The milk had gone off. Not a great way to begin the day for a Brit like me who likes her morning tea. So with baby in tow I nipped down to my local express supermarket.
Navigating the narrow maze of aisles with a pushchair proved something of an assault course. We were then almost imprisoned – our exit required brute force and a balancing act, having to hold open the heavy duty door with my backside while awkwardly squeezing the stroller through. It was a bad start and not a true representation of the city when it comes to strolling around. Considering it’s a fair-sized capital, Stockholm is fairly baby-friendly and as our day continued I took note.
We ventured into the city on public transport. Thumbs up to the buses, on which you can travel free of charge with a stroller. Most have a double door entrance, can fit two-three pushchairs and allow for easy access onboard. Beware, however, that the metro and commuter train charge fares as normal and the lifts can be temperamental with a distinctly off-putting odour at certain stations.
There’s plenty of green to be seen. When Stockholm isn’t covered in snow, there’s a plethora of parks, open spaces and grassy spots to take respite amid the hustle and bustle of the city. Unless you want to avoid practising your rally skills with your stroller, it’s probably best to avoid Drottningatan on a Saturday afternoon.
Otherwise, the sidewalks (note, I say pavements) are generally spacious. So much so that sole pedestrians may well encounter a whole line-up of prams coming at them head on. Groups of mums and dads with strollers don’t seem to adhere to a single file rule here. Steer clear of the winding 13th-century cobbled streets in the Old Town (Gamla Stan). They are a definite no-no unless your baby enjoys a particularly bumpy ride and you enjoy exerting yourself up 45 degree inclines.
Babies are generally well catered for at cafes. During a pit-stop for lunch, you may well notice that handy microwaves are provided so you can warm food or milk to their taste. Most establishments have at least one toilet equipped with a fold-down table to change your baby’s diaper (note again, I say nappy.) If you’re passing NK – Stockholm’s posh department store – take a trip to the fourth floor and enjoy the comfort of their fancy breast-feeding room for free.
Stockholm has made great strides to ensure buildings are accessible for wheelchair users so ramps, lifts, automatic or sliding doors most often come as standard which makes lighter work with a pushchair too. All in all, a day out in Stockholm with a baby is do-able and shouldn’t leave you stressed out, frustrated or sour, unlike the milk in my fridge this morning.