Amelia’s First Trip: Tips for NYC With an Infant

Traveling with a child is stressful whether you are prepared for it or not. There isn’t really a good or bad time to fly. It sucks for us adults and sucks more for a tiny human who can’t figure out what is going on around them. I am going to give you tips for flying with a lap infant to New York. I’ll write another post in June about heading to California solo with a baby. So, without much ado:

Do’s

  • Pack well ahead of time.
    • For Amelia, we packed an entire day’s set of clothes (outfit, socks, pajamas) rolled up into a ziplock bag. I marked what day to wear those clothes as well. This made each day with her so much easier and more organized.
    • In a couple extra ziplock bags, pack extra clothes and bibs. This makes it easier to toss in a diaper bag and get going.
  • Pack extra everything. You won’t use it all but it’s better than not having enough.
    • I packed a bib for everyday but didn’t end up using most of them because we were on the go constantly so Amelia ate on the go.
    • I also packed a few receiving blankets for cleanup and spit up but didn’t even touch those.
  • Bring the sealed packets of baby food and all breastmilk on the plane with you.
    • You don’t have to check baby food or breastmilk, just let them know you have them at security. I didn’t want to check my milk just in case my bag was lost.
    • I brought about 5 food puree packs. Lots of places sell baby food packets but they are stupid expensive.
  • In NYC you can breastfeed anywhere and everywhere covered or not.
    • Do not be afraid to just whip out a breast and let your kid eat. We went to several super busy eateries and no one even looked twice at me while feeding Amelia. I walked around The Met with Amelia dangling off my boob and didn’t feel uncomfortable for even one second. Same goes on the subway. Central Park is even better, women are known to sunbathe topless there.
  • Bring toys attached to those pacifier clips or bring toys that have clips and latches on them.
  • Bring hand sanitizer.
  • Utilize the MTA website for handicap stops and bring a lightweight jogging stroller.
    • You sometimes have to walk a few blocks out of your way but the elevators will make life easier.
    • If you do have to use the stairs don’t fret! If you bring a lightweight stroller just carry it up and down the stairs. New Yorkers are incredibly nice and will often get out of your way or assist you.
    • Use the handicap entrance to the train with a stroller (get the attention of the attendant and they will open the door for you after you slide your metro card) and leave through the emergency exit.
  • Plan where you want to go before you go to New York.
    • The Met is great because it is nice and quiet and you can go 3 days in a row but its not very stroller friendly so plan your visit. The American Museum of Natural History is great for kids and strollers. Download the Explorer App before going and purchase tickets beforehand as well. You can also enter on the side of the building where the Rose Center for Earth and Space is located. That is handicap and stroller entrance. You can also skip the lines there. The Central Park Zoo is also great for kids and includes a Children’s Zoo where you can feed goats before 3 pm.
    • Take your baby to play in Central Park! Amelia learned how to crawl in the park. The grass is nice, the park is beautiful, and there are lots of food trucks within the park.
    • Choose busy places to eat because it will distract your baby.
    • Avoid places like Times Square with the stroller. Use a carrier or just don’t go until you take a baby free trip. The busier tourist areas are difficult with an infant.
    • Take the ferry to Brooklyn! It’s beautiful, and you can cross back on the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Call your hotel ahead of time and request a crib.
  • Eat allllllll the pizza.
  • Bring a comfort for sleep.
    • the taxis can be loud so bring something to play white noise and bring a favorite blanket.
  • Bring puffs. They’ll save your life.

Don’ts

  • Don’t bother with a car seat. There are services that can bring you to the hotel and back to the airport.
    • If you do bring a car seat, make sure your hotel room has a closet because you won’t use the carseat for the trip. The train is your friend!
  • Don’t stress!
    • Take deep breaths and ask for help. You will get it.
  • DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK!
    • Tourists in New York are the worst so don’t be one. New Yorkers do not care if you stop to check out their city. Just step to the side or find somewhere more appropriate to stand.
  • Don’t worry about forgetting anything, there are markets and drug stores on every corner.
  • Don’t forget a boppy
    • We decided not to bring one because we didn’t want to carry it on the plane. Worst mistake ever! We definitely could have used it while she slept on our lap on the plane.
  • DO NOT apologize on the plane.
    • Babies cry. That is just what happens. We were delayed and then sat on the tarmac for another hour to de-ice. Amelia was pissed and uncomfortable. Just do your best to soothe them but do not apologize. It gives people permission to judge you. I just tried to reassure Amelia that I knew she was unhappy and that she didn’t understand what was going on. I tried feeding her often but she just was unhappy. By saying those things out loud it also reiterates to other passengers that you are trying and that your baby is just not understanding of the situation.

Flying and traveling with a baby can be so stressful but it is also so incredibly fun! Amelia did amazing considering. We took her all over New York and she just kind of rolled with it. She would sleep in her stroller which could lay back or sit up, depending on her mood. There is so much to see and it’s all new for little babies. You get to see the world through your baby’s eyes. Amelia got to touch the ocean for the first time in Cooney Island, she ate next to Teddy Roosevelt in the Museum of Natural History (if the Night at the Museum fame), she met some incredibly nice strangers who thought she was just a doll, she tried new foods and had the time of her life! Just take each day as a new day and ask for help. New York is amazing so just do some research on child friendly things to do. There are tons of parks, even the 9/11 memorial is a beautifully peaceful place to take a baby. Don’t follow these tips for going anywhere other than NYC because it is a unique city with unique baby tips. If you have any questions about traveling with an infant I am more than happy to answer! You can email me here: whenbabynaps@gmail.com

 

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