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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. 






What to Do When Baby Hates Her Stroller

My daughter and her stroller did not have a happy start.  She was born in November and I had a difficult labor.  I couldn't take her out for walks for the first month after delivery, and then we had a frigid winter this past year.  Whenever I would take her out, she would scream nonstop from the moment I put her in her bundling.  She now just cries when the sun gets into her eyes and below is the series of steps for how we finally got to this point:

1) Assess your stroller.  We have the Cameleon and also a Snap N Go to use with our Graco Snugride carseat.  We also bought the Bugaboo carseat adapter which I recommend because the Snap N Go, while it folds quite easily is tough for long walks because the wheels just stink.  Anyway, I digress.  For the first few months, it's recommended to use the Bassinet feature on the stroller so your baby lays flat on her/his back.  That's fine for most babies who are content to lie there and stare off into space but as soon as your little bundle starts to crave visual stimulation you are in a dilemma.  My daughter hated being flat on her back and preferred the car seat as her stroller.  She would still cry but would at least be manageable in a more seated position than flat on her back.

2) Use a portable mobile by Tiny Love (blogged about here) which saved many a walk for us.  This can be clipped on to the canopy and is a wonderful distractor for many a baby. 

3) Bring lots of pacifiers.  If you believe in binkies, by all means use them here. 

4) Distract baby while putting on layers of clothes.  No baby likes to be restricted and bundled.  I dress mine on my lap while bouncing her and that seems to do the trick.

5) Go for a mini run with baby and the stroller.  My daughter started laughing hysterically as I ran her up a short hill.  She momentarily forgot she was being taken outside for a walk and was calm the rest of the time.

If you are in a situation as I was where baby hates bunting, take heart.  The weather gets warmer and it's one less hurdle to overcome. 

For me, I also switched to the toddler seat on the Bugaboo as soon as I could - it has a recline position which works for infants (take care to still buckle them up) and baby could still gaze out much more than in the bassinet. 


What to do when Baby Hates the Carseat

This will be the first of a two part series of entries, the other being What to Do When Baby Hates the Stroller...Both issues have affected our ability to leave the house with our 4 month old.  I'm not sure if she hates the carseat or just the car in general, but I have tried almost every technique to no real avail.  All you can do, is try these techniques and hope for a partial breakthrough or, 15 minutes of silence...

1) Try to time your car rides after baby has had her bottle, or breast.  My little girl's best demeanor is after a feed.  We usually get a 30 minute period where almost anything goes.

2) Make sure you are a pro at the initial process of getting baby into the carseat.  We really struggled with understanding the latch and release.  It doesn't have to be difficult if you understand how to release the straps so they are very loose and then pull down in one motion to make them tight.  Also, try to put the baby in the carseat while still in the house and then carry her out.

3) Try to time your car rides during nap times or when baby could use a nap.  Mine doesn't mind the carseat in the house when she is unbuckled, so if she is sleepy I try to put her down in the seat (benefit is most rock) and then buckle her and take her into the car.  

4) Offer lots of distractions, smiles and songs.  This has worked for us but is EXHAUSTING.  How many little piggy noises can a girl make?  I already sit in the backseat next to her and listen to her every complaint making a 20 minute ride seem like 2 hours, I barely have the energy to constantly jabber at her...

5) Use a mirror in the back.  We haven't tried this one yet, but I ordered one from Amazon last week.

6) Just keep trying...eventually she has to calm down...we try not to get discouraged and still take her somewhere every weekend otherwise we would be housebound...


Baby Gladiator Sandals

I just had to write up a post about these adorable gladiator sandles that I saw online today from Bundle's online store.  I think these are THE BABY GIRL shoe of the spring/summer.  I am ordering a pair for my daughter and she can't even walk yet, but she can look hip and stylish in her long flowy spring dresses and gold gladiator sandals.   The Bundle store is located downtown at 128 Thompson Street, and has an amazing selection of hip, cool items for little one but you can order some product online at www.bundlenyc.com.  These sandles retail at $44 but they are sooooo worth it. 


Bumbo Foam Seat for Babies who Can't Yet Sit

We recently bought a Bumbo seat for our little girl.  Does she look happy to you?  My husband and I were looking for a way for our daughter to join us at the dinner table.  We'd be using the seat exactly against the recommended safety guidelines.  The Bumbo seat was recalled in 2007 for several skull fractures that took place when the seat was set table top.  Parents - stop leaving your babies unattended.  I am more concerned about babies sitting up before they are ready to.  My daughter seemed uncomfortable in the Bumbo.  I think part of the problem might be her chunky thighs.  They are too thick for the Bumbo to handle and she just seems stuck in there.  I'd be curious to hear from any other parents who use this seat.  So far, she can sit in it patiently for maybe a maximum of 5 minutes.


Great Baby Toy for a 4 Month Old

Most parents, or friends of parents with babies in the 3-4 month range wonder what baby toys would appeal to and delight their little ones.  I have often found myself googling "playing with a 4 month old" on the internet.  This age group is tough because the babies are just starting to amuse themselves - with their fingers, feet, strands of your hair...but not old enough to focus for long periods of time and don't have the dexterity and agility to push some of the interactive toys on the market with accuracy required to get them to light up or make noise.   The best toy we have for our daughter is Freddie the Fire Fly by Lamaze.  Freddie delights in that he is bright, multi-textured, has crinkly wings that are black and white patterned, a velvety soft body, a mirror underneath a wing, has teething rings..and a plastic pull out piece from the pocket of another wing...lots and lots to discover in one small toy that our little girl plays with and never tires of.  Freddie retails at $14.99 and is available at Toys R Us or any other number of baby stores in your area. 


Pears as First Baby Food

This past weekend, after getting sign off from our new pediatrician, we gave my daughter her first taste of solids - mushed up pear compote which we made with a baby food cooker.  The reason we chose pears was because of the following:  Rice cereal which is usually the recommendation is actually very low in nutrition.  It may as well be the Wonder Bread of baby food.  On the other hand, apple sauce can cause constipation in your little one.  So, we thought pears was a good starter food.  This coming weekend I think we will introduce sweet potatoes.  We made sure to give our little one just a tiny amount and really, I wasn't sure she really cared or loved it.  She smacked her lips and did open her mouth a bit the second go around so I think she is interested. 


Babies and Blizzards

What do you do with a 3 month old on a cold and snowy day?  Not much!  I have an urge to bundle her in thick brown bunting and let the snowflakes fall on her chunky little cheeks but for now, I am still sitting in my pajamas having been unable to shower yet.  Here are some tips for winterizing your home and your baby that I have found.

1) Monitor your little one's nose, feet and hands throughout the day.  In NYC, the heat from the radiators in most buildings is unbearable and requires constant turning on/off.  It's either too hot, or too cold at any given moment.  

2) Make sure your baby has a one-sie on or undershirt under her outfit.  These are good for absorbing sweat if she/he gets too warm and adds an extra layer if baby is too cool.  Also, try layers.  For example today my little bub is wearing a velour track suit (yea, she likes to chill in her track suits) and has a long sleeved onesie underneath.  I have taken the velour hoodie on and off a few times already.

3) Humidify - our apartment is so dry I constantly have to apply lip balm to my lips, so always have at least 2 humidifiers in the house.  

4) Clean crusty nasal passages with saline solution and/or wet swabs / aspirator.  The solution can be annoying but on dry days at least I know her nose is moist instead of having dry blocked mucus up there.

5) Socks - put on a pair of cosy warm socks.  By the way,  I think Gap makes the best fuzzy socks that don't cut off the circulation in my daughter's chunky feet.  The only downside is they slip off easier.  


Battle of the Swings

So, I'm the type of mom that likes everything to be shiny and new.  I think I suffer from "New Mom" syndrome but I am slowly recovering.  They say that babies either like the swing or the bouncer, well our baby liked neither. When I was selecting items for my baby registry, I thought this Graco Swing and Bouncer 2-in-1 swing was the answer.  It looked sleek and new and it seemed to match our furniture, which in a small apartment is key when trying not to look like you are running romper room day care.  Anyway, the Graco swing has just sat there for the last 3 months because our daughter cried every time she sat in it.  I think the problem was that it had too much of an incline for her small back.  She has reflux and is sensitive to sitting upright, hunched, down on her back - basically any position.  Well, back to the swing.  When I was pregnant, my girlfriend gave me her old Fisher Price Cradle Swing.  It sat in our storage room this entire time.  Why?  Because it was kind of old and run down. Finally, we brought it upstairs and assembled it this past weekend. What happened was we had a HAPPY BABY sitting in a swing.  So, learn from my mistakes and don't get that Graco swing.  I think it may come in handy around 4-5 months when babies have an easier time sitting up, but for the early months - the cradle swings are the way to go in my opinion.  What do you think?  We still use the Graco as a bouncer seat and put our daughter in it on the table while we eat dinner - but that's about it.  


How to take a taxi with your baby in NYC

I have yet to take a taxi with my little peanut but unless I want to be confined to the upper east side in the cold months to come, I'm going to have to be brave and hop into a cab to meet friends for lunch, playdates or just to explore new neighborhoods through the eyes of my daughter.  I like to think of myself as an adventurous parent but safety comes first and in the last two months I have learned that traveling anywhere with a baby takes organization and patience.  

I have a Bugaboo Cameleon which is great for long leisurely strolls and a Snap N Go for convenience - it really is the best little invention out there.  I also have a Graco Snugride infant car seat which snaps right into the Snap N Go (and I believe most infant car seats do).  I use the Snap N Go when we go to restaurants because it is so light and with a baby under 6 months, the easiest way to eat at restaurants is to sit in a booth with the car seat next to you, or place the car seat on a high chair turned upside down.  The Snap N Go stays up front.

Similarly the Snap N Go comes to the rescue for taxi rides - it's super light, closes in one motion and folds neatly in the trunk of a cab.  You then take your car seat, face it towards the back and strap it in with the seatbelt (obviously without the base).  If you are going to the airport, many of the car service companies do have a car seat base if you make the request in advance.  I wouldn't recommend taking a cab with a Baby Bjorn or Ergo or any other baby carrier but have seen it done.  Apparently, NYC taxi cabs are exempt from baby carseat and seatbelt requirements but we all know how cabbies drive and if you go this route you are entering at your own risk.  

Most stroller systems like Bugaboo, Orbit and Uppa Baby have car seat adapters but depending on how easily they fold (I can't do the Bugaboo with one hand), you are better off with a Snap N Go.


Movies for Parents With Babies

Ok, so I haven't been to the movies in months.  Unless we have a babysitter come in on a Friday or Saturday night, we basically don't have the chance to see much of anything.  I've always been curious about theaters that cater to mommies or daddies who would like to watch some of the latest releases without worrying that someone will throw popcorn at their crying baby.  On the Upper East Side, at City Cinema East 86th Street Theater, 210 E 86th St between Second and Third Aves (212-734-4169) you can call and see which feature is showing every Wednesday at 11am.  Kids under 5 are free.  There is a stroller check available and changing tables to boot! Pretty awesome if you ask me.