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, fix the stroller, or find like-minded parents, 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 hair salon/children’s book and toy store called DoodleDoo’s if you’re in the market for a trim and a new toy.
10 West 25th St.
200 West End Ave.
Upper West Side
photo: Tot Squad
2. Spilled milk and slush-stains taking over your stroller? NYC Tot Squad is a mobile, eco-friendly cleaning service for strollers, car seats and more, and they recently opened a service center in Chelsea’s Buy Buy Baby!) 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.
photo: via Smart Sitting Facebook page
3. Need a reliable, experienced sitter? New York is full of childcare services staffed with pros that will keep your babe safe while you work/do errands/administer self-care, and occupy and entertain your child when they are a bit bigger, too!
photo: via Emily H. on Yelp
4. Miss going to the movie theater? No, you don’t have to give up your cinema habit. Lots of movie theaters cater to families and kids, and Williamsburg’s Nighthawk Cinema even hosts movie screenings for parents and their babies. They show current releases, so you can catch up on the “it” flicks even though this is a big year for you.
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. Never got around to taking that infant CPR class? It’s not too late! You can take Infant CPR all over the city, at most local YMCA chapters, the 92nd Street Y, JCC Manhattan, Tribeca Pediatrics locations, Raising Astoria and Little Hearts CPR, among many others.
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 expert fitters Rigby & Peller. It is the place to shop for bras. By taking your exact measurements, trained stylists find you comfortable lingerie that actually fits and flatters.
1252 Madison Ave.
Upper East Side
104 Fifth Ave.
1051 Third Ave.
Upper East side
8. Want some adorable/cool duds for the kid? The baby doesn’t care what it wears. In fact, as soon as it can, it is going to start trying to take it all off. But if you care, NYC is a bonanza of adorable baby and kids boutiques selling one of a kind items. So grab your infant and get ready to browse through the likes of Torly Kid and Babesta downtown, Picnic in Cobble Hill, Smoochie Baby in Williamsburg, and Flying Squirrel in Greenpoint.
9. Building Baby’s library? Books of Wonder , which caters to young bibliophiles, is a NYC institution, and recently opened an Upper West Side location as a companion to original downtown store. 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.
10. Need a doula? Your personal network is probably the best way to start, whether that’s your friends or OB/GYN, but The NYC Doula collective is a great resource, and helps make the cost of of doula accessible thanks to different pricing tiers. Birth Day Presence in Park Slope has a similar system.
11. Clueless about breast pumps? Even before your baby needs clothes, furniture or brain-boosting activities (remember, Kindergarten admissions is a scant five years away!), they need to eat. If you choose to formula feed, you’ll need bottles, nipples, a scrub-brush that can go deep, and possibly even a bottle warmer. For those you can go chain, like Babies-R-Us or even your local CVS or Duane Reade. But if you’re nursing, you’ll probably want more personalized attention to help you pick a bra, breast-pump, lotion and pillows. For that, check out The Upper Breast Side, Yummy Mummy or Wild Was Mama.
12. Want some breastfeeding support? If you do choose to breastfeed, you may learn (many do) that you and baby do not join as one and float off on some endorphin-fueled cloud; it can take some practice to get the hang of it. For the record, the NYC Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding is chock full of info. Check out your local La Leche League meeting to get help, or ask your pediatrician for a local recommendation. Breastfeeding support groups also meet regularly at community centers and spots like the JCC, your local Y, Raising Astoria in Queens and GUMBO in Brooklyn. Doctor Mona Gabbay specializes in issues with breastfeeding for families in the New York area (she makes house calls) and Board Certified Lactation Consultant Freda Rosenfeld is known in many circles as a boob whisperer.
12. In search of some Mommy & Me exercise? Harlem Yoga Studio is dedicated to being affordable and accessible to all moms and their babies, while The Yoga Room in Astoria and Long Island City brings a similar service to Queens, Bread & Yoga serves Inwood, and Brooklyn has Shanti Baby Yoga. Feel like swimming instead of omm-ing? Imagine Swimming and Take Me to the Water have locations around the city, while 92nd St. Y and 14th St. Y fulfill the needs of those looking for more than just swimming lessons, with other family programming. And don’t forget the gyms that offer childcare (that’s the “Just Me” part).
photo: via The Great Room Facebook page
13. Looking for a place to connect with other families in Brooklyn? Check out The Great Room, a new spot in the Columbia Waterfront District founded by two therapists (and moms) who wanted “to provide a cozy, warm and safe space for parents to connect with each other, share resources, support others and be supported.” Drop-in with or without your kid for $10 and enjoy free coffee and tea, a play area for kids, a work area for parents, information and resources for families and a rotating roster of experts on parenting issues to consult with informally. Plus!: classes and activities for kids (sensory play, singalongs, play groups, Spanish) and adults (yoga, childbirth education, financial planning, breastfeeding support group, creative writing, infant/child nutrition, etc.) And there’s more: they’ve got a great outdoor space (with a play area for kids) and will host your party or event, too!
The Great Room
194 Columbia St.
Columbia Waterfront District
14. Need some postnatal recovery help? Check out an Everyday Athlete Postnatal Strength Session. It offers exercises, tips, and strategies to getting back to feeling like your pre-pregnancy self again!
One Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge Park
130 Clinton St.
photo: Deer Baby
15. Want to capture those precious first weeks with a photo? Hire a professional to make sure you get a good one. (also: holiday card: check!)
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
Barley + Oats
17. Not exactly a top chef? Let someone else do the work and get some post-partum food delivered!
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 NYC’s top parenting groups.
19. Looking to boost your baby’s skills? Based in Brooklyn, Bright Start 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 Pl.
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 St.
21. Thinking about going the cloth diaper route? Check out NYC’s cloth diaper service, Diaperkind.
22. Pining for a pre-natal massage? We have plenty of suggestions on where you can get that tension kneaded away. 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.
23. 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. (Lyft and Uber now also offer a car seat option. Read our review of Lyft’s here!)
photo: Wild Was Mama Facebook page
24. Don’t know what to do with that baby wrap? At Wild Was Mama 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. Tons of other stuff happens here, too, from parent meetups to classes to singalongs, this is a must-go for all new parents!
272 Driggs Ave.
photo: Mom in Balance
25. Looking to get back in shape, head outside and find community? Try Mom in Balance, the workout all the moms in Europe are doing!
26. 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 also has informative skincare videos.
27. 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.
28. 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
29. 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?
— Rachel Sokol