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Mom and Tot - 1 week in Paris - Last Minutes Tips!

Mom and Tot - 1 week in Paris - Last Minutes Tips!

Old Sep 21st, 2018, 07:30 PM
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Mom and Tot - 1 week in Paris - Last Minutes Tips!

My husband will likely not be able to go on our one week Paris trip in October so if I really want to go, it's looking like a mommy and toddler adventure. F########ck. Plane tickets are booked. Aparthotel in the 5e is booked for $2k as is one in Montmarte for $1k. I'm wondering whether I should the book one in the 18e and save the extra $1k. I'd like to visit the following sites, one site per day:

Luxembourg Gardens
Eiffel tower (don't need to climb the top. A picnic in the vicinity will do!)
Notre Dame
Louve or a more toddler friendly museum?
Sacre coure
Marais
Seine River
Eat crepes and have a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe while tot eats frites.

Safety is my number one priority and sanity is my second. As a foreseeably exhausted parent traveling alone with a toddler, I would rather avoid places where I'm likely to encounter aggressive characters and have a super strong guard up. I want the trip to be as easy and chill as possible I'm thinking of getting one of those kid leashes at the risk of public ridicule in the event that we end up in a super crowded place and tot wants to run in every direction-- am I going to be the only parent in Paris with one of these? Should I avoid any of the listed places or does anyone have any last minute tips? Given the places I want to visit, should I stay put in the tourist haven of 5e for convenience rather than 18e? I have a decent travel stroller.

Thank you!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2018, 12:15 AM
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I would stick to the 5th.. easier to push a stroller or carry a tired toddler in a flat place...lol

Dont stress too much about personal safety.. just be sure to keep your valuables/money/ phone safe.. pickpockets like distracted parents. So keep your stuff in a moneybelt under clothes and only carry a bit of daily spending cash in your purse or bag .. that way you can concentrate on your child and not worry about pickpockets.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2018, 03:54 AM
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Some people will tell you a lot of horror stroies about safety, including no go zones and avoid 18th please, as well as this and that. I have hwoever never encountered a French couple having any problem with safety. Myself I spent several days as a lone father with a very young child whilst my wife was working in Paris and never paid any attention to safety issues. Actually I have never encountered serious crime, whereas it can happen. But frankly in a city of so many people the risk is quite negligible. Now I have that I am not a good example being a man etc etc.
Bottom line : there is NO unsafe place within Paris intra muros and if you are just a little bit streetwise you'll also dodge the minor crimes (pickpocketing, hassle, petition girls whatever).
By the way it is le Louvre and sacré coeur, unless somebody wants me to use English names ? (Sacred heart maybe ?). A toddler will like or dislike any museum and their reactions are sometimes quite inpredictible towards art or toys..
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Old Sep 22nd, 2018, 04:48 AM
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Wherever you book, use Google maps to spot local playgrounds. There are a lot of those, but you have to look out for them. E.g. there's a nice garden just behind Sacre Coeur, parks, not only Luxembourg, but also Butte Chaumont etc. I'd have no qualms booking in Montmartre with a toddler in a stroller, but depends on where in Montmartre. Use buses, not the metro to get around, as you'll have no-step access and priority space for the stroller.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2018, 04:58 AM
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Took my now 16 year old DD to Paris (where her grandfather lives) when she was almost 4... which is different from toddlerhood... I made a list of all the carousels in the city and we wove in visits to them as we went about our sightseeing! And sought out playgrounds. You'll be fine - and have fun!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2018, 02:16 PM
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I"m not really underswtanding the aparthotel question, but it sounds like either you can pick either one of those OR you have booked two places for the same dates ??? and can cancel one with no penalty. Or something, I don't know.

But I'd say the one in the 5e would be more convenient for you as a tourist solo dealing with a toddler, you won't have to travel around as much on public transportation.

I wouldn't say there is NO unsafe place in Paris, the police sure don't think so given all the cameras they've installed in certain places due to crime (I mean on the streets or public areas). But given the 2 choices, I wouldn't worry about that especially since I presume one isn't going to be wandering around Paris late at night with a toddler.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2018, 03:15 PM
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Metro entrances often have long steps or escalators but buses are easier to board and go anywhere you want. Get a bus map and - how are you planning to get around - many of your sights are grouped together so walking is fine.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2018, 11:03 PM
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One issue with staying in the 18th is that it is on a hill and the metro stations are down at the bottom of the hill.

Regarding the toddler "leash." I think it's a good idea. My friends had one for their daughter that was like a backpack she wore. The leash portion came off of the backpack.
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 01:34 AM
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Ah the leash, I had not gotten this.
Yes you'll look quite ridicule. Not sure if it often happens to have kids on leash in US, but in Europe we only put leashes to dogs, sometimes to cats.
Putting a leash on a kid will indeed attract attention and people like me may even frown on you, asking themselves what kind of a mother needs a leash on her kid. But this is a personal opinion.
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 06:58 AM
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You should stay in the 5th. Even if the 6th is slightly better for the sites you wanna visit.
If you go for the 6th, my recommendation would be the Hotel La Perle : https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/la-...tml?aid=345164
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 07:10 AM
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" I'm thinking of getting one of those kid leashes at the risk of public ridicule in the event that we end up in a super crowded place and tot wants to run in every direction-- am I going to be the only parent in Paris with one of these? "

If your tot is so rambunctious that tot needs this restraint, I suggest strongly that you not visit crowded places that would have no interest for a tot such as the Louvre, where same tot might present an unwelcome distraction to other visitors.
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 07:27 AM
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Your post made me laugh, I am not sure if it was it's intent, but "Safety is my number one priority and sanity is my second" struck a cord.

Stick to a slow paced itinerary, you will be fine. Actually seeing things from a toddler's perspective will bring it's own rewards. If you have not seen it, here is my trip report of spending time in Paris with a 2 and 5 years old. Maybe it can help.

Quick trip to Paris and Lake Annecy with kids

I agree with thibaut, forget the leash, you will attract a lot of negativity. How old is your little one? Hold your toddler's hand when walking. Spend a lot of time in parks.
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by thibaut
Ah the leash, I had not gotten this.
Yes you'll look quite ridicule. Not sure if it often happens to have kids on leash in US, but in Europe we only put leashes to dogs, sometimes to cats.
Putting a leash on a kid will indeed attract attention and people like me may even frown on you, asking themselves what kind of a mother needs a leash on her kid. But this is a personal opinion.
There are many opinions on leashes on kids . However, it's not useful to this forum to extend a personal opinion into misinformation. The fact is that it's not uncommon to see kids on leashes/harnesses in Europe. For example, the British brand Little Life has all kinds of different designs of kids rucksacks with leashes which can be attached/detached. They are extremely popular.

The "we Europeans only put leashes on dogs" decree might resonate with some people as an opinion of how life should be lived but unfortunately like many of these kinds of platitudes, they are built more of fantasy than fact.

It's up to the OP if she wants to use a leash, however, the decision should be made on factors other than what people will think. Thibaut may disagree but I think that Parisians are more cosmopolitan than to have their attention drawn to the sight of a child with a harness attached to their backback. I also believe that most Parisians are more open minded than to "frown on" people who choose to use removable leash with their children from time to time.

Since Paris is a very large city, it's also worth giving thought, as you are, to safety. Whatever plans you make to help make your visit safer and more comfortable, you need to do what makes you comfortable and what's right for you. As usual, they'll be no shortage of people falling all over themselves to try to "teach" you that Paris is probably safer than where you live or that anyone who even mentions safety when traveling overseas is paranoid and ignorant.
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 08:57 AM
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Hi, California Mama--

I can't speak to France, but I can speak generally about Europe. I have good friends who are Italian and when they flew home to Italy with a toddler, they used a toddler backpack leash at least in the airport and on the trains. Once they were with extended family they had more hands and didn't need it. This was to and from Milan, one of the most fashionable cities in the world.

When I went to Italy with young kids years ago, I boarded a metro train with both of the younger kids, we adults got separated--probably not by accident as it turned out. A woman managed to zip open my purse while my hands were full. All they got was my map and kleenex because I had a double zipper inner compartment. The posters on this board, or the few folks who forgot what it was like to have a little one, will not be there to help you at a crowded train station, the airport or a busy boulevard. They will not get your wallet back if it stolen and they will not find your child if she gets separated from you. Do what is best for your family and don't worry about it.

Also for those unfamiliar with child safety harnesses, here is a photo of one option on Amazon--one of many...



https://www.amazon.com/Goldbug-Animal-Safety-Harness-Monkey/dp/B00JJ5DLM6/ref=sr_1_5_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1537807385&sr=8-5&keywords=toddler%2Bleash%2Bbackpack&th=1 https://www.amazon.com/Goldbug-Animal-Safety-Harness-Monkey/dp/B00JJ5DLM6/ref=sr_1_5_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1537807385&sr=8-5&keywords=toddler%2Bleash%2Bbackpack&th=1

I also really like this one--it carries the toddler's own snack and becomes his/her own backpack.

https://www.amazon.com/Brica-My-Side-Safety-Harness-Backpack/dp/B00B7M7BMA/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1537807385&sr=8-3&keywords=toddler%2Bleash%2Bbackpack&th=1 https://www.amazon.com/Brica-My-Side-Safety-Harness-Backpack/dp/B00B7M7BMA/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1537807385&sr=8-3&keywords=toddler%2Bleash%2Bbackpack&th=1
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 12:11 PM
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I would pick the more central location of the 5th for what you want to see and do. That list, at one per day, is not complicated or overwhelming. I think you'll be OK!
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 12:52 PM
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I remember reading one report from a parent with kids in strollers and they got special treatment at the Louvre.

Here is her report (they had gone to Versailles the day before with massive crowds. And had gone to Eiffel tower where strollers are not allowed.)
So our trip to The Louvre on Day 12 was MUCH better than the day before!! We showed up that morning and…saw a long line. However, as soon as we got in the back of the line, a nice Louvre employee walked up to us and said we could go right in because we had strollers. What? Excuse me? We get to cut because we have strollers? What? Yes!!!! There was an American guy standing in front of us who turned around and said he would pay me a million bucks for one of my strollers. #tempting Apparently, if you have a stroller at The Louvre, you not only get to go right in, but you get to use private elevators located throughout. We would be walking from one room to the next and Louvre employees would stop us and ask if we needed directions to the nearest private elevator…and then when we got there, another employee would open it for us. Who knew????? It was awesome!
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 01:13 PM
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Great pic 5 alive. To go with the leash, we also have 'muselière' in France.
Mom and Tot - 1 week in Paris  - Last Minutes Tips!-373235_3.jpg

I bet you can get them via amazon too ...
;-)
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 01:50 PM
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This child is a "toddler". That age wouldn't be walking down the street on their own (needing a leash).
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 06:00 PM
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Thank you for your responses! My toddler is relatively mellow and I haven't felt the need to use a harness on her-- and this will be her 19th flight. This is, however, our first international trip without my spouse. My hands will be full at the airport with a check in suitcase, carry on rolling luggage, backpack, stroller, car seat bag, food and snacks for a 12 hour flight and goodness knows what else on top of a two year old. I will go ahead and get the toddler harness/leash and throw it in my backpack in case I find myself in an overwhelming situation at which point the last thing I will care about is optics. I'm just trying to get to the hotel in one piece.

A few more things:

1) Are ubers popular and/or cheaper at CDG or should we take an old fashioned taxi straight to the hotel?

2.) Double decker hop on bus vs. Seine boat tour to see the sites?

3) I look forward to having crepes, ice cream and picnics with her in the park. I'd love to hear your suggestions on bakeries, cafes and markets to visit!

Last edited by CaliforniaMama; Sep 24th, 2018 at 06:34 PM.
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Old Sep 24th, 2018, 06:30 PM
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This is a wonderful tip! Thank you for sharing the travel report, lolfn!
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