Something that can seem extremely daunting as a new or expectant parent, is getting out and about on a city trip with the baby, especially alone. I’ve ventured into Leeds twice now, alone with my 6-month old son, Ozzy. We survived both times, so I’d love to share my “City Pram” or “City Sling” experiences and tips with everyone.
First City Trip to Leeds: City Pram Experience
The first time I took him in his pram, except I had just converted it to pushchair mode. He loved it! He was sat up enough to have a good look around the shops and was wrapped up all warm in there under the foot muff and dinosaur blanket (it’s still freezing cold here in Yorkshire). Eventually, the motion of the pushchair sent him to sleep and I was able to pull down the shade to keep it nice and dark. He continued to sleep throughout my coffee with a friend and all the way back to the car, winner.
So how did our “city pram” moment measure up for this expedition?
BENEFITS OF A CITY PRAM
✅It was somewhere for him to sleep while I could eat with 2 hands, which is a rare luxury these days.
✅There is a basket under the seat to stash my coat and rucksack, and hooks on the handlebar to hang shopping bags on
CHALLENGES OF A CITY PRAM
⛔️We used Park and Ride, which meant battling with the pushchair on the bus. Luckily it was quiet at 11 on a Tuesday, so I was able to park it up easily. The buses are every 10 minutes so no waiting in the cold, but this is something that could have put me off taking the pushchair.
⛔️Stairs and escalators. I had never realised how hard it is to find the lift until I needed it. They’re usually hidden in the back of the shop and take a while to come when you call them. If I wanted to pop up to the next floor in a shop it seemed like such a trek. Sometimes I didn’t bother.
Second City Trip to Leeds: City Sling Adventures
The second time I went into Leeds with Ozzy, I drove straight into the city centre and parked in the shopping mall car park. We got a parent and child space which was right by the lift and nice and wide which makes getting him out the car easier. I wore him in the sling. We have a Connecta in Anchors Away print, which I bought after trying friends one out and absolutely love. Sling libraries can recommend and lend you a variety to try until you find one that works.
Ozzy spent the first hour awake, looking around and grinning when strangers complimented his strawberry hat. Then he dropped off, from the combination of the motion and how snuggly we were. He is nice and warm all snug on my chest. As long as he has a hat and socks on, we’re good to go – even in the colder months.
We met a friend for lunch! Although I can eat and drink sat down with him strapped to my chest, he usually wakes up because he’s aware of what’s going on. I had to hold him and eat one handed as there was nowhere to set him down and he is still a little wobbly for most highchairs.
So how did our “city sling” time measure up for this city expedition?
BENEFITS OF A CITY SLING
✅Stairs and escalators – no problem!
✅Super snuggly, I don’t miss him as we’re so close, as opposed to when he is sitting into his pushchair and facing away from me.
✅Navigating the bus would be less of an issue.
CHALLENGES OF A CITY SLING
⛔️I have to wear the backpack and carry all shopping
⛔️The sling doesn’t do up over thick layers. I have to put it on over a t-shirt then wear an unbuttoned cardigan and coat around it. Not great for windy days.
⛔️It can hurt my shoulders to wear a baby and a rucksack after a few hours, especially as he grows. This should, in theory, be corrected by a well fitting sling. It’s still a lot of weight to cart around.
⛔️If we stop for lunch there is nowhere to set him down, until he’s happy in a highchair.
Ultimately it depends what you want from the city trip, as different travel methods suit different days. Shopping and browsing or coffee and lunch, both require very different things when you’re with a baby. Hope our City Pram and City Sling adventures inspired you for your next trip out, and be sure to read my second blog for more tips!
💡We’d love to hear your comments below and any tips you might have for parents deciding between a pram or a sling for their first “alone” trip!!💡
Visit Part 2 of Ellie’s Guest Blog series: Travelling with a Baby: 5 Tips for Solo City Trips
For more Stroller stories, you might also want to read: Pushchair Stories: Real Parents Open Up About Their First Day Out!
About the Author:
My name is Ellie, mum to Ozzy who is 5 months old. You can find me all over social media sharing the highs and lows of parenthood.
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