It occurred to me that the one thing I know is how to get around New York City with two kids. I've got the subway down to a science.
So, here's a few tips from me to you.
When commuting on the New York City subway with your children, always sit in the middle car. Why? Because the conductor is in the middle. If (god forbid) anything happens, you're right there near the conductor-the person you'd need to alert in case anything happens to you or your kiddos.
You can tell where the middle car of the train is, by doing the following:
at the platform of the train station, look up for a black and white striped wooden sign. There's nothing on it, just wooden stripes. The conductor has to point to that, so you will know where the middle is, by looking for that black and white striped sign.
Sandwich containers are your friend. Fill your kids up with food before you go anywhere, and pack them a juice box (or water) and a sandwich. I do this because my daughter doesn't like food out. She will NOT eat anything that I haven't cooked myself besides french fries and pizza. So, I have to pack her food or she will just not eat.
Also, packing food is great for when you don't have a lot of money to spend.
If you have a 7-9 month old like I do, just wear your baby. Save your self the pain of having to carry the stroller up the stairs, will you?
It's not worth it, and it's very seldom that people help me, if at all. So just wear your baby, unless you're husband is coming. Then, just let HIM carry the stroller up the stairs. If you just HAVE to take the stroller, I recommend asking strangers for help. Don't do it alone if you don't have to.
When you're looking to know how long you'll be on the train, count the train stops and double the number. So, if you're 10 stops away, it will probably take you 20 minutes to get there (give or take, with slow trains, traffic, and the like). I have pretty much proven this theory. I mean, I am almost always on point with this, with the exception of the R train, which is ALWAYS SLOW as hell.
Another tip is that if you've got a long(ish) commute, try to limit it to one train, if possible. This way, on the way back or on the way there, your little one can take a nap.
From the time your kid is an infant, be active. Go out to museums, parks and all sorts of things, so that your little one gets used to napping in a stroller and on the go. Then, you don't have to worry so much about your kid forgoing their nap time.
Sometimes kids get ancy on the trains. For my five year old, I always pack a pad and pen so she can draw on the train. Get your kids something they like to do. Art is great, because it (for a five year old anyway) packs light.
And much to your chagrin, you may just have to give in and carry a backpack.This is because you're going to need to bring wipes, antibacterial hand gel, tissues, lunch, that favorite toy, your stuff, and pretzels (or carrots to munch on).
So those are my subway tips. I had to share them, because as I was talking to my friend yesterday, she said to me, "Diana you've got this down to a science!"
And I said, yep. I sure do.
What are your tips for getting around with kids?