12 Baby Registry Lifesavers for New York City Parents
Wait! Before you let your suburbs-dwelling sister sell you on that giant all-terrain stroller, remember that creating a city-friendly baby registry is a whole other ballgame. With all the subway riding and small-space-living we urban parents do, it's important to choose items made for the many hurdles (and perks) NYC throws your way.
Wondering where to start with your baby wish list? Here are 12 must-have registry items to get you and your new New Yorker through the first year.
Easy-to-carry stroller: This one's an absolute must for walkups, brownstones, and all public transportation. Consider a lightweight travel system such as the City Mini, which can be folded and carried by a single strap, and is compatible with a number of popular infant car seats. You also could opt for a lighter umbrella stroller that reclines, such as Summer Infant's 3D Lite Convenience Stroller. Finally, if you're thinking about splurging (or grandma's feeling generous), go with a premier stroller such as the Babyzen YOYO+, which has a one-handed fold and car-seat compatibility.
Impossible-to-lose booties: Instead of being that parent who is constantly posting missing shoes to the local listserv, register for a pair of booties that won't budge. Zutano's two-snap design means no more canvassing the neighborhood after a post-Sunday brunch stroll looking for lost footwear. Choose from cotton, velour, and even fur-lined styles depending on the season, plus tons of colors and patterns for your inherently stylish city kid.
The Keekoroo Diaper Changer is easy to wipe down.
A mess-free diaper changing pad: No washer and dryer? No problem. As long your diaper changing station is outfitted accordingly. Instead of relying on traditional fabric changing pad covers and liners, keep a stash of three-layer, leak-proof Munchkin Arm & Hammer disposable changing pads for added protection during those messy blowouts. If you're looking for more peace of mind and less waste, consider investing in the Keekaroo Peanut diaper changer, which is water resistant and easy to clean. It also eliminates the need for a pricey and space-hogging changing table. Put it on top of a dresser, or use the bed or floor.
The Elevate from Land of Nod is a sleek space-saver.
A compact sleep option: Because your one-bedroom railroad apartment is already crowded enough, a sleep option with a small footprint is probably imperative. The Fisher-Price Auto Rock ’n Play Sleeper is seriously streamlined and features an easy, compact fold for travel or storage. Meanwhile, if your little one's nursery used to be your coat closet, a mini crib such as Dream On Me's Aden 4 in 1 Convertible Mini Crib might be a good choice beyond the first few months. And there's no need to sacrifice style with miniature options such as the Elevate from Land of Nod.
Easy-to-clean bibs: Save yourself another trip to the laundry with easy-wipe, waterproof bibs, like those made by Bumkins. These stain- and odor-resistant bibs can be hand-washed in the sink and hung to dry, plus they're lightweight and foldable, so they'll easily fit in your diaper bag when you're dying to have dinner out (minus the mess).
Stroller gloves are a must for winter.
Stroller gloves: With all the tricky clips, lids, and clasps we're forced to tackle, parenting while wearing winter gloves is practically impossible. So when you consider the amount of time city parents spend outside in freezing temperatures, you can see why stroller gloves are a brilliant sanity-saver—keeping your hands warm and dry in all weather, while enabling you to quickly tend to baby. The 7AM WarMMuffs are a tried-and-true choice, and they attach easily to any stroller.
A comfortable carrier: Sometimes even the smallest, lightest, toughest stroller just won't cut it. Whether you're braving the subway during rush hour, running errands, or just craving a cup of coffee from that tiny and impossibly crowded cafe you love, a comfy carrier can be a game-changer. There are many models from which to choose, but the Tula and the Ergobaby four position 360 are NYC favorites. In addition to being safe and supportive for baby, both models are designed with padded, adjustable straps and lightweight, breathable materials.
Change the baby anywhere, even those icky but life-saving public changing tables, with the Skip Hop Pronto.
An on-the-go diapering kit: Public changing tables are a blessing and a curse -- convenient during a diaper emergency, but otherwise a bit gross. Minimize the NYC public restroom yuck-factor with an on-the-go kit such as the Skip Hop Pronto! changing station, which features an oversized wipe-clean mat that keeps kids from touching everything you don't want them to touch. Plus, you can toss the kit in any bag or throw it in the stroller to ensure you have all the diapering essentials as you need them.
A cab-friendly car seat: An infant car seat easily installed without a base is a New York City must-have for taxiing, Ubering, and car-renting (although some car services do offer car seats for a fee). While all seats can be installed without a base, those that can be installed using the European belt path are ideal because they allow for a more secure installation and added head and neck protection. The Cybex Aton is a popular pick: It's compatible with a number of different strollers and weighs in at just 9 pounds. When you’re ready for a convertible car seat, the $60 no-frills Evenflo Tribute is ideal for cabs and travel.
Safety straps: As much as you love the city, you probably don't want it all over your little one's bottles, pacifiers, and toys. Keep those precious items from hitting the pavement with special safety straps that attach to the stroller or carrier. Baby Buddy Secure-a-Toy straps are affordable and handy for not-so-heavy infant toys. BooginHead’s PaciGrips and SippiGrips are a reliable option for heavier items and stronger toddlers.
The Sleep Sheep travels with you.
A sound machine: The good news is your baby most likely will be born accustomed to the sound of ambulances, car alarms, and construction. But you're wise to set your child up for major sleep success with a sound machine that brings a little calm to the city's natural soundtrack. The Sleep Sheep On The Go is ideal for naps, nighttime, and even travel. It comes in a convenient size and easily attaches to bassinets, cribs, strollers, or just about anywhere else your little one wants to snooze. Looking for more serious white noise? Try the Dohm sound machine. It's simple, utilitarian, and does the job of blocking out all that street and apartment noise. It now offers options just for babies, but we've used the basic one for years. Stows nicely in a suitcase, too.
Playful storage solutions like these from 3 Sprouts add color to any nursery and work to hold clothes, swaddles, and toys as they get older.
Smart storage solutions: But seriously, where are you going to put all of this baby stuff? Collapsible bins and boxes are super cute and easy to stash in just about any available crevice in your tiny apartment (no overpriced storage unit required). Browse IKEA's Slakting and Flyttbar collections, or take a look at 3 Sprouts for some storable solutions.
All photos courtesy of the companies.