Bringing Up Baby in the City

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New online resource gurgle.com now on hand to help USA moms. What do James Broderick, Lourdes and Rocco, and Apple and Moses have in common? Well, apart from all having celebrity mums (SJP, Madonna and Gywneth Paltrow respectively) they've also all been raised in the city: James is a native New Yorker while the other kids call London home.

playing with toys

Parents often face criticism if they choose to bring up their babies in the city, with traffic, crowds and crime cited as negatives. When you have a child, you pack up and head for the hills, right? Well, it seems that's no longer the standard, as more Parents who work find it harder to make the leap from city slicking to suburban living due to higher commuter fares, stressful journeys to the office and the death of the work life balance.

Mother and baby social networking site, gurgle.com has come up with Ten Great Reasons for Raising a City Baby:

1. You're never far from a park, and some cities have children's farms and petting zoos.

2. Public transport is widely available so you don't have to pay to park while you shop or take in the sights.

3. Most cities offer a wealth of entertainment for kids, including museums, play centers, art galleries and children's theaters, which means your child can regularly be immersed in kid culture without it having to be a special treat. Many of these attractions are free for younger children. If you reckon art galleries and museums are too sophisticated for your baby, think again. Children love looking at paintings, and at art galleries there is something different in each room. As long as they're safely installed in a stroller and not running around, the museum will welcome them too.

4. You are never far from anything (and this means you're probably within convenient distance of your local hospital or birthing center -- very important if you go into labor early or have a fast labor). You're also probably a reasonable distance from friends and big city train stations or airports for convenient traveling.

5. Shopping, shopping, shopping! Cities usually have an abundance of baby stores, which means you have a choice. You'll also find quirky little boutiques full of baby products you can't find anywhere else.

6. Getting your life back in shape! Gyms, parks, no reason to drive -- you'll be getting your pre-pregnancy shape back in no time as a city mom.

7. There will likely be a lot more in the way of mom and baby-focused activities and leisure opportunities, from strollercise to baby yoga.

8. You're never far away from other moms. Making friends when you have a baby is so much easier -- you can stroll up to a group of moms in the park with your baby and be welcomed. There is no need to feel isolated in the city, or to lose that sense of community that small towns have. Simply 'drop in' to a mom and baby session at your local library and, before you know it, you'll have a full schedule of play dates!

9. Your children will become aware of different nationalities, cultures and religions from a young age, helping to forge in them forge tolerance and appreciation of how different people live. This will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.

10. In 20 years' time if you are still living in the city you won't have to cope with your child leaving home because they will probably come back to live with you… On second thoughts, this may not be the best thing about living in a city!

You can find more great features on gurgle.com: more than 50 easy to follow tutorial videos, a wide range of fun and informative articles, social networking functions to share your experiences with other moms, plus access to top child and parenting specialists, on-hand to answer your queries on all things pregnancy and parenting. Along with its home base in the UK, gurgle.co.uk, gurgle also now caters for mums and mums to be with the recently launched gurgle india site.

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Lily Fallala

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