If you’re a city mom, trekking across town with little ones in tow can be a bit challenging. Between out-of-service subway elevators and irritated commuters giving your massive stroller the stink eye, the whole ordeal can be a downright headache.
If there was one thing I quickly mastered as a mother of two in the city, it was the art of shuffling around Manhattan with kids. Getting the kiddos around town with ease actually isn’t all that hard once you know the insider tricks. Mommy blogger Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City agrees – and she’s here to share her favorite gear for taking the headache out of commuting with kids.
Get yourself the right stroller
Here’s a life-changing tip I wish someone had told me early on: you really need two strollers in the city (one for running around in your neighborhood, and another for subways and buses). While a large, fancy-pants stroller is amazing for everyday use (especially grocery shopping); it can be a nightmare on the subway. This is because these giant, sturdy contraptions rarely fold up easily. Instead, keep a collapsible stroller on hand.
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“My favorite is a lightweight umbrella-type stroller, like the UPPAbaby G-Luxe,” says Manz. “It’s great because it’s light enough that you can actually carry your kid in it up and down the stairs of the subway if it doesn’t have an elevator.”
The Baby Jogger City Mini is also a sturdy choice that folds up in two seconds flat.
Another lifesaver is knowing which stations have elevators and escalators. Back when I was a commuting city mom, I would only get out at subway stations that I knew had elevators. Even if it meant walking an extra few blocks, the convenience was well worth it.
“Whenever we’d go to the children’s museum on the on the west side, we would get off the stop before just because it had an elevator,” says Manz.
Wear your baby
The right baby carrier can make the world of difference when commuting with kids. I’ve literally tried them all – the Moby Wrap, the Baby Bjorn; you name it, I’ve worn it. In my personal experience, the Ergo Baby turned out to be hands down the best one for city life.
“I probably wore all three of my kids until they were well over a year old,” says Manz. “The Ergo 360 is probably the best. It’s good for your back, you don’t really feel that much weight, and you won’t feel crippled after you’re running around town.”
Wearing your little one on the subway or bus also makes it that much easier to get around. For starters, it eliminates the hassle of pushing a stroller (a bit of a game changer during rush hour). Another bonus? If the baby is facing in with a cover, it’ll help protect them from yucky subway grime.
Consider a scooter or stroller board
As your infant grows into a toddler, wearing them may literally become a pain in the neck. For Manz, investing in a mini-scooter turned out to be a lifesaver.
“The Mini Kick is great for getting your toddler around town because they can scoot along a little faster if you’re by yourself with them,” she says. “If you have another child in the stroller, they can also ride next to you on the scooter.”
It’s when you have more than one kid that commuting in the city gets a little tricky. Take it from me: double strollers aren’t the easiest to lug on and off a packed subway train. Instead, I opted for a putting my little one in a single stroller while my oldest scooted along on an attached stroller board. (We had nothing but good experiences with the Buggy Board.)
Another perk of the stroller board is that detaching it is a snap, making it extra-convenient on a crowded train.