Paris mums(10 Posts)
I posted this in travel but not getting any responses really wonder if you guys can help:
Wise MNers, Im going to Paris with my DH and little baby boy in Feb, my DS will be almost 1. Im trying to book a family friendly AirBNB at the min but my research is freaking me out a little about how unchild friendly paris seems to be. No highchairs in restaurants and a lack of nappy changing facilities. Is this the case and does it reflect an attitude in restaurants for example that we won't be welcome? What do people do about feeding and changing babas?
Im currently breastfeeding my my LO is having a bit of formula and rejecting the breast at the min so can I get the same formula over there and if we wanted to get some pouches for convenience (he's super messy eater) for when out at lunch for example are these available widely? Are nappies really expensive?
Thanks so much, hope I'm not mad!
I'm in Belgium, but it's pretty much the same here as in France/Paris, so I'll have a go at answering your questions....
Are restaurants un-childfriendly? No, not really. But, don't expect massive child menus or tons of facilities. People don't fuss the same as in the UK. There might be a small kids menu for example, or you pick a dish from the "side dishes" or, as we now do, get an adult portion and split it between you (we split 1 adult portion between our 3 young kids).
What do people do about feeding and changing babies? There might be a drop down baby changing table in the ladies' toilet or the disabled toilet, depending on the restaurant. Otherwise, I have a fold up changing mat which I have often used on the floor of the toilet. For highchairs, many places will have them, or will have the small booster-type seats to put on chairs. If you're concerned, you could always buy a travel booster seat (we have an inflatable one we used a bit for DS1).
Can you get the same formula over there? Depends on the brand. Some very popular brands here (Nestlé for example) are not sold in the UK, and vice-versa (SMA isn't sold here for example). Many brands are sold under different names in different countries (for example, Aptamil is sold as Nutrilon here/France). Even between France and Belgium the names often vary, so you might want to bring your own formula. The rules for making formula also differ massively from country-to-country (here, for example, the advice is to prepare formula with lightly mineralised water).
Can you get pouches for convenience? Pouches of food are becoming more popular - you can get some Ella's kitchen stuff here and HIPP pouches are often available. However, mostly the supermarkets sell the jars rather than pouches. For milk, pre-made up formula is NOT readily available for younger children/babies. A friend of mine used to buy it in the pharmacy, but you'll only see the cartons of formula for children over 1 (lait de croissance) in the supermarkets.
Are nappies really expensive? Not sure what you class as "really expensive", but they tend to be more expensive than in the UK (perhaps less so now because of the weak pound). For comparison, I would pay €22,95 for a pack of 64 size 4 Pampers baby dry, and they cost about the same in France.
Funnily enough, on a recent visit back to the UK I found UK restaurants, cafés etc to be much less baby-friendly than here on the whole. I needed to heat up a tupperware pot of baby food for DD, and couldn't find any places to do it. Everywhere, except one cafeteria-type restaurant in a shopping centre, told me they weren't allowed to do it because of health and safety concerns (in case they made the food too hot and then I sued them for hurting DD basically). They were all happy to give me a pot of scalding water to put the pot in though - far more risky and bloomin' useless when you're heating mushed up home-made food, not liquid). Over here, most cafés and restaurants will happily heat up bottles and baby food that you bring with you. So, although they might not have a baby changing table, it's actually a lot easier to take my family out for lunch etc here as I can actually feed all my kids :-)
Thanks this is really helpful. I'm
Not massively worried about the food as he eats what we eat to an extent and I mostly breastfeed it's just the odd bottle but I was worried about high chairs as he's very grabby and messy and perhaps restaurants being annoyed with us. I'll get my own travel chair. The nappy changing on the floor doesn't sound great but whatever works! The nappies sound expensive as I use aldi ones which are about five pounds for the ammount mentioned. Thanks for your help!
Yeah - my UK friends are horrified that I would change my kids on a mat on the floor of a toilet! (as I would have been before having my 3 DCs here). But, you kind of just get on with it here, otherwise you'd never go anywhere with kids...
I agree with people not fussing as much as in the UK. It's not any less child friendly, it's just that everything doesn't revolve around kids iyswim
I'll bring a large changing mat! I just wish my kid wasn't so inclined to run off.
Haven't been to Paris with DS but we went to Munich when he was 5 months and it was very similar. He wasn't quite sitting up though so highchair not needed. We got a Chicco travel highchair for our next trip which was brilliant, goes under the buggy so you can take it out during the day. I took formula with us (3 day trip) as well as sterilising microwave bags. There were a couple of instances I had to change him on the toilet floor which not ideal so have a portable change mat but department stores and chain restaurants all have facilities so if you're central just check you know where these are
We weren't in Paris but did visit France last year with a one year old. We didn't use formula by this stage - just cows milk which was almost always UHT there. If it's just occasional milk I'm sure your DS will be fine with that.
Nappies were expensive and I am glad we took our own. It was almost impossible to find wipes and when we did find them they were crazy expensive - at least a fiver a pack. Again, I'm glad we only ran out on the last day!
Wow interesting tip re wipes. I tried him on cows milk the other day and he rejected it I'm gonna keep working on that because I'm loath to bring formula when I've been breastfeeding up til now. How do French women cope without cheap baby wipes?
They keep the wipes for out and use cotton wool and bum cleaning stuff at home.
You can get fresh milk in the supermarkets - it's with the cheese and yoghurts but there are only a few bottles so you have to look. Also available in the Bio (organic) section. Full fat has a red top. Most French people don't know you can get fresh cows milk.
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