Hi Mommybites world – I am so honored to be a member of this community both as a fellow mom and as a contributor to the blog. So with that, let’s get talking!
Getting around with kids of all ages in New York City is a unique experience. I’m not always one for sports references, but sometimes it can feel like making a 40-yard dash up the middle while trying to avoid these crazy people coming towards you. And you’ve got the precious cargo!
There are lots of ways to go about it. And while hopping in a cab might just seem the easiest thing, it might not always be the safest unless your child is a certain height and weight or you’re carrying around their car seat. And considering they weigh more than most luggage that’s probably not likely. So public transport becomes a must at some point or another and, quite frankly, a daily occurrence.
So here’s the rundown on how to make it easier on yourself.
In the early days I always recommend a baby carrier. Stay tuned and I’ll help you try to figure out which one is right for you and make some recommendations. There are so many reasons to use a carrier but the highlights are that you can get around, up and down and in and out easily. While you must be careful to pack lightly because you are managing it all on your back, literally – it’s probably my favorite way to get around. Now the one time that I absolutely do NOT recommend a carrier is in a taxi. See here for some details from The Car Seat Lady on that. But on the bus, the subway and pretty much anywhere else a carrier is the prime way to go.
Now as the baby gets to be a bit bigger – or you’re going out for the whole day, or its just too stinking hot – a stroller is a must. If you are going out for a walk or to get groceries or to the park take a big “strolling” type stroller. But if you are planning to take public transportation I always recommend a quick-fold lightweight stroller. Some of my favs are a Maclaren Triumph, Uppababy G Luxe or a City Mini GT. Always try to have anything in a bag (meaning no lose items in the cargo space or accessories of the stroller) so that you can easily get your child out, pick up your bags, fold the stroller, carry everything and hold your baby or their hand. That sounds easy, right?? Ok, maybe not. But it is do-able. Just plan ahead. And remember, there will always be another bus or train and it is better to be safe and ready to go than to rush. So leave yourself plenty of time.
The one exception to using a quick-fold stroller when using public transportation is if you can manage to organize your ride to have elevators on both ends and in the middle, if you are doing a transfer. Now I will choose to walk 10 blocks to grab an elevator so that I can take a bigger stroller sometimes because I prefer to not have to fold everything up or carry something up and down the stairs. ** The downsides of elevators is that they do turn on that dreaded “Out of Service” light from time to time and you’re stuck managing the stairs now with an even heavier stroller. Also, they can be, well, very unpleasantly stinky sometimes. I’ve even taught my daughter that all hands and feet go inside and we don’t touch the walls while riding.
I hope that helps! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any specific questions or requests for topics. You can hit me up at @BabyPlannerNYC and I will see you all soon.
** Let’s do some quick math – 10-12 lb stroller, if you’re lucky, 10 – 15 lbs in stuff and oh, a 15-25 lb child. That’s um, about 25 – 52 lbs of stuff to carry up at least 2 – 4 flights of stairs in your arms. Now its do-able and I find that many many people offer to help you carry a stroller up, but I’d prefer to fold, throw it on my back and help my daughter walk up or down. And like I said, I’ll walk for an elevator if I can.
Jennifer Link is the owner of Sweat Pea Baby Planners
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