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First holiday with baby (Paris)...advice needed please!

(15 Posts)
babygibbon Mon 09-May-05 11:18:38

We're really excited to be taking DD (10 months) to Paris at the end of this month. But we've a few problems, and I could do with some advice. Firstly, hotels in Paris. Does anyone know of any good child friendly ones?

Secondly, what do we do in the evening? Someone told me to get a hotel with a restaurant in, because then we could leave DD in the room with a baby monitor, and dine downstairs. I don't really want to do this. She normally goes to bed at 7pm, will we have to eat very early, or do you think it would totally disrupt her routine to take her out in her (reclining) pushchair later in the evening? How do other holidaymakers manage?

Any other tips for a first time travelling mum?

Thank you very much

Marina Mon 09-May-05 11:31:10

7pm here is 8pm in France, don't forget. That extra hour will really help.
I would forget trying to dine haute cuisine and go for neighbourhood brasseries where food is served a toute heure, I'm sure there are some good ones. A hotel with a restaurant is a good standby though, as they will be more concerned to help you with any mealtime hitches.
Can't really help with personal tips as I last visited Paris in my carefree childfree days.
My top tip would be to make absolutely sure that you have a room with bain not douche - I know from experience that most 10 month olds do NOT like being showered in the evenings! You will very possibly pay a handsome premium for a bathtub in France
this might be a good starting point

babygibbon Mon 09-May-05 13:24:44

Thanks Marina. I had forgotten the time difference, and I certainly didn't think of the bath / shower problem...

kama Mon 09-May-05 13:28:51

Message withdrawn

hermykne Mon 09-May-05 13:32:37

evening times will be tricky babygibbon, for a babysitting service you'll have to go upmarket with your hotel, otherwise baby will have to go with you.
i ve a friend who lives there, will email her re advice

andif Mon 09-May-05 13:39:14

There was an article recommending Paris with kids in the Guardian on Sat - see if this link works.

andif Mon 09-May-05 13:42:25

I'm so excited that my link works!!!!
I would take her out with you - any disruption in her routine will be worth the experience and you're more likely to then think about going away again. Having said that, I was a routine monster with ds1 so I would understand if you didn't! Now pg with no.3 I am much more laid back!
Have fun!

slim22 Mon 09-May-05 15:01:41

Hi
we used to live in Paris and travel frequently with 13mths old DS.
To be honest, Paris is not a baby/child friendly city at all.
Parisian are very much of the opinion that unless your baby is a display doll, don't you dare bring it in their shop, restaurant, etc....
Anyway, you can survive if you follow the following advice:
Eating out:
whenever possible, sit on a terrace. Not only will your baby be busy looking around, but it is the ONLY way to garantee minimum smoke pollution (but still, people around you WILL light up and WON'T apologise)
Don't go to fancy restaurants, I garantee they will say they have no availability when they see the pushchair.
Babysitting:
we us the following agency, they are good and their prices are very competitive.
http://www.bouilleabisous.fr/articles.php?lng=fr&pg=516
Days out:
Le louvre, thay have very good facilities for families, and when you are done you can walk along the seine and in the "tuileries" gardens.
The best parks are the "jardin d'acclimatation" (Great playgrounds and activities), the Zoo in Vincennes, and the "Jardin du "Luxembourg" on the west bank.
PS: You have to bear in mind that appart from department stores, changing facilities do not exist.
Well I hope I did not put you off. I am sure you will have a great time, but it's best to be prepared.
If you need more info let me know.

slim22 Mon 09-May-05 15:09:48

Sorry,got carried away and forgot to answer your question!
I have to admit that at home I am a bit of a routine freak, but when on holiday we routinely take baby out in reclining pushchair. No harm if weather is fine. Don't forget a blanket and your baby's favourite comforter/teddy bear.have fun.

Blu Mon 09-May-05 15:17:28

Hello BabyGibbon -
Under holiday circumstances we have always put DS in his pushchair at bedtime and let him fall asleep there, then gone somewhere non-smoky to eat.
I am sure you will have a lovely time, but be aware that if your DD is crawling, those 'Interdit' Keep Off the Grass notices in every park do include crawling tots and you will have no respite from the most evil of looks if she strays from the gravelly paths! If she is 'cruising' She will have a wonderful time round the fantastic raised pond at the end of the Tuileries - but even the most relaxed brasserie doesn't accommodate a toddler straying from their chair.

I LOVE Paris, and anything is worth it to spend time there, but I wouldn't call it particularly child-friendly. Except they have fantastic children's clothe shops, and some lovely stuff in 'ordinary' shops like Prisunic (like our Woolies), too.

There is a great park at La Villette - or is it closed for re-furbishment, does anyone know? And I've always fancied the Bois but never been, but assume that it is v child-friendly and you can walk on the grass??

I think Time Out do a guide to Paris with kids.

knot Mon 09-May-05 15:20:35

we went recently and had a great time, defo eat out in places with terraces, we had a mare one night and had room service brought to us, but overall okay have a good time,

gggglimpopo Mon 09-May-05 15:20:50

I live in Bordeaux and eat out with the baby at least once a week. The earlier you eat the less smokey the restaurant and some even (stunning for france) have non smoker corners - if you say that you have a baby and ask if there is a good place to sit when booking.

I have never been turned away from a resto with a pushchair and have eaten everywhere from Michelin to truckers café. Children are expected to be well behaved but babies are treated indulgently and as long as he/she is not yelling/trashing the place down, people tend to smile and coo.

Agree about incredible lack of changing facilities. The chains prenatal and natalys have changing rooms, but dont expect freebie nappies and wipes.

There is a brill little book about babies in Paris or kids in paris that you can pick up at the airport in English - like Petit Futé or Time Out for kids. Or the Anglo American organisation (is it MOMA, will google and come back) can give you detailed info and actual recs of restaurants to try.

Hth.

knot Mon 09-May-05 15:30:22

forgot to mention i started a thread on this have a look i had some good advice

geekgrrl Mon 09-May-05 15:53:57

hi babygibbon,

we went to paris with our eldest dd when she was 13 months old. had a good time, we'd take her with us in the evenings and she'd sleep in the pushchair whilst we ate in brasseries etc, they always seemed reasonably child-friendly to me (maybe I was delusional! ). One tip is to take as lightweight and particularly narrow a pushchair as you can find, so that it'll fit through the turnstiles in the metro. we had a nasty little graco citi sport or whatever with us - all-round awful pushchair really but very well-suited to the metro as it it so lightweight and narrow.
I can't remember the hotel we stayed it (just one of those big chain hotels I think), but they were accomodating of dd at breakfast, had a highchair ready etc so it was fine.

Skribble Fri 13-May-05 01:14:06

Maybe an appartment or suite room will give you a bit of space if you are going to be in in the evening. A kitchenette can be handy anyway. I went with a 4 and 7yr old and they were in bed by 9pm so it was nice to be able to watch telly and not disturb them. La Citea chain has various hotels our room had a mezzanine level twin area with very steep stairs up fine for out two but not for baby. They do have different styles of rooms and very cheap but ours didn't have restruant.

We ate at various Hippopotomus restruants and Flunch a very confusing self service place once we sussed out how it worked it was great even though I frisbe'd my freshly made pizza accross the floor which I had just waited 15min for.

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