Car Seats and Cabs in New York City
Berkeley Parents Network >
What/Where to Buy >
Car Seats >
Car Seats and Cabs in New York City
We have a 9 month old we will be travelling to Boston and NYC
with. We will be checking his carseat, and have a car to use in
Boston, but in NYC no car. We will mostly be doing subway and
walking in NYC, but for getting to/from airport, we were going
to do a cab, but don't know -- can you put a carseat into the
cab? Anyone done that? Better alternative?
Any other travel tips would be appreciated as well -- esp re:
(1) should we bring pak-n-play? (2) if we get an xtra seat on
the flight, should we try to bring the carseat ON the plane? (3)
we're bringing bjorn, which he likes, but should we also bring a
stroller? (4) should we pack babyfood, or just buy while we're
there (he eats mostly jars)? Thanks!
We tried to forgo the carseat in a taxi recently and the driver would
not let us ride in the car, as it is illegal and he would be busted if
we were pulled over. So, I believe you have to bring it, in which case
there are a couple options. If you get an extra seat on the plane,
definitely use the carseat. Makes sleeping easier for you and the baby,
in my experience. If you don't get an extra plane seat, you can check
the carseat at the gate. The cab companies will also hold your carseat
until you return from your trip, then can pick you up and bring it with
them or you can go to the cab company and get it. A pack and play is
great to bring, as is a stroller as well as a bjorn.
The stroller is great for giving your back a break. You can buy baby
food anywhere, so I would just pack enough for the plane ride with
snacks, etc. Make sure to nurse or give your baby a bottle on the ascent
and descent to avoid ear pain. Enjoy!
Yes, you can put a carseat in a cab, there's usually a way to install a
car seat with a lab belt. I don't know about NY but in SF most cabs are
kind of old and have a nonretractable seatbelt in the middle of the back
seat that is just perfect for a car seat. If there is a retractable
seatbelt you just need a little clip to keep it stable, and you should
have gotten one with your carseat or you can get them pretty easily at
Practice a few times installing the carseat with a lap belt before you
If you have an extra seat on the plane the carseat is a mighty nice
place to let the kid sleep comfortably. If you are comfortable with the
bjorn I wouldn't bother with a stroller. I wouldn't pack baby food for
the whole trip, just buy some when you get there.
I go to NYC and Paris often with my two kids. My son is 7 now and when
we first went to Paris he was 17 months and we bought him his own seat
and brought the car seat on the plane (perfect for napping) and I
planned on taking the carseat in the cabs but what a hassle! We were
often with family and if we took the carseat in the cab we would have
needed to spend money on two cabs instead we squeezed everyone into one
taxi with him on our laps.
You will DEFINITELY need a stroller in NYC since it is a walking town.
You don't have to use a carseat in cabs by law. We usually install a
carseat in a cab at the airport on the drive to my sisters in Brooklyn
and then after that we put it in her car but we usually use the subway.
I would bring some food with you for the baby for several days but you
can buy jars of babyfood anywhere. Whole Foods is now all over NYC and
We have bought seats in airplanes for our kids after they turn 6 months
old since taking off and landing is safer in a carseat than in your lap.
I am usually travelling one way on my own with the two kids so I like
the extra space.
Have fun! I travel to NYC and Boston (Family!) several times a year. Let
me know if you have anymore questions.
We just went to NYC with our ten-month-old, and took both a stroller and
seat with us (we checked both at the gate). When we got to JFK, we used
& Limo Service (212/666-6666) which met us at the curb with a driver and
town car. We put the car seat in the back and the stroller in the front
seat. The trip to Manhattan cost $45 plus toll and tip (we stayed in
the upper West
side). For the return, a driver from Carmel picked us up and took us
back to the
airport for the same price.
Many (but not all) subway stations have elevators, which was very
helpful when the
baby was in the stroller. When we had to transfer a couple times,
however, we had
to take the baby out and carry him and the stroller separately as there
were a couple
staircases without ramps (this was at the 59th Street Station
the Baby Bjorn and the stoller when you go out would be helpful in such
We took a little baby food with us, but just went shopping when we got
had no problem finding baby food for him, although we couldn't find his
Horizon - so we switched to another brand, which he liked, fortunately).
If you take a pack-n-play, you can check it or put it in the overhead
Then on the plane you can buy a seat for the baby (it's usually half
price), or just get
to the gate early, when they open, and ask if you can use the car seat
on the plane.
On the way to NYC we took a red-eye and it was pretty full, so we just
car seat at the gate and the baby slept most of the way there in our
arms. On the
way back the flight was maybe half-full, so we put the car seat between
without a problem. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
We have used carseats when traveling to/from airports in taxis (usually
of some sort) in a variety of locations (including San Diego, Mexico,
Salt Lake City &
more.) We even used a carseat when traveling within the city of Cabo
when taking cabs if it was going to be more than a mile or so. We felt
showing up at the horse stables in Cabo San Lucas with a carseat in tow
cab dropped us off) but the guys didn't care and let us stow it in their
shed until our
ride was over. For long flights, we use the carseat because our kids
are used to
sleeping in them and it frees our hands and laps for other things.
consider that you can't pull down the tray table when using a carseat
(at least on
I always like to see if I can rent or borrow a pack-n-play or other crib
traveling, but it not we've brought that beast as well. It's just so
haul when you've got all the other baby paraphernalia. I almost always
bring a small
stroller because my kids are happy in it and it's less work for me
(except in places
that are not wheelchair/stroller friendly (i.e. Mexico.) Just think of
and your shoulders hurting and having no stroller for your son, but you
limitations and the amount of walking you'll be doing.
Regarding food, I'm super picky, but if I felt secure that I could get
to a good store
within the first day I'd only bring enough to last until then (that
which are also very bulky for traveling.)
I took my daughter to NYC for a month when she was 8 1/2 to 9
1/2 months. We took her car seat with us, but only used it once or
twice. When traveling to/from the airport, it will be easy to set it up
in a taxi. While cruising around town, however, chances are good that
you don't want to lug the car seat everywhere you go. We primarily used
the subway or our feet. We did ride in taxis every now and again with
our daughter on our lap. Yes, I realize that is not safe, but we did
Bring a pak and play unless you actually like to sleep with your child.
At that age, my daughter was WAY to active for me to sleep with...
Bring a stroller unless your baby sleeps easily in the bjorn.
Not all subway stops have elevators, so be prepared to do some carrying.
I found the stroller useful in helping carry our purchases and easy to
negotiate around town, except in the evening at Time Square where crowds
seemed to be huge.
Editor: advice was also given about plane travel and equipment.
See Trip to East Coast with 9-month-old
My partner and I are taking our 11-month-old twins to NYC for 2
weeks in June. I've read other posts about taking carseats on
trips and many BPN subscribers highly recommend it.
I want my kids to be safe, but 1) the dual Britax carseats are so
big and bulky (especially when I think about everything *else* we
need to pack) and 2) I don't trust myself to install the seats
properly and I can't imagine a taxi driver waiting patiently
while we figure out all the straps and attachments.
We'll mostly use public transportation while we're there, but
having the twins ride to and from JFK Airport without car seats
makes me very nervous. Any suggestions? Do airport car services
ever have cars (or vans) with two carseats already installed?
Are there any portable safety straps that can be easily used in
taxis? Thanks for any advice you might have.
My husband and I brought a convertible car seat (Sit N Stroll -
http://www.elitecarseats.com/tripleplay-sit-n-stroll.shtml) to NY and it
was great!It was much easier than havinbg a stroller and a car seat and
then having to lug them around everywhere or check them in at the
museum. What a hassle!!
We went with our then-three-month-old to New York City at the end of
When we got in to JFK, we had a car service (a mini-van) where we were
able to put the base of the car seat in the back seat. We then put his
car seat in as we would do at home. For the return, we had a car
service also where we did the same thing. We paid $45 each way from JFK
to midtown Manhattan. We have a Peg Perego Atlantico travel system, if
it matters. You could probably ask around and see if you could swap car
seats with some friends for the duration of the trip. The system we use
has a base which clips very easily into the back seat seatbelt, and it
took less than a minute to install it properly. Be aware, however, that
unlike BART, the NYC subway has very few elevators. We took the
stroller with us but then unclipped the car seat when we went down the
stairs to the station, with one of us carrying the baby in the seat and
the other the stroller.
We travel to NYC 4xs/year and agree with you that it seems crazy to take
your Britax carseats when you will only need them for going to and from
the airports in NY. We have done two things. There are three options
we have employed:
1. Use a car service that provides car seats (but you are not always
guaranteed this year's model);
2. rent a car from JFK (hertz and alamo have decent carseats) and drop
it off immediately in the UWS
3. we bought two Sit and Stroll (carseat/stoller contraption) that we
use in limos to transport the kids to the city.
If you need specific car service info, please don't hestitate to email
me and I'll look it up for you.
My twins turned 2 today and I often travel to NYC. You can buy
lightweight, portable carseats from One Step Ahead (item #08107).
They're for kids 25-40 lbs. Also, whether or not you have carseats, I
suggest you speak to every taxi driver before you get in and explain
that you have two babies and try to ascertain whether he'll be
considerate of that. I've had lots of very kind, helpful taxi drivers.
But I always check in advance. Enjoy your trip!!
I've been traveling with small children a lot for 17 years...I just
asked a cab driver in Baltimore as I skipped bringing my seats along
what the ''law'' was THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED-most cabs don't even have
rear seat belts so installing them is iffy at best.Some people love them
for the plane-not a safety thing (plane crashes aren't a walk away from
thing) more of a restraint thing...however they kick the beejesus out of
the person in front of them as their feet are too close to the forward
seat-it also renders their tray table useless-get at least a window seat
and have jr sit looking out the window-pose the adult in the next seat
better yet get three together(you have two?) your partner in the aisle
seat next to you...you can trade off who gets beat up, also takong the
red-eye and putting them to sleep works too...good luck
We were in the same spot last year, but with only 1 kid. We ended up
not taking our Britax, relying exclusively on public transit in NYC,
INCLUDING the rides between JFK and our friend's place in Lower
Manhattan. The airport is served by the train (the LIRR, maybe? I
forget) but it was really a hassle. If I had to do it again, I'd
probably take our daughter's carseat
*just* for taxi rides to and from the airport: keeping her corralled and
happy on the train was a full time effort, so my wife was doing that
while I lugged ALL our luggage - no fun at all. If we're talking cabs
to and from the airport only, the taxi drivers won't mind waiting for
you to pop the carseats in - they're getting a good fare (around $50-80,
I'll bet)! Do be prepared for them to have the meter running while they
wait, though. Also, remember that if you check the carseats, you'll
only have to deal with them in and out of the airport taxi, and you can
use one of the rental carts for your bags + carseats between the curb
and the counter/baggage claim. So though you're taking them, you don't
end up having to haul them EVERYWHERE.
When my daughter was young (maybe 9-12 months old), I traveled alone
with her from SFO to JFK. I cannot imagine doing it with twins, but I
wanted to address one point in your post.
When the time came for a cab to pick up my daughter, me and all of our
stuff at the airport, I simply said, ''You can start the meter; I have
to put in my daughter's car seat.'' I had my daughter in her stroller
while I was jamming her car seat in the back seat of a cab. It probably
took me a few minutes to get it just right.
Not for a second did the driver get upset. Not only was the meter
running, but if he had a problem with it, there will be dozens of
drivers who wil be patient. He could have sped off when he saw the car
As a parent, you (and I) are allowed to spend as much time as it takes
to get the car seat fitted correctly. I have no problem paying the
driver to wait. If something happened, I would never forgive myself.
this page was last updated: Oct 14, 2006
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network