Monday, May 21

traveling with a toddler to new york city: how to survive flying, taxis, and hotels!

we just got back from our trip to fabulous trip to New York City. my brother-in-law graduated from NYU with honors no less. tickets to NYU graduations are a hot commodity, so i didn't actually attend any ceremonies. but, i'm not complaining. there's plenty to do, for baby and all!

five full days in the big apple was too much and not enough...when you've got a toddler in tow. i must say, we did a pretty good job getting there, taking a few bites of that big apple, and getting back!

i was brave enough to push a stroller into a couple of uber hipster haunts. and, a couple of nights, we were kid-free thanks to my wonder-in-laws!

this being our first flight with our 18 month old, i was a little nervous. the book, Happiest Toddler on the Block, would say our child is spirited! and, boy does he has a set of lungs.

well, we made a smooth landing in emergency landing! here's how.

let's start with the airport

check your luggage! our we two carry on backpacks, a large purse, and a stroller that we had haul through security and around the airport. totally manageable, but a challenge when you're footballing a toddler too! so...check your luggage! 

basically, we started feeding our son as soon as soon as we got to our gate. we planned our arrival to the airport, so we wouldn't have to wait too long. get there early enough, but not too early. unfortunately, our planning didn't make a difference. the weather in NYC was little rough, so we sat on the tarmac for 1 1/2 hours. some things you just can't plan. i'm not sure how we got through's a blur.

oh, and for your return flight...ask your concierge to call a taxi or car service. and be sure your concierge knows how long it takes to get to the airport. our's didn't...we arrived 7 minutes before they closed check-in!

up in the air

here's a list of things that made our toddler happy:
  • small pillow
  • favorite blanket
  • pacifier (at 18 months, we still use one for emergencies)
  • ipad with kids books and music
  • earmuff headphones
  • magna doodle
  • arsenal of snacks (healthy and low in sugar will work best)
  • too many diapers
  • an extra change of clothing
  • a couple favorite toys
  • a stroller (for the airport and the city)
my best advice is sit in the very back of the plane in the last row, if possible. then, you'll only bother 9 people instead of 200. also, buy the kid a seat...a window seat. an extra ticket is expensive, but so worth it. it would have been completely impossible to keep my son on my lap for 4 hours!

the trick was keeping my LO busy reading and playing for about an hour. then, i gave him a big snack (cheese slices, fruit, deli meat, and some crackers). by that time he was getting a little tired. so, i tucked him in "bed". my husband was traveling with us, so our LO laid between us. i rested his head on a pillow and covered him with his favorite blanket. the earmuff headphones were the magic touch. they muffled the sound in the cabin and delivered some soft music...a combination that put him fast to sleep for nearly the entire flight!

ground transportation

the stairs and all the zigzagging in the subway can be tricky and nearly impossible with a stroller, kid, and luggage. unless you can navigate the subways like a pro, i highly recommend public transportation ...bus, cab, or car service.

by law you can travel by taxi or car service without a car seat. if that makes you nervous you can find car services with properly installed car seats that are height and weight appropriate! check out Kid Car New York for more info. we just opted for a regular taxi and seat belts...don't judge.

a quick bit about strollers...take a small umbrella stroller or you won't fit in 99.9% of the boutiques and stops and stores and restaurants and sidewalks...well, you get the picture!


i'm totally convinced that there's not one hotel that likes kids...not even in Orlando. kids are loud, messy, dirty, and stinky. in Williamsburg-Brooklyn, there are only a couple of hotels to choose from. we chose the Williamsburg, because it was closest to the Bedford Strip restaurants and bars, near the parks, and centrally located so we could walk to some nearby neighborhoods. that makes meal time and entrainment super easy!

the best thing you can do is let the hotel know you're bringing a little one. ask what kind of accommodations they have for a baby or toddler. you might need to reserve a crib or a roll-away. small boutique hotels don't have lots in stock. we didn't know that. our bell-boy kindly brought us a roll-away mattress at our request. we didn't need the roll-away frame since our LO sleeps on a floor bed at home. well, turns out you have to reserve them, and they run $40 a night. the last night of our stay, housekeeping replaced it with a crib without any communication. they only had one roll-away, and another family had officially reserved it.

tune in tomorrow for more on our trip to frenzy!

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