If you are anything like me, you get a little daunted when thinking about riding the subway with kids. Although my 3 year old loves to ride the “train”, it can often turn out as a big mess! Jada Shapiro’s, Co-Director of BDP, has written about her personal experience navigating the subway with her daughter. Jada has provided some great tips on how to make riding the subway an easy experience.
New York City Moms share a unique bond for many reasons – the strongest perhaps a result of navigating the New York City subway system with babes in tow. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only that had the sudden realization while heading into the subway for the first time with my baby?
While puffing out of breath at the bottom of the stairs, it occurred to me that subway rides before the time of my daughter, weren’t so bad after all. And that I was about to embark on an epic journey that would test my character, stamina and will to push on, or at least – my desire to go shopping.
As a mom who’s already been through it once here’s what I learned: The stroller becomes your nemesis, every bottle of water another brick in your bag, and diapers? Whether you have enough is always a gamble, but choose wisely between a backpack that makes your life a little easier, or testing Murphy’s empathy – Murphy’s Law that is.
No longer will you hustle to catch the subway you hear rumbling your way as you descend into the station. Another will be along shortly! And once onboard, you will always panic about missing your stop while frantically gathering belongings and infants, as the train slowly comes to a stop.
When you finally make it outside the train car, it’s safest to let the rushing herd of people pass. And then, gracefully lift and balance the baby, the stroller, the bag with everything you could possibly need – in moderation of course, on your hip, shoulder, inside of the elbows – whatever it takes to maintain that look of calm collectedness. (You may want to practice this at home….in-front of a mirror. At least that way you’ll know how you appear to strangers when your face is contorted in agony.)
On a good day, a kind stranger may snap out of their NYC trance, and offer you help. Don’t be modest – take it!
At street level you can sigh with relief, that it will likely be at least an hour before you have to go through that again! And when you do, try these basics:
- Pack the absolute minimum to make things as light as possible.
- Ditch the diaper bag for a backpack.
- Wear your baby in a baby carrier whenever possible.
- Choose a lightweight stroller.
- When climbing stairs keep the baby in the stroller, turning the stroller inwards to face you while resting it
on your hip, suck in your stomach muscles and go!
- Figure out a system that works best for you.
We’d love to compare notes! What’s been your experience navigating the subway system? What tactics have worked for you? And which stations do you go out of your way to avoid?