Guest post by Adriana Villela
Mama in the City: Getting Around the City with Your Little One
As a modern mama in the city, I get around on foot and via TTC. While we do own a car, a) my hubby takes it to his work out in the burbs, and b) driving in the city is about as fun as pulling out your fingernails. Thanks, but no thanks.
I have to admit that I have had a love-hate relationship with my stroller. On the one hand, in spite of the fact that we had a relatively compact stroller, it was still a bulky contraption that took up space in my living room. On the other hand, it afforded us the ability to take long walks as a family, to go grocery shopping on foot without having to carry extra weight on our arms, and was a great vehicle for naptime on-the-go.
So what the heck are your options when you’re at this stage of transitioning your child out of a stroller? Here are a few things that have worked for us, and perhaps they’ll work for you!
If you’re walking a short distance, and if your child isn’t too heavy to be carried, this is a great way to still be snuggly with them, while giving their little feet a break. I don’t suggest carrying them for huge distances – just a little while to give them a rest. My daughter is still relatively light, so I will pick her up when we’re walking home from the subway in the evening. And extra bonus: I get hugs and kisses from her while I carry her.
We bought our wagon when my daughter turned 2, and she still loves riding in it in the summer! It has some of the benefits of the stroller, without being a stroller…including being used for naps. The only thing is that it’s not terribly convenient for riding on the TTC. We only use it for local outings, like going to the park.
My daughter got her trike when she was 2 (a few months after getting the wagon), and it was great, because it had a long removable handle out the back, which parents can use for steering. Once she got a bit older, the handle came off, and she could ride on her own. It’s less bulky than the wagon, so it’s easier to get around. But again, I don’t recommend it for travel on the TTC.
The bike has been a great way for us to get around our neighborhood, and in the past couple of years, my daughter has been using it to get to school. She has also recently started biking to swimming class, which is a bit further away from home, compared to her school. She has used both a no-pedal balance bike and a regular bike with pedals, and both have been a great way to get to school in a timely manner. Read: her riding pace matches up with my walking pace.
Confession time: I own a Kick scooter. It’s pink, it’s compact, and it’s awesome. It’s also a kids’ model. I love it for getting from point A to point B in the city. It folds up really nicely, so you can easily carry it on the TTC, and I’ve used it many a time after getting off the subway, to get to a destination after missing the bus. I’m actually a bit sad because I can’t use my scooter due to all the snow and ice on the sidewalks. I love it THAT much.
6. Trailer Bike
My hubby and I have been living in the city since 2003 (almost 11 years), and I’ve felt that we were only truly initiated as city dwellers last summer, when we finally bought bikes for ourselves. Though our daughter already had a bike, we also went out and got a trailer bike, which is a quasi-bike with a wheel at the back, and at the front, it hooks on to the saddle of a larger bike. It has its own handlebars and pedals, so when it’s hooked on, the whole setup looks like a tandem bike.
And if you love biking but the trailer bike isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other biking options out there, such as cargo bikes.
So who says you need a car to get around? There are so many great ways to travel in the city. Hopefully this gives you a bit of inspiration for when you start making the transition away from the stroller.
Adriana Villela is aToronto lifestyle family photographer and the owner of ÜmlaPhoto. She is a mother of a very feisty and creative 5-year-old, and a wife to a man who manages to be a bigger computer geek than she is. When she isn’t capturing the beauty of life through her lens, you can find her zipping along Toronto’s streets on her pink kick scooter, on family bike adventures, or hitting her favourite climbing gym with her family.