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Little Babe's Big City Features

Check out our feature articles for parents in-the-know at Little Babe Big City Features.  We highlight the most stylish dresses for a 1 year old, outrageously cool graffiti onesies, the Baby Food Diet, baby advice and much more.  

Welcome to our New York City Baby Guide, the hip savvy baby resource for New York City parents with reviews and listings of all neighborhood baby stores, local pediatricians, reviews of baby stroller and kid friendly restaurants in Manhattan and  our Little Babe's Big Bad New York City Choice Awards for the Hippest NYC Baby Stores and Services.  



Central Park Carousel - Best of NYC Activities with KidsLooking for more to do with your family?  We are compiling our reviews of the Top 30 Cool Things to Do with your Kids This Summer so check in with us if you are out of ideas.  And join our Hip Parent's Club if you want to receive our weekly picks for the weekend, local deals and new and noteworthy boutiques, kids classes and events straight to your inbox.  We organize by neighborhood and age grade so you know what's appropriate and convenient for your brood. 



Looking for the cutest and coolest baby clothes for your soon to be bundle of joy, or toddler? Do you need to buy the most unique outfit for your fashionista friend's little baby?  We've got you covered with our reviews of NYC Baby Clothing Stores.  And then Check out our Neighborhood Guide to Baby Stores in all of Manhattan.  We break it down by hood' and category for you.  And of course, we have the Brooklyn hipsters covered with our reviews of all the Baby Stores in Brooklyn, NY.  



We also have the most stylish and sophisticated Maternity Stores for NYC Moms who want to feel like their normal, sleek selves for as long as possible throughout their pregnancies without resorting to tents and granny panties. 



Whether it's wood blocks with Hebrew, Russian, French, or English lettering, Ugly Dolls, Elmo, handmade puppets, custom doll-houses, collector train sets, or just a bouncy ball, we review New York City's Toy Stores and break them down for you.   



Are you dreaming of toile and gingham for your nursery?  Or a totally modern sleek look with funky wall decals and lighting.  Either way, you can explore all of New York City's coolest furniture stores to deck your baby's nursery, or alcove.  We review Baby Furniture Stores by Neighborhood




Think dining out is over now that you have a little one?  It's not always easy taking your infant or restless toddler to a nice restaurant.  But most urban parents love to dine out and eat well so we have done the research for you.  We review NYC Baby Stroller and Kid Friendly Restaurants by neighborhood so you can walk your stroller to the nearest most convenient place to eat and feel comfortable knowing no one will scowl disapprovingly at your tots.  



From infant classes, early child learning sessions, parenting groups, music classes, mommy and me events, swim lessons, to simply what to do with baby on a weekend we have scoured through the very best baby classes in NYC and broke them out by what's offered in your neighborhood in our NYC Guide to Infant and Kids Classes. 




Understandably, one of the most important decision a new parent makes, prior to baby's arrival is finding a trustworthy pediatrician.   We review the Top Pediatric Practices in Manhattan by neighborhood helping you make the most informed decision early on.




Looking for a nanny?  Many moms use word-of-mouth recommendations but we have pulled together some of the Best Nanny Placement Agencies in NYC.  And when your little one is ready for daycare, or if you are looking for an Infant Daycare Program in NYC we have a list of Every Licensed Daycare Facility in NYC for you to contact.  If you are thinking about getting a baby nurse, check out our Baby Nurse Guide for a personalized account of Do's and Dont's. 



The best source of information, recommendations, and advice on raising your baby or child in NYC are other Big Apple Parents.  So feel free to use our NYC Message Boards to connect with other moms local to your neighborhood.   Maybe you will even make a new friend to add to your playgroup. 






Top 5 Items in Your Diaper Bag

Recently we asked our mommy friends to share their top diaper bag essentials.  What are the most important items in your diaper bag?  There are the basic essentials and then those fabulous clutch hitters that come in handy when you really need them.  Other than your standard diaper bag items like diapers, wipes, A&D ointment or petroleum jelly, wipes, burp cloths, bibs, formula, bottles, and an extra outfit, here are the top 5 diaper bag items women recommend you never leave home without:

1) Doggie Poop Bags (with a handy dispenser) - when your little one decided to make a stinky poo at a housewarming party, or really at anyone's home, you can very courteously dispose of the dirty diaper by dropping it into a doggy poo trash bag, tie it in a knot and mask some of the odor.  Ugh. 

2) Face/Paci wipes - you can also use organic, plant based diaper wipes for this purpose, but if you are out to eat and your baby drops her pacifier for the 3rd time, running to the restroom to wach it with soap and water gets old fast.  Bring paci wipes with you - they taste sweet like apples and could also be used to wipe the mush off baby's face after a quick meal of solids on the go.

3) Diaper Changing Mat - they make all kinds, and if you are lucky your diaper bag comes with one, but do yourself a favor and buy a big, round portable changing pad that folds up.  You need that extra space in case your wriggly baby simultaneously pees in the middle of a change, or it happens to deliver a messy poo that he or she rolls into in the middle of a wiping session.  You can also bring disposable pads (think wee-wee puppy training pads (but those have chemicals), instead buy wee wee pads for adults (with bladder problems).  These are absorbant, take up little space and are large enough to act as a changing pad. 

4) Toys - it's obvious but many parents forget - always keep a few small toys for any baby older than 3 months in the bag...and don't forget to put them back into the bag when they are done.

5) Sunscreen / Sunhat - on a sunny day or any day your little one is going to spend a chunk of the day outdoors, sunblock on hand will protect your little one's skin. 



Hip and Trendy Disposable Bibs for Baby

Feeding your little one on the go can be a messy endeavor and bringing waterproof bibs in your diaper bag is a given.  But I always forget to clean the diaper bag out right away, and dirty bibs are a constant reminder of our daughter's last peach oatmeal banana afternoon snack.  These disposable trendy bibs by Dwell Studio are a fashion forward and convenient solution.  You can tear off each bib for a one time use, then discard and be done with it.  With Dwell Studio's cool print patterns and designs, you might want to dress your little one to match the hip bib design.  Dwell Studio's Bibs To Go retail around $10.99 and can be purchased online here through our Amazon Store, or other online specialty shops.  


Ice Cream for Babies

Many parents often ask "When can my baby eat ice cream?"  The typical answer from a pediatrician is not until the age of 1 year, when the risk for allergies has decreased and baby's digestive system is developed enough to process whole milk without issue.  But the urge to delight your little one's pallette is strong, and the joy in experiencing the flapping arms and legs in pure joy has many parents introducing a spoonful way in advance of the 1 year mark.  While a little taste might not cause much of an issue, a better alternative is to make your own frozen yogurt treat.  Babies can tolerate plain whole milk yogurt starting as young as 7-8 months.  The tart taste is an obstacle however.  We discovered this great recipe for Peach Frozen Yogurt which you can make for your teething infant that will go over and elicit the same response as a spoonful of vanilla Ben & Jerry's. 

Recipe for Baby Peach Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

1/2 cups of Peach Puree (Use Organic Peach Baby Food or Puree your own)

2 cups of Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt

1 Drop of Vanilla

Mix the ingredients well and freeze for a minimum of two hours in a large bowl.  Then churn the ingredients together a bit before serving.  You can churn and then freeze for a harder texture.  This is a great recipe for little teethers who love the cold sensation in their mouths. 



Scary, but Warm Blanket for Baby Carrier

So although we are in the midst of summer, we just had to comment on this photo of the Peekaru.  The Peekaru is a fleece cover that is worn over your baby carrier (Ergo or Bjorn compatible) so you can keep your little one snug and warm on a cold, windy day when you have to simultaneously take your dog for a walk.  You can easily throw a jacket over this contraption and be good to go.  And you can display your little alien for all the world to see.  The Peekaru retails for approximately $70-80, and has a slew of fans.  It's convenient, easy to wear and cosy.  And just a little creepy. 


Hip Hop Baby

The RZA, the GZA, Old Dirty Bastard, Inspect-a-Deck Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah...if you grew up listening to the Mighty Wu-Tang Clan, now your little babe can kick it old school (wow - is Wu-Tang now old school?) with this awesome one-sie by Sourpuss for $22.00.  Now all you need is to play some old kung-fu movies instead of Baby Prodigy DVDs and you can lead your babe down the path of being a real Wu Warrior.  You can buy the one-sie online from a wide variety of sources, or get it through our amazon store here.


Taking Baby on a Bus in NYC

Travelling around town with your little one, a NYC parent has several options available: 

  • You can walk almost anywhere with your urban stroller, hopefully equipped to withstand the potholes and bumps of the city streets
  • You can hop into a taxi (read our article about how to be safe in a NYC taxi with your baby)
  • You can take the subway (click here for a listing of elevator accessible stops in Manhattan)
  • Or you can take the bus.

The bus can be a quick and easy option if you have a baby carrier.  Using a carrier is the best and most convenient way to take the bus with your baby.  In NYC, the MTA requests that all strollers be folded up before getting on the bus.  This means that you need to hold your baby on your lap and keep the stroller next to you. If your little one is under 1 year old, skip the stroller and use an Ergo or Baby Bjorn to get in and out fast.  If you have a toddler that still gets tired and needs a stroller, get a lightweight umbrella stroller with quick, preferable one arm folding ability.  Taking the bus is still a risk because there are no safety features for infants on buses.  Most passengers are accommodating and will give up their seat for you and your bundle.  That way, you don't have to stand and sway on your way across town. 


NYC Car Seat and Baby Bjorn Taxi Exemption

The NYC Government's website states the following:

"Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers, are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts.  Keep in mind, the TLC encourages everyone in the vehicle to buckle their seatbelts while riding in a cab.  There are no Taxi and Limousine Commission rules regarding this, as it is a State exemption. Passengers with children are encouraged to bring their own car seats, which the drivers must allow passengers to install.
*NOTE - Children under the age of seven are permitted to sit on an adult's lap.

Basically this means you are responsible for the safety of your baby in a NYC Taxi or Livery Cab.  You can decide whether to use a Baby Bjorn, hold your child in your lap, or bring a car seat with you.  Many parents unfortunately find that taxis tend to pass them by when holding a little baby, stroller and car seat contraption.  They view it as too time consuming.  By law, they are required to permit you to install the car seat.  NYC parents tend to use a car seat without a base and just strap the belt over and around the car seat, or strap themselves and baby in a Bjorn. 

The ideal solution for NYC parents is a Triple Play Sit'N-Stroll.  This fantastic contraption is a car seat that converts into a stroller when you are out and about.  It's extremely convenient on airplane travel as well as taxi travel throughout the city.  It retails for around $249.95. 


NYC Outdoor Swimming Pools in Manhattan

Can't get away to Fire Island or the Hamptons this summer?  Don't have parents or inlaws with a swimming pool?  If you find yourself day dreaming about outdoor pools in Manhattan on a blistering Saturday afternoon, check out these options - both free and pay if you can shell out the dough.


Asser Levy Swimming PoolThere are a handful of free outdoor public swimming pools in Manhattan that are well maintained, clean, and have lifeguards and massive amounts of chlorine on duty.  Asser Levy on 23rd Street and FDR Drive which has both an indoor and outdoor pool that's open July through Labor Day is a nice option for downtown parents.  The outdoor pool is free, the indoor pool is $75 for annual membership but is closed during the summer months. 


Hamilton Fish Rec CenterHamilton Fish Recreation Center located at 128 Pitt between Stanton and Houston has two outdoor pools (one for kids) and offers swim lessons during the summer months.  This pool is also absolutely free to use. 


 John Jay Pool and RecTompkins Square Mini Pool for kids is in the park on East 9th Street and requires your kids to be 6 years old to enter.  For the Uptown crowd, John Jay Pool and Recreation on 77th East of York is probably one of the best outdoor public pools in NYC.  There is a suggested annual donation of $25 for Adults and $10 for teens. 


For the pay alternatives, the best bet is Manhattan Plaza Health Club located on 43rd and 10th Avenue.  They have a very nice rooftop pool with a retractable glass roof.  You can get a day pass for $25 and this fee includes use of the gym and hot tub.  The Gravity Fitness Center at Le Parker Meridien is another option.  They have a glass covered rooftop pool with great views but costly - $50 daypass just for use of the pool.  Still, on a hot summer day in desperation, a nice cool swim at Le Parker Meridien is very tempting. Manhattan Plaza Health Club


Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer and Hot Days

It's 90 degrees outside, and the urban asphalt is sending the heat waves right back at you with barely a breeze to be felt and barely a tree for shade.  Here are some tips for keeping baby cool in the hot summer months.  

1) Don't forget the sunscreen - apply, even when you worry that your babe looks more like a white zombie than and little human - baby's first experience in the hot sun could turn sour with a horrid red burn.  Little skin is super sensitive.  Mustela makes a nice sunscreen for babies with 50 spf.  

2) Make sure your little one has a sunhat and/or you have your canopy down in the stroller to offer some additional shade.  

3) Offer extra fluids. If your little one is old enough for water, keep a sippy cup on hand.  Otherwise, you may need to offer a little more breast milk or formula if your baby isn't producing as many wet diapers in typical pattern.

4) Breathable cotton is key - loose fitting light weight clothes are best for baby.  Tight leggings or pants will trap heat.  Same for socks.  Leave baby's feet bare in the hot summer and skip the Trumpette Socks however perfect they are for your outfit.  

5) If your baby is teething, frozen teething toys are great to bring with you on a stroll outside.  


Feeding Baby on the Go - Boon Spoon

This nifty little invention is a savior for parents bringing baby around town for the day.  I used to have to carry a baby jar of food and a spoon in a zip lock bag wherever we went.  This spoon is fabulous - it holds 3 ounces of baby food, and you simply squeeze to get the right amount on the spoon - then feed each bite.  I hear the boon spoon is also great for independent feeding because it's not as messy as using the bowl.   Many parents buy two so they could use while traveling for the day.  The Boon Spoon retails around $7.50 and you can find it at Babies R Us, or buy it here through our Amazon store for baby essentials.