How to Have a Newborn with No Car

Advice for public transit–loving parents on getting baby home from the hospital and handling doctor's appointments in the early days.

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A PSP member asks...

I’m about to have my first baby and don’t have a car and wasn’t planning on getting one anytime in the near future. How did you manage getting baby home from the hospital and all those doctors appointments in the early days? We have a car seat (but no car) and I checked lyft and they have car seats but they’re for babies starting at 22lbs, which we have a while to go before we get there.

I can’t be the only one to do this without a car in New York! So how did you all do it?

Members advise...

"You take your car seat with you! And then take public transpo with a stroller when possible."

"Get a baby carseat that only needs a seat belt installation, not a base ( though comes with that, too). Using a seatbelt is called the European technique or method. We got the nuna pipa, not the nuna pipa lite. Worked perfectly and with a little practice, pretty easy to pop into and out of any car. Watch YouTube videos and maybe borrow a friend’s car for practice. Good luck"

"Doona! Absolutely 100% a Doona. When considering a stroller it was very important to me to be mobile in the early days, and I just couldn’t visualize going somewhere and managing both a stroller and car seat. The Doona allows you complete freedom to do anything with just one piece of equipment. Cab drivers, middle aged men, women on the subway all remark aloud at how awesome the Doona is when they see me convert it between stroller and car seat."

"We took a lyft home from the hospital (watched videos online of the car seat installation and practiced in a friends car before the baby came so we were confident we would be able to do it safely and efficiently when the time came) other than that, when we can’t or don’t want to take public transportation we just tote the car seat around with us. Having a car seat that can pop into the stroller frame has been really helpful! It’s totally doable and I have found lyft and yellow cab drivers to be extremely helpful and patient."

"We actually have a car but it is almost always easier to take an Uber and just buckle the car seat into it if the destination is in brownstone Brooklyn or Manhattan as parking is unpredictable, assuming the destination isn’t walkable or convenient to the train, which is our preferred travel method. The Uber car seats are convertible  seats for bigger kids, not newborns, but an infant seat clicks in in seconds. Most seats have Latch but for short Uber rides most people use the car’s seatbelt as it takes literally less than 30 seconds. There car services that will provide infant seats (Kid Car) but they are quite pricey if you’re just running errands. We took our last child home from the hospital in an Uber with our infant seat and it was very easy."

"An infant car seat is a must. They won’t let you leave the hospital without one. They click right in, or you can use seat belt method (threads through the car seat) for short rides. The car seats then clicks right into the your stroller. Click back out and bring them to your table at restaurant etc. Honestly they are so portable at that age the idea of driving trying to find a car parking spot etc. More hassle! I used to jump in an Uber and go back up to the hospital weekly for nursing classes. I actually found the transition when my babies grew out of their car seats to be the hardest. Now they 90% fall asleep in car and wake up when we try and transition out of car seats to strollers. ... Trust me you will love the baby car seat. Was one of my babies favourite place to chill, nap etc."

"In the minority here but we used a baby carrier, and actually walked home from the hospital. Of course that's assuming the recovery goes well."