Friday, August 24, 2012

Prepping for a New York City Baby

I'm absolutely positive that preparing for a new baby is tough no matter where you are, and I'm also sure that it's impossible to be 100 percent ready for anything and everything that may (but probably won't) occur.

But as a country girl born and raised in a typical Midwestern home complete with the creature comforts of cars and carpet, I've realized that there are several things that will be different about rearing a city kid -- even in just the first few months.

Two people -- my sister and a friend -- have told me that they were surprised to hear the news of this pregnancy because I had said that we would return to Ohio before we'd have a kid. I fully admit to having said this, and thought this, for a long time.

While I'm sure that being a parent is tough regardless of geography, there are just certain things that make it easier in Ohio (or rather, easier outside of New York). Vehicles, and dedicated places to park them. In-unit washers and dryers. Abodes with one flight of stairs, at most.

Of course, people who grow up in New York City probably think nothing of all of what I suspect will be the challenges of a raising a child in the city. And after several years here myself, I gradually started to see that I could, in fact, rear a kid here. And in some cases, the city, with all of its options and advantages, will actually be a boon. Out of milk? No need to pack up baby for a cross-town trip. We can grab a gallon right across the street.

Right now, two things concern me most about a city baby: the lack of a washer and dryer in our apartment, and the number of stairs.

We can't do much about the washer and dryer, except get used to the fact that we're going to have more laundry, more often. But, short of installing an elevator, we're taking specific steps to lessen the impact of the stairs.

To wit: the stroller has been our largest purchase so far, and one into which I put hours of research. The one we chose is lightweight (about 17 pounds) and can be folded with one hand. Important considerations, since we'll often be carrying it up and down the three flights of stairs to our apartment, not to mention staircases at innumerable subway stations.

It will be interesting for me to look back on this post in six months or a year to see if my suspicions were correct. Some will be, and others won't, I suppose. And there will be other pros and cons that I've discovered that right now haven't even crossed my mind.

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