Yay! I did it. I finally penned down my experiences of traveling with Avi to New York. Well, more than that I am excited that we finally embarked on the first flight trip with our little one and it was a success. It was both exciting as well as overwhelming. There have been days where negative thoughts have ruined my mind and put me in a dilemma whether I should do this trip or not. Nonetheless, we decided to go ahead and it was the best decision ever. We made a bunch of lifetime memories and on top of all, we celeberated Avi’s one year birthday in Times Square. What an accomplishment right?
So here is this blog dedicated to all mommies who are yet to take their baby outside in this cold. Don’t ever say “baby it is cold outside”, then you will be stuck inside forever. Well, this blog will have tips on things I carried to save Avi from NYC biting cold. It is good to be prepared rather than ending up in a mess.
Okay, firstly- Why did we choose New York? We wanted to meet our dear friends and celebrate Avi’s birthday with them. Also, travelling to a city where we have been already makes it “Okay” even if we don’t get a chance to go around much. This was Avi’s first and long flight and we wanted her to be comfortable all the time. So having folks that you know at the destination is always a perk. I am a person with a heck lot of expectations. This time I mellow downed a bit and took everything at ease. I kept telling myself ” it is not a problem if we are not able to cover places that we wanted to, baby is our priority”. Trust me, it worked like a charm.
Here is a list of tips you should know when traveling to NYC with a baby:
- Car seat – Well, this is totally upto the parents. I have heard that Yellow Taxi’s in NYC allow babies to be in parent’s lap and they dont insist much on a car seat. BUT, we did not want to take a risk at a new city. So, we carried our car seat with us. And majority of the airlines do a free check in of a car seat and stroller. So it was easy that way too. Plus you can check in the car seat near the flight entrance and they bring it back at the flight gate at the destination. This is even more helpful ful. The only hassle was that we had to carry it to all the places we went and that too while walking in the busy NYC streets. Anyways, safety of the child comes first, we were okay with anything else.
- Baby Carrier – always, always, always carry your baby carrier with you. It was so much easy for me to wear Avi on her baby carrier and walk around the busy Manhattan and Times Square. Most of the time, she would snuggle near my chest and get all the warmth she needs and helped her in resisting the cold wind. I would prefer a carrier anytime over a stroller. Even while checking in at the airport, security checks etc, she would just be in her carrier safe and sound. But of course, if the journey is not through such busy roads, you can take the stroller out. In that case, get a light stroller which is easy to fold in and out (like an umbrella stroller if your baby is ready to sit in that). A big stroller is not practical at all.
- Means of transport – Subway and cabs are the best option in NYC. Uber and Lyfts are convenient too. We preferred cabs or walks most of the time. Not to mention, Avi did love her subway journey too. So more than bus, I vouch for subways in NYC. Sometimes, carrying a stroller can be tricky in a bus. Also, knowing where to get on and off needs a lot of city knowledge. Unlike the subways where you have all the information displayed. You definitely dont want to be lost in a new city that toooo with a baby right?
- Pack less – That applies for both baby and adult. I took two carry on luggages along with two personal bags and a car seat. That’s it. One bag was solely for Avi’s stuffs. And the other one was for us. The advantage of packing less is that even if you have an early check out time from the hotel and you have ample time to catch your flight – you can still do some roaming.
- Take a weather check – Now, this tip is applicable to any place you travel to. I used to check the weather in New York everyday. Especially, the weather on the days am staying there. This helped me in planning the clothes I should pack for all of us.
- Keep the plan flexible – You should be ok with “oh! not today” term. Plan according to the baby and her needs.
How did we manage the cold?
Travelling with a baby is a different ball game altogether. And New York weather taught me the “art of layering”. You make your baby look like a tiny polar bear before you head out. According to American Association of Pediatricians (AAP) baby should dress up at least have one layer more than the adult.
How do I layer Avi (top)?
- Make the baby wear a thermal tee or top inside. Preferably a turtle neck tee which would cover till the neck.
- Then make the baby wear a lose sweater or any tee.
- Put on the winter jacket.
- Wear the mittens on
- Wear a woolen beanie or cap which would cover the ears. (Preferably make the baby wear a cotton ball inside the ears which would prevent the cold)
- Cover the head with the hoodie
How to layer on bottom?
- Wear a full length woolen stockings.
- Wear the socks
- Wear the pants or leggings
- Wear the boots.
Winter Essentials for your baby
These are few essential items I highly recommend you make sure you carry :
- Hat and mittens for your baby.
- Footed Fleece pajamas – This was very helpful when Avi used to return back from her day trips and just want to be cozy and warm to play around.
- Leggings – These are good to keep the baby warm and a good layering material. I make sure she wears a legging on top of her stockings anytime she is out.
- Full length stockings – I would say boy or girl, these are yet another life savors. Avi has this habit of removing socks from her feet every time we make her wear one. And stockings are super helpful because she can’t remove so easily. And yet another material for layering.
- Rain cover for the stroller – I am yet to invest on this one. But I have heard good reviews about this product. It not only protect the baby from snow, rain and wind but also creates a warmer micro climate inside. Cool right?
- Winter coat or Jacket – Just in case baby is uncomfortable in a snow suit, it would be ideal to invest on a winter coat or jacket.
- Fleece sweater – This is good if the weather isn’t cold enough to wear a winter jacket.
- Tylenol – This is not something to wear but just because of the weather change, if the baby fall ill, it is better to carry a medicine with you.
Was it a challenge to go around with a baby?
Going around New York is easy but with a baby, things change a bit. All you need is some planning and a lot of flexibility. Choose right places to see. We did not want a lot of roaming and somehow our trips were during Avi’s nap time. We used to hit the town in the afternoon and that’s when she takes her afternoon nap. I still remember how our Brooklyn Bridge experience was. It was raining, windy and cold. I just wrapper her nicely and carried her in the baby carrier. I shut my raincoat over her which gave a lot of warmth and walked the bridge. It was so memorable. She got her sound sleep and I got the best view of the New York skyline.
Would I recommend a trip with baby in the winter?
Certainly, it is definitely possible. It requires some more planning and a lot more clothes and gear for the baby. The days will seem longer and you will feel like you are always rushing from one place to another. But we definitely had some fun looking at the skyscrapers and christmas lights in the city.Only thing which is essential is that your baby should be fed well, she should nap well and layered well. If all three are in place, then nothing else can fall wrong.