was reasonably able to control her emotions, and we were able to accommodate her schedule and needs to avoid any tantrums and outbursts. I agree that it would be unique with each child to ascertain their comfort at new situations, but in general, I think if you're willing to be attentive to their needs, it's certainly doable.

 

~ ATE

Yes! Nuance! More of it is needed today...

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