What is the typical American dream? For some, it’s getting married, having a couple of kids, and moving into a sprawling house in the suburbs with a big backyard. For others, it’s finding that “perfect someone”, having a couple of kids, and living in an apartment the size of a walk-in closet in a big city.
No matter where a family decides to live, raising children is a challenge. It’s important to raise children to be respectful members of society and to ensure their safety at all times. Parents are also responsible for providing children with every opportunity that can be afforded to them. When it comes to raising children in New York City, the challenge becomes greater than it perhaps would be elsewhere.
People who have it all figured out: where the best burger is, where to catch that cab in the middle of rush hour in the rain, and how to score cheap theater tickets, may be in for a rude awakening when they bring a baby home. Parenting in NYC definitely has its own set of hurdles. For example, parents might need to rent out NYC storage for furniture that has to be stored to make room for nursery equipment, start applying for preschool before the kid can even walk, or learn how to balance a stroller and a baby whilst negotiating a flight of steep subway stairs.
Read on for some of the best-kept secrets for parenting in NYC.
Before baby arrived, getting around the city was probably pretty easy. Running down the stairs to catch the train before it left the station didn’t seem so bad, but with a baby stroller or toddler in tow, it isn’t as simple. Getting around NYC with kids definitely has some tricks to it and one of the best things a parent can do is invest in a solid stroller. It’s a great ride for the baby but can also help tote all that extra gear that parents need to carry, such as a change of clothes, wipes, snacks, and extra bottles. And because New York is such a pedestrian-friendly locale, parents should get their kids used to walking early on, so take that subway as often as possible. But remember; leave an extra 15-20 minutes early to ensure an on-time arrival.
With kids, everything seems more difficult, but it really doesn’t have to be. The trick is learning how to simplify things as much as possible. In New York, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. The secret is to stay organized and informed. One of the best ways to achieve that is to subscribe to subway alerts via email or text message. That way, parents know which route they’ll need to take for that play date or morning trip to school. Another way to simplify things is to invest in a laundry service and also get the groceries delivered, which is commonplace in the Big Apple. Wondering how to get everything done? Get a babysitter and run errands while the kids are asleep.
Keeping the whole family entertained isn’t always easy, even in NYC. The hustle and bustle of everyday life can definitely take its toll, so parents as well as children need a way to unwind. There are so many ways to keep busy in New York, ranging from museums and exhibits to cultural events and parks. If cabin fever sets in, chances are everyone could use a change of scenery. Take a walk outside and spend an afternoon in one of the many city parks. If the weather isn’t cooperating, consider a museum – many NYC museums charge admission based on suggested donations, so payment varies depending on an individual’s budget. It’s important for mom and dad to get out on their own as well, so plan for adult night, too!