Kat Johnson, 35, lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Ryan Bhandari, and their kids Arlo, 3, and Ivy, 4 months. Somehow she found time to send us these tips on getting around the city with young children.
1. Big city, small stroller. Leave the rear-suspension, shock-absorbent, multiple-recline, organic-cotton beast at home and bring a cheap umbrella stroller — the lighter the better. Look for something you can easily collapse in cabs, subway turnstiles and tiny restaurants, and carry up and down stairs. And pack a rain cover.
2. Car-seat shuffle. If you have an infant, take along the car seat and a detachable set of wheels that turns it into a stroller (like a Graco SnugRider). This way you’ll always have a car seat for cabs.
3. Gadgets are your friends. Load up the kid-friendly apps to distract kiddos if they need to be on the train or in restaurants. If you have a young baby, a white noise app might help put her to sleep. NYC-specific apps like NYC Way, Time Out New York and HopStop provide tips and transportation options in a flash, and websites like Mommy Poppins are packed with New York City-specific family-friendly activities.
4. Don’t be overly ambitious. With all there is to see in New York, a walk around the block can be more exciting for kids than you think. So don’t insist on getting on the Staten Island ferry if you’re facing an imminent meltdown (from your toddler or yourself).
5. Change diapers before you go. You can’t predict accidents, of course, but know that changing tables aren’t always readily available (a friend’s lesson after one particularly stinky subway ride).