Being a new mama is exciting, but it can be overwhelming, too, especially here in NYC. But have no fear, new parents; help is here. From the best spot to see a movie or enjoy a beer with baby in tow, to the must-visit playspaces and smart ways to find a sitter, Red Tricycle can help you navigate new motherhood with ease. Take the below advice as you embark on the important task of raising a savvy city baby.
1. Need to get out of your apartment already? With two Manhattan locations, apple seeds is an-all-in-one playspace that offers cute classes for kids of all ages, starting with newborns. Try Developmental Movement or Songs for Seeds. Your baby can have fun and you can talk to another human (adult). This play space also operates an adorable children’s book and toy store called half dozen if you’re in the market for something new. 10 West 25th St., Chelsea; 200 West End Ave., Upper West Side
2. Spilled milk and slush-stains taking over your stroller? CleanBeeBaby is a mobile, eco-friendly cleaning service for strollers, car seats and more. It’s amazing how dirty these must-have baby items can get after spills, winter weather and normal wear and tear. CleanBeeBaby can sanitize and deep clean your soiled baby gear at a local store or play space or make a house call if you’re in Manhattan.
3. Need a reliable, experienced sitter? Once registered (for free!) with UrbanSitters, you can view profiles and reviews for local care takers; and the site’s booking system shows how many “repeat families” a babysitter has; which is a great indication of how many families truly trust that individual. You can also search by date and time, or post your own open babysitting job.
4. Miss going to the movie theater? A movie? What’s a movie, most new moms joke? Now you’ll easily remember – Sunshine Cinema offers Rattle & Reel, Wednesday afternoon movie screenings for parents and their babies. (The lights and sounds are lowered.) They show current releases, so you can catch up on the “it” flicks of 2014. Popcorn and soda and strollers, oh my! 143 East Houston St., Lower East Side
5. Need advice about car seats? Call the Car Seat Lady! Even if you don’t have a car, you need a car seat to leave the hospital. The Car Seat Lady has a wealth of knowledge on everything from the best seats for traveling with to the best Zip Cars to rent if you’ve got a baby on board. She’ll also show you how to install seats correctly in both your own car and rental cars. A must-contact if you’re worried about safety on the road.
6. Still looking for the perfect diaper that doesn’t leak? Launched by Brooklyn-based mama Heather Tomoyasu, Miny-Moe offers sample packs of disposable diapers; allowing you to decide which brand, and type, of diapers is best for their baby’s cute lil’ tushy. Nursing pad samplers for breastfeeding moms also available.
7. Wishing you had a bra that actually fits? How many bra sizes have your worn in the last year? Keep up with your changing needs at Intimacy. It is the place to shop for bras. By taking your exact measurements, trained stylists find you comfortable lingerie that actually fits and flatters. As they say, “If the shoe fits…buy it.” Well, why not apply that mantra to beautiful bras that jump-start your sexuality once again – yes, even after baby! 1252 Madison Ave., Upper East Side
8. Like shopping at unique boutiques? Queens-based Tiny You, supports local and national independent artists. Both stores carry handmade items such as hair barrettes and stencil-designed apparel, and hosts events such as “Registry Essentials” workshops and story times for kids. 46-21 Skillman Ave, Sunnyside; 10-50 Jackson Ave., Long Island City
9. Building Baby’s library? Books of Wonder just may be the quaintest, most magical bookstore for children in the city. In fact, it’s the only independent children’s book store here. Inside, you’ll find current and rare books for kids of all ages as well as events ranging from writer launch parties and teen author festivals to story times. 18 West 18th St., Flatiron
10. Prepping a big bro or sis? The concourse level of FAO Schwartz has a Newborn Nursery. Perfect for a soon-to-be big brother or sister, at Newborn Nursery make-believe mommies and daddies can “adopt” a newborn with life-like dolls. Each doll comes with adoption papers and “parents” receive their “babies” from an FAO Schwarz nurse. 767 Fifth Ave., Midtown
11. Clueless about breast pumps? Manhattan’s Upper Breast Side‘s slogan says it all: “You bring your breast, we’ve got the rest.” Go here to rent a hospital-grade breast pump, as well as pump accessories. The site hosts weekly clinics led by Board-Certified Lactation Consultants and offers same day delivery of pumps in Manhattan, so you’ll have one ready-to-go once your new bundle of joy arrives. (Don’t forget, insurance often covers breast-pump rentals.) 135 West 70th St., Upper West Side
12. Want an all-in-one children’s store? Giggle offers traditional and non-traditional clothes, toys, baby furniture, gear, cleaning products, and more, as well as an online registry option. Baby items sold here reflect what’s most helpful to parents according to the shop’s standards which range from play value to eco-friendliness, and the more of them a product meets, the better its chances of becoming a Giggle pick. Various locations, Manhattan
13. Miss grabbing a cold one? Fort Greene’s beer garden, Die StammKneipe/Der Schwarze Kolner opens early (2:30 p.m.) on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one-of-a-kind Babies + Beer playgroup. For a $10 minimum, mommies can enjoy beer and snacks while their babes play in the open space; crawling and early walking age is best. (Not into beer? There’s also a variety of wines and sodas available.) 710 Fulton St., Fort Greene
14. Ready to return to the gym? Start with Everyday Athlete‘s Postnatal Strength Class. The workout is a challenging, yet safe for new mamas, workout that combines interval cardio with strength training. The best part? Your baby bounces in a baby bungee beside you while you sweat it out. If she’s not into bouncing, the gym is stocked with activity mats, baby swings and toys, plus dedicated baby sitters to ensure your little one is happy so you can focus on your training for the hour. 130 Clinton St., Brooklyn Heights & 136 Union St. Carroll Gardens
15. Looking for a digital baby book? Created by Manhattan mom Emma Weisberg, Blinkbuggy is an online baby book that allows parents to digitally document milestones. Think of it like Facebook, but you don’t have to worry you’re posting too many pictures of your kids. Privacy controls allow you to decide which images to share with others. Print options include framed photos, albums and more.
16. Have a budding gymnast? Jodi’s Gym offers two sessions offered for youngsters (9-14 months) with adult supervision – Teeny Tumblers, where you and Baby move and groove to music, and Jammin’ at Jodi’s, where you sing along while exploring musical instruments and props. Both classes are 45 minutes. 244 East 84th St., Upper East Side
17. Not exactly a top chef? If you want to make your own baby foods, check out Taste Buds Kitchen. You’ll learn how to prepare “first foods” and purées for babies ages 6 months and up using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Baby food cooking classes are taught by Jory, founder of the blog Teeny Tiny Foodie. 109 West 27th St., Chelsea
18. Wish you had a few new mom friends? The city has no shortage of groups for new moms. Find one based on your neighborhood – HRP Mamas or Park Slope Parents for example. Or, pick one based on your situation such as New York Newcomers or Executive Moms. Pick the perfect match from Red Tricycle’s list of 25 NYC mom groups.
19. Looking to boost your baby’s skills? Based in Brooklyn, GoGo Babies offers a variety of classes for expectant mothers, adoptive families, babies and children ages 6 weeks to 10 years old. Classes are held at TrueNorth Wellness and cover everything from tummy time and hugging to yoga and baby massage. 61 Tompkins Place, Cobble Hill
20. Want to show the world that you’re a NYC-proud parent? For hip, Big Apple-inspired baby clothes and accessories, swing by Piccolini for New York-themed chunky books, Tee’s, rattles, toys and more. Proceeds from many store items go to charity; and the store’s collection of girly accessories and rock band tees is gush-worthy. 230B Mulberry Street, Little Italy
Image courtesy of The Peanut Life
21. Pining for a pre-natal massage? Yes, please! If you’re near Park Slope and ready for a pre or post-natal massage from a specially trained masseuse, doula Lena DeGloma of Red Moon Wellness is your go-to woman. Good to know: Besides having magical hands, DeGloma also teaches holistic birth education classes for couples seeking a home or hospital birth and offers birth tub rentals. 641 President St., Suite 203, Park Slope
22. Looking for an easier way to get from Uptown to Downtown? Kid Car New York transports kids (solo, or with parent) safely throughout Manhattan in a large vehicle (read no stress about fitting your stroller in the trunk) with car seats. Other company options include car seat rental, seat checks, and pick up of a specific car seat (belonging to customer) to be used in a Kid Car. This means you don’t have to fumble to get your car seat into a cab fast or haul that stroller up and down the subway stairs.
23. Curious about infant massage? Bundle of Bliss will teach you the art of gentle and loving baby massage that benefit both Baby and you. Studies have found that regular massage helps babies sleep better, fuss less and more. Classes are held in Park Slope and led by Charlotta Andersson, a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) and a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM). Third St. (between 4th and 5th Ave.), Park Slope
24. Shopping for cool clothes in Queens? A trendy clothing store for both babies and mommies, Malawi is THE place in Queens to find truly special wardrobe must-haves such as bandanas, tutus, appliqued stretchies, embellished tees, and rock-n-roll-themed jackets adorned with patches. 187-42 Union Turnpike, Flushing
25. Don’t know what to do with that baby wrap? At Caribou Baby in Greenpoint, besides finding eco-friendly baby and lifestyle clothing and accessories, you can try on any baby carrier in the store. If you go before Baby arrives, you can test the carriers with baby dolls to simulate real-life baby wearing. The laid-back, friendly staffers are always ready to help you get the right fit and teach you new ways to wear wraps. Caribou also offers classes for pregnancy, birth preparation, and parenting. 272 Driggs Ave., Greenpoint
26. Want to work out with baby? Training Wheels is a 45-minute low impact workout in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for moms and babies in a carriage. Class is open to all fitness levels and a wonderful way to workout in while interacting with your baby.
27. Need a mommy makeover? Manhattan mom and makeup artist Debra Rubin-Roberts, launched Mommy Makeup, a cosmetics line catered to busy moms; a full face can be applied in just a few minutes (ahhh…some alone time…) and the web site has informative skincare videos.
28. Broken stroller? If your stroller breaks, have no fear – it can be repaired. Enter Stroller Spa. Based in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Stroller Spa not only rents strollers to visiting moms, but will repair yours if it’s broken, too. Turnaround time varies, but at least you can rent a replacement while you wait.
29. Need a baby kimono? Of course you do! Just when you thought you couldn’t coo enough over baby clothes, along comes Lucky Wang. Their insanely adorable baby kimonos can be worn every season, alone or layered with other garments and has easy-to-tie ties and snaps. Various locations, Manhattan
30. Desperately seeking sleep? Aren’t we all? If you’re looking for a night nanny, post-baby, so you can score some extra shut-eye, contact Gentle Hands. The company’s Night Nannies help parents guide their baby to sleep throughout the night and help care for baby while you get some much-needed rest.
Did we miss anything? What do you think new NYC moms need to know about?