Our trip to New York City with kids raised a few eyebrows. People were genuinely surprised that we grown-ups would have any fun in New York if the kids were with us. What was so refreshing about that trip was as a family we could embrace being tourists and actually do and see touristy things that I was simply “too cool” to do before.
The kids loved New York, and we loved seeing it through their eyes for the first time.
Nevertheless, New York City can be overstimulating for adults as well as kids. Have Baby Will Travel focuses on four main tenets when traveling with a baby: Eating, Sleeping, Playing, and Getting Around.
Here are five tips for Eating and Sleeping when visiting New York with babies and little kids. Hopefully they will help make your trip a smooth one!
Eating in New York with Babies & Kids…
1. Deli is Short for Delicious:
Practically every food storefront in Manhattan is a “deli,” which is usually not just your usual delicatessen. Most also have buffets with both hot and cold options that can result in an easy and inexpensive meal for the family. “Pay by the pound” buffets can add up if you enjoy particularly heavy foods, but I’ve always found allowing little kids to choose their own food from a buffet results in fed and satisfied children.
2. NYC Gourmet Baby Food Delivery:
Just because you’re not a local, doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the options NYC parents enjoy, nor the great food options afforded to baby Manhattanites. If you make your baby food at home, and are reluctant to switch to full-time packaged for travel, savvy traveling parents have turned to local NYC operations.
3. You Can Never Go Wrong with Pizza. Or Hot Dogs.
Once your child is a toddler, and your nutritional standards have dropped to include whatever he or she will actually eat, NYC is well equipped for you, too. There is decent pizza available on just about every block (plain cheese on thin crust, of course), and let’s not forget about steamed hot dogs from the street carts.
I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that my son’s New York diet was almost entirely hot dogs and pizza. You do what you can.
Sleeping in New York with Babies & Kids…
4. Stay Where You Play:
One of the best parts about visiting New York is aimlessly wandering for blocks just soaking up the atmosphere. If you’ve got a toddler in tow, he or she may not agree. If you know you’ll be spending most of your time in a certain part of Manhattan, aim to find a hotel in that neighborhood as well.
Even if hotel rooms are slightly more expensive in Midtown, for example, you won’t need to pay for taxis or transit every time you go somewhere. You’ll save money in the long run. We highly recommend both the Westin Hotel Grand Central Station, and the Best Western Hospitality House.
5. You Need To Sleep Even if the City Doesn’t:
There’s a joke somewhere about visiting “The City That Never Sleeps” with a baby who doesn’t, either. However, sleep-deprived new parents may be a few years off from appreciating that humour. Plan your days around naps, and you’ll be happier for it. This is easier if your hotel is close to where you’ll be spending much of your time.
Most larger hotels have blackout curtains and double glazing on windows to dull the traffic noise. Don’t forget to check that your hotel can provide a crib, or bring your own!
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