The Baby Carrier and Public Transport: A Match Made in City Heaven

By Bunmi on January 12th 2012
A few weeks ago I was traveling across Montreal with my kids by underground Metro and saw a mom doing her best to navigate the elevator-less system with a massive stroller. It took three adults to help her make it up to the platform. I can only imagine how her trip home would be!

At the same time, I was able to zip in and out of the station, weaving through the crowds while holding my 5 year-old’s hand and wearing my 2 year-old in her Boba. Most parents learn quickly that the city is no place for bulky strollers if you're taking public transportation. They take up far too much space in metro cars and make urban living unnecessarily complicated.

In a city where cars are optional and in many areas, discouraged, a day trip means traveling by bus, foot, & subway. A stroller can easily take up the space that could have been standing room for 2-3 adults. They are also a hassle for pedestrians on the street where fast walking and keeping to one’s side to ensure a steady flow of pedestrians are a must.

Much like traveling internationally with baby, zipping around your city with your wee ones takes a bit of preparation.

Here are a few tips for babywearing success in the city:

  • Kids are usually remarkably regular. Wait until your child has had a recent bowel movement to begin your trip. The last thing you’ll both want is to need to do a major change en route.

  • If you’ll be spending a significant amount of time underground where it can be many degrees warmer than street level, dress your child in a way where layers are removable without having to unstrap your Boba. Button up jackets, sweatshirts with hoods…these are both great choices.

  • Be sure that your child’s shoes are not slip-ons. Look for sturdy shoes with buttons, straps or Velcro that won’t fall off. You’d be amazed by the number of solitary kid shoes I see when out and about! Encourage your older child to use the Boba Foot Straps for added support and shoe loss prevention.

  • Keep your trip tokens, card, or fare in an easy to find location (pocket) instead of your purse or backpack so that you don’t have to dig for it.

  • Know your baby’s favorite positions: If your little one doesn’t like it when you sit while babywearing, opt for stand-up positions on the bus and subway. Hold the bar firmly and rest against a wall or seat. Be aware of sudden starts and stops to prevent losing your balance.

  • The hustle & bustle of the city can be overwhelming for children who aren’t used to it. If you’re from out of town, talk to your baby about what you’re seeing and hearing. Train sounds are loud and can be frightening, explain what is happening.

Have fun exploring your city with the freedom of babywearing! It makes all of the difference in the world.