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10 Reasons to Raise Your Kids in the City

And how to make urban parenting easier.

10 Reasons to Raise Your Kids in the City
*We’ve partnered with phil&ted's to show how the right gear can simplify urban parenting. There’s an ongoing tug of war for most urban parents: should I stay in the city or move to the suburbs? And while we know the temptation of that big house, green lawn and minivan life is real, we also know that the big city is a great place to raise your kids. There are endless playgrounds, world-class museums and interesting people abound, and so many things to explore and discover when you’ve got kids in tow. Of course, urban life with little ones has its challenges. But it’s nothing that you can’t solve with some strategic baby gear. So we’ve partnered with phil&ted's to show how one compact & complete bundle of baby gear can help you get through your entire parenting day in the city. We recently met up with one of our fave city mamas, Porsha Ellis of Raising Wisdom, and her daughters, Steele & Sage, to show you how. Get a glimpse of one family’s parenting day with phil&ted's, and find out 10 reasons we think it’s pretty rad to raise your kids in the city. 1. Everything is just a stroll away. When you’re a city parent, your “set of wheels” isn’t a car, it’s a stroller. And it goes with you everywhere. So make it one that’s easy to push, looks good, and has plenty of storage! phil&ted's mod™ stroller is one of our faves, with 4 seat positions that will take you from newborn through toddler without ever having to switch out the seat. 2. You never know who you’re going to meet. Cities are filled with interesting people, and since you’re not stuck in a car all day, your kids (and you!) get to talk to all of them. Join a mom group, sign yourself up for a kids’ class or just stroll the neighborhood and stop into any shop. There’s no better way to build your parenting community. 3. You don’t need to spend all your savings on baby gear. In fact, you can’t...because there’s no room! Apartment living means thinking strategically about what to buy for baby. phil&ted’s parenting day bundle lets you reduce your baby gear footprint down to the only stuff you truly need: a great city stroller, a super-safe car seat, a cool portable high chair, a trusty baby carrier and the lightest travel crib on the market. 4. You can eat gourmet food anywhere, anytime. There’s no shortage of great meals in the city, from top rated restaurants to secret holes in the wall. Exposing your kids to a wide array of cuisine is good for them nutritionally, and eating out with others helps them develop good manners. And there’s no better destination than your fave late-night pizza parlor when your baby can’t sleep. Bring your phil&ted's lobster™ portable high chair and suddenly every food spot with some counter space is baby friendly. 5. You have a giant backyard….the entire city. What the city lacks in personal space it makes up for in public. There’s a different playground every few blocks, filled with new structures to climb, new swings to ride and new sprinklers to run through. Public transportation makes it easy to get anywhere, and if you (ahem, we mean your baby) end up in major meltdown mode, you can just throw your phil&ted’s alpha™ car seat (which fits on your mod stroller) in a taxi or Lyft and be home in a jiffy. 6. There’s stimulation everywhere. Sure, when you live in the city, there’s an endless calendar of events to hit or attractions to take in. But sometimes, it’s fun to spend the day doing basic everyday things like hopping on the subway or city bus, or hitting the farmer’s market. Even the most mundane errands can be thrilling for your baby. Be mindful not to overdo it, though, and build in downtime for your little ones every now and then. The mod stroller bassinet's the perfect spot for a quick nap (mom trick: flip the bassinet around so your little one can be closer to you!) or tuck her into her baby carrier for a little respite. 7. You can really sport your style. When it comes to fashion, the city streets are your runway, and literally anything goes! Now that you’re a mom, you get to accessorize with your baby gear (it’s not just for baby!), and maybe take some fashion risks while you’re at it. Treat yourself to that chic stroller with the cool, wild print, or opt for a brightly colored baby carrier. Don’t be surprised if you catch your reflection in a store window, and think: who is that fashion goddess mama? 8. There’s more nature in the city than you think. These days, cities are much more than urban jungles. Once you get off the concrete path, we bet you can find plenty of grass, sand, trees and animals to expose your little one to. Stash the stroller for the day and explore all the green space in your city with phil&ted's parade™ backpack baby carrier, which is not only comfortable for mom or dad, but also makes your baby or toddler feel safe and secure no matter where you end up. 9. The suburbs are just a car/train/plane ride away. We admit that even we sometimes need a break from the big city. And we miss our friends that moved to the suburbs! A weekend getaway to the suburbs can be an awesome adventure, and with a super light and compact travel crib like phil&ted's traveller™, it’s easy to stay the night. It’s also a great spot to place baby when Grandma’s house isn’t totally baby proofed, and has zip-down breathable mesh sides for a quick change. 10. Because the city makes you happy. Life with kids is about compromise, and we’re the first to tell you to do whatever is best for your child. But there’s so many ways to do “what’s best,” and some of them can actually involve taking your own happiness into account. If raising your kids in the city helps you smile more, laugh more and feel more personally fulfilled, your child will most likely sense your contendeness and thrive. A happy parent is a better parent, no matter where that parent chooses to raise their kids. adapt&survive your parenting day with phil&ted’s parenting bundle. Buy it here or head into Albee Baby. Photography by Belle Savransky of Belle Augusta.

SHOP PHIL & TED'S PARENTING DAY BUNDLE

phil&ted’s mod™ stroller - noir $399.99

phil&ted’s parade™ backpack baby carrier $139.99

phil&ted’s alpha™ car seat $199.99

phil&ted’s traveller™ $149.99

phil&ted’s lobster™ portable high chair $89.99

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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