Paris With A Baby

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Gina's baby in the park in Paris

Gina’s baby in the park in Paris

Children don’t see language barriers. They see opportunities for playmates and new friends. There’s a lesson there and it’s one I experienced with my 13-month old daughter when we visited Paris in November 2012. We’re either crazy or bon vivants because we went back to Paris with our baby when she was 20 months old.

I like to think of us as the latter. Considering that, there are things to do to ensure your trip is successful.

Stroll With It, Baby

For both trips we brought our lifesaving stroller everywhere: on the Metro, in cabs and even up the steps of Sacre Coeur.

Eating in the park

Eating in the park

Food

Start your morning with a substantial breakfast so the kids are ready for a busy day. We carried bread with us in case she got cranky with a restaurant’s slow service. She’d get bread and be satiated.

Restaurants, for the most part, were accommodating. The chef at L’Epigramme made her delicious whipped potatoes. At Cafe D’Alma we lunched with a French family for three hours. We also loved La Duree and L’Ebouillant.

Leisurely lunches along Palais Royal were a treat. These restaurants allowed us to eat {and let’s be honest: drink} while she played in the courtyard with kids whose parents were doing the same. We picnicked frequently, picking up food at farmers markets or at Le Bon Marche’s food hall. Of all the places we visited, only the George V hotel had a high chair.

In the park we meet a friend

In the park we meet a friend

What to Do With Kids

Visiting parks allow you to connect with Parisians on a level you wouldn’t otherwise experience. Luxembourg Gardens, Parc Monceau, Parc du Forum des Halles, Place des Vosges, Parc de Bercy are outstanding.

Ride the carousels. These are virtual time machines that transport even the most jaded parent to a golden age.

Be flexible and patient. Don’t anticipate having the same “see-it-all” Parisian experience you did in your 20’s.

paris w baby crouched The Diaper Conundrum

Parisian restrooms are tinier than a macaron and don’t have changing tables. If your child is in diapers, find a larger hotel that will likely have a table in a restroom. The George V, to this day, has the most luxurious diaper changing experience I’ve ever seen.

Again, be flexible. I once had to change her on a park bench as a tour group walked by the exact moment we ripped off her diaper.

paris w baby eiffelWhere to Stay

For our first visit we cashed in points and stayed at the Marriott Champs d’Elysees which was centrally located. The rooms were tiny and got cramped after an extended period of time.

The second time we rented an apartment through Guest Apartment Services. It was great. We had a kitchen and prepared meals when we wanted.   We also had a washer/dryer that allowed us to do a quick load of laundry.

Finalement

Don’t be afraid to bring your little ones with you. Having them there makes the experience more authentic and produces memories (and gorgeous photos) that last a lifetime.

Links

Poilane & Eric Kayser – our bread suppliers on the trip

L’Epigramme

La Duree

Cafe D’Alma

L’Ebouillant

George V

Le Bon Marche

Palais Royal

Luxembourg Gardens

Parc Monceau

Parc du Forum des Halles

Place des Vosges

Parc de Bercy

Marriott Champs Elysees

Guest Apartment Services

Gina Miller Bio

Gina Miller is a wanderlusting sportscaster and multimedia consultant who laments the fact she didn’t have oysters and Sauternes with Hemingway in the 1920’s. Her website is ThatSportsGirl.com. Connect with her on Twitter @ThatSportsGirl

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