With two trips to New York under her belt, Elin has become quite the city girl. The first time I brought her along she was only 10 months old and decided to start walking during our visit. It was as if she soaked in the energy and couldn’t bare to stand still anymore. Our most recent time in the Big Apple she was exactly a year and a half. This time she was sticking her hand in the air and yelling, “Taxi!” and coloring on the paper tabletops at Balthazar. It’s amazing how everything changes so quickly at this age, each time felt like a totally different ball game. But in the process we have learned a handful of things that made each trip ten times easier. Here are a few tips and tricks I rely on when prancing around New York with a toddler.
On me: Isabel Marant jeans, Cynthia Rowley top, 3.1 Phillip Lim loafers, Jennifer Fisher choker with charms and cuffs. On Elin: Stella McCartney dress.
1. Ditch the hotel: Having an apartment is so much easier when you have a little one. Separate rooms, kitchens and a washer and dryer are saving graces. We have used Kid & Coe, which offers tons of places that even come with books, toys, cribs and high chairs—total game changer.
2. Apps: It’s amazing what you can get, whenever you want in New York. I used Instacart to deliver all our groceries, food for Elin, diapers, wipes and more within the hour that we arrived. For someone who loathes grocery shopping, this is the best! And it was incredibly convenient considering we arrived at night, exhausted after an 8-hour trip. My latest discovery that really came in handy was Hello Sitter, last minute babysitters that are reliable, trust-worthy and available. Our friends at Yoya introduced us to the service and it’s amazing. You can watch a video introduction on each sitter, read about their background and pay via the app at the end of the night. 3. Getting around: I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this topic, what to do about a car seat. The first time we visited we used a car service (to and from the airport) that offered an infant car seat. We didn’t bring ours and I’m glad we didn’t, since the one we had was so heavy and most of the time we walked everywhere with her in the stroller. If we did need a taxi, I’d request an Uber car with a carseat, although the few times I tried we only got lucky once. It’s not ideal but I just held on to her and opted for an SUV. The most recent visit we brought along her carseat for the plane ride, which was huge by the way. She slept a good two hours and I got to watch a movie. The second time around we brought an umbrella stroller (the Inglesina Net) and boy was that nice to have. Super lightweight and easy to fold up. 4. Favorite attractions: Children’s Museum of the Arts, The High Line, SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park, Central Park Zoo and boat racing, a date at Serendipity, dinner at Bubby’s and morning coffee and a stroll through Washington Square Park.
5. Time change: On the first trip it took her a couple of days to adjust. There were some rough nights but she quickly transitioned and it was smooth sailing from there. As a 1 1/2 year old she made it look like no big deal, I was shocked at how well she did (even coming home). I think the trick may have been traveling during the day (no red eyes) and jumping right into East Coast time. We work her up in the morning instead of letting her sleep in and let her nap when she was tired. I think it helped that we were out and about doing things so it kept her pretty distracted if she was a teensy bit tired.
Photography by Arna Bee