Rome with a 7 month old - looking for a bit of a confidence boost and some advice

(12 Posts)
flipflopson5thavenue Sun 03-Feb-13 02:51:23

hi,
my partner, DS, BIL and SIL are coming to Rome in a few weeks for a long weekend. We're staying in an appartment in the centro storico and are really looking forward to it.

I was born and raised in Milan (both parents English) and so am fluent in Italian, however am feeling nervous about the trip with my DD. Not sure why - I guess I know what I'm doing here in London as far as where I feel comfortable BFing in public, places that are baby friendly, where I can change DS's nappy in an emergency...getting around with confidence with buggy and the tube, that sort of thing.

Is there anyone out there who is living in Rome with a young baby who can give me a quick run down of dos and donts? Do restaurants tend to be baby friendly? Will I be ok BFing discreetly in most places? Will we get swarmed by gypsies who will try to take my baby?? (I realise this is a very paranoid fear but its keeping me awake at night :-(()

Also the place we're staying is sending a car to the airport to pick us up as we arrive late evening. They are sending a car seat but on investigation it is not a rear facing one, although the owner insists its ok for a 7 month and said "considering most people in Italy don't use a car seat..." I find this VERY hard to believe!! What should I do? Go with this car seat for the short journey..? Am I over thinking this?

I've asked my mum of course who raised two children in Italy but it was over 30 yrs ago then and am sure things are different, and really I don't think she can remember much of the fine details.

Any top tips or advice happily received. Am feeling rather weedy about the whole trip! I know that it'll be wonderful and the Italians are warm and welcoming and love bimbi, but its 230am and I can't think straight... I guess I'm nervous about being outside my comfort zone and of being a mum "in italian" ;-)

Thanks!

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 03-Feb-13 03:03:17

flipflops, first of all GO TO SLEEP. Stop worrying for now and get some rest you poor girl.

I have no practical helpful advice to give other than at 2.30am gypsies stealing your baby might seem realistic, but at 8am after a good nights sleep you KNOW that it's nonsense.

I've been to Rome but not with kids (and TOTALLY loved it, it really is the BEST city), my sil did it with a similar aged baby and had a ball. She said the Italians were just gorgeous and helpful, but not sure about emergency BFing or baby changes.

Re the car seat, I would go with the one the taxi company supply but I guess you could take your own.

Chottie Sun 03-Feb-13 03:44:47

You have lived in Italy, you are fluent in the language, you will have a fab time. Just relax and enjoy your holiday with your family.

p.s. I've never heard of gypsies stealing babies either. All the gypsies I've ever seen have loads of children of their own, why would they want anyone else's?

p.p.s. Don't worry about emergency BFing either, just feed discreetly and no one will be any the wiser.

p.p.s. I wouldn't worry about the car seat either. If it is not right, I am sure the company will have more than one car seat and you can just swop it.

I went to Rome when I was about 13 and I loved it......

flipflopson5thavenue Sun 03-Feb-13 08:13:32

Thanks both. Feeling slightly more human this morning. I felt bad about the gypsy comment too - I shouldn't even call them that, they're called Roma for a start...

Looking forward to it really. We've just started weaning and am looking forward to DS getting his head round spaghetti :-)

natation Sun 03-Feb-13 09:11:03

Having interviewed many "Roma" or "Gypsy" families from eastern Europe, I'd say they far prefer "Gypsy" to describe themselves. They don't have a monopoly on criminal activities though :-) I'm sure everyone reading this will know what you mean.

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 03-Feb-13 09:11:46

Don't feel bad FlipFlop, we all get crazy irrational thoughts in the dead part of the night.

I hope you have a lovely time, parenting can be overwhelming at times, particularly when tackling new things. I'm like you and always look on the bleakest side, fortunately I have dh to encourage me to give me a kick up the backside encourage me to be more positive. grin

trixymalixy Sun 03-Feb-13 09:16:59

I took my DD to Rome when she was less than 2 months old. It was fine, nobody stole her, nobody batted an eyelid at me bfing her. People were leaping up to give us seats on the underground.

Only thing I will say is that there weren't many baby changing facilities. One restaurant they directed me to a table to change her on <<boak>>

BananaGio Sun 03-Feb-13 09:44:17

Flipflop I live in Rome and ds was born here and is now 6. Stop worrying, you will have a fab time. I never had a problem breast feeding in public. If you need a safe haven there is a wonderful boutique for breastfeeding Mums based near Santa Maria Maggiore run by a New Yorker who has a courtyard and a private space for Mum's to gather, natter, breastfeed, change nappies together -pm me if you want details. Also great things to buy there. Re restaurants and bars you will be welcomed with open arms wherever you go, they will happily cook you small, off menu portions, warm milk or la pappa, make a fuss of your dc but isn't the norm to have changing areas (or even separate loos for men and women). I never really found a problem though as people are happy to help out and never had any looks or remarks about changing nappies in public. The metro - be aware that there aren't many stations with lifts. I became an expert at the balancing on the escalator with buggy. But if you are staying in the centro storico you can walk everywhere so won't need to worry about that. Re car seat again please dont panic. It is common here to have front facing ones. And regarding child stealing gypsies, its a myth. Just be prepared to be pestered by rose sellers every time you sit outside anywhere in the evening! You will have a wonderful time. My ds has been spoiled rotten his entire life here by everyone bar his parents and finds going back to the UK and the lack of attention wherever he goes a shock to his system smile. Post back or pm me if you want any more info and buon viaggio!

flipflopson5thavenue Mon 04-Feb-13 09:56:07

thanks everyone! feeling a lot more reassured and I know I was being a weed! I was being silly, I love Italy, I love the Italians and I can't wait to show my little fanciullo off to them all. My DS and I don't bat an eyelid at the hussle and bustle of central London and the tube so it'll be a walk in the park. A walk in the park with food to die for.

BananaGio thanks in particular for the bf boutique tip :-)

flipflopson5thavenue Mon 04-Feb-13 10:00:51

BananaGio - not sure how to pm - could you send me the boutique details? thanks again. yesterday we were out for a pub lunch and the waiter was italian and he was besotted with my ds and nephew and it just reminded me how the italians love children, especially in restaurants. more so than in the UK in fact!

BananaGio Mon 04-Feb-13 19:05:02

pm'd you back.Glad you're feeling more positive smile

duzida Sat 16-Feb-13 15:21:36

found you, flipflops, hope you're all having a lovely time and keeping DS safe from kidnapping waiters.

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