New York City is known as the city that never sleeps. Shopping, the hustle and bustle of Fifth Avenue, evening cocktails, Broadway shows — New York is an adult paradise for many. But what happens when you’ve opted to swap your late-night drinks for bottle feeds and your Luis Vuitton for that changing bag that is ever so classy but simply not the same? Can you still visit New York with a baby?
The answer is absolutely, yes! While I am yet to venture to New York with baby Isla, I have visited several times before, so I am familiar with the city. When you become a parent, you look at your travel destinations in a different light. I’ve learnt a lot from our travels in the past two years! All of a sudden you have to think about things such as feeding schedules, nap times, and accessible transportation. New York City can be super fun with a baby, but there are some elements worth considering. I’ve listed these below for you.
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When it comes to public transportation, New York City is not friendly to those of us with babies or very young children. Subways are crowded and have lots of stairs: a challenge when traversing with a stroller! On my travels, I have tended to ditch the stroller in exchange for a baby carrier, which provides much more flexibility. If you need the stroller, your best option might be walking or taxis.
Choosing where to stay with your little one also becomes a different ball game than it was pre-baby. I choose to co-sleep with baby Isla so that I don’t have to worry about travel or hotel cots. I understand this is not for everybody, though. It’s worth researching the best value accommodation option that has plenty of space, especially if little one is old enough to be on the move!
Stroller or Baby Carrier
As I mentioned, I am a big fan of baby wearing due to the added flexibility that this provides. That said, a stroller can also be a life-saver, particularly if you plan to go out in the evening when baby is sleeping. I recommend a light-weight travel stroller that can easily be folded away when you’re not using it.
If my experience traveling with a baby has taught me anything, it’s that more planning is required than you might be previously used to.
We tend to move slower now, allowing time for the baby to rest. And now that she is a bit older and full of energy, it is also important that she has time to play. We schedule playground stops and nap time into our itineraries, and we tend to avoid late night activities. Nobody wants a grumpy baby the next day! Many of the major tourist sights can be exciting for kids, and just walking through the streets is fantastic for stimulating their senses.
Babies learn so much from traveling, and even if you don’t plan a child-centered itinerary, they will gain so much from the sights, sounds and smells around them. My advice is to visit New York with your baby, plan a little, and embrace it. You and your little bundle of joy will both reap the benefits.