10 City Parenting Must-Haves

When I was expecting my first child, I bought all of the wrong things. The things I had, I didn't need or they weren't practical for the city, and the things I didn't have I really could have used. So here's my list of city parenting must-haves. What would you add to the list?

1. Ergo - Really any baby carrier is crucial for getting around in the city, but I tried a bunch and the Ergo is my favorite for its ease, versatility, and durability.

2. Light-weight stroller - When I was first pregnant, I got caught up in those fancy "travel system" strollers that in the end I barely used. I think these would be helpful if you rely on a car a lot, but for primarily pedestrian parenting, go with a light-weight, easily-collapsible stroller for convenient bus and subway rides. I like Maclaren.

3. Subway/bus pass - Here in Boston, the CharlieCard is a city parenting must-have and kids under 12 are free on public transportation.

4. Museum memberships - Choose your favorite museums and buy memberships early to save money later. Most memberships pay for themselves after only two or three visits.

5. Practical diaper bag - Another area in which I made lots of mistakes early on is the "diaper bag." There are oodles of options available to parents, but in the end I have found that a backpack works best for me for our city adventures. I like the large backpacks from Vera Bradley because they are spacious and machine washable.

6. Library books - We bought a LOT of children's books when we were expecting our oldest that quickly consumed our small city space. While we still love owning our favorite books, we now rely much more heavily on our local library.

7. Reusable snack bags - Whether you make them yourself or buy them, reusable, cloth snack bags are handy and helpful for city excursions.

8. Hand sanitizer - With all that scurrying around town, on subways, and through museums, it's helpful to keep some hand sanitizer with you when good old soap and water aren't available. Here's a nice recipe for homemade hand sanitizer.

9. Child-friendly coffee shop - Scope out the neighborhood to find the most spacious, stroller-accessible, child-friendly coffee shop for your daily caffeine jolt.

10. Peekaru - This is my newest city parenting essential, making it easier to continue babywearing throughout the winter. Today is the last day to enter my blog giveaway to win a free Peekaru by Togetherbe! Click here to enter!!

I'd love to hear your comments about you think are city parenting essentials!