When I moved to New York City, my oldest daughter was nine months old. After living in the suburbs for my entire life, including my life as a mother, I was completely terrified to move to the city. I knew that it was going to be a wonderful experience for my family, but I was so scared to learn the “new” way of living.
After just a week in the city, I learned how easy it was to get around. I laughed at myself for being so scared, because there really was nothing scary about it at all. All of the stereotypes I had in my head about NYC were completely wrong. The people in the city are very nice and the city itself is actually very baby friendly.
New York City is a big tourist attraction. That is one thing that I love about the city. There are people from all over the world visiting here everyday. It is a city full of culture, amazing attractions, and incredible food. I’ve heard from so many people that would love to visit, but are reluctant because they do not want to come with their little one.
I know first hand that this city can be intimidating to come with a baby. Everything is spread out, you have to walk a lot, and you aren’t sure what is baby friendly. My advice is to do it! Your little one will thank you for it later, and you will really love sharing your experience with them.
If you are planning on taking a trip to NYC with your baby, here are some tips on how to get around the concrete jungle!
1. Don’t overpack-
Because you walk almost everywhere in NYC, you are always carrying a diaper bag. Carrying it for a while can cause strain on your shoulder and your back. Don’t put too much stuff in it, only the necessities. If you forget something, there is a drug store on every corner that will have what you need.
2. Bring a lightweight stroller-
Don’t lug a heavy stroller to the city. It’s just not practical. With all of the walking you are doing and the folding and unfolding of the stroller, you don’t want to be doing it with a heavy bulky stroller. There are plenty of great light weight strollers on the market that are a perfect fit for the city streets. A few of my favorite light weight strollers are the Britax B-Agile and the Maclaren Quest .
3. What do you do with the car seat-
The number one question I always get asked is what I do with Avery when we get in a taxi in the city. You will need a car seat from the airport to the city (if you are taking a taxi.) It is legal for a child to ride in a cab without a car seat, however cab rides can get crazy. The best thing you can do is have your baby in the car seat carrier. There are times that it makes perfect sense for us to bring the car seat carrier and just buckle her in, but some of the time it’s not practical because I have no where to store the car seat once I get to my location. I usually put her in a baby carrier and buckle up with her attached to me. No its, not the safest thing in the world, but it’s the most practical for us in certain situations that I cannot control. That’s just how we get around in the city.
4. Baby wear-
The easiest way to get around with a baby is to wear them! I cannot tell you enough how much I love wearing Avery around the city. It just makes everything so much easier. I love using the Ergo .
5. Public transportation-
I know, I know, buses and subways are intimidating, especially with a baby. But have no fear, its actually really easy to get around. Using NYC’s buses and subways is a great way to get around the city and it will save you a lot of money on taxi rides, that can get ridiculously expensive (especially around rush hour.) Plus, as an added bonus, your child will absolutely love it! If you have an i-Phone, use your Google map for public transportation directions to get to where you need to go. Just type in the location and when you hit “directions” click the middle subway button and you will get the easiest way to get to your location using public transportation. This has been a lifesaver for me, even after living here for two years.
6. Ask for help-
Despite what you may think, New Yorkers are very nice and extremely helpful. If you need help finding a place or want help lugging your stroller down the subway steps, don’t be afraid to ask. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to lug my stroller up and down the subway stairs in the past two years. The generosity of New Yorkers is just one of the many things that I love about living here.