Tips For Visiting NYC With A Baby
I was apprehensive before traveling to New York City with a baby. I first came to know the city as a single young thing, and my experiences in the City were as far from baby-friendly as possible.
Which made it a very pleasant surprise to discover that NYC is a truly excellent destination for travelers with babies.
Wear A Carrier
And it is particularly convenient for travelers with babies young enough to be worn comfortably in a carrier on the chest or back.
Visiting NYC is a physical experience, and it is one that almost guarantees lots of walking, crowded sidewalks, small spaces, and an overabundance of stairs. Taking the subway with a stroller is doable, but unpleasant. Getting underground involves stairs and though there are sometimes elevators, locating them is difficult. But strap that baby to your chest, and you can almost convince yourself you just have a heavy, bulky purse on.
Even navigating the small, crowded spaces of the city – whether it be the inside of a grocery store at rush hour or a sidewalk at rush hour – is doable with a stroller, but undeniably easier with the baby strapped to your chest. Yes, you can absolutely navigate a stroller in the rain and snow, but wearing the little one and sharing body heat and snuggles is a far easier and more pleasant way to do it. If you get lucky, you might even experience baby’s first snowstorm while simultaneously cuddling in Central Park.
NYC is in some ways the ideal destination for young babies
What I had not realized until I arrived, is that NYC is in some ways the ideal destination for young babies. All you have to do is walk out the door, and there is a guaranteed endless supply of humans and entertainment for the baby to stare at. Let the endless energy and hustle of the city do the work of entertaining a young baby for you.
Of course, while NYC is a relatively easy destination with a young child, it does help to plan a little bit. If you can choose a season to visit, chose any season other than summer, which is always hot, smelly and generally unpleasant.
To make your own life easier, try to do things during the non-rush hours. For example, do your grocery shopping at 9am or 9pm (but whatever happens, do not go at 5pm), eat at restaurants and cafes during non-peak hours, do not get on the subway during the 5pm evening commute rush.
By all means, let the baby sleep in the carrier (or stroller) while you walk around. You are not required to have a car seat to ride in a cab with your child, so if you are comfortable going without, then know that you do not have to bring it.
There are tons of small city parks scattered in each neighborhood, and you will chance upon them while walking. If you are with an older child, stopping by for a half an hour in a random park is an excellent way to let a kid burn off some energy and have fun. And it requires no planning – walk enough and eventually you will bump into one.
Just Do It
The moral of the story is simple – if you are dreaming of NYC and have a baby, do it earlier rather than later. A portable, pre-walking child is going to have a great time hanging out and staring out in wonder at the busy, busy world of NYC.
And so will you.