So I was on a train on Sunday, and I'd deliberately chosen to sit in the quiet carriage at the front. About 30 minutes into the journey, a woman with a clearly unhappy baby came into the vestibule. The baby screamed its head off, she sang to try and soothe it, much noise was made. This made me contemplate: would it be OK to politely ask her to move?
I totally judge those people who glare at parents with noisy babies on planes and suggest they go elsewhere. The kid has no idea what's going on, after all. But on a plane you can't move — you're stuck where you are seated. On a train you can sometimes easily move, especially on a Sunday morning when there are lots of vacant seats and you're not carrying a pram or other gear.
It was an eight-car train, which means the first, last and middle two cars are quiet carriages (and have signs everywhere telling you so). For the mother to move into the adjacent regular carriage would require no more than passing through the automatic doors. If I decided to say nothing but move to another quiet carriage, I'd have to go three carriages down.
But that's probably not enough reason to ask. It's easy to go overboard when asking someone to be quiet, as Lifehacker's own Chris Jager can attest. Plus, looking after kids brings hassles enough without strangers asking you for silence, and I fully appreciate that. Parents have to follow the same rules on public transport as everyone else, but — again, like everyone else — deserve to be cut some slack.
When I threw the question out there on Twitter and Facebook, the consensus was definitely and unequivocally that you shouldn't intervene. But a small part of me thinks that a simple, polite request might have been OK, if you were sure that the presence of the parent was the result of genuine ignorance of the train rules. What do readers think?