Using a Car Seat in Paris

Sep 10th, 2007, 05:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 301
Using a Car Seat in Paris

Since our toddler will be using the CARES restraint system when we fly to Paris, we weren't planning on bringing a carseat as well. However, if we don't take the RER, we will be traveling by car from CDG to our apartment and back.

Has anyone had any experience with a folding Compass booster or a portable car seat by Eddie Bauer? TIA
tpl is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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We flew to Paris in April 2006 when my daughter was 3 1/2 and about 43lbs - at that time the FAA recommended using the regular airplane seat belt for children over 40lbs. Looks like they now allow the CARES restraint system for up to 44lbs.

She was sitting in a backless belt positioning booster seat in the car by then which we opted not to bring with us because it couldn't be used on the plane and we knew the only car travel would be by taxi from CDG to my father-in-law's apartment and back again. I did ask my FIL what the French laws were and he said he checked (who knows with whom though) and said it wasn't necessary to have any kind of seat for her in public transportation or a taxi. I had visions of being rejected by all taxis at CDG because we didn't have our own car seat but that didn't happen! She went without in the taxi which was obviously a risk. But now that I do a search for car seat regulations in France they look similar to the US - maybe they are different for traveling in a taxi?

Not sure if you are considering a taxi but a quick search for CDG airport taxi service showed a few with car seats available by request. So maybe that is an alternative for you?

Sorry I didn't answer your question directly but shared my experience for what it's worth.
iowamom is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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Thanks, Iowamom.

The driver will be an acquaintance of a family member in Paris, so I could ship something ahead of time. I'm looking at the Safeguard Go seat, which looks pretty portable. There's also the RideSafer TravelVest, which is more like a harness. I think the Eddie Bauer seat just looks too junky. The guidelines for France seem to require only the use of an approved, appropriate restraint.

Do you mind sharing the experience of visiting Paris with your daughter? My husband and I have been several times, but this will be our daughter's first visit. (she'll be a little over 2 1/2 when we go). I never even thought about what it would be like to take a child when we visited before, so I'm trying to figure out if there's anything really out of the ordinary to prepare for. We'll be traveling in early November, and renting an apartment in the 1st, if that matters. Thanks.
tpl is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 06:06 PM
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I would actually see if you could get the acquaintance to buy (or borrow) a car seat there so you don't have the added expense of shipping it.

As I said, we visited Paris with our daughter when she was 3 1/2. My father-in-law lives in the 16th with his French wife so we had the benefit of staying with a local who knew the language and the area. My husband and I had also been to Paris several times before so I didn't feel like having a young child in tow would prevent us from seeing the sites since we had seen the touristy ones already and it wasn't our once in a lifetime trip to Paris.

On this trip my husband was tied up in business for most of the week and his father and his wife also had some commitments so I was on my own with my daughter some of the time and was with them some of the time as well.

Nothing out of the ordinary to prepare for - find the closest playground and just expect to spend less time each place than you would hope to unless you have an incredibly patient child.

One thing we couldn't find was a nightlight - my daughter and I slept in different areas of my FILs small apartment so we were trying to find a small nightlight to no avail.

My daughter is a picky eater but my FIL's wife bought a small jar of peanut butter that was a life saver - peanut butter on a baguette went everywhere with us. I hate to admit it but we even went to McD's for one lunch. We also ate at Hippopotamus which was as described elsewhere - like Red Robin's - okay food. And had a lot of home cooked meals.

She did enjoy going to the local market where a lot of shopkeepers bent over backwards to give her samples of foods.

Here is some info from me on another posting: When I asked my now 5 year old daughter, what she liked best about our trip to Paris a year ago, she said Disneyland Paris!

I bought Take the Kids: Paris & Disneyland Resort and Open Road's Paris with Kids and found them both very useful on our trip.

The Cite des Enfants was perfect for her age but the rest of the museum was obviously over her head. The Jardin du Luxembourg has a great playground - I think you have to pay for it but it is well worth it. Lots of great play sructures. She also had fun pushing the boats and having a pony ride there. The Menagerie (zoo) was wonderful - could get very close to a lot of animals. Also, she is really into carousels so we made a point of finding a good number of them.

The Palais de le Decouverte is a science museum and was way over her heard - and had very little information in english. We went to an aquarium that I can't recall the name of but it was pretty basic and needed some TLC. And the other zoo (Vincennes / Parc Zoologique) was undergoing major rework when we were there so we had to skip it.

A word about strollers and the Metro - we took our stroller everywhere but it was a pain for getting around the Metro - tons of stairs. A lot of times, I was trying to negotiate her stroller by myself - I made her keep getting out of the stroller to go up and down the stairs... and one time a nice young Frenchman even helped me carry the stroller down several flights of stairs with her sound asleep in it. But with all of the walking we did, I would never suggest going without one!

Hope some of this info helps - sorry for the random topic changes but was trying to get all my thoughts down for you... let me know if you have any other questions.
iowamom is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 764
what is CARES restraint? We are traveling with our 20lb, 8 month old infant to Europe next week. I bought her a seat and plan to bring her regular (Britax marathon) convertible car seat on the plane. at home I use it rear facing. The instructions say to use it on a plane the same way as in the car so I guess I'll try installing it rear facing although I don't think I've ever seen a rear facing car seat on a plane. Hopefully it won't be too hard to install as we have the easy latch clips in our Honda at home and I've only installed it that way.
Sally30 is offline  
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