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Urban Moms: Tips for Navigating the City with Baby in Tow, Part One

October 22, 2012

This one’s for all of you city-dwellers. Instead of an SUV and a two-car garage, you’ve got a well-worn stroller and a hands-free diaper bag. Instead of a big backyard, you’ve got parks and sidewalks galore. But it takes a certain savvy to adjust to motherhood in a big city, and we’ve got some advice that’s sure to smooth some of the kinks in your routine.

  1. Choose your stroller wisely. OK, your stroller-obsessed friends have likely clued you into this one already. Think carefully about what you’ll be using your stroller for. Will you be jogging with it or taking it through parks frequently? You may need a jogging stroller. Are you more likely to be zipping in and out of local businesses or carrying your stroller up flights of stairs? Look for a lightweight, easily collapsible model.
  2. Think about a baby carrier. You may want to go hands-free on many of your daily jaunts, so test out various models of baby carriers. Some, like slings, may be better for indoor use, but there are other brands that sell carriers that support your baby and protect him from too much jostling. Try before you buy!
  3. Scope out the local parks and playgrounds. Chances are that you have a few options near your home, work, or daycare. Finding a park that is in a safe neighborhood is key. A play area is a bonus. And stay away from parks that are teeming with dogs out for their daily run. Infants and hyperactive canines don’t always go hand-in-hand.
  4. Make friends. While the city can make you feel anonymous at times, remember that making friends is a numbers game, and you’ve got a huge population of new moms all around you. Whether you meet them at the park, the children’s museum, or through a playgroup, making friends with your fellow moms can give you a local support system that will be invaluable over the years.
  5. Be dog-savvy. Dogs are cute. Dogs are curious. Dogs like to sniff, lick, and nuzzle anything at eye-level, and that will often be your baby. Be watchful as dogs approach you, and make an effort to keep your baby within watching distance, but not slobbering distance, from strange dogs. A sudden outburst from your baby may startle a dog and cause a negative reaction. Teaching your baby to approach dogs gently will help her foster a comfort level with animals going forward.

Stay tuned for our next blog post on adjusting to the travails (and benefits) of urban motherhood! We’ll talk bathroom emergencies, clean hands, and reasonable footwear. See you soon!

Photography courtesy of Flickr.

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