Paris with an 18month old?

Old Feb 19th, 2000, 03:58 PM
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Paris with an 18month old?

is it doable? how about the flight? thinking about going in summer so we can enjoy parks & outdoor atttractions rather than museums,etc. Has anyone rented an apt? How did you go about it?
Old Feb 19th, 2000, 05:49 PM
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Why would you go? If you have to ask if it's doable then you realize there are problems in traveling (especially on long flights) wa small child. I would recommend you spend the next few years raising you child (which would include teaching them how to behave in public) by visiting sights (historical , entertaining, educational or any combination) closer to home. When your child is 10 or 12 then think about a trip to Paris or anywhere else in the world.

I'm not saying don't ever go anywhere and keep your child out of public, I am saying stay closer to home until your child can appreciate and enjoy Paris or any part of Europe wyou have their own memories. How much more will your 18 month old enjoy a park and outdoor attractions in Paris as compared to the same closer to home????
Old Feb 19th, 2000, 07:15 PM
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This subject comes up over and over and it really is quite simple, an 18 mo. old will get nothing out of this trip, you will get minimal out of it as you already know you will be spending time in parks and outdoors rather than museums. If you know this already why travel thousands of miles when there are probably nice outdoors areas/parks/beaches/camp areas nearer your home. Sure you can go to Paris and sure you can take the baby, but it's not something I'd recommend - and while you will get supports of doing this it is not going to be much fun overall (notice I said overall). Paris is not a kid-friendly city - sure you see people there with children, but children are not catered to like in the U.S. - it has been mentioned already that hardly anyone on this forum can remember being in a resturant and seeing a baby seat anyplace or high chair. It just isn't that common. The flight will probably be no fun for a small child, to think nothing of the lack of fun it will be for those sitting around you if he/she fusses up a storm and kids do fuss, even the best of kids. An 18 mo old is not going to know if they have seen the Louve or Versailles, in fact they won't remember if they went to the park down the street or Yellowstone park for that matter, but why drag a small kid to Europe, wait till they are older when you can all enjoy the trip. It you must do this there are apartments available in Paris - this forum talks about them all the time. You can check out websites but also check out facilities (cribs, etc.) for babies, I rarely see anything like that mentioned. As whygo said, if you are questioning it already you must have doubts -- when in doubt, don't do it. Take him/she to a nice beach area or park and have a relaxing family vacation and not a stressed out one.
Old Feb 19th, 2000, 09:01 PM
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To some extent, this depends upon your particular child. But, generally speaking, international travel is not much fun for little ones. Your pediatrician can explain the perils of a long flight and your child's ears. I, personally, feel it is terribly inconsiderate of parents to bring small childen on international flights and seem oblivious to how disruptive they can be to all the other passengers. I would agree that Paris is definitely not a child friendly city. If you check the official hotel guide, very few hotels provide cribs. One almost never, ever, sees young children in restaurants at dinnertime. Few restaurants have high chairs or booster seats. Getting around with a stroller would be challenging at best. I'd also agree that you may want to consider planning more family oriented vacations. Spend time doing things with your child. They are only young once, and the time breezes by.
Old Feb 19th, 2000, 10:50 PM
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Hi-- It really depends what you enjoy. I'm not a museum or restaurant person and love just wandering around cities, finding new neighborhoods and relaxing in parks. If that is what you enjoy I think Paris would be perfect except that the grass is mostly off limits for toddlers. Still, if the baby is happy in a stroller and naps comfortably inside then I think your trip might work. I would check out some of the less visited parks like the Buttes Chaumont which is beautiful and very child friendly since its in a regular neighborhood.
Old Feb 19th, 2000, 11:57 PM
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As far as traveling with toddlers, why not? We are currently living in Europe and travel extensively with our 2.5 and 1 year old. You do have to make adjustments, but if you have the opportunity to travel, do it! We haven't been to Paris, but have been to many other major cities. We have found Europeans to be much more tolerant about children than the Americans. Some adjustments are:
choose hotels with child care and suites
dinner early or hire babysitters
lots of breaks in the sight seeing agenda.
Consider bringing a sitter with you (best thing!).

So, to enjoy a vacation with children takes more money and patience and time.

My sister did Paris with 5 children and the Parisians were wonderful to them and to her. Other great places to visit with children include Italy, Portugal and Prague. You see a side you would have missed without your children!

So, go and have fun!!! Don't let other's sour comments ruin your vacation.
Old Feb 20th, 2000, 06:03 AM
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Hi liz
If you would like to email me I would be happy to send you my Paris notes.
I have not traveled with such a small child but my notes do include recommendations from guidebooks and this forum on things adults and kids might like. I think you would be wise to consider renting an apt to arrange many of your own meals, keep baby food around,etc. My notes have some apt agencies, and babysitting agencies as well.
No,it will not be the same as if just grownups were going, but you already know that. Ask your pediatrician about advice regarding the flight, and definitely Search this forum for Paris kids or Paris child.
good luck
Old Feb 20th, 2000, 09:58 AM
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Liz -

I truly hope you ignore some of the ridiculous comments from individuals who won't even state their real name! Hopefully they don't have kids, because they would probably turn out to be just as obnoxious as their parents. Europe is very doable with infants/toddlers as long as you keep your humor and stay flexible. Which is basically what you have to do at home as well.! We took our 7 month old last year and are returning this year for a month. She will be 19 months this time. We met many other travelers with small ones. We were treated with open arms. I notified all before we went so they were prepared. We did not go to Paris with her, although Paris is our favorite. We would not be at all hesitant to take her there. I have many friends who have taken little ones there, and have found it to be very child friendly. You just have to look for the right hotels and restaurants, just like you would do here.

As far as the airplane, if you try and fly during the night, it makes it easier for the kids to adjust and sleep.

Good luck and happy travels. Don't give up something you like, just stay flexible and it will work!
Old Feb 21st, 2000, 04:51 AM
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We are going to Germany/Switzerland in March for 1 week -- it was an opportunity to stay for free and fly almost for free. We have a 20-month old daughter, and we decided not to take her with us. Instead, she will be having the time of her life spending a week with grandma and grandpa. The decision is a personal one and many people have varied opinions on this subject. We are lucky enough to have my parents living just a few miles away, and our daughter spends lots of time with them--she is just as comfortable with them and at their home as she is at ours. It is the peace of mind of knowing that she will be happy, comfortable and safe that is allowing us to do this. Otherwise, we would not make the trip. We feel she is too young to enjoy the large amounts of traveling around we plan to do, and we do not feel she is ready for such a lengthy flight--she's never been on a plane before. WE also chose to keep the trip short (7 days)so as not to be away from her too long.

PS: If the opportunity had not come up, we would not just have planned a trip to Europe without her. We plan to do another trip this year, in the US, with her! We also plan to return to Europe with her when she's old enough to enjoy it.

Old Feb 21st, 2000, 05:04 AM
dan woodlief
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We haven't traveled with our 11 month-old yet, so I am afraid I can't give you any specific help on this one. It sounds to me, though, that you have a good idea of how to make the trip work. An apartment and a concentration on outdoor sites seem right to me. I don't think anyone has a right to tell you not to go. It is up to you to know whether your own individual child is likely to handle the flight without creating too many problems for you or others, and without medical complications. I know children have a lot in common, but some people just don't understand that just as adults, they are all different too. What is wrong with a parent wanting to travel with a child simply because the parent can't do it without taking the child? As long as the child is not miserable, where is the problem? I also disagree with the idea that a child can't get anything out of being in a park in Paris. An 18 month old want remember the experience, but an 18 month-old can certainly have fun in Paris as much as just about anywhere else. You will get to experience Paris, the child can have fun if you are flexible, and and you can be together as a family. Have a great trip.
Old Feb 21st, 2000, 05:25 AM
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Go! If you're bringing your child either because (1) you have to, or (2) you want to, then more power to you! I'm an American living in Paris for the last 13 months. We have a 3 year old and an 8 month old. My wife and I enjoy ourselves, and our children enjoy themselves, as much as (and even more than) when we lived in the States. Most restaurants are very accommodating, especially if you go early (which in Paris means 7:30 or so). There are wonderful parks here; try the Jardin d'Acclimitation in the Bois de Boulogne, and of course Luxembourg Gardens. As far as museums, churches, etc., your child might not "get it," but isn't the point that you're spending time with your child and exposing him to all kinds of different sights and sounds? (Your child probably doesn't "get it" when you read to him, but you do it anyway, right?) The naysayers on this board are pathetic losers, in my opinion.

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